Educational Leadership In Independent Schools

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Independent schools provide a unique environment from other educational systems. By circumventing state and federal funding, they are able to cultivate autonomy for curriculum choices, management decisions, and independence not known in public schools. The educational leaders of independent schools may require different leadership skills than other school settings due to these additional possibilities and responsibilities. Through a phenomenological lens, the study uncovered skills utilized by four experienced independent school heads. The study used full-range leadership theory to further interpret the lived experiences of the school heads. The purpose of the inquiry is two-fold. First, according to the review of literature, most independent school leaders felt unprepared to lead when they accepted their first leadership position. Graduate level leadership programs tend to prepare leaders for the majority of positions in public schools. The preparation of independent school leaders could impact the sustainability of these schools. The second reason for the inquiry is the lack of research that has taken place in independent school leadership. This study uses qualitative methods of interviews to gain a rich description through a phenomenological lens of the journey of an independent school leader as well as insight into the skills needed to lead an independent school. Emerging themes such as constancy of purpose, relational approach, personality, and decision making that drove the ability to perform many of the transformational leadership skills. Keywords: Full-range leadership, transformational leadership, independent schools, head of school, constancy of purpose, relational approach, educational leadership, experienced school leadership



Educational leadership, Constancy of purpose, Educational leadership, Full-range leadership, Head of school, Independent schools, Transformational leadership