Children's Use of Social Media and their Elementary Principals’ Perceptions and Leadership Practices Pertaining to This Usage: A Case Study in One School District in British Columbia
Children are using social media in and out of school. School principals are struggling to deal with problems (e.g., cyberbullying, sexting, privacy issues, depression) associated with young people using social media. Research related to teen use of social media and misuse of social media is available; however, in comparison, fewer studies have examined how younger children are using social media. The purpose of this qualitative case study was twofold: to understand (a) social media use among 9-to-11-year-old children and, (b) the influences on elementary school principals' leadership practices pertaining to children's social media usage. There were three methods used to collect data in this study: student surveys, student focus groups, and principal interviews. The data were coded and organized according to the research questions. Analysis and interpretation of findings were organized by way of examining the key research questions: (a) What social media platforms are children most using? (b) How and why are children using social media? (c) What are elementary principals' perceptions of children's social media usage? and (d) What leadership practices are elementary principals using to promote positive student social media usage? This research revealed that the children in this study tended to use YouTube, TikTok, and gaming platforms to actively engage with social media. This research also revealed that problems associated with young people and social media are spilling into elementary schools and the elementary principals in this study are using both proactive and reactive leadership practices to promote positive social media usage with their students. The study concludes by offering suggestions that may be useful in the work of promoting positive social media usage with children.
social media, technology, educational leadership, elementary principals, children
Sanbrooks, J. J. (2020). Children's Use of Social Media and their Elementary Principals’ Perceptions and Leadership Practices Pertaining to This Usage: A Case Study in One School District in British Columbia (Doctoral thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca.