Bois Paula Du


Challenging times demand a greater urgency than usual. Quite unexpectedly, No Child Left Behind has unleashed a powerful catalyst for change in the 21st century. It is within this era of increasing accountability and disparity that greater demands are being placed on school leaders to produce significant and positive student outcomes. The constantly changing educational landscape of today's schools along with the local, state and national legislation that mandates guidelines from which schools must conform necessitates a change in how school leaders are prepared. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to focus on a new perspective of school leadership that will transform the next generation of schools to ensure all students learn. Specifically, the research questions that guide this study are: (a) What skills and knowledge are needed for effective school leader [principal] training, in the 21st century both before and after school leaders are hired, to prepare and ensure they meet the demands of the job; (b) What is the perception of the school leader on the extent to which their training prepared them to support student learning; and (c) What components of the curriculum in graduate schools of education, if any, do effective leaders find most valuable for successful school leadership? Which components do they find most valuable? The main evidentiary material was elicited through a Survey Questionnaire which was distributed among 92 Principals currently assigned at Pre-K through Adult Schools. A recurring theme throughout the findings was the value of Practice. Findings show that approximately 50% of participants strongly agree that the content of leadership preparation programs emphasized Theory and Practice although the most valuable component was Practice (61%), while Theory alone was rated only somewhat valuable by 57% of Participants. The school leader's perception of how well the training program supported student learning was rated highest in collaborative environment (74%) and the use of data (66%). Twenty-first century schools call for revolutionary school leaders who unselfishly share the baton in empowering and transforming others to action. The development of meaningful relationships must take precedence over the traditional role of school leaders as the Lone Ranger.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Dissertations (EdD) -- Educational leadership, administration and policy; School principals; Leadership

Date of Award


School Affiliation

Graduate School of Education and Psychology



Degree Type


Degree Name


Faculty Advisor

Barner, Robert