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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)


Educational Administration and Leadership

First Advisor

Phyllis Hensley

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Stephen Davis

Third Committee Member

Penelope Swenson


The purposes of this study were to: (a) examine the practice of critical reflection by elementary school administrators when making decisions, (b) explore the process elementary school administrators employ when using critical reflection in decision making situations; and (c) identify the practice elementary school administrators engage in to enhance their use of critical reflection. A total of 172 questionnaires were mailed to elementary school principals in Fresno County, California. Of the 94 questionnaires returned, seven principals were selected to participate in one-on-one interviews. Results of the study indicate that: (a) principals consciously and deliberately employed the process of critical reflection; (b) reflectivity enabled the principals to discern and identify emotionalism associated with a decision; (c) through the process of critical reflection of assumptions, principals were able to scrutinize their own biases and assumptions resulting in renewed perspectives, keen self-awareness, and objectivity; (d) engaged in self-talk and purposeful dialogue with others, principals asked and answered critical and probing questions; (e) critical reflection mingled with prayer empowered and strengthened principals to act decisively; and (f) writing [journals, etc.] proved to be an effective and powerful tool to enhance the practice of critical reflection by elementary school principals. This study provided elementary school administrators with implications for consideration to assist them with the practice of critical reflection in decision-making. Suggestions for additional research were also offered.



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