Assistant principals as instructional leaders : a study of assistant principals in catholic high schools in the A.C.T.

  • Peter Hurley

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    A study was conducted in Catholic secondary schools in the Australian Capital Territory. The purpose of the study was to determine the extent to which assistant principals exhibit instructional leaders hip behaviour. The study used a modified version of a recognized evaluation instrument for instructional leadership. The Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS), as developed by Hallinger and Murphy (1985), was used as the primary data gathering source. The instrument consists of 50 individual items which are grouped into ten categories corresponding to instructional leadership behaviour. The instrument was administered to all principals, assistant principals and 30 percent of full-time teachers. Information was gathered regarding the different classes of respondents and· the different roles of assistant principal. These role groups included · assistant principals responsible for the curriculum, students, staff or administration. A number of findings regarding assistant principals as instructional leaders were identified. First, teachers generally do not rate assistant principals favourably. Second, principals tend to rate their assistant principals more highly. Third, self evaluation by assistant principals indicates that they have differing perceptions of their role as instructional leaders. The study also made comparisons between the documented roles, duty statements, and the instructional leadership behaviour displayed by the assistant principals, as perceived by teachers, principals and assistant principals themselves. This comparison led to the conclusion that the documented roles are not closely linked to the instructional leadership behaviours described in the PIMRS. Three recommendations are made as a result of the study. First, assistant principals seek opportunities to become involved in the instructional leadership arena. Second, assistant principals become more involved in supervision and evaluation of classroom practice. Third, assistant principals are encouraged to become involved in professional development programs.
    Date of Award1993
    Original languageEnglish

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