Date of Award

1-2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Educational Leadership, Research and Technology

First Advisor

Dr. Van Cooley

Abstract

This case study examined three K-5 schools, one 3-5 school, and two K-2 Analysis of the data provided six dominant themes related to the research questions: Behavior/Positive Behavior Support, Visibility, Professional Development, Team/Distributed Leadership, Data, and Deliberate/Focused. The dominant themes were cross tabbed with the theoretical frameworks from Marzano et al. (2005) and Fullan (2008a). Connections were made to both Marzano et al.'s Seven Responsibilities of the School Leader for Second-order Change and 21 Responsibilities of the School Leader as well as to four of Fullan's Six Secrets of Change. This study supports previous research and adds to the literature by providing a deeper understanding of how principals translate broad responsibilities and strategies into daily practices, which they utilize to successfully implement a Michigan school improvement initiative. Principals appear to balance first- and second-order change associated responsibilities with their sense of how staff are experiencing change. They integrate the use of various strategies and behaviors to leverage the impact on the process of implementation. schools that implemented Michigan's Behavior and Learning Support Initiative (MiBLSi) and showed improvement trends in third grade reading achievement as measured by MEAP results over four years. Each of the six schools completed the three years of MiBLSi training and are currently in their fourth, fifth or sixth year since beginning the program.

A wealth of studies have been conducted on effective leadership responsibilities for principals (Beck & Murphy, 1996; Blase & Blase, 2000; Fullan, 2008b; Lambert, 2003; Lashway, 2002; Marzano, Waters & McNulty, 2005; Stronge, Richard, & Catano, 2008). Similarly extensive work has been completed on differentiating between types of change and key factors in leading second-order change and how fidelity is key in implementing school reform. What remains to be studied is how effective principals synthesize this information and translate it into daily practices resulting in increased student reading achievement. Data were collected through interviews with principals, focus groups with teachers and coaches, observations of principals, and document collection.

Analysis of the data provided six dominant themes related to the research questions: Behavior/Positive Behavior Support, Visibility, Professional Development, Team/Distributed Leadership, Data, and Deliberate/Focused. The dominant themes were cross tabbed with the theoretical frameworks from Marzano et al. (2005) and Fullan (2008a). Connections were made to both Marzano et al.'s Seven Responsibilities of the School Leader for Second-order Change and 21 Responsibilities of the School Leader as well as to four of Fullan's Six Secrets of Change.

This study supports previous research and adds to the literature by providing a deeper understanding of how principals translate broad responsibilities and strategies into daily practices, which they utilize to successfully implement a Michigan school improvement initiative. Principals appear to balance first- and second-order change associated responsibilities with their sense of how staff are experiencing change. They integrate the use of various strategies and behaviors to leverage the impact on the process of implementation.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access