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"She Talked Me Down Off the Ledge:" Listening to New Principals and Their Experience of Being Coached

  • Author(s): Roberson, Ingrid Patricia
  • Advisor(s): Hollingsworth, Sandra
  • et al.
Abstract

With increased accountability and newly introduced alternative paths to administrative licensure, stakeholders are compelled to re-conceptualize the preparation of principals from a front-loaded process during the pre-service phase to a well-distributed plan across a principal's career. In a recent review of state policy, states have shifted their focus from university-based leadership development programs to a system of continuous professional development, specifying a shared responsibility for such development (Roach, Smith and Boutin, 2011). Such regulatory shifts force employing schools and districts to reflect upon and accept their role in supporting the successful entry of new principals, that is, to formally and informally induct new school leaders into their organization as well as the profession.

The purpose of the study is to contribute to the research base on the induction of principals by focusing on an increasingly popular induction support strategy, that is, the coaching of new principals. This study sought to thoroughly explore new principals' experiences with coaching, allowing for a more nuanced understanding of the effects of coaching to emerge from the principal's perspective. This study utilized a mixed method, cross-case study design that began with the traditional satisfaction survey, moved to follow-up telephone interviews and then examined new principal conceptions of the coaching experience through in-depth interviewing. Rather than start with a priori definitions and codes of points of investigation, new principals emergent descriptions reveal their deeper understanding of satisfaction with an individualized induction support.

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