Term of Award

Spring 2011

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Education Administration (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Leadership, Technology, and Human Development

Committee Chair

Linda M. Arthur

Committee Member 1

Russell Mays

Committee Member 2

Paul Brinson

Abstract

The leadership abilities and competencies of school leaders matter more today than ever with increasing accountability, complex challenges, and dwindling resources. The purpose of this research was to examine the techniques, principles, structures, models, and impact of leadership coaching on principal performance. The overarching research question for this study was: What impact does coaching have on principal performance? Findings represented principals' and Leadership Coaches' perceptions of the impact of coaching and principal performance. The methodology employed to conduct this qualitative study was focus group interviews with five Leadership Coaches and face-to-face semi-structured audio-taped interviews with seven principals in an urban school system located in the southeastern portion of the United States. Leadership Coaches and principals responded to protocol questions during the interviews to determine their perceptions of the impact of coaching on their leadership performance. The researcher also analyzed a secondary data source, monthly Leadership Coaching Reports, to glean potential insights into the coaching experience. Major findings of the study were as follows: (a) principals benefit from guidance, support and reflection of practice with an experienced and trusted Leadership Coach, (b) earlier identification and training of aspiring principals leads to a pool of highly qualified school leaders, and (c) principals learn best in collaboration with peers in settings of trust.

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