Senior Leaders’ Perceptions about Preparing and Developing Alberta’s Principals as Instructional and Learning Leaders
AuthorMazurek, Melanie Kathleen
Committee MemberMosher, Ronna
Subjectschool district leadership
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AbstractThe purpose of this case study is to gain a deeper understanding of senior, district-level leaders’ perceptions regarding school and district-level leadership practices that prepare and develop principals as instructional and learning leaders in Alberta urban school districts. Recognizing a heightened focus on system and school leadership directed by Alberta’s practice standard and linked to student outcomes, this inquiry explores how senior leaders prepare, develop, and support principals as instructional and learning leaders, and in what ways senior leaders themselves are supported and challenged in this work. In this case study, data were generated through policy document reviews and semi-structured interviews with seven senior leaders in three Alberta urban school authorities. Through a qualitative coding process, six themes emerged indicating that system leaders (a) understand their shifting role in supporting principals as instructional and learning leaders; (b) build principal capacity through mentoring, modelling, supervising, and evaluating; (c) align practices, policies, and procedures with system wide district learning priorities; (d) promote district-led principal preparation and development programs; (e) equip themselves and each other as instructional-learning leaders to prepare and develop principals; and (f) ensure successes and navigate challenges in preparing and developing principal instructional-learning leaders. With limited research on how system leaders prepare, develop, and support principals as instructional and learning leaders, this study makes a much needed contribution. Knowledge gained from this research may support system and school instructional and learning leadership practices through sustained, effective principal preparation and development. Included are recommendations to educational leaders, post-secondary institutions, and policy makers for the practical implementation of principal preparation and development that has the potential to improve quality teaching and student learning.
CitationMazurek, M. K. (2022). Senior Leaders’ Perceptions about Preparing and Developing Alberta’s Principals as Instructional and Learning Leaders (Unpublished doctoral thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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