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ERIC Number: ED514832
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 209
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1096-8937-2
The California Female Superintendent as Instructional Leader: Reported Practices and Self-Perceived Capabilities
Pruitt, Kyle G.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, Capella University
It is not known what specific characteristics or tools are necessary for a superintendent to be a successful instructional leader, and the influence that being female may play in the effectiveness of their instructional leadership. Firestone and Riehl (2005) pointed out that research on superintendent leadership has rarely looked at the impact on student learning outcomes. This lack of research poses a problem for anyone interested in improving the preparation or improvement of practice in the field of superintendent instructional leadership. The purpose of this study is to determine instructional leadership skills and behaviors of effective female superintendents in California. This will be accomplished by using the research methodologies and data collection tools used by Neely (2001). The emphasis of this study is to provide current and potential practitioners with professional guidance regarding effective instructional leadership traits and strategies, regardless of gender. Comparing the data from Neely (2001), which included male superintendents, to the data collected in this study of female superintendents, behaviors of effective superintendents can begin to be isolated, regardless of gender. Twenty California school districts employing female superintendents were identified for this study as the result of specific criteria used to define effective female superintendents, (a) employ a female superintendent, (b) have district enrollment above a thousand students and less than ten thousand students, (c) achieved improved district API score from 2007 to 2008, and (d) improved Standardized test results in both Socioeconomic Disadvantaged and English Learner subgroups. Twenty female superintendents met the specific criteria of this study. The findings of this research study validate that regardless of gender, superintendents who act as effective instructional leaders share a number of behaviors and prioritize similar tasks in their daily work. By focusing specifically on females for this study, then comparing the results to the data collected from the male superintendents in the Neely (2001) study, superintendent preparation programs can begin to feel comfortable assuming that specific tasks and behaviors of effective superintendents can be shared and learned, regardless of gender. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California