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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1983

ROBERT J. GERARDI

The purposes of this study were (1) to determine if certain variables differentiate between occupationally mobile and non‐mobile superintendents, (2) to determine if…

Abstract

The purposes of this study were (1) to determine if certain variables differentiate between occupationally mobile and non‐mobile superintendents, (2) to determine if differences exist in the leadership behaviour characteristics between these groups, and (3) to determine if there are differences in the leadership behaviour charac‐teristics of superintendents as perceived by their own groups and by their subordinates. The study revealed significant differences in six categories: Mobile superintendents (1) held more positions; (2) spent a fewer number of years in each position; (3) were more often tenured; (4) had a higher level of education; (5) held higher status in the profession; and (6) felt a deadline was a challenge rather than a nuisance. There were no significant differences in the leadership behaviour variables.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1991

L. David Weller, Carvin L. Brown and Kohlan J. Flynn

The study investigated popular election results regarding therelationship between the variables of county board member defeat orre‐election and the reappointment or…

Abstract

The study investigated popular election results regarding the relationship between the variables of county board member defeat or re‐election and the reappointment or dismissal of county school superintendents, in the state of North Carolina, within a one, two, three or four year time frame. All 100 county school districts were studied over a 12‐year period of time in which an ex post facto quasi‐experimental research design was used to determine the relationship between incumbent board member defeat and superintendent turnover following six general elections. Results of the study show there was stability in both superintendent reappointment and incumbent school board member re‐election. These findings do not support previous research regarding the dissatisfaction theory in that previous studies found significant differences between superintendent turnover and incumbent school board member defeat. This study, unlike others, focused on county public superintendent turnover and county board member election results as opposed to city or state superintendent and school board member elections.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2018

Carole Collins-Ayanlaja, Warletta Brookins and Alison Taysum

Superintendents’ agency in the US is shaped by governance systems within education systems. These Education Governance Systems have been in a state of flux and experienced…

Abstract

Superintendents’ agency in the US is shaped by governance systems within education systems. These Education Governance Systems have been in a state of flux and experienced turbulence for twenty years. The professional challenge this research addresses is how do 14 credentialed educational professional African American women superintendents with doctorates and track records of school improvement, navigate the turbulence to empower families, and Empower Young Societal Innovators for Equity, Renewal (EYSIER), Social Mobility, and Peace.

This chapter identifies three aspects of a theory of knowledge to action to emerge from the empirical evidence presented. First, African American women superintendents need to know how to access policy and legislation, how to stay up to date with policy and need to be empowered to challenge policy. Policy has the back of African American women fighting institutionalised racism. Second, African American women superintendents need role models, and mentors with wisdom who can create proactive and mobilising networks across the state and the nation to advocate for and to support the teachers’ and leaders’ professional learning to be the best teachers, leaders and superintendents they can be. Finally, the African American women superintendents who have been self-selecting, or identified as potential future superintendents by current superintendents and schoolboards, need to be part of succession planning that transcends the short elected lives of district school boards. Newly incumbent African American women superintendents need to be empowered by Education Governance Systems to enable them to deliver on their manifestos and track records of outstanding school improvement with the impact strategies they were employed to implement. The impact strategies include promoting high-quality home–school engagement and ensuring all students learn how to learn, are culturally sensitive, ask good questions and solve problems as Young Societal Innovators for Equity and Renewal. The chapter recommends a network of African American women superintendents implements this theory of knowledge to action and that their work is documented, and if successful in optimising students’ learning, and outcomes, disseminated to build capacity for EYSIER.

Details

Turbulence, Empowerment and Marginalisation in International Education Governance Systems
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-675-2

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 June 2021

James Coviello and David E. DeMatthews

The purpose of this study is to understand how superintendents leading large, high-profile and politically complex urban districts make sense of their district–community…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to understand how superintendents leading large, high-profile and politically complex urban districts make sense of their district–community context and advocate for issues of equity.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative multi-case study took place over the 2017–18 school year and involved superintendents leading large urban districts in the United States, with data derived from semi-structured interviews, observations of school board and other public meetings and document collection.

Findings

This article describes how superintendents' sensemaking around equity was situated within the context of interactions with district board members and other stakeholder groups within their communities and influenced by their sense of professional vulnerability of public advocacy. Leaders often felt the need to attenuate their personal sense of equity and act strategically when framing related policies or practices. This study highlights examples by which superintendents were forced to confront instances when community support and prioritization of equity issues did not match their own and subsequently struggled to make sense of how to frame issues that were not in alignment.

Originality/value

Despite their positional authority, relatively little attention has been paid to the experience of school district superintendents in fostering equity. This study provides practical examples of superintendents making sense of complex leadership scenarios and taking strategic action to promote equity in authentic circumstances and has important implications for research and practice.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 September 2021

William T. Holmes, Michele Parker, Jentre J. Olsen and Jam Khojasteh

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of rural superintendent’s talk on the perceived outcomes of principal communication competence and organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of rural superintendent’s talk on the perceived outcomes of principal communication competence and organizational communication satisfaction. More specifically, this study explored whether the source credibility dimensions of goodwill, competency and trustworthiness had a greater impact on the perceived outcomes when mediated by motivating language (ML) than not.

Design/methodology/approach

Direct and indirect paths between superintendent and principal communication were modeled, analyzed and evaluated using descriptive and inferential methods, including R version 3.6.1 with the lavaan package and the Sobel mediation test.

Findings

Research findings indicated the importance of superintendent talk and motivating language theory (MLT) that, when combined, constitute the medium of superintendent practice and enable a superintendent to execute their roles and duties. Additionally, the authors found the dimensions of goodwill and competency had the most significant impact on the two outcomes mediated by ML. This finding indicates that principals are calling for a more empathetic and interactive form of credibility than the long-established form of credibility based on expertise and stewardship. Finally, as the authors call for an expanded role from the community in research, scholarship and implementation of MLT, they suggest due to the lack of significance in trustworthiness mediated by ML, future research into trustworthiness and trust.

Originality/value

This study’s value is to increase understanding of educational administration scholars of MLT and its power to influence employee and organizational outcomes and highlight a reframing of superintendent credibility away from say and do agreement and expertise and stewardship.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 59 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1991

George A. Ziolkowski and Donald J. Willower

Fifty school superintendents were interviewed about incidents ofserious misconduct by school personnel. The superintendents indicatedthat they case managed the incidents…

Abstract

Fifty school superintendents were interviewed about incidents of serious misconduct by school personnel. The superintendents indicated that they case managed the incidents, acting quickly but mindful of due process. The incidents dealt mainly with violations of broad community norms. Comparisons were made with a previous study of school principals. It was suggested that institutional organisations theory′s blanket emphasis on ritualistic legitimation, the logic of confidence, and normative as opposed to technical assessment of schools is too strong.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Pia Skott

The paper is about a specific part of the Swedish governing system: the municipality, which has the responsibility of implementing national school goals. The starting…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper is about a specific part of the Swedish governing system: the municipality, which has the responsibility of implementing national school goals. The starting point is an identified local governing chain including the chairman of the politically elected school board, the superintendent, principals and head teachers. It is the first link in this chain which is in focus, between chairmen and superintendents. The purpose of this paper is to investigate their role understanding and enactment: what roles do they have, formally and enacted? Is it a clear or blurred line between them? What can be seen as causing conflict or success?

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is part of a larger research project focussing on what happens when national policy meets local governing structures. The project as a whole has a mixed method design and includes surveys with superintendents, politicians and principals. It also includes interviews with chairmen of local school boards, superintendents and principals. In this paper the focus is on interviews made with politicians and superintendents in six (of 290) municipalities followed over time (including a political election between the authors visits). The municipalities are spread over the country, with shifting political majorities.

Findings

The authors identify that there seem to be a shared formal role understanding in that politicians are responsible for the what-side and superintendents for the how-side of the local work. The roles are, however, enacted in a blurred zone with role intrusion as an active component. What causes a conflict or not is if the two have a shared understanding of how to play the game. This makes the local work sensitive to changes on the positions. Success comes from a relationship built on trust and where there is a mutual understanding of how to work.

Research limitations/implications

The study is built on a small selection of municipalities and must be complemented by further ones to be able to generalize the results. What it can say something about is, however, how actors in six different local settings enact the same kinds of assignments and if there are similarities and differences between their role enactment.

Originality/value

Although the study is built on a small selection of municipalities it is unique in that it follows interlinked actors over time, making it possible not only to discuss municipality stereotypes but study human relationships over time. This also makes it possible to discuss new aspects of governing chains.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Hana M. Kanan

The purpose of this research study was to examine the role perceptions of superintendents and their supervisors in Palestine regarding the roles and training needs of…

997

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research study was to examine the role perceptions of superintendents and their supervisors in Palestine regarding the roles and training needs of superintendents. It was part of a larger study conducted by the Department of Administration and Educational Leadership at Teachers College, Columbia University.

Design/methodology/approach

A grounded theory approach was used in this study. Data were collected by interviewing 16 superintendents and four general directors using guided qualitative interviews, in addition to examining Ministry of Education documents and archival data.

Findings

The grounded theory approach analysis revealed that superintendents and general directors held variant perceptions regarding the roles and training needs of superintendents. Most superintendents felt they were ill prepared for the job and had to rely on the Ministry of Education for support and direction. They perceived their role as a combination of educational managers and educational leaders. Their supervisors, however, perceived them as keepers of the status quo. The findings showed that superintendents in countries similar to Palestine (newly emerging) appear to experience problems similar to their counterparts in other transitional societies.

Originality/value

The findings of this research are important to new educational systems. It shows clearly the difficulties experienced by superintendents in a newly emerging system. Furthermore, superintendents in such systems may require training needs different than their counterparts in developed systems. The findings are discussed in terms of their relevancy and contributions to educational leadership theory.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 March 2007

Thomas L. Alsbury and Kathryn S. Whitaker

The purpose of this paper is to report on the superintendent portion of the UCEA Voices III project.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on the superintendent portion of the UCEA Voices III project.

Design/methodology/approach

A four‐year study to determine how school leaders, from several locations and contexts, describe their perceptions of and experiences with educational leadership related to the study themes, school improvement, democratic community, and social justice.

Findings

Study findings indicate that superintendents articulated these study themes in more general and practical terms than found in the academic literature, and share a belief that the themes may be mutually exclusive, and require contextual interpretation to be functional. The paper concludes by calling for extending our ideas of how to practice social justice, solicit broader community voice, employ shared decision making, and measure accountability.

Originality/value

Authors recommend that practitioners place more emphasis on individualized contextual and cultural realities that can minimize or even counter the intended effects of these leadership approaches in practice. Conclusions suggest that superintendents understand and practice a more inclusive form of social justice, sometimes having to control and filter majority stakeholder inputs to achieve more ethical, socially just, educational decisions. The study provides a critical and needed empirical evaluation of the theoretical concepts of shared decision‐making, inclusion of community stakeholders, and practicing social justice. As superintendents attempt to practice these concepts in a real‐world context, they have discovered and provided insights into the limitations of these ideas.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 45 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1998

Martha N. Ovando, Ben M. Harris and Patsy Menefee

School superintendents are in search of development opportunities that can help them enhance their leadership capacity in order to respond to new demands and changes in…

585

Abstract

School superintendents are in search of development opportunities that can help them enhance their leadership capacity in order to respond to new demands and changes in the environment. This paper focuses on the professional development behaviors of school superintendents identified through a comparative study of two groups. One group participated in a Diagnostic Executive Competency Assessment System (DECAS) and the second group did not have any assessment experience. Findings suggest that both groups of school superintendents tend to engage in development experiences and activities. While there are some differences in the development behaviors of these two groups, it is interesting that all school superintendents recognize improvement (of self, schools, and student achievement) as a motivation to enhance their capacity in several ways.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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