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Leadership Coaching: A Multiple-Case Study of Urban Public Charter School Principals’ Experiences Open Access

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Leadership Coaching:A Multiple-Case Study of Urban Public Charter School Principals’ ExperiencesThis multi-case study seeks to understand the experiences of New York City and Washington, DC public charter school principals who have experienced leadership coaching, a component of leadership development, beyond their novice years. The research questions framing this study address how experienced public charter school principals describe the impact of leadership coaching practices on their leadership development, as well as how they describe their own leader identity construction through the process of coaching. The education sector faces a shortage of highly skilled leaders in addition to a leadership retention crisis. Leadership coaching, used for decades in the business sector, is becoming more commonly practiced in the education sector as a way to support and develop school principals. Although research on leadership coaching for traditional public school principals has emerged over the past decade, there is a lack of research on leadership coaching for public charter school principals. In addition, the existing research on leadership coaching for public school principals is focused primarily on novice school principals. Thus, this study extends this body of research beyond traditional public school principals and novice principals to the experienced school principals in public charter schools in order to ensure that their perspectives and experiences of leadership coaching are incorporated into the literature. Eight public charter school principals were selected for participation in the study, with data collected through interviews, documents, and artifacts shared by the participants. The findings of the study are presented within the following three main themes: the coaching process, the impact of coaching, and the principal leader identity construction. Interpretation of these findings highlights inconsistency between participants’ experience of the leadership coaching process and the literature as well as well as consistency with research on the impact of coaching. Furthermore, through artifact analysis and participant reflection, this research offers evidence that leadership coaching supports the process of leader identity construction, thus extending the literature on leadership coaching for school principals.

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