Hispanic female superintendents' perceptions, construction, and enactment of educational, managerial, and political leadership




Rodriguez-Casas, Maria Reyes, 1965-

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The purpose of the study was to examine the experiences of three Hispanic female superintendents as they lead public school districts. Using a phenomenological research approach, the researcher focused on the perception, construction, and enactment of the educational, managerial, and political leadership roles of their superintendency. Data was collected through interviews, observations, and documentation. The study findings indicated that their perception of the educational leadership role was student learning-centered. The managerial leadership role was perceived as an enabler for acting in the best interest of students and as facilitator for initiating and sustaining improvement in the educational organization with a focus on student learning. The political leadership role was seen as working with all stakeholders to support student learning. The construction was based on the knowledge acquired throughout the participants’ career pathways to attain the procedural knowledge. The enactment reflected the utilization of the acquired knowledge applied in their respective districts. The educational leadership role meant building collaboration and open communication, focusing on student learning, incorporating an improvement planning process, and conducting campus and classroom visitations. The managerial leadership role meant focusing on students, working with the administrative team, building and supporting collaboration, and managing through financial planning. The political leadership role meant working together to improve student learning, understanding the board and superintendent roles, ensuring a two-way communication, providing on-going training, and promoting parental and community involvement. Overall, the phenomenological study warranted three conclusions. The first conclusion was that there are common characteristics related to each of the superintendency leadership roles. The second conclusion was the emerging theoretical framework integrating the perception, construction, enactment, and meaning of the superintendency leadership roles as a cycle of leadership learning. Whereas, the perceptions were a declarative knowledge of ‘what’ each leadership role is about. The construction was the experiential knowledge of ‘how’ it was acquired. The enactment of the leadership role was the procedural knowledge of ‘what’ and ‘how’. The meaning was the contextual knowledge of ‘what’, ‘when’, ‘where’, ‘why’, and ‘how’ to do in each leadership role. The third conclusion was the three dimensional leadership roles are student-learning centered.



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