Exploring collaborative culture and leadership in large high schools
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The purpose of this exploratory study was to analyze how high school principals approach developing a collaborative culture and providing collaborative leadership in a large high school setting. The population sample for this study were 82 principals of large comprehensive high schools of grades 9 through 12 or some combination thereof with student populations of more than 1700 students from nine states in the middle region of the United States including Colorado, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin. The study through an analysis of variance and bivariate correlations analyzed differences sorted by degree of collaboration and relationships among variables correlated with collaborative learning and leadership of principals in a large high school setting. The study found principals in large high schools their learning practices, their beliefs about collaborative leadership, examples of their work, and their perceptions about the degree of collaborative learning were evident. The study found significant differences in leadership practices and beliefs for schools that are perceived as more collaborative compared to those perceived as less collaborative. However the study found there is no significant relationship between demographic characteristics of professional experiences and background were related to collaborative leadership and learning practices and beliefs. Overall, the findings from this study create awareness about the uniqueness of collaborative leadership among principal beliefs and practices in a large high school setting.