NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED550873
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 98
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-2679-7119-7
Whose Schools Are They? Principals' Experience of Profound Change during a School Reorganization Process
Hanlon, Kathleen P.
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of Pennsylvania
Since their inception more than 150 years ago, Catholic schools in the Diocese of Scranton were autonomous, locally managed entities. This completely changed on July 1, 2007 when the schools were reorganized into geographically determined regions, each governed by Central Office. This change replaced local authority over, and responsibility for, a particular school with Diocesan-developed and sanctioned policies and expectations intended for the entire system. Although creating and implementing a universal model for school operations and decision-making, the change did not account for the various ethnic, socio-economic or traditional realities of the individual schools. Simultaneous to this governance change, a number of schools were closed or merged, further exacerbating the emotional context of the school reorganization. The impact of this significant shift in school identity and leadership is still felt by every school constituency. However, the individual building principals were and are in a particularly affected position. Having been charged with implementing the changes while at the same time being influenced by them, the principals must lead amid great uncertainty and emotion. In many ways, the outcomes of the reorganization have been dependent on the principals' ability to engage in the change process and lead their schools through it. This qualitative study is an examination of the dynamics inherent in this change from the principals' perspective. Specifically, it is an attempt to articulate what the change meant to them in terms of their leadership and school context. Also, it discusses how this meaning and experience are manifest in the execution of the principal role. As Superintendent, my actions certainly influenced how the principals perceived both the change and its impact on their leadership. This study is also an opportunity to consider the interaction between the principals and my office during this period. In addition to data collected through regular interaction and shared work experiences, interviews with the principals inform this study in the hopes of understanding how they construct and make sense of their role in this context. Ideally, this understanding will lead to maximizing the individual and collective leadership potential of principals in a system undergoing profound change. [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 Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A