Successful leadership in challenging US schools: enabling principles, enabling schools

Stephen L. Jacobson (University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA)
Lauri Johnson (University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA)
Rose Ylimaki (University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA)
Corrie Giles (University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, USA)

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine seven challenging schools in the US and the practices their principals employed in leading these schools to a measure of success in terms of student performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Uses a case study methodology, a two‐stage framework is used to analyze the data. First, uses Leithwood and Riehl's three core leadership practices to determine whether these leaders were demonstrating the necessary practices for success, then develops and describes three principles that enabled these leaders to translate their core practices into school success: accountability, caring and learning.

Findings

The principals formed a diverse group, varying in gender, race, experience and education. But they shared some common characteristics, most notably, all seven demonstrated facility with the core leadership practices of direction setting, developing people and redesigning the organization. They were leaders who managed to set and maintain a sense of purpose and direction for their schools and generally exerted a positive influence on people's willingness to follow their lead, even in the face of challenging conditions.

Originality/value

Provides recommendations for the preparation and practice of school leaders.

Keywords

Citation

Jacobson, S., Johnson, L., Ylimaki, R. and Giles, C. (2005), "Successful leadership in challenging US schools: enabling principles, enabling schools", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 43 No. 6, pp. 607-618. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578230510625700

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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