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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2019

Ellen Goldring, Jason Grissom, Christine M. Neumerski, Richard Blissett, Joseph Murphy and Andrew Porter

Despite increased focus on the importance of the time principals spend on instructional leadership, there is little research on practical ways to help principals manage…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite increased focus on the importance of the time principals spend on instructional leadership, there is little research on practical ways to help principals manage their time to achieve this goal. The purpose of this paper is to examine the implementation of the school administration manager (SAM) process: a unique program designed to help principals orient their time toward instructional activities.

Design/methodology/approach

This mixed-methods study combines data from multiple sources including: case studies of four districts that involved interviews with principals and program staff in 16 schools; interviews with network-level staff and administrators; a survey of 387 principals and 378 program staff; and time use data collected by shadowers as well as a time-tracking calendar system for 373 principals.

Findings

Principals and their teams implemented the SAM process with relatively high fidelity. In addition, most participated in the program to increase time spent on instructional tasks. Indeed, principals’ time use shifted from managerial to instructional tasks as they implemented the program. However, there were important challenges related to the time and personnel resources required to implement the program as well as questions about the quality of the instructional leadership time spent.

Originality/value

This study describes not only time allocation, but also a process through which principals intentionally sought to shift their time toward instructional leadership activities. The insights gained from the implementation and outcomes of this process provide concrete direction for policymakers, practitioners and researchers looking for ways to change the time principals spend on instructional leadership.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 58 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Xiu Cravens, Timothy A. Drake, Ellen Goldring and Patrick Schuermann

The purpose of this paper is to study the viability of implementing a protocol-guided model designed to provide structure and focus for teacher collaboration from Shanghai…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the viability of implementing a protocol-guided model designed to provide structure and focus for teacher collaboration from Shanghai in today’s US public schools. The authors examine whether the new model, Teacher Peer Excellence Group (TPEG), fosters the desired key features of productive communities of practice where teachers can jointly construct, transform, preserve, and continuously deepen the meaning of effective teaching. The authors also explore the extent to which existing school conditions – principal instructional leadership, trust, teacher efficacy, and teachers’ sense of school-wide professional community – enable or moderate the desired outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for this paper are drawn from a series of surveys administered to teachers from 24 pilot schools in six school districts over two school years. Descriptive and multilevel modeling analyses are conducted.

Findings

The findings provide encouraging evidence that, given sufficient support and guidance, teachers report higher levels of engagement in deprivatized practice and instructional collaboration. These findings also hold after controlling for key enabling conditions and school characteristics.

Social implications

The TPEG approach challenges school leaders to take on the responsibilities of helping teachers make their practice public, sharable, and better – three critical objectives in the shift to develop the profession of teaching.

Originality/value

The indication of TPEG model’s positive impact on strengthening the features of communities of practice in selected public schools provides the impetus for further efforts in understanding the transformational changes needed and challenges ahead at the classroom, school, and district levels.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 July 2021

Susan Kemper Patrick, Laura K. Rogers, Ellen Goldring, Christine M. Neumerski and Viviane Robinson

Leadership coaching is an increasingly popular development tool for school principals. However, specific coaching behaviors are rarely conceptualized or examined in prior…

Abstract

Purpose

Leadership coaching is an increasingly popular development tool for school principals. However, specific coaching behaviors are rarely conceptualized or examined in prior research. This study presents a coaching behavior framework and then analyzes actual coaching conversations between principals and coaches to illustrate how specific coaching behaviors create opportunities for principals to reflect and think critically about their leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on theories of interpersonal learning, the authors develop a framework of coaching behaviors to distinguish coaching inquiries and assertions that facilitate critique and reflection and, therefore, activate opportunities for learning. The authors use this framework to code transcripts of 55 principal coaching sessions. The authors analyze the prevalence of certain coaching behaviors and then examine qualitative patterns in how the use of certain behaviors shapes the nature of coaching conversations.

Findings

Only about one-third of coded coaching behaviors in the analytic sample are categorized as coaching inquiries and assertions that activate opportunities for learning. In the qualitative comparisons of extracts from coaching conversations, the authors find coaches' use of these behaviors produced richer, more meaningful dialogue.

Originality/value

Unlike much of the past research on leadership coaching, this analysis examines what happens in conversations between coaches and principals. This framework could be applied to a broad range of coaching programs intended to promote professional learning.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 59 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Ellen Goldring, Xiu Cravens, Andrew Porter, Joseph Murphy and Steve Elliott

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing dialog of whether and how instructional leadership is distinguished conceptually from general leadership notions…

1859

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the ongoing dialog of whether and how instructional leadership is distinguished conceptually from general leadership notions, such as charisma, and to continue the ongoing psychometric research on the The Vanderbilt Assessment of Leadership in Education (VAL-ED) by examining its convergent and divergent validity. The authors hypothesize that the VAL-ED will be highly correlated with another measure of instructional leadership, but will be weakly correlated with more general measures of leadership that are rooted in personality theories. To test the convergent validity the authors implement the Hallinger and Murphy (1985) Instructional Management Behavior of Principals (IMBP) inventory, (Hallinger and Murphy, 1985; Hallinger, 2011). The authors use an instrument for emotional intelligence, Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue) as the divergent measure (Petrides et al., 2007). Results indicate that principals and teachers have different perceptions of leadership concepts.

Design/methodology/approach

The sample of schools in this study included 63 schools, 47 elementary, seven middle, and nine high schools from eight districts in six states in the US correlational analyses and regression are implemented.

Findings

The three sets of correlations from teacher responses about their principals among the three measures of the VAL-ED, TEIQue, and PIMRS (0.715, 0.686, and 0.642) are similar in size and all quite high. The picture is different for principals’ self-ratings, however. The VAL-ED is more strongly correlated (0.492) with PIMRS than with TEIQue (0.119), providing some evidence for convergent validity between learning-centered leadership and instructional management, and divergent validity when compared with emotional intelligence traits. The correlation between teachers and principals on the VAL-ED is only 0.17.

Research limitations/implications

An interesting finding of this study is that principals can discriminate between instructional leadership measures and emotional traits when self rating, while teachers rate their principals similarly, and do not seem to discriminate between instructional leadership practices, as measured by the VAL-ED or PRIMS, and general traits associated with leadership effectiveness, as measured by the TEIQue. This paper discusses the theoretical and practical implications of these findings for both understanding the limitations of rating scales measuring instructional leadership, and their uses for evaluation purposes. Furthermore, teachers seem to perceive and understand these leadership traits differently than principals suggesting the need for training in how to use and interpret the results.

Originality/value

Educator accountability has placed principal evaluation and assessment at the forefront of reform debates. There is limited research on 360 degree evaluation systems. Rating scales of principals’ instructional leadership, are being used for assessing principals’ strengths and weaknesses in making decisions about tenure, merit pay, and ongoing professional development. Given the significance of these decisions it is important to ensure that principal evaluation instruments are valid.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 53 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

Ellen B. Goldring

The recent move towards system‐wide diversity in the Israelieducational system has made the structure of public schools increasinglycomplex and fragmented, and has greatly…

Abstract

The recent move towards system‐wide diversity in the Israeli educational system has made the structure of public schools increasingly complex and fragmented, and has greatly influenced many aspects of the principalship. Today, principals in public schools are moving towards a dynamic definition of their role. Principals are being required to move from being routine‐managers to leader‐managers. This role change is reflected in four pivotal areas including: resource allocation, organizational framework, governing system and market structure. Contrary to traditional roles, Israeli principals are increasingly required to be environmental managers who mobilize resources and manage professional organizations with pluralistic governing systems in a competitive market structure. The success of local school initiatives depends upon principals′ abilities to adapt their roles to new realities inherent in such dynamic, diverse school networks.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 July 2014

Peter Goff, J. Edward Guthrie, Ellen Goldring and Leonard Bickman

In this study the authors use longitudinal data from a randomized experiment to investigate the impact of a feedback and coaching intervention on principals’ leadership…

3376

Abstract

Purpose

In this study the authors use longitudinal data from a randomized experiment to investigate the impact of a feedback and coaching intervention on principals’ leadership behaviors. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 52 elementary and middle school principals (26 receiving teacher feedback, 26 receiving feedback and coaching) were randomized into a year-long feedback and coaching study. Measures of leadership actions were collected from principals and teachers during the fall, winter, and spring. The authors use instrumental variables approach to examine the impact of treatment.

Findings

Behavioral change may take longer than is presented in this study, which implies that these findings represent a lower-bound. As an intervention leadership coaching is costly and this research does not explore alternatives to help principals make feedback data actionable.

Practical implications

It is unlikely that providing school leaders with feedback alone will induce behavioral change. Other systems and supports – such as leadership coaching – are needed to help principals make sense of feedback data and translate data into actionable behaviors.

Originality/value

Few leadership studies use exogenous variation in treatment conditions to examine leadership outcomes. This study builds upon our causal knowledge of leadership behaviors and presents a viable intervention to improve school leadership.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 52 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1990

Ellen B. Goldring

The elementary school principal, the chief administrator at thelocal school level, occupies the boundary‐spanning role. One aspect ofthe principal′s role as boundary…

Abstract

The elementary school principal, the chief administrator at the local school level, occupies the boundary‐spanning role. One aspect of the principal′s role as boundary spanner is to engage with parents. The principals′ interactions with parents in terms of their boundary‐spanning functions are described. Interviews of 113 suburban elementary school principals suggest they are concerned with buffering and bridging between the school organisation and their parental clientele as boundary spanners. When buffering, principals mediate between angry parents and their superiors at central office and moderate the impact of complaining parents on their schools. When bridging, principals aim at obtaining parental support through promoting public relations.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 9 May 2008

Ellen Goldring, Jason Huff, Henry May and Eric Camburn

As they operate in complex schools principals must allocate their attention to numerous responsibilities. This paper seeks to ask three questions: how do principals…

4383

Abstract

Purpose

As they operate in complex schools principals must allocate their attention to numerous responsibilities. This paper seeks to ask three questions: how do principals allocate their attention across major realms of responsibility; to what extent do principals in different contexts emphasize different realms of responsibility; and to what extent do individual attributes affect how principals allocate their attention across realms?

Design/methodology/approach

A cluster analysis is applied to data from a daily log of principal practices to identify principals who allocate their attention across major realms of responsibility in similar ways. With the three groups identified in the cluster analysis a discriminant analysis is then used to examine the individual attributes of the principals and the contexts within which these groups work to identify those individual characteristics and contextual conditions that best predict each principal's cluster membership.

Findings

The data from the log indicate that principals are not as fragmented across numerous realms of responsibility as previous research suggests. Some principals do spend considerable time on instructional leadership. The cluster analysis revealed three groups: “Eclectic” Leaders (their activities are distributed more evenly across different activities); Instructional Leaders (they focused most on Instructional Leadership); and Student Leaders (they emphasized student affairs). In the paper's discriminant analyses no individual attributes distinguished amongst the three types of principals; only contextual conditions predicted membership.

Research limitations/implications

The results point to the influence that context plays on school principals' practice; principals appear to prioritize and focus their actions under more challenging contextual conditions. The next step in the analysis is to determine how the leadership clusters and principal practices relate to important school outcomes.

Originality/value

The paper provides useful information on influences on school principals' practice.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 46 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 August 2006

M. Christopher Brown, T.E. Dancy and Nicole Norfles

The authors interrogated the contextual spectra of educational and sociological literature to highlight the failings of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Historical…

Abstract

The authors interrogated the contextual spectra of educational and sociological literature to highlight the failings of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Historical and contemporary perspectives on the state of urban schooling, school choice, and community identify fundamental areas in which disadvantaged students are affected disproportionately. Additionally, treatment of the TRIO programs (Upward Bound and Talent Search) and their positive impact on disadvantaged students is presented. The TRIO programs consider issues germane to the academic achievement of low-income, disadvantaged, and marginalized students in ways that the No Child Left Behind framework fails to consider. Policymakers, K-12 teachers/leaders, and parents are admonished to pay careful attention to how No Child Left Behind continues to leave underprivileged children behind through ignorance of their communities and disparate accountability measures. Implications for policy are discussed.

Details

No Child Left Behind and other Federal Programs for Urban School Districts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-299-3

Abstract

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 52 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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