Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education and International Services


Higher Education Administration EdD

First Advisor

James R. Jeffery

Second Advisor

Elsie P. Jackson

Third Advisor

Wilfred Futcher



Instructional leadership is a major factor in school effectiveness and student achievement, yet it is not widely practiced by school principals. One of the contributing factors, identified in the literature, is a lack of skills and knowledge. Although there is a great deal of information about principal preparation programs, there is very little information on the preparation of school leaders in the practice of instructional leadership behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine how instructional leadership is addressed in both traditional and restructured educational administration/leadership programs and to what extent this is related to institutional and demographic factors. Institutional homogenization suggests that a university will conform to the practices of other universities to maintain legitimacy.


I employed a survey design to determine the perceptions and behaviors of department chairs and professors of educational administration/leadership theory as well as the demographic and institutional characteristics that might relate to how instructional leadership is addressed. A questionnaire was developed using demographic characteristics, a list of innovative practices taken from the literature, three open-ended questions, and the 20 National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) Curriculum Guidelines for Instructional Leadership as Likert-type questions. Two questionnaires were sent to the educational administration/leadership department chairs from a random sample of 130 universities. Each chair was asked to complete a questionnaire and to request the professor who teaches educational administration/leadership theory to complete the second questionnaire.


The results show that the two hypotheses: (a) there is a difference in the way instructional leadership is addressed, as perceived by the department chairs and the professors of educational administration/leadership, in traditional and restructured programs and (b) the way the department chairs and professors of educational/administration leadership theory address instructional leadership as related to demographic characteristics, were not fully supported by the findings of the study.

However, using both the quantitative and qualitative data provided by the participants, a description of how instructional leadership is addressed in university-based preparation programs did emerge.


Both department chairs and professors of educational administration/leadership programs emphasize and perceive instructional leadership behaviors to be important. However, there were discrepancies between the level of importance given to the instructional leadership behaviors and the level of emphasis placed on the same instructional leadership behaviors.

Most of the programs in this study have restructured. Nevertheless, there were very few differences in the way traditional and restructured programs address instructional leadership. Programs identified by the participants as traditional were using some of the same practices associated with restructured programs. However, the way instructional leadership is addressed has only a small relationship to the demographic characteristics.

This study and the new institutional theory suggests that these findings relate to institutional homogenization. Change in an institutional environment is more complex than intervention for a current need or a quest for continuous growth. It is also fueled by a need to maintain its status as a university.

Subject Area

Leadership--Study and teaching; School management and organization--Study and teaching (Higher); School principals--Training of


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