Assistant Principals' Lived Experiences with Managerial Skills Needed for Promotion: A Phenomenological Study

Assistant Principals' Lived Experiences with Managerial Skills Needed for Promotion: A Phenomenological Study

Author: 
Melnice Flowers
Program of study: 
D.M.
Abstract: 
The purpose of this qualitative, phenomenological study was to explore the lived experiences of assistant principals in what they deem to be the needed managerial skills for promotion to campus principal. The sample for the study included 20 assistant principals in an urban school district located in Texas. The process of phenomenological enquiry provided the structure to examine the essence of the phenomenon and to describe it accurately through the subjects’ experiences. The assistant principals participated in structured one-on-one interviews where ten open-ended questions were posed. All dialog from interviews were recorded and transcribed on Microsoft Word 2007 documents. The data analysis procedures used Microsoft Word 2007 “find” function to search for similar text data. All text data within the same category were grouped together and placed on Microsoft Office Excel 2007 spreadsheets. The text data from interviews underwent three flows of activities: data reduction, data display, and conclusion drawing and verification. Seven theme indicators were the basis for theme definitions, dispositions, and modifications. The resulting five core themes were (a) collaborative approaches, (b) listening and presentation skills, (c) using powers of persuasion, (d) team and relationship building skills, and (e) diversity skills or mentorships. The importance of addressing this phenomenological study was to enhance the goal of student academic achievement in public schools by improving leadership practices. The implications derived from this study indicated that improving managerial skills for assistant principals may lead to student academic achievement.
Dedication: 
First of all, I would like to give honor to God for blessing me and giving me the strength to continue to work through the doctoral journey. This dissertation is dedicated to my family: my father, Melvin Flowers and my mother Johnnie M. Flowers; my sister, Ceola M. Flowers-Harris; my nephews, Edward Dickson and Eric Dickson; and great-nephew William Edmond Brown-Dickson. Thank you for your prayers, support, and continued encouragement. I would also like to dedicate the dissertation to two of my friends, Leavery Davidson and Gina Isabel. I appreciate you pulling me away for meetings at the “spot” where we sat around laughing and talking for hours. The moments allowed me to relax and to stay focused on all of life’s challenges. Finally, I would like to thank my co-workers for their understanding as there were days where my efforts were less than 100% and their support and humor allowed me to complete projects, tasks, and assignments.
Acknowledgements: 
I would like to acknowledge Dr. Betty Barr, my dissertation chair, for her continuous support during the doctoral process. She has been a pillar of strength during hard times and I don’t think I would have accomplished this feat had she not been there in times of need. I would also like to thank Dr. Sonya Miller and Dr. Natacha Billups, for their support, efforts, and participation. The doctoral journey has been the biggest challenge I have had in my life to date and I need you all to know that I appreciate you more than words can say. I will be forever in your debt.