Instructional leadership: principal perceptions of their instructional leadership practices

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Cumming, Venetia
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This study examines the instructional leadership practices of 5 elementary principals as self -reported in recorded semi-structured interviews. The seven claims of instruction leadership as identified by Leithwood, Day, Sammons, Hopkins, Harris, Leithwood, Gu, Brown, Ahtaridou and Kington (2009) were used to frame the interview protocol which is designed to develop a deeper understanding of each principal's practices as instructional leaders in their schools. The data indicated that these principals were committed to their work and undertook specific leadership practices to accomplish school initiatives. However, two leadership practices, distributing leadership and acting as a visionary leader, were not revealed in the data. These findings may indicate a need to study the impact of the dual role of manager and instructional leader and of divisional culture on the work of school principals. In addition, there is no reference within the model with respect to what constitutes good teaching and learning and therefore it is not useful in determining and/or assessing leadership behaviours related to these areas. As such, Leithwood’s model may benefit from closer examination in order to provide a broad and clearly articulated set of guidelines for assessing instructional leadership practices.
instructional leadership, distributed leadership, visionary, elementary principals