The role of the primary school principal in professional development

Cooper, Judith L. T. (1990) The role of the primary school principal in professional development. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

The main purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which primary school principals feel they are knowledgeable with respect to primary school aged children, their needs. and the kinds of school practices which arc appropriate for them. The study examined the principal's role in promoting developmentally appropriate programs at the primary level, and the extent to which primary teachers feel that principals of primary schools have adequate knowledge in these areas. -- Data collected from 59 primary school principals and 226 of their primary school teachers provided the necessary information used in the testing of the various research questions. Statistical procedures used included a one-way analysis of variance and the Student-Newman-Keuls test. -- The principals' questionnaire investigated their perceptions of their role as principal in the primary school and the teachers' questionnaire examined their perceptions of how their principals considered certain issues about primary education and their (the principals') role, Part I of both questionnaires gathered biographical data of principals and teachers, and Part II gathered information relative to practices within the primary school. Respondents were asked to rate most items as "of no importance”, of little importance”, “important”, and “very important to the role of the principal, while others required a “yes” or “no” response. -- Results of the survey indicate that the teaching profession at the primary school level is predominantly female, while positions of leadership are predominantly male. Both groups of respondents (principals and teachers) indicate that a great deal of emphasis is placed on the administrative component of the principalship, and that the principal's role as instructional leader in the primary school is being carried out to some degree. -- Principal and teacher responses were also similar on such issues as the importance of having knowledge of child development, and of promoting appropriate teaching styles and learning opportunities for young children. -- Teachers generally perceive principals as placing less importance on certain issues than principals' responses indicate. Discrepancies occur in the following: the principal's role as coach to primary teachers; training principals and other teachers in coaching techniques; teacher involvement in school policy planning, program planning, and staff meeting planning; and principal's involvement with parents and children. Principals consistently see these issues as being of greater importance than their teachers perceive that they did. In terms of actual practice, principals indicate higher rates of occurrences than did teachers. -- In general, principals seem to believe they give higher priority to curriculum development, staff development, and child-centered teaching matters than in fact teachers perceive them to do. Principals also see themselves as giving lower priority to management matters than teachers claim they do.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/5161
Item ID: 5161
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 133-151.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1990
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: School principals--Newfoundland and Labrador--Attitudes;School principals--Newfoundland and Labrador--Training of;Teacher-principal relationships;

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