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dc.contributor.advisorErlandson, David A.
dc.creatorBifano, Sandra Lee
dc.descriptionTypescript (photocopy).en
dc.description.abstractNo decade thus far has witnessed a more vigorous pursuit for academic excellence than the 1980's. As the literature suggests, the impetus for change to improve the quality of education originates with the professionals within the school environment. The leadership within the school has been found to be crucial in initiating and sustaining change. Consequently, new perspectives of school leadership are heading research agendas. This research presents a basis for identification and assessment of current leadership behavior of the elementary principal and proposes a model of leadership practice encompassing a mode for increasing professional effectiveness that can be developed by professionals within the school. The theoretical basis for the assessment was the Argyris and Schön Theory of Professional Practice with its components: espoused theory and theory-in-use. The principal's leadership behavior was assessed according to the degree to which it conformed to the Argyris and Schön Model I or Model II theories-in-use. The study unfolded in three phases. Phase I and II followed the empirical design to collect and analyze quantitative data related to the perceptions of principals and teachers with regard to their professional interaction. Phase III followed the naturalistic paradigm in which three case studies were developed to provide thick descriptive data. The objective of Phase III was to provide a conceptual view of school leadership, the professional environment, and school culture. The findings that emerged from the research, viewed collectively, indicate that principals perceive their leadership practice significantly different from the way teachers perceive it. The case study data suggests that the leadership practice sets the tone for the learning environment. The school in which the principal both espouses and practices a leadership behavior which incorporates the salient features of the Argyris and Schön Model II Theory reflects a culture characterized by a sense of synergism and vitality. The principal empowers others with responsibility. Problem seeking and problem solving behavior are emphasized. Objectives and tasks are jointly established. Normative practices are questioned. The fruit of the labor is task accomplishment. Everyone is intrinsically driven for educational excellence.en
dc.format.extentxii, 303 leaves ;en
dc.rightsThis thesis was part of a retrospective digitization project authorized by the Texas A&M University Libraries. Copyright remains vested with the author(s). It is the user's responsibility to secure permission from the copyright holder(s) for re-use of the work beyond the provision of Fair Use.en
dc.subjectMajor educational administrationen
dc.subject.classification1987 Dissertation B591
dc.subject.lcshElementary school principalsen
dc.subject.lcshTeacher-principal relationshipsen
dc.subject.lcshSchool environmenten
dc.subject.lcshCase studiesen
dc.titleElementary principals : espoused theory and professional practiceen
dc.typeThesisen Administrationen A&M Universityen of Philosophyen D. in Educational Administrationen
dc.contributor.committeeMemberBarker, Donald G.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberFox, Midlen J.
dc.contributor.committeeMemberStark, Stephen L.
dc.format.digitalOriginreformatted digitalen
dc.publisher.digitalTexas A&M University. Libraries

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