Title page for ETD etd-10112006-085209

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Felder, Monique Therese
Author's Email Address MFelder@VT.edu
URN etd-10112006-085209
Title Leadership Behaviors and Practices of Principals in Predominantly Minority Elementary Schools
Degree PhD
Department Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Twiford, Travis W. Committee Chair
Austin, Gilbert R. Committee Member
Byers, Larry Committee Member
Mallory, Walter D. Committee Member
  • principal practices
  • principal behaviors
  • achievement gap
  • leadership
  • principals
  • administrators
  • effective schools
  • instructional leadership
  • student achievement
Date of Defense 2006-09-11
Availability unrestricted

The academic performance of African-American, Hispanic and low-income students is an ongoing national problem, as these students are not making the same academic gains as their White, Asian, and more socio-economically privileged peers. Schools across the country are striving to close this achievement gap, especially in light of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 2002 (more commonly known as the No Child Left Behind Act), which states as its main objective "to close the achievement gap with accountability, flexibility and choices so that no child is left behind" (Public Law 107-110, 107th Congress, 2002). Research on effective schools shows that schools can positively impact student achievement--especially the achievement of minority and poor students (Andrews & Sonder, 1987; Edmonds, 1981). Moreover, research shows that very few elements account for more inconsistency in student achievement than school leadership (Leithwood, 1994). Principals' behaviors and practices impact student achievement (Edsource et al., 2005; Powell, 2004; Waters, Marzano & McNulty, 2003).

Hence, the purpose of this study was to use Powell's (2004) five domains of effective principal leadership behaviors and practices (e.g., vision, mission and culture; curriculum and classroom instruction; collaboration and shared leadership; family and community involvement; and effective management) as a lens to identify, compare and contrast, from the perspective of teachers, the leadership behaviors and practices of principals in predominantly minority elementary schools deemed effective and principals in predominantly minority elementary schools deemed marginally effective. The sample consisted of 20 schools (e.g., 10 effective and 10 marginally effective) in a mid-Atlantic state. Data were collected using a 76-item survey questionnaire developed by Powell (2004).

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