Date of Award

5-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Marie Cianca

Second Supervisor

C. Michael Robinson

Abstract

The study examines the Kouzes and Posner leadership practices of elementary principals. Today there is significant emphasis on principal leadership. Because of the increased accountability for elementary principals, there is an urgent need for a validated, research based leadership framework for elementary principals. The work of Kouzes and Posner is widely respected and applied in business and education and might provide a foundation for a framework of elementary leadership practices. The purpose of the study was to look critically at the Kouzes and Posner leadership practices of elementary principals. The leadership practices of elementary principals were measured using Kouzes’ and Posner’s Leadership Practices Inventory Self (LPI Self), which examines practices in five areas. Focus groups were facilitated with participating elementary principals to identify how the leadership practices of Kouzes and Posner manifest in practice by principals in their schools. Findings generated a framework for what elementary principals say and do each day as they Model the Way, Inspire a Shared Vision, Challenge the Process, Enable Others to Act, and Encourage the Heart. Study results outline specific and core leadership practices for elementary principals at a time when elementary principal leadership is at a critical point in educational history. The framework provides a roadmap for elementary principals as they work to implement new educational initiatives.

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