The burden for school improvement in a time of accountability falls squarely on the shoulders of principals as new requirements demand that they act as instructional leaders. The purpose of this study is to discover the common themes of school leadership and instructional practices of high school principals at successful schools in Virginia.
An inductive exploratory study was designed to provide insight into how successful high school principals facilitate high levels of student achievement. The research was grounded by allowing principals to talk about their actual practices as leaders.
The principals provided valuable insights into their daily practices that foster an environment which is supportive of high‐student achievement. These practices are categorized in the following themes: developing personnel and facilitating leadership, responsible delegation and empowering the team, recognizing ultimate accountability, communicating and rapport, facilitating instruction, and managing change.
Findings have direct implications for current principals, aspiring leaders, and leadership preparation programs. The themes that emerged serve as a powerful framework to help current and aspiring principals develop a leadership philosophy that promotes and fosters a successful learning environment.
The need to promote high‐achievement permeates the daily practices of principals. Although, reform efforts are not new, No Child Left Behind has created new demands on leaders. Studies on effective leadership practices, though, do not reflect empirical research based on contemporary schools. Instead, most are meta‐analyses of twentieth century research creating a need for research on effective leadership practices in today's schools.
Crum, K.S. and Sherman, W.H. (2008), "Facilitating high achievement: High school principals' reflections on their successful leadership practices", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 46 No. 5, pp. 562-580. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578230810895492Download as .RIS
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