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ERIC Number: ED549615
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 211
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2672-8274-3
Sustainable Leadership in an Elementary School: How One School Principal and Members of the School Community View the Sustainability of Leadership
Kennedy, M. Pamela
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Hartford
The purpose of this qualitative research was to examine how one principal of an urban elementary school and selected members of the school community perceived the sustainability of the principal's leadership. One goal of this study was to enhance the understanding of how principals and members of the school community may perceive the ability of the principal to build capacity and sustain critical elements of school culture beyond their immediate authority and tenure. This qualitative study used individual interviews, focus groups, and written reflection to investigate this topic in order to make the research process available as a resource to the participants. Two research questions guided this study. The first question asked how one urban, elementary school principal perceived sustainable leadership as defined by Hargreaves (2006) in the context of distributed leadership. The second question asked how members of one urban elementary school community perceived the sustainable leadership of principal as defined by Hargreaves & Fink (2006) in the context of distributed leadership. Six sub-questions addressed three components of sustainable leadership, diversity, resilience and capacity relative to the principal's perception and that of the school community as represented by the participants in the study. This was a single site study taking place in an urban elementary school comprised of grades pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. Data was collected through semi-structured individual interviews, focus group meetings, and reflective conclusions. The principal was interviewed three times over the course of the study. The teacher participants were interviewed individually and then participated in three focus groups. The teacher participants were invited to respond to final reflective questions regarding how the information from the study might inform their practice. The study found that the principal perceived that she sustained her leadership through the mobilization of resources towards common goals. The principal also perceived that she sustained leadership through an evolutionary movement of leadership beyond the self. The teacher participants perceived the sustainable leadership of the principal as being related to communication and collaboration in a climate of recognition and trust as experienced in both a personal and group culture. This research has implications for practice at the school and district level. [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: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A