Rural High School Principals: Leadership in Rural Education [article]

(:Unkn) Unknown, Joan Poliner Shapiro, University, My
Educational leadership has been the focus of many studies; however, leadership does not occur in a vacuum. Understanding the context in which it occurs will in turn help to explain the phenomenon itself. Rural communities in the United States have many differences when compared to urban and suburban areas. Twenty-eight percent of schools in the United States are rural, and within those rural districts seven million students attend schools (Sherwood, 2001). Even with the large number of rural
more » ... number of rural schools, there are significant deficiencies in rural research, including available raw data (Sherwood & Arnold, 2001, 2004). Moreover, when research is done, the rural context is almost always seen as a limitation (Howley & Howley, 1999). Many times research that is conducted in urban and suburban settings is generalized to the rural setting. Ethical educational leadership is drawing increased attention in research. The bulk of ethical decision-making research has focused on administrators in urban and suburban settings. The rural context is silent when one looks to ethical leadership work. This study explores four rural high school principals' perceptions of how the rural context influences their ethical leadership, career aspirations and advancement opportunities. This study also explores the principals' perceptions about their personal history and their gender to determine whether either has been a hindrance or a help to their leadership in the rural context. A case study methodology was utilized while conducting this study. Over a twelve month period; 18 site visits were conducted at four rural high schools in central Pennsylvania. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted along with eight days of shadowing to explore the respondents' perceptions on leading in the rural context. The findings indicate that the respondents of this study did perceive differences in the rural context as compared to urban and suburban areas. Those differences were perceived by the respondents to have an impact on their work as e [...]
doi:10.34944/dspace/2368 fatcat:4pkqfoshabcabcvkk63ttjacve