Catholic school leadership




Escobedo, Rene John

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The purpose of the study is to explore whether administrators' experiences within or outside faith-based systems influence their success at advancing the mission of Catholic Schools. After considerable examination it has been determined that in order to assist Catholic schools in providing excellent education, leadership needs to be explored. The principal's role in determining the direction of a school is vital (Davis, Darling-Hammond, LaPointe & Meyerson, 2005). Catholic schools must determine how principals and assistant principals who find themselves in their institutions are able to inform the advancement the mission of schools. Leadership roles and qualifications in Catholic schools can be substantially different from public schools; therefore, it is essential to explore Catholic school leadership. This study is design to answer the following research question: How do Principals' and Assistant Principals' experiences within or outside faith-based education inform the advancement of the mission of Catholic schools? The study utilized a qualitative research design to gather the perspectives of the participants. Data was collected in two ways. First, in depth semi structured interviews were conducted to identify the individual factors that were vital to answering the research question. Second, a Focus Group session was conducted to garner a communal sense of the future of Catholic schools. The findings reveled that three themes were essential for school administrators when considering the advancement of the mission of Catholic schools. First, Spiritual Capital was identified a vital attribute of Catholic school leaders. Second, Communities of Practice was defined as a critical resource to Catholic school administrators due to the lack of formal structures in place to guide school leaders. Third, Connected to the Mission was identified as the link between the findings that tied all components together to provide support to the Catholic school administrator. The findings prove vital by extending the research on Catholic school leadership and providing decision makers within Catholic schools information that will assist in the hiring process of potential Catholic school leaders.


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Religion and theology, Education, Communities of practice, Connected to mission, Spiritual capital



Educational Leadership and Policy Studies