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ERIC Number: ED521583
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 241
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1242-5498-2
The Roles and Leadership Competencies of Nontraditional and Traditional Superintendents: Learning from Experience
Lofton, Rodney Stephen
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, Teachers College, Columbia University
The purpose of this study was to examine the roles and related leadership competencies traditional superintendents and nontraditional superintendents identified as significant in their work as superintendents. Moreover, this study explored key experiences from traditional superintendents and nontraditional superintendents and described how each group developed from these experiences on the job. Ultimately, this study sought to understand the differences and similarities between traditional and nontraditional superintendents according to their roles, leadership competencies, key experiences, and development. This study utilized a qualitative case study design that gathered information on experiences traditional superintendents and nontraditional superintendents perceived influence their roles and leadership competencies. The qualitative approach elicited the superintendents' perceptions, entered their interpretive frame of reference, and attempted to understand "why" they perceive their roles and leadership competencies needed as superintendent, the chief educator. Because of the limited number of nontraditional superintendents, it was important first to identify a list of all potential nontraditional superintendent participants. After a review of the various sources, a list of 13 actively employed nontraditional superintendents was found, compiled, and solicited; 4 agreed to participate. The criteria used to select the 4 traditional superintendent participants were based on matching characteristics of the nontraditional superintendents. The research revealed that most traditional superintendents and nontraditional superintendents in this study indicated that instructional, managerial, and/or political roles are roles they perceived used during key experiences as superintendent. Moreover, most traditional superintendents and nontraditional superintendents indicated that their knowledge, skills, and personal attributes were enhanced through two major learning processes: learning from others and trial by fire. Analysis of the findings identified that traditional superintendents and nontraditional superintendents that led the larger student enrollment school districts perceived that managerial roles are key in leading their district. These findings are in line with the research on superintendent roles. The analysis of findings also indicated that the learning processes most utilized by the superintendents--learning from others and trial by fire--are significant in the superintendents' development. One major factor that was a noteworthy challenge and hindrance to learning for most superintendents was board relations. [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: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A