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Title:Principals' attitudes regarding the relationship between school improvement research and staff development
Author(s):Stephen, Veronica Panfilow
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rubin, Louis J.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Administration
Education, Elementary
Education, Teacher Training
Abstract:The purpose of the study was to examine east-central Illinois elementary school principals' attitudes regarding the relationship between school improvement research and staff development. The investigation incorporated research findings on school effectiveness, organizational management, and school restructuring.
The study utilized a survey instrument designed to assess principals' perceptions of staff development, school improvement research, and relationships between the two. Survey composition included Likert and verbal frequency scales, as well as open-ended questions. The questionnaire was administered to 123 east-central Illinois elementary school principals, after validation through standard pilot-test procedures.
The research hypotheses centered on the principal's role as school restructuring facilitator through staff development. Base assumptions were that principals: (a) study, use research recommendations; (b) encourage partnerships; (c) empower; (d) monitor; (e) provide feedback, encouragement; (f) sustain positive climates; and (g) participate in collaborative efforts. In sum, the study compared administrative practice with research theory.
Study findings show that principals adhere to most research-endorsed principles. Several practices, however, differ substantially. Many principals did not see themselves as instructional leaders, nor regard communities and businesses as participants in school restructuring. Although most involved teachers in planning, degrees of empowerment differed. While many were cognizant of research implications, incorporation was, at best, meager. Most implemented staff development of a "special interest" nature, rather than systematic plans geared toward relevant, long-term goals. Out-of-school institutes and workshops were regarded as advantageous, but highly expensive. In-house programs were viewed as cheap, relevant, and time saving, but lacking in challenging agendas and expert guidance. Few principals had total staff development responsibility; thus, little time or money was invested in its operation. Other administrative duties take precedence.
Nevertheless, a small minority which bases its staff development on school goals, active principal participation, teacher empowerment, and local partnerships does exist. This group, however, is an exception to the norm. The majority of elementary school principals direct their functions at maintaining the status quo--assuring that students learn, teachers teach, and schools run according to schedules.
Issue Date:1991
Rights Information:Copyright 1991 Stephen, Veronica Panfilow
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9211000
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9211000

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