The Relationship Among Principal Preparation Programs, Professional Development, and Instructional Leadership Efficacy
Thomas III, Harry R.
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This study presents a qualitative analysis of principals' perceptions of the relationship among principal preparation programs, professional development and instructional leadership confidence in one urban school division in Virginia. Levine (2005) argued that the principal has a salient effect on the instructional programs within schools, and the preparation and professional development of the principal affects the degree to which they maintain and improve instruction. To examine principal perceptions on feelings of confidence toward instructional leadership, four research questions were investigated: What are principals' perceptions concerning the instructional confidence needed to lead schools in one school division? What are principals' perceptions regarding the coursework undertaken in their preparation program and the associated confidence developed for instructional leadership in one school division? What are principal perceptions concerning post-graduate professional development and the associated confidence developed for instructional leadership in one school division? What type of additional training do principals believe would enhance their confidence toward instructional leadership in one school division? The researcher sought to ascertain principal perceptions concerning the construct, instructional leadership efficacy, based on their academic training and professional development. The findings were as follows: a) interviewed principals in one urban school division described instructional leadership efficacy in terms of one's capacity to provide instructional leadership and one's know how to foster home-school relations; b) interviewed principals in one urban school division believe that the principal must act as an instructional leader to facilitate learning in the building; c) interviewed principals from one urban school division reported that the course of greatest significance to instructional leadership was school law; d) interviewed principals from one urban school division were unable to identify the most beneficial professional development in terms of that which is needed to be the instructional leader; e) there was no recommendation for specific coursework in the principal preparation program that was supported by the majority of the interviewed principals.
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