A case study of an elementary principal's use of multi-framed discourse
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The purpose of this study is to understand through case study how the principal used discourse within a single elementary school. Previous research offered leaders multiple interpretations of how discourse has been used to promote reform. Yet, this study aims to answer one research question; How does the principal use discourse? A single case study design was selected to observe, identify and describe how the principal used discourse within a single Missouri elementary public school. Qualitative methods of data collection and analysis positioned the researcher to achieve a complete, inductive understanding of how the principal used discourse. Findings revealed the principal used discourse to improve and promote teacher efficacy. Teacher participants expressed wanting the principal to use discourse which increased how adult voices impacted improvement. It was also concluded that discourse should occur in a safe environment where risk was diminished. Professional development days were identified as opportunities for the principal to provide support for using discourse to meet the diverse needs of the group. Most importantly, targeted collaboration between the teachers and the principal emerged as important to the leader for using discourse to improve and promote efficacy. It was noted that generalizations should not be drawn from this case study of how a single principal at one small rural elementary school used discourse. However findings could be of use to school leaders considering using discourse in a similarly sized school.
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