The purpose of this survey research study was to examine the perceptions of Christian faith-based school principals in Minnesota and Wisconsin relative to leadership practices of principals serving in K-12 Christian faith-based schools. Leadership practices considered important by currently practicing faith-based principals were identified, along with the feasibility of such practices. Demographic data about the principals, their schools and communities were collected. Participants also were asked to describe their pathways to their current positions as principals and also to offer their views about design and curricular priorities for faith-based principal preparation programs.
A web-based survey was used to collect data. A total of 850 faith-based principals were sent surveys with 288 responding. This response rate resulted in a study confidence level of +/- 5%. Key findings indicated: 1) religious beliefs were significant considerations in decision making involving student discipline, enrollment and budgeting policies; 2) faith-based school culture was unique because religious beliefs permeated curriculum/instruction/assessment, faculty relationships and community interactions; 3) principals in urban settings appeared to value faculty development more highly when compared to principals in rural settings; 4) principals of larger faith-based schools rated the value of personal relationships more highly as compared to principals of smaller schools; 5) faith-based principals with master's degrees or higher rated knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment more highly than principals with only baccalaureate levels of education; 6) an emphasis on the centrality of faith in the principalship was viewed as important for future faith-based principal preparation programs, as was an emphasis on clinical experience; and 7) tension existed between maintaining denominational identity/integrity and a perceived need for marketing/recruiting efforts to maintain or increase enrollments. Implications for policy, principal preparation and continuous learning are offered.
University of Minnesota Ed.D. disseratation. November 2008. Major: Educational policy and administration. Advisor: Jennifer York-Barr Ph.D. 1 computer file (PDF); xiii, 203 pages, appendices A-K.
Klindworth, Robert F..
Leadership practices and pathways that matter to 21st century faith-based principlas.
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