Phenomenological analysis was used to explore Georgia rural school principals’ lived experiences of effective school leadership preparedness. Four overarching themes were found: productive/favorable leadership preparation program culture, bridge theory and practice in educational leadership preparation program, multicultural competencies for practice, and recommendations for effective principal preparation. The findings revealed that school leaders need increased experiential learning opportunities, increased assignments applicable to daily leader tasks, and increased cultural awareness and diversity training in their preparation programs. Principal preparation programs should work with school districts to provide purposeful, collaborative, and sustainable professional learning to prepare competent school leaders. Further research includes recruiting more rural school principals to share their experiences and perceptions with principal preparation program providers in an effort to advance aspiring principal training. Implications for practice include equipping aspiring principals with the knowledge and skills to lead for equity to continue to have a pipeline of effective school leaders to serve in Georgia’s traditionally underserved areas.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

ref_ger2021180203.pdf (141 kB)
Supplemental Reference List with DOIs