Date Approved

8-2012

Date Posted

4-24-2013

Degree Type

Open Access Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Leadership and Counseling

Committee Member

James Berry, Ed.D

Committee Member

Wendy Burke, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Gary Marx, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Ella Burton, Ed.D.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between what is currently understood about skills for school leadership and the need for a greater understanding of those skills. The importance of developing leadership skills to improve school performance and effectiveness is great. In the field of school leadership, most leaders enter their roles without an understanding of the skills needed to be effective.

There is a societal desire to improve the performance of children in schools, and that improvement relies on skill development for school leaders. Skill development for school leaders begins with skill recognition. The lack of understanding among educators for the reflection upon and the development of school leadership skills poses a challenge. The leadership skills required to solve the complex problems of educational organizations are unstructured and ill-defined at this time. There is also a significant gap between the complex problems present in schools and the skilled leaders required to solve those problems. That gap demonstrates the need for more effectively defining school leadership skills and designing processes to give school leaders practice to improve performance.

Effective school leaders must have the skills to know what to do, when to do it, and how to move forward, as well as the ability to solve the complex social problems that they face on a regular basis. Current school leaders rarely reflect on current personal skills. Skill development for school leaders is even more rare.

Without skill acquisition, the school leader is an inadequate problem solver. Skill acquisition must be based on the understanding that becoming skilled in any area requires years of work and knowledge of the skills that must be practiced.

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