North Carolina rural superintendents perceived professional development needs

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
David Wade Taylor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Carl Lashley

Abstract: The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate the perceptions of the professional development needs of superintendents as leaders of a complex organization in rural schools. The study gives voice to 12 superintendents who serve rural North Carolina students. The goal was to develop a professional development blueprint which will provide a nexus of support for superintendents. The Professional Development blueprint gives direction to partners: state government official and policymakers, higher education, state and national organization, corporate providers, and superintendents. The study used a qualitative methodology as the research approach. The researcher used face-to-face interviews to collect data for the study. Twelve rural North Carolina Superintendents from across all regions of the state participated in the study. The data collected through the interview process allowed for an understanding of the collective professional development needs of rural North Carolina Superintendents to effectively lead rural school districts that are, by definition, complex organizations. The data collected were analyzed and common themes surfaced to demonstrate the professional development topics, preferred delivery methods, and the support structures superintendents use to meet their professional development needs. Results from the analysis show that superintendents need professional development on tactical, managerial, and leadership development. Superintendents generally choose what professional development activities in which to participate with few barriers that are not self-imposed. Superintendents are willing to use a range of delivery vehicles to receive professional development but overwhelmingly prefer face-to-face delivery. Three general themes emerged from the data. Superintendents feel strongly that mentorship and networking are critical support structures and most felt the principalship was a vital experience to succeed as a superintendent. The study concludes with recommendations and a “how to” blueprint to best meet the professional development needs of superintendents in each stage/tier of their development.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
Leadership, Professional Development, Superintendent
School superintendents $x In-service training $z North Carolina
School supervision, Rural $z North Carolina
Rural schools $z North Carolina

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