Principal leadership and school culture in public schools : case studies of two piedmont North Carolina elementary schools

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Anthony Neil Raymer (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Carolyn Riehl

Abstract: "This dissertation is a study of how two elementary principals work within their school, assess the culture, and implement change. It is situated within the body of current research on school culture and change, but makes a unique contribution because it gives first hand accounts of leaders at the elementary level as they implement change in particular settings. The experiences of the subjects in this dissertation will assist other administrators as they take on the challenge of school leadership. This study contributes to those seeking to create positive change in settings in which they are in charge by giving concrete examples of principal leaders working within the culture and setting of their respective schools. My research interest involves how principals understand and work within the school culture. An additional area of interest is the process an effective leader uses as he or she enters a situation, assesses the positive and negative qualities of the setting, and goes about making changes based on his or her leadership behaviors. An elementary school principal in a newly assigned school or an administrator in a long held position must assess the culture of the school, work within and understand the culture, and make appropriate changes related to his or her leadership attributes and vision for the school. Based on an extensive review of literature and the focus on school culture and change, there are several research questions that this study addresses. The central research questions are: How do principals assess the culture of their school? How do principals plan and implement change? What leadership thoughts and practices aid in leading change conducive to improving teaching and learning? And what forms of community currently exist and are evolving? The study informs school administrators that value the significance of culture in their school and strive to build a sense of community among their students and staff. Although the subjects and focus of the dissertation are practicing in elementary schools, the concepts of school culture, the change process, and community addressed in the research also apply to administrators at the secondary level. As the nature of school leadership is people centered, concepts in the findings of this study transcend prescribed grade levels and are applicable to many leadership situations."--Abstract from author supplied metadata.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2006
elementary principals, school, culture, change
Elementary school principals--North Carolina--Case studies
Educational change --North Carolina
Educational leadership--North Carolina

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