Title

Using Teacher Instructional Leadership as a Predictor of Principal Leadership

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-2013

Abstract

Untold numbers of professional educators hold administrative certificates or licenses but do not use them, never taking formal administrative roles in schools. Why do so many of the graduates of our principal-preparation programs forego taking school-leadership positions and simply stick with teaching or assume other, nonadministrative-leadership positions in schools? Is the time and effort spent preparing potential administrators with such small success and great cost worth it? Informal discussions with those who pursue formal leadership positions--and with some who do not--suggest that some graduates who start their program with school-leadership experience were more likely to seek and accept formal leadership obligations. To examine this anecdotal evidence more rigorously, we undertook a three-university analysis of past graduates' preprogram school-leadership activities. Through exploratory, secondary analyses of existing data at three institutions as well as postprogram-position information, we generally found that program participants who (1) expressed commitment to becoming formal leaders, (2) had already held responsible leadership roles in their schools working with adults, or (3) had earned an advanced degree before entering a preparation program were more likely to take administrative posts. These tentative findings have implications for the recruitment and selection of participants for principal-preparation programs, potential for raising the quality of these programs, and possibilities for decreasing costs while increasing benefits of preparation programs.