A descriptive study of tasks performed by exemplary secondary principals which facilitate effective instructional practices

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


This study investigated the tasks performed by secondary principals. The study was to determine what effect principals have on the teaching practices of classroom teachers. The tasks chosen for this study were categorized into five areas: Administrative, Evaluative, Public Relations, Interpersonal and Organizational. The tasks are indicative of criteria most commonly used for the appraisal of principals in North Carolina.

A questionnaire was developed from the North Carolina Appraisal Instrument for Principals. The population was 8 principals and 435 teachers from a total slate population of 301 secondary principals and teachers. The questionnaire utilized functions on the Performance Appraisal instrument and altered the items to specifically address the tasks of principals. The statistical analyses used were frequency distributions and percentages which displayed the data.

The findings indicated a discernible pattern in the tasks that teachers perceived as important to their instructional practices. From the 34 items, the following tasks were shown to be most important: developing an annual plan for the school, praising and recognizing students with positive feedback, communicating the purpose of observations and classroom visitations, praising outstanding academic achievement, and allocating time for planning, preparation and evaluation. The findings further suggest the need for principals to involve students and teachers in developing rules, to participate in community programs, to counsel teachers regarding observable strengths and weaknesses, to participate in the promotion of teachers who demonstrate effective instructional practices, and to balance expenditures for instructional materials.