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PoirierThesisInstructionalleadership

PoirierThesisInstructionalleadership

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A Principal’s and Teachers’ Perceptions and Understandings of Instructional Leadership:A Case Study of One School.
A Thesis Submitted to theCollege of Graduate Studies and Researchin Partial Fulfillment of the Requirement for the Degree of Master of Education in the Department of Educational AdministrationUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoon, CanadaByDaniel O. Poirier© Copyright Daniel Poirier, Date 2009. All rights reserved
 
 i
PERMISSION TO USE
In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for a postgraduatedegree from the University of Saskatchewan, the researcher agrees that the Libraries of thisUniversity may make it freely available for inspection. The researcher further agrees thatpermission for copying this thesis in any manner, in whole or in part, for scholarly purposes,may be granted by the professor or professors who supervised this thesis work or, in theirabsence, by the Head of the Department of Education or the Dean of the College of Education. It is understood that any copying or publication or use of this thesis or partsthereof for financial gain shall not be allowed without the researcher’s written permission. Itis also understood that due recognition shall be given to the researcher and to the Universityof Saskatchewan for any use which may be made of any materials in this thesis.Requests for permission to copy or to make other use of materials in this thesis, inwhole or in part, should be addressed to:Department HeadDepartment of Educational AdministrationCollege of Education28 Campus DriveUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoon, CanadaS7N 0X1
 
 ii
ABSTRACT
The principal’s role in the school is a complex one, a role that has many duties andresponsibilities. One role is being an instructional leader to help the teachers improve theirteaching. Improved teaching will result in higher student achievement. The principal, asleader, is key in creating a school environment in which instructional leadership can thrive.The purpose of this study was to explain and describe the differences in a principal’sand four teachers’ perceptions and understandings of instructional leadership andsupervision. In the literature review of Blasé and Blasé, Glanz, McEwan, Andrews andSoders, Quinn, and Hallinger and Heck, to name a few, I examined two focal areas:instructional leadership and supervision. The first area I examined was reasons for the lack of principal instructional leadership. I described the historical context, purpose, function, andpersonal qualities required for instructional leadership. Then, I discussed the negative andpositive impacts that the implementation of instructional leadership may have on teachers.The second area I explored was the concept of supervision and, based on instructionalsupervision literature, I examined two core concepts that emerged: staff development andreflection. My conceptual framework for instructional leadership was based primarily on theworks of Blasé and Blasé and Glanz and was centred on supervision, staff development, andreflection.For the case study I used questionnaires and interviews conducted with the principalfrom Colourful School, along with two teachers from the primary grades and two teachersfrom the elementary grades. I collected data from the questionnaires and interviews of theprincipal and the four teachers I analyzed, and aggregated to examine the respondents’differences in perceptions on instructional leadership and supervision.

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