An untapped resource: Examining the perspectives, practices and barriers of high school assistant principals as instructional leaders
Lawrence, Johnny R.
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This qualitative case study examined the perspectives, opportunities, barriers and practices of high school assistant principals as instructional leaders in a shared leadership school environment. Since the principal can no longer be the only person to facilitate improvement (DuFour & Marzano, 2011), assistant principals must be involved to manufacture an instructional influence in the school. Through the lenses of the Instructional Management Framework and Shared Leadership Theory, it was found that the APs’ experiences, educational background, and teaching experience were fundamental to the number of instructional tasks provided such as working with teacher teams, curriculum alignment, instructional programming, and teacher evaluations. Opportunities for APs’ instructional leadership practice centered on providing professional development activities within the district, leading professional learning communities, overseeing instructional walkthroughs, establishing new learning programs, and building relationships with staff, teachers, and students. Multiple barriers emerged as a result of shared instructional leadership. These barriers included student disciple management, time management, relationship building, change resistance, and balancing extracurricular instructional activities with family-related responsibilities. APs practiced shared instructional leadership by managing student discipline, attendance, and academics, supervising various extra-curricular events and activities, and attending district level and regional meetings for professional development. APs demonstrated their untapped instructional leadership capacity that deserves additional attention as educational reforms continue to increase at the state and local levels.
Thesis (Ed.D.)-- Wichita State University, College of Education, Dept. of Counseling, Educational Leadership, Educational and School Psychology