An Examination of the Structures, Functions, and Perceived Effectiveness of School Leadership Teams in Underperforming High Schools

Author: ORCID icon
VanGronigen, Bryan, Education - Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Duke, Daniel, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Whether by choice or necessity, many of today’s educational leaders have implemented ways to share leadership and management responsibilities with staff members. One approach is to create a school leadership team (SLT), an organizational structure composed of a group of staff members who aid the principal. Despite the popularity of SLTs, few studies have investigated them, especially as a potential lever for building schools’ capacities for leadership and for continuous improvement. This study employed a two-phase mixed-methods design to examine the structures, functions, operations, and perceived effectiveness of SLTs in 17 underperforming high schools in the United States. Phase 1 entailed conducting semi-structured interviews with 40 SLT and non-SLT members in 15 high schools. Phase 2 consisted of administering a five-part survey, the School Leadership Team Inventory (SLTi), to 73 SLT members in 12 high schools in the United States. The findings inform the field’s understanding on how educational leaders in challenging school contexts distribute leadership, particularly with respect to planning and implementing school improvement efforts.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
educational leadership, school leadership team, high schools, accountability, organizational structure
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)
Issued Date: