Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Edgar A. Kelley

Second Advisor

Dr. Patrick Jenlink

Third Advisor

Dr. George DePillo


The purpose of this study was to analyze the content and the methods of instruction of programs that prepare principals in Michigan. The study sought to answer three specific questions: (1) To what extent do the programs develop the generic skills required of principals? (2) To what extent do the programs develop the specific skills required of principals? (3) What are the dominant methods of instruction used in the programs?

The study was conducted using the rating exercises recommended in the NASSP's 1985 monograph Performance-Based Preparation of Principals. At each of five Michigan universities, a team of raters were asked to rate whether the classes in their program developed the generic and the specific skills required of principals at (a) the Familiarity level (the ability to discuss the course content), (b) the Understanding level (implies the capability to teach someone else the content), or (c) the Application level (denotes the facility to apply the skill in real or simulated situations). The individual raters then met for a consensus discussion and final rating. The ratings from the five universities were aggregated into a general description of principal preparation in Michigan.

Based on the findings, the primary conclusion of this study is that programs at the institutions studied are not performance-based in objectives, outcomes, or instructional methods. The generic skills required of principals are developed generally at the Understanding level. The specific skills required of principals are developed primarily at the Familiarity level. While there is some evidence of Application level development of the generic skills, it is almost nonexistent for the specific skills. Although some institutions have introduced performance-based elements to their programs, the primary method of instruction remains Lecture-Discussion in all areas.

While programs cannot now be generally described a performance-based, each institution showed an awareness and concern for the need to develop the generic skills of the NASSP Assessment Center and to use a variety of teaching methods. A recognition of the need to move toward more performance-based preparation is evident at the universities.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access