Document Details

Document Type:   Dissertation
Title:   The Principalship: A Study of the Principal's Time on Task from 1960 to the Twenty-First Century
Author:   Jaqueline Ann McPeake
College:   Education & Human Services
Degree Program:   Educational Leadership, Ed.D.
Degree:   Doctor of Education
Committee Director:   Teresa Eagle
Document Availability:   Document available for World-Wide access.
Date of Defense:   04/02/2007

The purpose of this study was to examine legislative and societal developments in the United States in relation to changes in educational administration and determine the existence of bifurcation points of change. The effects of legislative and societal changes on the tasks on which administrators focus their time were evaluated. The administrators were surveyed to determine if changes in time on task have occurred to meet the demands of current legislative priorities and if any demographic relationships existed. The study’s population consisted of 1950 (N=1950) administrators in public elementary, middle and high schools in the Southern Regional Educational Board 16 states. A systematic stratified random sample (n=480) was used with a researcher developed survey, for a return rate of 51.05%. In this study, 60.6% of the elementary respondents were females, while 60% of the 85 middle level principals and 69.2% of the 91 secondary principals were male. The analysis of the literature from the 1960s to the 21st century revealed bifurcation points in the time allocated to administrative tasks. One of the most pronounced findings was the consistent increase in the total amount of time that principals spend per week from the 1960s to 2007. Bifurcation points in educational administration were identified as occurring in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 2000s. The literature review demonstrated the mean time dedicated to the job was 49.31 hours in the 1960s and had risen to 61.1 hours in the early 2000s. The current study found the mean time worked by principals to be 60.3 hours per week. Positive correlations were discovered in six of the seven demographic characteristics in relation to the nine task areas: gender, grade level, student population, type of community, level of education, and principals’ experience. The percent of increase in time for the last three year period was: School Management - 57.5%, Personnel - 64.8%, Program Development - 64%, Student Activities - 38.4%, Student Behavior - 30.6%, Planning – 60.8%, Community Relations- 42.5%, District Office – 38.8%, and Professional Development - 52.9%. Fifty percent of the respondents pointed to the mandates of No Child Left Behind as a cause for the increase in time on task. 

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