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Title:Novice principal mentoring: An examination of how mentoring relationships influence professional development
Author(s):Young, Richard Andrew
Director of Research:Hackmann, Donald
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Hackmann, Donald
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Hermann, Mary; Pak, Yoon; Welton, Anjalé
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Ed Organization and Leadership
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Principal mentoring
Educational leadership
Principal induction
Professional development
Abstract:The school principalship is a highly complex role (Augustine-Shaw, 2015; Crow, 2006.) The expectation for principals to be responsible for matters such as instructional leadership, student achievement, implementation of federal and state policy mandates, school culture, hiring, and professional development of staff (Crow, 2005; Leithwood, 2005; Metzger, 2003; Shoho & Barnett, 2010) speak to the need for effective mentoring and continuing developing of novice principals. Although the demands for principals continue to mount, support systems for novice principals have not changed or received significant momentum (Hale & Moorman, 2003). This qualitative phenomenological study examined the experiences of principal mentoring dyads in order to understand how relational structures influenced the experiences, professional supports and practices, and the overall outcomes for both participants. This project explored how principal mentoring relationships could serve as a catalyst for on-the-job professional development. To understand these experiences, a conceptual framework was developed, Principal Mentoring Framework, which integrated professional mentoring literature and Social Capital Theory. This study addressed the following overarching research question: What elements of the mentor-mentee relationship support a novice principal’s ability to fulfill the expectations and professional responsibilities of their role? Four subquestions supplemented this question: (a) What approaches have novice principals and their mentors used to form and sustain trusting, supportive professional mentor relationships? (b) How has participant identity, investment, and intent affected the mentoring experience? (c) How has participants' professional practice been affected by the resources or forms of capital (career oriented and psychosocial) exchanged and reciprocated within a principal mentor-mentee relationship? and (d) How do mentoring participants negotiate challenges or disagreements that arise as a result of their relationship? Ten mentoring dyads (20 participants) were selected for this study from Illinois public schools. In person semi-structured interviews were conducted as the primary data source. Findings noted relational structures, including trust; formal and informal mentoring format; and participant identity, intent, and investment influenced participants’ overall experiences and the types of capital exchanged. Informal relationships exhibited more intense career-oriented and psychosocial supports relative to formal mentorships; differences between formal and informal relationships were evident throughout the data. Additionally, issues of identity, particularly a participant’s philosophical views, personality, values, and gender were foundational to the overall success of the mentoring experience. Finally, reciprocal benefits for mentors were found, specifically in dyads associated with a positive experience. Implications from this project focused on how novice principals, principal mentors, school district leaders, and state education officials can better utilize and support mentoring as a form of professional development for novice principals in Illinois. Recommendations for policy, practice, and future research are addressed and highlight the need for a mentoring framework of best practices relative to supporting novice principals.
Issue Date:2017-11-27
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Richard Young
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-03-13
Date Deposited:2017-12

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