Date of Award

6-19-2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Douglas Lare, D.Ed.

Second Advisor

Kelli Jo Kerry Moran, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Angelo Senese, D.Ed.

Abstract

In recent years there has been increasing pressure on PK-12 building level administrators to become more directly involved in classroom instructional practices. The purpose of this study was to examine elements that impacted the teaching building level PK-12 administrator. The study explored potential impediments that prevented a building level administrator from teaching. The study considered the elements that helped an administrator find time to enter a classroom to teach. It also examined what they believed the effect a teaching principal had on teachers’ perceptions and attitudes of the building level administrator as an instructional leader. A survey was distributed to all building level administrators who were employed within schools located near two Intermediate Units in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Eighty-seven building level administrators responded to the survey. Eight building level administrators who currently teach, or recently taught, as part of their administrative work day were interviewed. The final process included a case study which resulted in a comparison of the data from the triangulation of the survey and the interviews with the direct experience of the researcher while co-teaching for eight weeks. Results suggested that having a heavy management workload and the lack of time to plan for effective instruction were two key impediments that might prevent a building level administrator from teaching or co-teaching on a reoccurring basis. The research identified four elements that supported an administrators’ decision to teach. The elements included having additional administrative office support, central office administrative support, a teacher with whom the principal could exchange roles and the act of co-teaching with another teacher. The data from the surveys, interviews and case study also indicated that building level administrators believed their credibility increased in relation to “classroom” instructional initiatives that were introduced. Additionally, increased credibility about the principal’s ability to lead an effective school was the result of this instructional leadership practice. Two other benefits identified were improved relationships with the teachers in their school and increased confidence in the principal as an educational leader.

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