Education Need for Study Roles Term Paper

Pages: 15 (4083 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 48  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

The top ten duties and responsibilities of the assistant principal that they identified were: discipline, attendance, student activities, community agencies, master schedules, teacher substitutes, building operations, budget and communications, respectively ranked. Duties associated with instructional learning did not make the list of the seventeen job functions that the authors included in the study.

And, studies show that assistant principals are dissatisfied with their jobs as a direct result of their lack of meaningful responsibilities. A 1987 study of 2,300 secondary school administrators in the U.S. Office of Education illustrated their discontent. The study confirmed the discipline and clerical duties of assistant principals and discovered that they felt powerless and suffered a significantly higher degree of alienation than do principals.

Scoggin's and Bishop's review of the roles and responsibilities of the assistant principals found that they wanted to be included in the instructional operations and to have more respectable responsibilities. In 1992, Marshall studied fifty principals and found that they valued helping students, problem solving, helping teachers and that they appreciated consistent policies, noninterference, support, and good salaries. Scoggins and Bishop also surmised that assistant principals are dissatisfied because they are under too much stress to meet the demands of their more than 20 identified job duties.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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Term Paper on Education Need for Study Roles Assignment

More recent studies by Thompson and Louise show that not much has changed as of late, at least not in Mississippi. They gathered data from 369 secondary principals and assistant principals in this state in 1997. In doing so, they discovered that the assistant principal is even at this point in time not a "viable partner in the administrative team." Instead, they are still performing the same old clerical, disciplinary and custodial duties. Interestingly, both principals and assistant principals ranked professional, personal, and psychosocial characteristics common to instructional leaders as the most important for effective assistant principal performance. These included judgment, ethical behavior, leadership skills, dependability, commitment, credibility, loyalty, conflict-resolution skills, and active listening skills

2.4 Assistant Principals and Use of Instructional Leadership

The consensus in the literature shows that assistant principals spend most of their time dealing with clerical and disciplinary issues. However, many advocate an instructional leadership role for the assistant principal that is frequently the sole domain of the principal. Hanny's view of instructional leadership encompasses curriculum development, teacher and instructional effectiveness, clinical supervision, staff development and teacher evaluation. Hallinger describes leadership teams at the secondary level to help carry out the critical functions of curriculum and instructional coordination and supervision.

Hallinger's sentiments on instructional leadership are echoed by Kingery who believes that the nature of public schools has become too complex today to expect one person to single-handedly reform the system. As a result, she contends that there is not enough time and energy devoted to studying research, devising staff-development projects, reviewing student and school achievement data, and designing and coordinating new programs and projects to bolster achievement levels. These are important areas that are relegated to the principal, but that are commonly underemphasized.

There are several theories to explain why it is difficult to achieve instructional leadership at the assistant principal level. Marshall identifies issues related to training and selection systems. She believes that most formal course work does not transform people into good educational leaders because it does not include leadership and instructional learning studies. Often, schools glean their assistant principals from the ranks of teachers, department heads, or counselors. She asserts that those selected for promotion are the candidates who conform to work requirements and promote tradition. More innovative educational leaders are either rejected in the evaluation process or they avoid seeking the role because they don't like the way it has been defined.

Hartzell blames hierarchical positions as the underlying cause of lack of instructional leadership by assistant principals. He theorizes that the differences in the duties of the principal and the assistant principal mirror their positions in the school hierarchy. He contends that lower-levels in a hierarchy naturally have timelines that are shorter and are more internally focused and that lower-level employees must carry out the visions of their superiors. Hartzell believes that roadblocks to achieving instructional leadership at the assistant principal level are further compounded by the fact that almost half of all assistant principals do not provide any input into defining what their roles should be.

As a solution to the hierarchical dilemma, Hartzell suggests that assistant principals must become adapt at influencing those above them to structure the context of their work in ways that promote closer alignment of their goals. But, Hartzell asserts that many assistant principals don't have the skills required to enhance their position, build power bases, establish the right connections, and to maintain a positive relationship with the principal. This theory suggests that assistance principals need more training on organizational structures and behavior and how to influence the system.

Not specific to principals, but common to management personalities in general, is a strong need to achieve that is characterized by traits that can prevent effective leadership. Greene, Adam, and Ebert describe these managerial qualities as a strong need to compete with others, the desire to exert a large degree of influence over others, the preference for individual tasks over group activities and the inclination to evaluate co-workers on the basis of competence rather than team compatibility

These authors go on to state that managers who combine the need for achievement with the need for affiliation, the wish to achieve a good working relationship with others, will be able to accomplish more productive organizational behavior than managers who fall to heavily on the need for achievement. This would indicate that in the selection of a principal more attention is needed to choose individuals with motives that strike a balance between the need for achievement and the need for affiliation.

Glanz blames real-world resource constraints, namely enough time, for the lack of instructional leadership at the associate principal level. He believes that the assistant principal doesn't have time to allocate to instructional leadership activities and that the principal is reluctant to alter the role of the assistant principal because there is no one else to perform the disciplinary and clerical functions. Glanz jokes, "If the assistant principal doesn't prowl the hallways looking for rule-breakers, who will?" His answer is to seek other staff members to fulfill these traditional roles. He proposes the creation of a new position to handle discipline and the use of teachers to take on some of the work such as lunch supervision.

Kingery looks to the government for change, believing the schools are motivated to change only when the criticism becomes so intense that they are forced to act. When change does occur, she believes it usually is the result of new state laws or complaints from politically powerful groups. Like Glanz, she advocates the creation of new job functions to reduce the work burden of the assistant principal, but adds that state legislatures and public interest groups will have to intervene to make this a reality. She does note that this may be slow in happening because the public's perception of the assistant principal is one of the traditional clerk and disciplinarian. Thus, there's a huge need to educate the public to motivate their advocacy for change. According to Greenfield, this will involve a lot of work. He concludes that there is little understanding of the social character of the school setting, the internal and external careers of administrators, and problems associated with training and developing professional administrators.

Still, others think that assistant principal's lack of satisfaction and rewards for their jobs lead to a lack of interest in pursuing instructional learning. Calabrese states that a high percentage of these employees are alienated from their jobs and are concerned that they are no longer ensured an eventual promotion to principal. Marshall has discovered that many factors outside of the assistant principal's control influence their career mobility such as school and district norms and ability to take risks, and career timing. Theories of performance such as Expectancy Theory state that performance is directly related to an employee's belief that their efforts will allow them achieve performance goals and the value individual's place on rewards. Thus, one possible resolution to facilitate instructional learning may be to review and overhaul the compensation package and promotional process for assistants.

Chell questions whether principals themselves have really made the transition to instructional learning, feeling that many focus more on their role as "facility managers." She asserts that "the problem will be solved when principals change - when they heartily endorse their role as instructional leader and develop a set of skills that permit them to function effectively in that role." Fullan is even stronger on this subject, stating that effective instructional principals are distinctly in the minority. If it's true that even now the… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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APA Style

Education Need for Study Roles.  (2003, January 29).  Retrieved June 21, 2021, from

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"Education Need for Study Roles."  29 January 2003.  Web.  21 June 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Education Need for Study Roles."  January 29, 2003.  Accessed June 21, 2021.