From the Classroom to the Boardroom: A Phenomenological Study of Seven Superintendents
Metadata[+] Show full item record
School superintendents encounter a wide variety of unique and diverse challenges as they attempt to lead individuals and organizations toward success. As such, superintendents must be equipped with the skills to effectively lead districts through inherent challenges and complexities of the role. The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the essence of the meaning of preparation for seven Midwestern district superintendents. The central question of the inquiry was: What essences of meaning do superintendents have of their preparation experiences before assuming the role of superintendent? The theoretical lens of social constructionism and transcendental phenomenology contributed to the design of the data. Various aspects of experiential curriculum theory—political, autobiographical, and phenomenological—deepened an understanding of their experiences. Themes or meaning units were identified in three data sources: semi-structured, in-depth interviews, observations at board of education meetings, and analysis of key district and participant documents. Analysis of documents revealed a common theme of incremental improvements, as superintendents performed their roles. Additionally, participants’ observations generated themes of meetings as ceremonies and the superintendent as a storyteller. Phenomenological analysis of the in-depth interviews captured five meaning units or themes as significant to their preparation experiences: challenges, continued education, networking/mentoring, professional moves, and relationships. Together, these findings represented the uniqueness as well as the complexities of the meaning of preparation for the group of superintendents.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Theoretical framework -- Literature review -- Methodology -- Results -- Conclusions and recommendations -- Appendix A. Invitational email -- Appendix B. Interview question handout -- Appendix C. Interview guides -- Appendix D. Observation protocol
Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)