Leadership Practices of Elementary School Principals
Academic Leadership - Online Journal,
Vol. 4 No. 2 (2003): Vol-4-Issue-2-February-2003
A variety of recommendations have been suggested during the past two decades in response to the
need to improve America’s schools. The effect of leadership on a school frequently emerges as a key
component in achieving significant school reform. Many leadership models and specific behaviors for
school principals have been presented and discussed in the literature.
Principals today must serve as leaders for student learning. They must know and understand academic
content and pedagogical techniques. They must be able to work with teachers to strengthen their
instructional skills. They must collect, analyze and use data to improve test scores. They must seek to
rally students, teachers, parents, local health and family service agencies, youth development groups,
local businesses and other community members around the common goal of improving student
performance. They must also develop the leadership skills and knowledge necessary to effectively
exercise autonomy and pursue successful academic strategies. Some observers have stated the
principalship has become a uniquely challenging job with more and more demands placed on the
principal each year.