Nova Scotia Senior High School Principals as Instructional Leaders

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Carreau, Cathy
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In the wake of the current myriad of external large-scale reforms that senior Nova Scotia high schools are encountering, the concept of instructional leadership is being advocated as the approach school leaders may consider to promote a culture of change within their schools in order to improve student learning. This qualitative study examined how five senior high principals interpret and enact their roles as instructional leaders within their schools. The five participating senior high school leaders were selected from a list of potential principals who were known to be experimenting with instructional leadership practices within their schools. The research design employed qualitative, semi-structured, audiotaped interviews. The analysis of findings was based on grounded theory methodology. Analysis of the findings resulted in two key theoretical constructs of how instructional leadership is enacted by the five participating senior high school principals: leadership as a relational process and relationality as the foundation for professional learning as they are related to educational leadership. The study concludes that the current notion of instructional leadership must be reconstituted to allow for the use of relational leadership to build learning organizations within the senior high school structure.
Educational leadership , High school principals , Educational change , High schools - Nova Scotia - Administration