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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)



First Advisor

Carol Bartell

First Committee Member

Dennis Brennan

Second Committee Member

Robert D. Morrow

Third Committee Member

Donald Duns

Fourth Committee Member

Patricia L. Roberts


Purpose. The purpose of this study was to investigate secondary principals' self-perceived responsibilities and competencies in the area of instructional supervision, and thereby establish a baseline of knowledge for future decisions regarding the use of instructional supervision by principals as an aid to more effective teaching and learning. Procedure. A three-page questionnaire based on a list of supervision tasks (Harris, 1973) and guided by the literature on effective schools, instructional leadership, and instructional supervision was developed. The items were designed to assess responsibility for and competency in the area of instructional supervision. The questionnaire was sent to 619 randomly-sampled secondary principal-members of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. The responses to the five research questions were based on appropriate statistical procedures, including unpaired t-tests, chi square, factor analysis, and multiple regression. Findings. Forty-nine percent of the questionnaires were returned. Respondents were predominantly male from large, rural, public schools. Principals rated themselves significantly higher on the competency section of the questionnaire than on the responsibility section. There was little difference in the selection of the highest-ranking tasks for which principals perceived themselves to be responsible and the selection of highest-ranking tasks for which principals perceived themselves to be competent. Several variables influenced principals' self-perceptions about responsibility and competency in instructional supervision. On the competency section of the questionnaire, predictor variables were: (a) principal experience, (b) department head experience, (c) teaching experience, (d) central office experience, (e) curriculum supervision experience, (f) preparation to supervise, (g) school type, (h) number of teachers, (i) degree, and (j) gender. On the responsibility section of the questionnaire, predictor variables were: (a) teaching experience, (b) department head experience, (c) preparation to supervise, (d) school type, (e) number of teachers, and (f) degree. The most frequent influence variables were school type, and preparation to supervise. Public school principals rated themselves higher than private school principals and participation in workshops appeared to be the best determinant of responsibility and competency in the area of instructional supervision. Recommendations. Universities and colleges, in cooperation with school districts, should examine their administrator training programs to provide for the growing need to educate principals in the area of instructional supervision. For in-service principals, a workshop approach is highly recommended. In order to provide time to supervise instruction effectively, principals should be given more assistance in some of the bureaucracy, discipline, and "administrivia" they experience daily. Principals should become more involved in curriculum decisions and gain support from the teachers in the supervision process.



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