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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Chad R. Lochmiller and John L. Mancinelli

The purpose of this paper is to describe how elementary school principals adjust their leadership practice in response to Washington’s new teacher evaluation policy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe how elementary school principals adjust their leadership practice in response to Washington’s new teacher evaluation policy.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a modified content analysis of open-ended survey responses collected from elementary school principals in Washington State. In all, the survey included responses from 354 elementary school principals representing 25.0 percent of the state’s elementary school principal population. ATLAS.ti supported data analysis and assisted in the derivation of three key findings.

Findings

Elementary school principals changed their instructional leadership practice in response to the new teacher evaluation policy in three significant ways. First, principals adjusted their approach to classroom observation to complete more intentional, in-depth observational activities. Second, principals redistributed non-instructional responsibilities to clerical staff members to allow themselves and other administrators more time for classroom observation. Third, principals adopted a learning stance to the new policy and thus sought external support, especially coaching, to assist them with the implementation of new evaluation practices.

Research limitations/implications

The study faced three limitations. First, the sample of respondents included in this study cannot be generalized to the state as participants were not randomly selected. Second, the survey did not utilize a longitudinal design, and thus its findings only relate to the first year of the policy’s implementation. Third, the study does not include school-based evidence to triangulate principals’ survey responses.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the instructional leadership literature. Specifically, the study offers further insights into the adjustments principals make in their leadership to accommodate expectations found in new teacher evaluation policy.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 December 2017

Chad R. Lochmiller

The purpose of this paper is to examine the micropolitical strategies principals use to influence school staffing within an urban school district.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the micropolitical strategies principals use to influence school staffing within an urban school district.

Design/methodology/approach

The author used a qualitative case study approach drawing upon 47 semi-structured participant interviews with 25 individual research participants, 80 hours of observations, and 36 district artifacts. The author completed an iterative analysis using ATLAS.ti with a coding scheme informed by the educational leadership, human resource management, and micropolitical literatures.

Findings

The findings illustrate that school principals engaged productively within district staffing procedures to influence the allocation and composition of teaching staff within their schools. The iterative analysis identified three micropolitical strategies employed by school principals, including advocacy, acquiring leverage, and networking. First, principals used advocacy to shape personnel staff’s understanding of school needs. Second, principals acquired leverage over staffing by enlisting the support of their school supervisor. Finally, principals networked with colleagues to identify teachers within the district’s transfer system for possible hire.

Research limitations/implications

The findings have both practical and research significance. Practically, the findings highlight how principals engage in leadership within the context of district staffing processes. With respect to research, the findings address an important gap in the literature as it pertains to principal’s leadership actions in relation to internal district administrative processes.

Originality/value

The findings of this study are unique in that they challenge the conventional view of district staffing procedures, which has typically framed these procedures as barriers to principal leadership. The findings suggest district staffing procedures can be a forum for productive leadership actions.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 56 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Chad R. Lochmiller and Colleen E. Chesnut

The purpose of this paper is to describe the program structure and design considerations of a 25-day, full-time apprenticeship in a university-based principal preparation program.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe the program structure and design considerations of a 25-day, full-time apprenticeship in a university-based principal preparation program.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a qualitative case study design that drew upon interviews and focus groups with program participants as well as program-related documents. Qualitative data analysis was completed using ATLAS.ti.

Findings

The analysis suggests that the apprenticeship had three specific design features that were intended to support the apprentice’s development for turnaround leadership. These included locating the apprenticeship experience in a turnaround school setting; focusing the apprenticeship on district structures and procedures; and situating the apprentice’s work within the district’s approved improvement process.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited in that recurring, on-site observations of apprenticeship activities were not possible. The study has implications for principal preparation programs related to the design of fieldwork experiences, as well as for educational scholars seeking to study the impact of fieldwork on principal efficacy.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the broader discussion of effective fieldwork experiences for aspiring school leaders, particularly when specific conceptions of leadership are infused within program designs.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2019

Chad R. Lochmiller and Kathleen M.W. Cunningham

The purpose of this paper is to report findings from a systematic literature review that explore how recent research on instructional leadership has addressed the role of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report findings from a systematic literature review that explore how recent research on instructional leadership has addressed the role of mathematics and science instruction.

Design/methodology/approach

Using Hallinger’s (2014) approach to conducting systematic reviews, the review included 109 peer-reviewed articles published since 2008 in leading mathematics and science education journals. An a priori coding scheme based upon key leadership behaviors articulated in Hitt and Tucker’s (2016) unified leadership framework informed the analysis presented.

Findings

Results indicate that leaders support content area instruction by facilitating high-quality instructional experiences through curricular and assessment leadership. Leadership frequently involves establishing organizational conditions that support teachers’ efforts to improve their own practice instead of direct leadership action on the part of instructional leaders. This support takes different forms and can include distributing leadership to teacher leaders with content area experience as well as using resources strategically to provide professional development or instructional coaching.

Originality/value

The review strengthens the connections between the instructional leadership, mathematics and science literatures, and identifies some of the leadership practices that these literatures deem important for instructional improvement. The review also reveals the potential for future research exploring the influence of a particular content area on supervisory practice and leadership discourse.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 33 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Chad R. Lochmiller and Jennifer R Karnopp

– The purpose of this paper is to explore how school principals influenced or controlled leadership coaches working with assistant principals in urban secondary schools.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore how school principals influenced or controlled leadership coaches working with assistant principals in urban secondary schools.

Design/methodology/approach

This longitudinal qualitative case study drew upon semi-structured interviews and program documents obtained from participants in a university-based leadership coaching program across three academic years. The study included 22 total participants, including ten assistant principals, nine leadership coaches, and three program staff.

Findings

A thematic analysis of the data produced three themes. First, principals controlled coaches’ work with assistant principals both directly and indirectly. Second, the extent of principal control influenced how coaches developed a confidential relationship with the assistant principals and what strategies they used to preserve the confidential nature of the coaching relationship. Third, the focus of the coaching support evolved in response to the assignment of responsibilities and duties to the assistant principals, which were largely outside the assistant principal and leadership coach’s control. The absence of alignment between coaching priorities and leadership responsibilities frustrated coaches.

Originality/value

The findings from this study make two significant empirical contributions to the literature. First, the study provides critical new insights about the extent to which politics generated by principals and administrative teams may influence the work of leadership coaches. Second, the study contributes to the sparse literature about leadership coaching for assistant principals, particularly those working in secondary school settings in the USA.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 December 2017

Andrew J. Hobson and Linda J. Searby

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Abstract

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2016

Linda J. Searby and Denise Armstrong

The purpose of this paper is to introduce readers to the special issue on “middle space” education leaders (those individuals who are second-in-command in schools). The…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce readers to the special issue on “middle space” education leaders (those individuals who are second-in-command in schools). The special issue contains papers pertaining to mentoring those preparing for and aspiring to the assistant school leader role, as well as papers on programs that support new assistant principals/vice-principals through mentoring and coaching. The authors provide background on middle space leadership and mentoring from existing research literature, introduce the international papers selected for the issue, and identify unifying themes across the papers.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors provide highlights of relevant research literature on the importance of mentoring for school leaders in general, but also specifically address the need for mentoring for middle space leaders from the scant literature that exists on the topic. After reviewing the relevant literature, the authors provide an overview of the seven papers that were chosen for the issue through a rigorous peer-review process.

Findings

The co-editors of this special issue identify common themes that emerged from the papers chosen for the issue. In general, authors note that middle space leaders have unique mentoring and coaching needs, and there are few formal programs that address their needs. However, there is a growing awareness of the need to support assistant principals through structured mentoring programs, as well as preparing and mentoring those who aspire to the position.

Research limitations/implications

The seven papers chosen for the special issue represent a variety of research methodologies. A limitation is that the majority of the studies are qualitative, with small sample populations. However, even with small sample sizes, commonalities can be seen across the studies and across international contexts.

Practical implications

This review summarizes the issues facing middle space leaders in education and how they can be effectively addressed. The global audience that can benefit from engaging with the papers in this special issue includes educational leadership faculty, educational governing bodies, policymakers, school district central office personnel, senior principals, and assistant principals themselves.

Originality/value

This paper and the seven that follow extend the scant research literature in the realm of middle space leaders in education. They provide unique insights – from different international contexts including the USA, Canada, Hong Kong, and New Zealand – into the need for and potential benefits of mentoring and coaching aspiring and new middle space leaders.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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