The purpose of this paper is to understand what the principal and principal supervisor each bring and contribute to their collaborative work that is consequential for the principal’s learning and development as an instructional leader.
Multiple case study methodology is used to gather data from 12 principal supervisor/principal partnerships over a 16 month period in one Mid-Atlantic school district. Data sources included interviews, observational data and documents provided by participants in the study.
In productive principal supervisor/principal partnerships, findings demonstrated that the principal supervisor and the principal each brought specific antecedent characteristics to their partnership and each made contributions to the development of a productive partnership during their collaborative work. When these partnership qualities were present, principal supervisors and principals engaged in joint work, leading to robust changes in principals’ instructional leadership practice.
This study examined the work of principals and principal supervisors in one large Mid-Atlantic school district.
Findings from this study have implications for districts’ assignments of principal supervisors, principal supervisor/principal selection and professional development of principal supervisors. Further, districts should create the conditions for principal supervisors and principals to establish learning-focused professional partnerships in three stages, culminating in the engagement of joint work for improvement to facilitate principals’ changes in instructional leadership practice.
Findings from this study illustrate the value of establishing a learning-focused partnership between principal supervisors and principals in three stages to facilitate robust stages in principals’ instructional leadership practice. A new conceptual framework displays the stages of partnership development that occur in productive principal/principal supervisor partnerships.
Funding for this research project was generously provided by the Spencer Foundation. Findings presented in the article represent the author’s work and may not represent the Foundation.
Thessin, R. (2019), "Establishing productive principal/principal supervisor partnerships for instructional leadership", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 57 No. 5, pp. 463-483. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEA-09-2018-0184Download as .RIS
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