Understanding the demands and constraints of lay leaders in catholic schools based on the perceptions of priests, faculty, and lay leaders
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] The researcher conducted a qualitative study to develop a deeper understanding of the demands and constraints placed on lay leaders in Catholic schools. Rosemary Stewart's (1997) Theory of Demands, Constraints, and Choices was used as a lens through which to improve understanding. Participants were priests, faculty, and lay leaders from two Midwestern dioceses in one Midwestern state. Data were collected from participant interviews and focus groups. All segments of the participants perceived three overarching categories as relevant to lay leaders demands and constraints: theological/organizational demands and constraints, school/community demands and constraints, and budget/financial demands and constraints. The findings of this study have implications for lay leaders. One of the findings of this study was the ambiguous authority lay leaders experience within the hierarchical nature of the Catholic church. The other important finding was the importance of the priest's personality and his experience as a teacher and or administrator within Catholic schools. It appears these two factors influence the lay leader's ability to lead a school.
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