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Understanding the dynamics of the transition to the elementary vice-principalship Retelle, Ellen 2003

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UNDERSTANDING THE D Y N A M I C S OF THE TRANSITION TO THE E L E M E N T A R Y VICE-PRTNCIPALSHIP by Ellen Retelle B. Ed., Salem State College, 1982 M . Ed., The University of Houston, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Department of Educational Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 2003 © Ellen Retelle, 2003 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of JZ-dursz / 7 A ? - v x The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) Abstract This study focused on how first-year elementary vice-principals understood the dynamics of school leadership and administration from a micropolitical perspective in schools that supported shared decision-making between administrators and teachers. The research focused on the tasks and responsibilities of vice-principals and the relationships of the vice-principals with the school principals and the teaching staff. Furthermore, the study focused on how vice-principals and teachers exercised power in schools. A multiple case study approach was utilized. It consisted of observing three first-year elementary vice-principals in their schools for one school year. The schools were in one district. Data collection strategies included interviews, direct observations, participant observations, and document analysis. The vice-principals were observed one day per week for four to seven hours during most visits. Participant observations included interactions of the vice-principals with the principal, teachers, students, and school support staff. The vice-principals participated in four formal interviews and engaged in informal conversations with the researcher during the school visitations. School principals, teachers, other first-year vice-principals, two assistant superintendents, and the coordinator of the leadership program were interviewed. Administrator and teacher contracts, accreditation reports, faculty meeting minutes, district handbooks, and policy manuals provided background information for this study. The study generated several key findings about how vice-principals understand the dynamics of school leadership and administration: (a) vice-principals who were enrolling teachers (classroom teachers) faced more challenges and demands than those ii who were not enrolling teachers; (b) vice-principals received little training or mentoring during their first year; (c) vice-principals were expected to learn about administration through their experiences and by making mistakes; (d) vice-principals had few opportunities to engage in critical conversations and analyze their role as novice school leaders and administrators; (e) the vice-principals' relationships with teachers and principals changed when they became administrators; (f) teachers and administrators used different types of power to affect the actions of others; and (g) the vice-principals grappled with using positional authority, facilitative power, coercive power, and influence in their relationships with the teachers. Based on these findings, five general recommendations are suggested. First, the teaching workload of enrolling vice-principals needs to be reduced. They are overwhelmed and stressed with their dual roles of administrative and teaching responsibilities; consequently, the learning of their students in their classrooms suffers. Second, vice-principals need systematic training and information on the skills, functions, and knowledge necessary to perform their jobs. Third, the vice-principals need to be mentored, receive feedback, and engage in critical conversations about their roles as school leaders; this needs to occur in supportive environments. The provincial administrators' association could coordinator the mentor program. Fourth, it is problematic for principals to mentor the vice-principals because they supervise and evaluate the vice-principals. Fifth, the vice-principals need to understand the processes of successful shared decision-making. Last, vice-principals need to understand when and how to use the different types of powers that they possess as administrators. Table of Contents Abstract i i Table of Contents iv List of Tables and Figures vii Acknowledgements ix Dedication x CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION A N D PURPOSE OF STUDY 1 M y Story 1 Beliefs About Leadership 6 The Research Problem 9 Research Questions 13 Significance of the Study 14 Structure of the Thesis 15 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE 18 Literature on Vice-Principals 18 Tasks and Roles of Vice-Principals 18 Challenges 20 Making the Transition to Administration 22 Vice-Principals and Principals Relationships 24 Vice-Principal and Teacher Relationships 26 Theories of Power 27 Traditional Theories 27 Critical Theory 29 Facilitative Power/ Power With 31 Power in Schools 32 Politics and Micropolitics 35 Defining Micropolitics 35 Micropolitical Studies 38 Power Over and Micropolitics 39 Power With and Micropolitics 43 Theories of School Leadership 49 Traditional Leadership 49 Critical Leadership 54 Feminist Leadership 56 Democratic Leadership 59 Distributive Leadership 61 Reform and Restructuring Movements 62 Shared Decision-Making 67 Summary 75 iv CHAPTER THREE: M E T H O D O L O G Y A N D R E S E A R C H DESIGN 77 Qualitative Inquiry 77 Case Study 81 This Study 84 Selection of School District 84 Selection of the School Sites and Vice-Principals 87 Table 1: Vice-Principals Assignments to Schools 91 Role of the Researcher 94 Methods of Data Collection 95 Observations 96 Interviews 99 Review of Documents 104 Data Analysis Procedures 105 Quality of Study 108 Transferability 109 Dependability 110 Credibility I l l Confirmability I l l Ethics 112 Limitations and Delimitations of the Study 113 CHAPTER FOUR: THE VICE-PRINCIPALS: THEIR GOALS, THE SCHOOLS A N D THEIR ROLES 116 Gina and McCleery 116 Celeste and Ashland 120 Hannah and Woodlawn 122 Section Summary 126 The Vice-Principalship 127 Roles of the Vice-Principals 131 Teaching assignments 134 The Joe jobs 141 Summary 144 CHAPTER FIVE: THE VICE-PRINCIPALS' RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE PRINCIPALS A N D ASSISTANT SUPERTNTENDENTS 146 Gina and Harry at McCleery 147 Celeste and Gi l at Ashland 160 Hannah and Jane at Woodlawn 172 Summary 182 Circumstances That Affected the First-Year Vice-Principals 184 Loyalty to Administration 184 Working With and Training the Vice-Principals 187 Learning by Trial and Error 190 Acting Principals 191 v Mentoring the Vice-Principals 193 Support for the Vice-Principals 198 Influences of Assistant Superintendents on Vice-Principals 200 Summary 202 CHAPTER SLX: THE MICROPOLITICS OF THE SCHOOLS 204 Shared Decision-Making 205 Network of School Meetings 210 Teacher Leadership 214 Gina and McCleery Teachers 217 Celeste and Ashland Teachers 231 Hannah and Woodlawn Teachers 242 Summary 251 CHAPTER SEVEN: DISCUSSIONS A N D CONCLUSIONS 255 Making Sense of School Leadership: Central Findings 255 Role Demands 256 Relationships with Principals 258 Training the Vice-Principals by Trial and Error and Immersion 259 Absence of Critical Feedback and Mentoring 260 Power of the Principal Over the Vice-Principal 262 Relationships with Teachers 263 Transitions 265 Micropolitics in the Schools 267 Shared Decision-Making 271 Recommendations for Policy, Practice, and Research 272 Recommendations for Practice 273 Recommendations for Policy 275 Recommendations for Research 282 Implications for Theory 285 Conclusion 289 Epilogue 291 Gina 292 Celeste 295 Hannah 298 References 303 Appendix A : Research Activities and Time Allocation 322 Appendix B: Chronology of research activities 323 Appendix C: School Observations Days and Times 324 Appendix D: Vice-Principal's Schedule 325 Appendix E: Interaction Chart 326 Appendix F: Observation Form Code 327 Appendix G: Meetings vice-principals attended 328 Appendix H : Meetings researcher attended 328 vi Appendix I: Synopsis of district document 329 Appendix J: Interview Questions for Vice Principals 330 Appendix K : Interview Questions for School Principal 332 Appendix L: Interview Questions for Senior Administrator 332 Appendix M : Interview Questions for Teachers 333 Appendix N : Teacher demographics 334 Appendix O: Vice-principal consent form 335 Appendix P: Permission to conduct research at the school site 336 Appendix Q: Consent for principal interviews 337 Appendix R: Consent for Teacher Interviews 338 Appendix S: Consent for Senior Administrator Interviews 339 Appendix T: Other vice-principal interviews 340 vii List of Figures Figure 1 ..89 v i i i Acknowledgements First, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Gina, Celeste, and Hannah, the three vice-principals who participated in the study. Without their involvement, this study would not have occurred. I marvelled at their courage and willingness to allow me to observe them during their first year as administrators. I was impressed with Gina, Celeste, and Hannah's diligence, hard work, conscientious attitude, and their care and concern for the students and staff in the respective schools. Thanks to my committee — Lesley Andres, Wendy Poole, and Don Fisher — for their guidance, support, and feedback throughout my studies at U B C . They provided me with valuable insight, feedback, and advice during the past several years. I thank my parents, Larry and Dee Retelle, and my sisters and brothers for their support and encouragement throughout this endeavour. Finally and most importantly, I would like to thank Lisa, my partner and best friend, for her patience, support, understanding, and love. ( Dedication To my memere, Viola Levesque, whose memory I hold deep in my heart. Her unconditional love, gracious manner, quick wit, and love of life have inspired me throughout my life. I miss you dearly. x C H A P T E R O N E : INTRODUCTION A N D PURPOSE O F STUDY My Story The children I cherished, — the colleagues I admired, — the parents I tangled with, — and the administrators that I judged too harshly — all influenced the type of school leader I aspired to become. I had three reasons for becoming an administrator. First, I was motivated to have a positive influence on the lives of children beyond a single classroom. At several of the schools where I taught, the interests of the children were secondary to the interests of teachers and administrators. I was committed to placing the needs of the students above the needs of others. Second, I believed I possessed the experience, knowledge, and skills to be a more effective administrator than several of the principals and supervisors with whom I worked. For example, disorder and confusion were everyday occurrences at one school because the principal lacked basic organizational skills. From my viewpoint, four of the six school principals lacked essential administrative skills and fundamental leadership abilities. In my opinion, they were unsuccessful school leaders. Finally, based on my teaching experiences and observations, teachers controlled what occurred in their classrooms; they were responsible for the academic successes of the students. As a principal, I would respect teachers as professionals; I would recognize their classroom autonomy to make decisions regarding pedagogy and teaching strategies. After teaching for 11 years, I decided to embark on an administrative career. I developed my philosophy of leadership through interaction with my students, experiences as a classroom teacher, my relationships with colleagues, my interactions 1 with and observations of administrators, and the leadership styles of which I became aware in university classes. These experiences were factors in my performance as a novice principal. In the next section, I will provide a brief summary of the effects of these experiences on my leadership style. This is followed by a description of the challenges I encountered during my first year in administration and sets the stage for this research. Last, I outline the research problem, present the research questions, and discuss the significance of my study. M y success with children from different cultural, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, and my ability to form bonds with the children and their parents, were instrumental in my evolving philosophy of leadership. Working in distinct communities and diverse cultures in several countries provided me with a broad background of experiences that I would draw upon as an administrator. These included an Antiguan government school in the West Indies with a British curriculum; an urban, middle and working class, Catholic school with Caucasian and Latino students in Massachusetts; a private, affluent, international school enrolling Caucasian, Chinese-American, and Taiwanese students in Taiwan; and an inner-city, low socioeconomic public school with African-American and Mexican-American students located in Texas. In Houston, I realized that inner-city poor students could be academically successful in schools and that minority parents cared about their children. This experience dispelled myths I had heard teachers repeat about poor children. During my five years teaching in Houston, I observed "disadvantaged" children thrive in school. The parents were very concerned with the education of their children, but the tangible 2 differences between the culture of the school and the culture of the families were obstacles that not all of them overcame. It is, in my view, the responsibility of educators to recognize the incongruence between the home and school, to establish a connection between the school and the parents, and to enable the students and parents to gain some control of their education (Apple, 1982; Giroux, 1983). Each school setting provided me with inimitable learning opportunities that had a substantial impact on my philosophy of leadership. A l l my future administrative decisions would be based on the academic, social, and emotional needs of children. Throughout my teaching career, the majority of teachers were competent, professional, and highly qualified. Overall, they knew the curriculum, teaching strategies, methodologies, classroom organization, and behavior management techniques. Problems occurred when school and district level administrators interfered with teacher autonomy. I observed teachers take subversive and overt actions to protect their classroom autonomy when administrators meddled in their area of expertise. Teachers, individually and collectively, used their informal power to protect or influence other aspects of school management that had an impact on their teaching (e.g., scheduling, extra duties, and meetings). Regardless of the school milieu, teachers exercised their power through alliances with other teachers and by separating themselves from administrators. At times, teachers ignored or challenged administrative directives. The degree to which teachers engaged in school politics and the amount of power they exercised depended on the educational beliefs of the teachers and the principal, the culture and history of the school, and the overall 3 direction of the educational program of the school district. The use of influence and power by teachers was prevalent in every setting where I worked. These experiences contributed to my approach to leadership. As a future administrator, I knew that I would recognize, support, and treat teachers as professionals. I had professional and cordial relationships with my colleagues. I believed I could develop a collegial and collaborative relationship with the school staff when I became an administrator. As a classroom teacher, I had the opportunity to informally observe and analyze the performances of six administrators. A l l six school principals influenced my attitude towards school leadership, and they influenced my decision to become an administrator. The administrative styles of these school leaders ranged from authoritarian, patriarchal and controlling, to critical, receptive and participatory, to laissez-faire. Two of the principals were incapable, uninterested, or unwilling to provide any type of leadership. Observing and working with administrators for 11 years was invaluable and informative in the development of my philosophy of leadership. In the mid-1980s, I taught in a school district with a structural/rational, top-down, centralized management style. The schools were test and textbook driven; central office administrators unilaterally made decisions, which affected all aspects of the classrooms. This style of management was dominant both in schools and in the educational leadership literature from the 1950s to the 1980s (e.g., Fiedler, 1984; Griffiths, 1959; Halpin & Croft, 1963; Hersey & Blanchard, 1993; Hoy, 1996; Stodgill, 1950; Taylor, 1984; Weber, 1984). The pressure for accountability in the early 1980s reinforced the management style of the district. Teachers constantly 4 received information and directives because of the bureaucratic and rational management style. As an inexperienced teacher, I intuitively did not support some of the techniques used by district administrators. However, I was able to acquire a broad understanding and comprehensive knowledge of curriculum development and implementation, effective classroom management strategies and discipline techniques, the purposes and goals of accountability and testing, and professional development for teachers. During the three-year tenure in this school, I gained inestimable knowledge and experience, which contributed to my beliefs a propos school leadership. Subsequently, I worked for a principal who endorsed a participatory style of leadership. She valued the knowledge and expertise of the teachers. Therefore, building a collaborative relationship amongst the school faculty and administrators was a focus of her administration. Vertical and horizontal teacher teams were organized to participate in school-wide decisions. Her efforts to involve teachers in every aspect of the school were considerable and commendable. Unfortunately, her efforts to include teachers and to build a collegial and collaborative atmosphere in the school were marred by school politics. Not only were individual and groups of teachers influential and powerful, but also several administrators used their power and influence to build coalitions with teachers to protect their territories. For example, a vice-principal retained control over student discipline because the teachers supported him. While I was completing a graduate degree in Educational Administration, the research on effective schools (Edmonds, 1979; Persell & Cookson, 1982) had a profound effect on me because the focus on the academic achievement of children in 5 inner-city schools appealed to me. According to the literature, effective school leaders had a positive effect on the school culture, and they were influential in determining the school curriculum, which resulted in a significant improvement in the student learning. Burns' (1978) description of transformational leaders affected my beliefs about administration. He claimed, "the most powerful influences consist of deeply human relationships in which two or more persons engage with one another" (p.l 1). Sergiovanni's (1991) depiction of schools as communities of learners resonated with me. These ideas became a fundamental part of my leadership philosophy. Beliefs About Leadership As well as having an effectively managed school, my role as an administrator would be to ensure that a caring and supportive environment existed for children and teachers, and to develop and maintain open relationships with parents. Philosophically, I believed that the primary goals of teachers and administrators were the intellectual, emotional, and social development of the students. I thought that most teachers were knowledgeable professionals capable of making decisions regarding pedagogy and methodology. I expected to implement a participatory style of leadership, which would lead to a collegial and collaborative school culture. I wanted the teachers to be partners in school-wide decisions. I believed that using formal administrative authority in forceful or coercive ways would not be necessary because I viewed the relationship between the administrators and the teachers as an equal partnership. Equipped with my Masters degree in Educational Administration, my knowledge of leadership styles, 11 years of teaching experience, and my philosophy of 6 leadership, I felt prepared for my first administrative position. I had very high expectations of myself as a school leader. I expected to be successful even though I lacked formal administrative experience. This proved to be an unrealistic and naive goal for a first-year administrator. First Year in Administration I was delighted when I was offered the elementary principalship at a well-known and highly regarded international school in Asia. Expatriate children from approximately fifty countries were enrolled in the school. I was the elementary principal from 1993 to 1998; however, only my initial year as an elementary principal was pertinent to this study. M y first year of administration was everything I expected and countless things I had not. Becoming an administrator was an ineffable and complicated experience. As an outsider unfamiliar with the school, I expected challenges, but I was not prepared for the scope of difficulties I encountered. It was essential that I became familiar with the philosophy, history, culture, and curriculum of the school. As a newcomer to the school, I lacked the knowledge of a school insider. During the first three weeks of August, I had ample time to peruse school documents, policy manuals, handbooks, and minutes of meetings without any interruptions. Once the school year commenced, the pace of work quickened; every day was hectic, and at times chaotic. Days were filled with attending meetings, visiting classes, organizing events, completing paperwork, and conversing with parents, teachers, and students. M y time was dictated or influenced by the needs of others. Because of the numerous and diverse tasks, I was overwhelmed by the 7 demands of the job. Predictably, eight-hour days stretched into twelve-hour days. Not surprisingly, the daily administrative responsibilities and the fragmentation of tasks and duties prevented me from being a successful school leader. I was disconcerted that I had not accomplished my goal of becoming an effective principal. Gradually, over the course of the year, the administrative work became manageable, but my relationship with the teachers was not developing as I expected and predicted. Initially, my interactions with the teachers were cordial. A sense of anticipation and euphoria permeated the school, a feeling that we were embarking on a new beginning. Unfortunately, the period of goodwill dissipated after the first couple of months. I was puzzled about why the relationship had deteriorated. I had enjoyed collegial and professional relationships with colleagues throughout my teaching career. As an administrator, I expected similar relationships with teachers. Moreover, I did not anticipate any difficulty with the staff because my participatory leadership style was rooted in consensus building, collaboration, teacher empowerment, teacher autonomy, and teacher participation in school-wide decision-making. Although I believed in the merits of shared decision-making, the teachers were not prepared to work within this framework. Some of the teachers were suspicious of my intentions to establish collective decision-making procedures in the school. In addition to rebuffing a collaborative relationship, the teachers were divided into several factions because of their different pedagogical beliefs. There were acute disagreements concerning all areas of the school (e.g., student discipline, curriculum, professional development, and admission procedures). Some teachers were disciples of the whole language approach of teaching reading and writing while others were 8 supporters of basal readers and grammar instruction, which is a more conservative approach to reading instruction. Individuals and groups of teachers used their power and influence to promote their agendas rather than participate in a dialogue about the benefits or deficits of each approach. The variety of teacher perspectives on curricular and other issues was only one problem. I faced several challenges that caused me an inordinate amount of stress. I wanted to work cooperatively, collaboratively, and professionally with the teachers towards making decisions that focused on the interests of the children, but I was at an impasse. I made several changes, but one seemed to help improve my relationships with most of the teachers. I changed the way I shared my ideas with the teachers. Rather than casually chatting with a few teachers, I presented my views to the entire staff. As I began to make sense of my role as school leader and to understand the school dynamics and the micropolitics of the school, I gradually developed a constructive relationship with teachers. I was able to improve the school atmosphere and make some changes in the school. The Research Problem My research focus originated in the challenges I encountered as an inexperienced elementary principal. Struggling with the time demands and workload of the principalship, becoming familiar with the school culture and history, understanding my role as school leader, enduring a loss of identity, and experiencing periods of loneliness and isolation compelled me to investigate the experiences of first-year administrators. Researchers reported similar findings regarding first-year 9 principals (e.g., Augenstein & Konnert, 1991; Beeson & Matthews, 1992; Parkay & Hall, 1992; Weindling & Earley, 1987). Although my research topic is based on my experiences as a novice principal, vice-principals and their experiences are the focal point of this study. Unlike my situation where I moved from teaching to the principalship, thus bypassing the vice-principal position, principals usually serve as vice-principals before their appointments to principalships. According to several studies, the vice-principalship is the typical entry-level position for aspiring administrators (Calabrese & Adams, 1987; Marshall, 1992; Norton & Kriekard, 1987). I believed the experiences of the novice vice-principals were different from the experiences of principals because the vice-principals did not have prior administrative experience. I wanted to investigate the experiences of administrators who had not occupied formal district leadership positions before becoming administrators. I believed first-year principals would not be grappling with the same types of challenges as first-year vice-principals. First-year vice-principals face professional changes that require them to redefine their roles as educators. New administrators encounter a plethora of diverse tasks, different duties and responsibilities, and leadership responsibilities. Vice-principals face challenges moving from their classrooms, which are somewhat isolated environments, to more public roles that are characterized by frequent interaction with others (Hartzell, 1994). Furthermore, they encounter changes in their relationships with the teachers, their former colleagues, and principals who are their new referent group (Hartzell, Williams, & Nelson, 1995). First year vice-principals undergo 10 changes in various aspects of their new administration roles that affect their understanding of leadership and administration. I wanted to examine the challenges that novice elementary vice-principals faced and how they understood the dynamics of school leadership and administration during their initial year of administration. The primary goal of this study was to understand how the micropolitics of the schools affected the perceptions of the vice-principals of school leadership. Micropolitical theory was utilized to examine how the tasks and day-to-day activities of the vice-principals, and their relationship and interactions with teachers and the school principals influence their understanding of administration and educational leadership. A second goal of the study was to examine how shared decision-making and distributive leadership affected how the vice-principals understood school leadership and administration. Last, I was interested in how the tasks, duties, and responsibilities the vice-principals performed influenced their understanding of their new roles. Micropolitical theory was used to examine how teachers and administrators exercised their formal and informal power to affect each other (Ball, 1987; Hoyle, 1986b) and to gain a more in-depth understanding of the complex, daily life of schools (Everhart, 1991; Townsend, 1990). That is, teachers and administrators use authority, influence, facilitation, and coercion to affect each other. Hoyle (1986b, 1988) identified beliefs, values, strategies, interests, and goals as central features of micropolitics. Teachers and administrators shared overlapping, or different beliefs about education (Hoyle, 1988). I was interested to discover what strategies the administrators and teachers used to change the behaviours of others. I endeavoured to 11 examine how these differences among the educators played out in schools. Blase's (1991) definition of micropolitics was used in this study; it focused on the use of formal and informal power by educators at all levels of the school hierarchy to achieve specific goals. It included strategies that might cause conflict, but could lead to cooperation. Micropolitical theory was utilized to understand the experiences and dilemmas of first-year school leaders (e.g., Bennett, 1999; Lindle, 1999; West, 1999). The relationships between the vice-principals and teachers, and between the vice-principals and principals were critical to the micropolitics of the schools. The second purpose of the study was to investigate how vice-principals understood school leadership in schools where administrators and teachers engaged in shared decision-making and distributive leadership; this included teachers performing some leadership responsibilities. Weiss (1993) defined shared decision-making (SDM) as teacher participation in making decisions that affected their work in schools. According to Ogawa and Bossert (1995), distributive leadership occurred when teachers as well as administrators occupied formal and informal leadership positions. Shared decision-making and teacher leadership were integral features in the schools in this study. The third objective of my study was to understand how first-year elementary vice-principals made sense of the transition from teaching to administration based on their new tasks, duties, and responsibilities. During the past several years, the British Columbia Principals/Vice-Principals Association published several anecdotal articles about the challenges and difficulties British Columbian elementary vice-principals 12 encountered because of the demands on their time (Cosh, 1997; Ion, 1998; Sloan, 1999; Young, 1998). Research Questions In an effort to learn how first-year elementary vice-principals understood administration and school leadership, my study was guided by the following research questions: 1. How do novice elementary vice-principals understand the dynamics of administration and school leadership? 2. How do the micropolitics of the schools affect how vice-principals understand the dynamics of administration and school leadership? 3. How do the vice-principals' relationships with the teachers and principals affect their understanding of the dynamics of administration and school leadership? 4. How do shared decision-making and teacher leadership as practiced in the schools in this study affect how the vice-principals understand the dynamics of administration and school leadership? The primary units of analyses in this case study were three elementary vice-principals, who were assigned to three separate schools in one district in British Columbia. The school sites (which included the main offices of the vice-principals and the principals, staff rooms, classrooms, cafeterias, hallways, gyms, and playgrounds) were the contexts within which the vice-principals learned about school leadership and administration. I investigated how the vice-principals understood school leadership based on their experiences with others, primarily the principals and the teachers. By 13 conceptually linking the real experiences of the vice-principals with the theories of micropolitics, shared decision-making and distributive leadership, I hoped to provide a complex picture of the development of school leaders. Significance of the Study This study has implications for practitioners, policymakers, and researchers. First, researchers have used micropolitical theory to investigate the relationships between teachers and administrators as well as other issues (e.g., peer coaching, community influences). However, only Marshall's (1992) book focused on vice-principals, and specifically, secondary vice-principals. This book offered a unique opportunity to understand how secondary vice-principals learned about administration and school leadership based on how teachers and administrators use power, authority, and influence. There is a paucity of research on elementary vice-principals and micropolitics. This study should help fill that void. Second, learning how vice-principals make sense of their initial experiences and how they make the transition from teaching to administration has implications for the leadership approaches they utilize and implement as new administrators. Knowledge of the experiences of novice elementary vice-principals is critical to understanding and improving school leadership (Marshall & Mitchell, 1991). By utilizing a micropolitical perspective, I hoped to gain practical insights regarding the processes that vice-principals undergo to become administrators and school leaders. Results from this study could contribute to the training, mentoring, and coaching of vice-principals. 14 Third, Kaplan and Owings (1999) argued that vice-principals were neglected in the educational literature. There were few investigations on elementary vice-principals with the exception of the work of Greenfield (1985a, 1985b, 1986, 1991). Secondary vice-principals have been the focus of most vice-principal studies. Furthermore, principals rather than vice-principals have been the focus of beginning administrative studies (e.g., Beeson & Matthews, 1992; Parkay & Hall, 1992; Weindling & Earley, 1987). This study should help fill the void in the research on elementary vice-principals. The ways in which vice-principals understand administration might highlight different areas than those highlighted in beginning principal studies and secondary vice-principal studies. Finally, a facet of this study was the intersection between shared decision-making and teacher leadership with the micropolitics of the school. As Simmel (1950) noted, relationships between leaders and followers were complicated and difficult to understand. The linking of micropolitics and shared decision-making, presumably opposing ideas, may reveal some of the tension and stress among educators in the schools. Power is a central feature of micropolitics, whereas cooperation is key to shared decision-making. Understanding which actions result in cooperation and which lead to conflict among teachers and administrators was critical to understanding school leadership. Structure of the Thesis In chapter two, I review the literature on secondary and elementary vice-principals. I discuss traditional, critical, and facilitative theories of power because 15 power is an integral element i n mic ropo l i t i c a l theory. I discuss mic ropo l i t i c a l theory and provide a synopsis o f mic ropo l i t i ca l studies. I present summaries o f t radi t ional , c r i t ica l , feminist , and democratic theories o f leadership. Last , I describe shared dec i s ion-making and distr ibutive leadership. In chapter three, I present the research design employed i n this study. I detail and describe the data sources, data gathering strategies and procedures, interpretation and data analyses processes, and threats to the trustworthiness o f the study. Last , I l ist the l imi ta t ions o f the study. I report the f indings o f the study i n chapters four, f ive, and s ix . In chapter four, I describe the v ice-pr inc ipa ls i n this study, w h y they became administrators, and their goals for the in i t i a l year i n administrat ion. I p rovide background informat ion o f the schools, summarize features o f the v ice-pr inc ipa lsh ip , and discuss the tasks and responsibil i t ies o f the v ice-pr incipals . The relationships between the v ice-pr inc ipals and their school pr incipals are c ruc ia l to their nascent career. The effects these relationships have on their understanding o f school leadership and administrat ion are the p r imary foc i o f chapter f ive. A secondary focus is h o w the assistant superintendents influence the v i ce -pr incipals . In chapter s ix , I examine the relationships between the teachers and the v i ce -pr incipals that inf luenced h o w the v ice-pr inc ipals understood administrat ion. Shared dec i s ion-making and distr ibutive leadership, micropol i t i cs , faci l i tat ion, and confl ic t management are discussed. 16 The discussion, conclusions, and implications for practice, policy, research and theory are presented in chapter seven. I explain how the novice vice-principals make sense of school leadership based on their roles and functions. Mentoring, coaching, and training are reviewed. Organizational socialization is discussed as an integral component of their first year in administration. Transitions that first-year elementary vice-principals encounter are examined. Attributes of leadership in relation to micropolitics and shared decision-making are discussed. Last, I provide a brief report on the vice-principals' second year in administration. 17 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE In this chapter, I review the literature on vice-principals. Theories of power are considered because power is a key element in micropolitical theory and school leadership theories. I discuss micropolitical theory and review empirical studies in which micropolitical theory was utilized. I present summaries of leadership theories and discuss recent developments in education that affect educational leadership in schools today. Last, I review shared decision-making because it is fundamental to the schools in this study. Literature on Vice-Principals The studies in this section of the paper provide background information on vice-principals. The information is divided into the following categories: tasks and roles, challenges, transition into administration, and relationships between vice-principals and principals, and vice-principals and teachers. Secondary vice-principals are the focus of most research on the vice-principalship. As a result, I will identify the elementary vice-principals studies. Tasks and Roles of Vice-Principals The vice-principalship was the typical entry-level position for aspiring administrators (Calabrese & Adams, 1987; Marshall, 1992; Norton & Kriekard, 1987). Originally, the vice-principalship was created in the 1920s to assist the principal with administrative tasks (Glanz, 1994). According to Koru (1993), administrative and 18 routine tasks continued to dominate the work of vice-principals. Researchers found that the primary functions of secondary vice-principals were disciplining students (Austin, 1972; Black, 1980; Calabrese, 1991; Hartzell, Williams, & Nelson, 1995; Kaplan & Owings, 1999; Marshall, 1993; Reed & Connor, 1982; Reed & Himmler, 1985; Ricciardi, 2000), supervising students (Black; Reed & Connor), maintaining student attendance records (Austin), scheduling classes (Black), ordering supplies (Kaplan & Owing; NASSP, 1991; Reed & Himmler), attending meetings (Black), and overseeing the general operations of the school (Kaplan & Owings). Some of the responsibilities of elementary vice-principals were similar to secondary vice-principals. In a survey of 400 urban elementary vice-principals, Gorton and Kattman (1985) reported that the primary roles of vice-principals were disciplining and supervising students, organizing substitute teachers, ordering supplies, providing instructional materials, and establishing teacher duty rosters. In addition to performing tasks that supported the administration of the schools, several researchers found that secondary vice-principals were primarily responsible for maintaining organizational stability (Austin, 1972; Calabrese & Tucker-Ladd, 1991; Hartzell, 1991; Hess, 1985; Marshall, 1992; Reed & Himmler, 1985). Vice-principals looked after organizational stability by continuously monitoring the behaviour and activities of students. As a result, vice-principals preserved and reinforced the norms and rules of the school culture (Marshall). Vice-principals constantly responded to unanticipated events and engaged in crisis management (Kaplan and Owings, 1999; Marshall; Reed & Himmler). Hess reported that vice-principals perform disconnected, but important tasks in the schools. 19 Challenges Although novice secondary vice-principals possessed some knowledge of their administrative tasks and duties before becoming administrators, they encountered many unexpected challenges in their new administrative roles (Mertz, 2000). Findings in several studies indicated that vice-principals were overwhelmed and stressed by the time demands (Black, 1980; Garawski, 1978; Kaplan & Owings, 1999; Ricciardi, 2000), and the multiple tasks and duties of administration (Marshall 1992). Gorton and Kattman (1985) reported similar findings for elementary vice-principals. In a study of British Columbian administrators, Bognar (1996) found that vice-principals worked an average of 55 hours per week. Because of the time pressure, vice-principals encountered difficulties trying to learn the necessary skills they needed to perform in their new roles (Hartzell, Williams, & Nelson, 1995). Helps (1994) supported this finding in his research on primary deputy heads (elementary vice-principals) in Great Britain.1 Calabrese and Adams (1987) found that vice-principals perceived themselves as more alienated from their co-workers and believed they had less power than the principals. Bognar asserted that vice-principals found dealing with conflict between groups was difficult. Kaplan and Owings (1999) reported that beginning vice-principals expressed surprise at the discontinuity of their tasks. In addition, vice-principals claimed they needed to develop new and different responses to the problems and issues they encountered. In their survey of 245 secondary vice-principals, Chen, Blendinger, and McGrath (2000) reported on the vice-principals' satisfaction and dissatisfaction with 1 The terms deputy head and primary refer to vice-principals and elementary schools, respectively. The terms are used in British, Australian, and New Zealand schools. 20 their roles. Overall, vice-principals liked working with students, teachers, staff, and parents; however, they disliked performing too many duties related to student discipline, incompetent teachers, difficult parents, heavy workloads, and after-school duties. Vice-principals expressed interest in becoming more involved in curriculum and instruction, personnel tasks, and business matters. Garawaski (1978) reported strong links among satisfaction, the importance of the vice-principals' tasks, and discretion of authority. Vice-principals were satisfied with the following tasks: teacher evaluation and supervision, and preparation of the master schedule. They were dissatisfied with restrictions to try innovative things, lack of assistance from their supervisors, lack of equipment and privacy, and the constraints of the teacher collective agreement. Researchers have argued for changing the vice-principalship because the roles of administrators have evolved dramatically during the past 20 years. The call for changes was not groundbreaking. In 1980, Black recommended that districts identify high priority tasks and change the job description to reflect those tasks. In the same year, Clements (1980) claimed that vice-principals should become involved in leading changes for improving academic programs. Five years later, Marshall (1985a) asserted that vice-principals should engage in instructional leadership, collaboration with teachers, and community work. Greenfield (1985a) emphasized that elementary vice-principals needed to be involved in curriculum if they were to be instructional and innovative leaders when they became principals. Furthermore, Greenfield (1986) maintained that the roles of vice-principals were dysfunctional i f novice vice-21 principals focused on management tasks and the stability of the school over instructional leadership or school improvement. According to Koru (1993), brevity, variety, and fragmentation characterized the work of the vice-principals. Moreover, the role of the vice-principal was poorly defined (Golanda, 1991). A complete job description did not exist because of the variety of issues that secondary vice-principals encountered (Austin, 1972). Marshall (1985b) contended the job was ambiguous, immeasurable, and unlimited. Garrett and McGeachie (1999) reported that the roles of the primary deputy head (elementary vice-principals) were vague and indistinct. Harris (1998) claimed that vice-principals did not have a clear understanding of their jobs. Most British headteachers (principals) found the deputy headship was a disagreeable experience and inadequate for training for the headship (Ribbins, 1997). Making the Transition to Administration Marshall (1990) identified four factors that influenced the daily working lives of vice-principals. These included organizational influence, school context, and the responses of the principals and other vice-principals. Hartzell (1994) contended that novice secondary vice-principals, who moved from teaching to administration, had a more public role because they worked with groups outside of the school environment. Secondary vice-principals had substantial contact with non-school personnel (e.g., parents). In a comprehensive, in-depth study of vice-principals, Marshall (1992) found the vice-principalship was characterized by limited risk taking, avoidance of moral dilemmas, display of values similar to the principals, and commitment and loyalty to 22 administration. Novice administrators were expected to maintain a calm front during turmoil and chaos because the principals and staff judged vice-principals in these types of situations. Marshall (1985b) examined how novice secondary vice-principals became part of and accepted into the administrative group. She found that the secondary vice-principals engaged in several enculturation tasks. These tasks included the following: (a) deciding to leave teaching; (b) analyzing the selection process; (c) projecting a calm front on the job; (d) redefining relationships with teachers; (e) adopting an administrative perspective and demonstrating loyalty to new colleagues; and (f) applying practical solutions to daily complex school problems. In Marshall's study, the vice-principals reported feeling stressed regarding demonstrating loyalty to administrators because they disagreed with some of their colleagues' decisions. However, the vice-principals knew that exhibiting loyalty to the administrative group was a prerequisite to promotion and was necessary to work with their administrative colleagues. Marshall found that the vice-principals supported school programs and supported teachers they viewed as competent. However, the vice-principals separated themselves from teachers to feel comfortable when they exercised their power over teachers through the enforcement of policies and the evaluation of teachers. Heck (1995) examined the effects of organizational socialization, professional socialization, and personal attributes (e.g., age, gender, ethnicity, and experience) on the performances of novice elementary and secondary vice-principals. Heck defined professional socialization as the process by which new administrators gradually identified with their new roles, colleagues, and profession. Organizational 23 socialization was learning the skills and knowledge of the roles in specific work settings. The findings demonstrated that organizational socialization and the vice-principals' relationships with others at the school sites had the strongest and total effect on the performance of the vice-principals. Hart (1993) reported similar findings in her research on the experiences of a first-year middle school principal. Vice-Principals and Principals Relationships The school principal was critical to the career of vice-principal in terms of training, mentorship, support, and promotion. Most new vice-principals claimed that their principals accepted and supported them (Hartzell, Williams, & Nelson, 1995). For elementary vice-principals, the principal was the main supporter; indeed, they received less support from other vice-principals (Gorton & Kattman, 1985). Dorming and Brown (1982) reported that when principals showed concern about the roles of the vice-principals, the vice-principals were more satisfied with their jobs. Although the aforementioned studies revealed positive relationships between vice-principals and principals, mentoring by principals did not always occur even though it was vital to the vice-principals (Calabrese & Tucker-Ladd, 1991). According to several researchers, the principals determined the duties of the vice-principals (Calabrese & Adams, 1987; Gorton, 1987; Marshall, 1992; Marshall & Mitchell, 1991; Scoggins & Bishop, 1993). In one study, scholars reported that head teachers (principals) controlled what tasks and responsibilities the primary deputy heads (elementary vice-principals) performed (Garrett & McGeachie, 1999). Conversely, Mertz and McNeely (1999) found that principals did not have complete 24 control of the vice-principals. In fact, vice-principals decided what tasks they performed. Calabrese (1991) found that vice-principals performed some of the responsibilities of the principals. These duties included instructional leader, motivator, link to community, care agent, and innovator. Calabrese and Adams (1987) claimed that vice-principals should work with principals as colleagues rather than superordinates and subordinates. Vice-principals did not see themselves as co-principals; however, Calabrese and Tucker-Ladd (1991) suggested that the role of the vice-principal be restructured so that they work alongside the principals as partners. Kaplan and Owings (1999) posited that the roles of the principals were too demanding for one person; consequently, vice-principals needed to assist them by becoming more involved in instructional and curriculum matters. Gorton and Kattman (1985) found that elementary vice-principals sought partnerships with the school principals because they wanted to be involved in important responsibilities. Fulton (1987) reported that vice-principals were obliged to carry out the policies of the school principal even if the vice-principals disagreed with those policies. Vice-principals learned about some expected behaviours of novice administrators (Marshall & Mitchell, 1991). These behaviours included building trust with other administrators, avoiding exhibition of different values from other administrators, and keeping disputes among administrators private. Marshall (1992) reported that vice-principals believed they did not possess the same power, authority, and prestige of the principals. However, the principals thought vice-principals possessed more power and authority than the vice-principals perceived. 25 Vice-Principal and Teacher Relationships Two themes emerged from narrative stories of beginning secondary vice-principals: (a) vice-principals expressed surprise at the range of instructional quality and attitudes among teachers; and (b) they felt separated from the teaching staff (Hartzell, Williams, & Nelson, 1995). Furthermore, new administrators experienced a loss of identity and isolation (Hradecky, 1994) because they were no longer members of the teacher group (Calabrese & Adam, 1987; Marshall, 1985b). Critique of studies on vice-principals. Although we know much about the secondary vice-principalship because of the numerous studies that focus on this position, a major weakness of the vice-principalship literature is the paucity of research on the work and experiences of elementary vice-principals. Generally, the findings of the secondary principals' studies identify their tasks and duties and describe their transitions from teaching to administration. One goal of this study is to obtain information about the elementary vice-principals' tasks and responsibilities and to explore the challenges and adjustments they encounter when they become administrators. The findings in this investigation wil l contribute to the knowledge base of the work of elementary vice-principals. A second limitation of the research on elementary vice-principals is the lack of information regarding the relationships between the teachers and the vice-principals. There is a need to examine the relationship between teachers and vice-principals at a more in-depth level. A n objective of this study is to examine how the vice-principals 26 interact and work with the teachers. In particular, the use of power by vice-principals and teachers will be examined. Theories of Power Power is an integral and fundamental component of micropolitics and of school leadership theory. In this section of the paper, background information on traditional, critical, and facilitative theories of power are presented. Then, four types of power - coercion, authority, influence, and facilitation are discussed in relation to how administrators and teachers exercise power in schools. In the subsequent section of the paper, types of power are related to micropolitics and school leadership approaches. Traditional Theories Weber (1947) provided the following definition of power: "[Power is] the probability that an actor within a social relationship will be in a position to carry out his own wil l despite resistance, and regardless of the bias on which this probability rests" (p. 152). Dahl (1970) defined power, as the ability of A to get B to do something that B would not otherwise do. He claimed that two persons, groups, or organizations needed to interact for power to exist. Bacharach and Baratz (1962) criticized Dahl's view of power because he ignored the intentionality of those who exercised power. Bacharach and Baratz claimed that power had two faces. They extended Dahl's theory by adding that A exercised power over B when A prevented B from discussing issues that were contrary to the goals and aims of A . In effect, A controlled B by limiting 27 what B could not do. Bacharach and Lawler (1980) drew attention to "the tactical use of power to retain or obtain control of real or symbolic resources" (p.l). Lukes maintained that power was the ability to make someone do what you wanted them to do even i f it was against the actions of other people. Lukes offered a third face of power. Lukes argued that " A exercises power over B when A affects B in a manner contrary to B's interests" (p.27). Pfeffer (1981, 1997) defined power as the influence that someone had over others. He claimed, "Power represents the potential ability to influence behaviour, to change the course of events and to get people to do things that they would otherwise not" (Pfeffer, 1993, p. 30). He asserted that power was conscious, deliberate, contested, and ubiquitous in organizations, and it existed between equals as well as between subordinates and superiors. Pfeffer (1981) argued that a person was powerless or powerful in respect to other social actors in a specific relationship. Pfeffer claimed that power and politics were inevitable and important to management. Traditional theorists viewed power from the perspectives of the organizational leaders. French and Raven (1959) identified the following five bases of power of leaders: expert (knowledge and information), reward (ability to grant resources or recognition), legitimate (the right to lead), coercive (ability to punish), and referent (identification with the leader by the followers). Etzioni (1961) identified three bases of power — normative, remunerative, and coercion. A person or group exercised normative power by manipulating symbolic rewards, while remunerative power was utilized based on the ability to award resources and recognize people's deeds. Leaders used coercive power when they threatened punishment. 28 Power over was fundamental to traditional theories of power. These theories of power presented static views of organizational power because the focus was on the formal positions of individuals and the structure of the organization. Based on traditional theories of power, people who occupied higher positions in organizations wielded more power. Traditional power theories were zero sum theories; that is, power was finite. Power was divided up among individuals and groups. Leaders possessed more power than followers. Critical Theory For critical theorists, power over others was unavoidable because of the hierarchical structure of society and the social system that was reflected in societal institutions (Bates, 1980; Burbules, 1986; Comstock, 1982). Burbules (1986) maintained that power and influence were relational and based on the context of the situation, the relationship between the actors, autonomy of individuals, and the interaction between two parties. Conflict was integral to the exercise of power. Burbules discussed power and conflict: Power struggles are the consequences of underlying conflicts between human interests, that these conflicts are inevitable given the hierarchical nature of our social system; that power is latent in structures of ideology, authority, and organization; and that the resolution to the problem of power lies neither in simply exercising power nor in "getting it," but in transforming underlying conflicts of interests that give rise to it. (p. 95) Comstock (1982) proposed that power was understood based on how members of organizations perceived, retained, and used power. Critical theorists viewed the hierarchy of schools as problematic because the relationships among individuals and groups were unequal and asymmetrical. Conflict 29 was inevitable because the power differentials at the various levels of organizations caused conflict of interests among individuals and groups. Individuals at different positions and locations in schools possessed different amounts of power based on their position in the school hierarchy. Schools mirrored societies in that groups of students were advantaged or disadvantaged based on their socioeconomic status, gender, sexual orientation, race, and ethnicity. Critical theorists maintained that conflict of interests existed in schools between teachers and administrators, and between students and teachers even though conflict of interests did not have to exist. According to Foucault (1980, 1981), power existed among all persons and within the structure of organizations rather than possessed by one individual. Power was part of the network of relations in an organization that was in constant tension. Foucault was concerned with how organizational power influenced the way people thought. He was concerned with the ways power operated through social institutions and elements of social relations that controlled, governed, and normalized individual and collective behaviour. Power was embedded in social relations and was exercised through institutional relations that disciplined people's ways of thinking. Foucault maintained that all persons in an organization possessed and exercised power. Critical theorists argued that conflicts among various groups of people existed because of the hierarchical nature of the society and societal institutions. They maintained that conflicts needed to be examined and changed to transform how power existed and was exercised. The emphasis was not on using or obtaining power, but on changing societal structures to limit and eliminate the conflict of interests by reducing the power differentials among societal groups and organizational groups. 30 Facilitative Power/Power With Follett (1918, 1924, 1942) defined power as the ability or capacity to help others reach their goals; this was developed through their interactions with others. Power with enabled individuals to achieve their objectives, but it did not prevent others from achieving their goals. Follett (1942) described power with as "jointly developed power." People worked together to achieve their goals. Follett acknowledged that conflict existed in organizations. However, she identified the process of "integration" as the means for people to work together. Integration was the method by which all parties in a situation obtained what they wanted without being pressured to compromise their positions. Follet maintained that even those individuals or groups who had conflict of interests reached agreement with each other. "Reciprocal influence" and "emergence" were key concepts in Follett's work. Reciprocal influence occurred when people affected each other in mutual and circular ways. Namely, they continued to affect each other throughout the process of integration. Emergence ensued when people or groups created new solutions, new possibilities, new values, and more power for individuals to achieve their goals. Follett claimed that, "Power with is a jointly developing power, the aim, unifying, which while allowing for infinite differing, does away with fighting" (p. 115). Starhawk (1987) defined power with as influence, or the equal power of individuals in a group. Her focus was on how an individual was allowed to influence the other members of a group. The source of power with was the willingness to listen to and be open to the ideas of others. Responsibility was an element of power with; each individual had the right to influence others, but they had to accept the 31 responsibility that accompanied that right. Starhawk explained that the power to influence others was not necessarily permanent because of the equal status of individuals in the group. The group considered the ideas of individuals, but was not forced to obey or accept them. Feminists' views of power were comparable to the definitions of power put forth by Follett (1942) and Starhawk (1987). Carroll (1984) defined power as the ability to influence people to act in their own interests rather than the interests of organizations or institutions. Power with enabled rather than prevented people from achieving their goals and objectives. Moreover, power with engendered respect among individuals and groups. Traditional theories of power accentuated the organizational leaders and their authority over followers. Critical theorists emphasized the conflicts among societal groups because of the hierarchical structure of organizations. Foucault's definition of power supported the view that both teachers and administrators possessed and used power in schools. Facilitative theories of power underlined how equality and respect among individuals and groups enabled them to use power together to achieve individual and group goals even when conflicts existed among people. Power in Schools Muth (1984) formulated his theory of power in schools based on traditional and critical theories. He maintained that power was the ability of a person or group to affect the behaviour of another person or group to achieve a specific goal. Furthermore, Muth claimed power was relational, probably asymmetrical, and could 32 be latent. According to Muth, power ranged from coercive to authority to influence. Facilitation was a fourth type of power (Follet, 1942; Starhawk, 1987). The four types of power (coercion, authority, influence, and facilitation) existed in schools. Muth (1984) equated coercive power with domination. He claimed coercion was the ability of an individual or group to affect another person or group's behaviours, by using physical or mental force, regardless of the others' desires. For instance, forcing teachers to participate in extra-curricular activities is a form of coercion i f it is accompanied with threats of job termination. Muth defined authority as the ability to affect the behaviour of another person or group because they accepted the legitimacy of the authority of the person who occupied a higher position in a hierarchical organization. School leaders possess legitimate authority because of their positions in hierarchical school systems. Principals exercise authority when they make decisions based on rules, regulations, and policies. Muth defined influence as the ability to affect the behaviour of another person or group without using force or legitimation. Influence is the capacity to cause people to be receptive and willingly respond to actions or words or to listen to views of others. Influence is not associated with force. Follett (1942) defined facilitative power as the process that created or sustained favourable conditions for all individuals in a group. Facilitative power existed in the kinds of interactions, negotiations, and mutuality that occurred in professional organizations, such as schools. Dunlap and Goldman (1991) defined facilitative power as the "ability to help others achieve a set of ends that may be share, negotiated, or complementary without being either identical or antithetical" (p. 6). Goldman, Dunlap, 33 and Conley (1993) maintained that facilitative power is "interactive and additive," and it is "power manifested through someone" (p. 70). Facilitative power allowed administrators and teachers to enhance their individual and collective performances. Dunlap and Goldman provided a description of facilitative power. School-based administrators were facilitative leaders when they obtained material and resources for the staff, selected people who worked well together, trained the staff for collaborative behaviour, stressed feedback and reinforcement, and provided networks for teachers to work together. Facilitative power or empowerment occurs when the principals support and assist teachers to achieve their classroom goals. The following researchers identified the sources of power in schools (authority, coercion, influence, and facilitation): Authority included resources (symbolic), funds and materials (Ball, 1987; Blase, 1989; Hoyle, 1986b; Muth, 1984), formal positions (Morgan, 1997; Muth), and knowledge or information (Leithwood, Begley, & Cousins, 1992; Morgan; Muth). Influence encompassed personal attractiveness and personal characteristics (Ball, 1987; Blase; Bridges & Groves, 1999; Hoyle; Morgan), reputation (Ball; Blase; Hoyle), expertise (Ball; Blase; Bridges & Groves; Hoyle; Leithwood, Begley, & Cousins; Morgan), capacity to motivate (Morgan), proximity (Morgan), and knowledge or information (Leithwood, Begley, & Cousins; Morgan; Muth). Facilitation was equated with the empowerment of others (Dunlap & Goldman, 1991; Leithwood, Begley, & Cousins). Political power was influence, threats, and positional authority (Leithwood, Begley, & Cousins; Muth). 34 Politics and Micropolitics According to Strauss (1962) and Cyert and March (1963), the political and competitive milieu of organizations was ignored in structural/rational theories of organizations. They maintained that bureaucratic models of institutions limited our understanding of the day-to-day workings of organizations. Several scholars argued that traditional views of organizations overlooked conflict (Bolman & Deal, 1984; Miles, 1980), ignored the use of power (Comstock, 1982; Tushman, 1977), and neglected the plurality of interests, and behaviours of leaders and followers in organizations (Mangham, 1979). Mangham (1979) maintained that the behaviours of individuals in organizations were political given specific circumstances. Wamsley and Zald stated that "structure and processes of the use of authority and power to affect definitions of goals, directions and the major parameters of the organizational economy" (1973, p. 18). Burns (1961) claimed that conflict was as widespread as consensus among people. Burns stated that both conflict and cooperation were necessary to achieve the goals of organizations and both could lead to organizational change. Defining Micropolitics Political science scholars laid the groundwork for studying politics in organizations, and hence micropolitics in schools. Iannaccone (1975) conceptualized two levels of politics or subsystems in schools that affected each other: micro and macro. He defined macro-level politics as the outside forces (e.g., senior district administrators, parents, community members, policymakers, politicians, and 35 government officials) that influenced the teachers, students, and administrators and the day-to-day activities of schools. Micropolitics focused on the internal activities and dynamics of individual schools. Since the mid-1970s, researchers have used micropolitical theory to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the complex, intricate, and multi-dimensionality of the daily processes and day-to-day ambiance of schools (Everhart, 1991; Townsend, 1990). Micropolitical theory enabled researchers to investigate the power dynamics and changing character of schools. Micropolitics highlighted the behaviours and actions of educators (Blase, 1991). Ball (1987) described micropolitics as "ongoing, multifaceted, indexical, and obscure. It's about relationships, not structures; knowledge rather than information, and talk rather than paper" (p. 5). Bolman and Deal (1991) posited that conflict in organizations was based on differences among groups concerning values, preferences, beliefs, information, and perceptions of reality. For this study, Blase's definition of micropolitics was used: Micropolitics is the use of formal and informal power by individuals and groups to achieve their goals in organizations. In large part, political actions result from perceived differences between individuals and groups, coupled with the motivation to use power to influence and/or to protect. Although such actions are consciously motivated, any action, consciously or unconsciously motivated, may have political significance in a given situation. Both cooperative and conflictive actions and processes are part of the realm of micropolitics. Macro- and micropolitical factors frequently interact, (p. 248) Power, beliefs, interests, goals, and strategies are the main features of micropolitics. Micropolitics exists in schools because schools are hierarchical; people at different levels in schools possess and exercise different amounts of power (Marshall & Scribner, 1991). Micropolitics is not always obvious in schools. Iannaccone (1991) reports that administrators and teachers do not engage in open 36 debate and dialogue of policy issues during meetings because they do not want to disrupt the teacher-administrative relationships and the school atmosphere in this school. Several researchers found that educators possessed different and sometimes conflicting interests because they had diverse values, ideologies, and beliefs about education (Ball, 1987; Blase, 1991; Everhart, 1991; Hoyle, 1986). In addition, interests represented the concerns, preferences, and needs of various educators (Bridges & Groves, 1999). Researchers reported that interests could be personal (Ball; Hoyle), professional (e.g., curriculum, pedagogy, and status) (Hoyle), and political (Ball; Hoyle). Hoyle maintained that teachers and administrators had mutual, overlapping, and separate interests. Obtaining resources would be an example of mutual interests between teachers and administrators. Teachers and administrators' concerns about student discipline would be an illustration of overlapping interests. Disagreement between administrators and teachers regarding professional development would be an example of separate interests. Bridges and Groves, Ball, and Blase maintained that they pursued different goals because they have diverse interests. Marshall and Scribner (1991) reported that other staff members are affected by conflict and controversy. Ball found that consensus occurred when individuals and groups, who had different goals, eventually agreed to the same course of action. Administrators and teachers used various strategies to exercise power. Depending on the situations, circumstances, and the people, various strategies were used to affect the behaviours of others. Hoyle (1986b) and other researchers identified several strategies that administrators used to achieve their goals: bargain or exchange 37 (Bridges & Groves, 1999), negotiate boundaries (Ball, 1987), divide and rule, coalition building (Marshall & Scribner, 1991), cooptation, displacement of issues or ideas to avoid discussions, manipulation (Marshall & Scribner), face saving, and control of information and agendas of meetings. Bridges (1970) reported that teachers used flattery, biasing information, and colleagues to influence the decisions of principals. In addition, Bridges asserted that administrators were not always aware of the influence of teachers on their decisions. Blase (1989) found that teachers used diplomacy, conformity, extra work, visibility, avoidance, ingratiation, documentation, and threats to influence principals. Blase maintained that both conflict and consensus existed within micropolitics. Micropolitical Studies A dynamic theoretical and empirical knowledge base has developed in the area of micropolitics. Scholars use micropolitics to understand how people use informal and formal power in schools and to investigate the dynamics of the internal life of schools. Teachers and administrators use different types of power to further and/or protect their interests (Blase, 1991; Hoyle, 1986b; Marshall & Scribner, 1991). Power can be exercised through coercion, influence, authority (Ball, 1987; Blase; Hoyle, 1988), and facilitation (Ball; Blase). Researchers have investigated the following topics using a micropolitical perspective: novice administrators, teacher-administrator relationships, school leadership, induction of novice teachers, mentor relationships, and evaluation of teachers. The micropolitical studies that will be discussed in this section have been 38 divided into two categories. The first group of studies focused on the power over aspects of the relationship between administrators and teachers. Overall, findings in these studies indicated that administrators used coercion and authority to affect the behaviours of the teachers. Power with was the focus of the second set of studies. In general, administrators used authority, facilitation, and influence to affect the behaviours of teachers. Power Over and Micropolitics Researchers have examined how administrators use authority and coercion to affect the behaviours and actions of teachers. Joseph Blase has conducted comprehensive and extensive studies on micropolitics in schools from the perspectives of teachers. The findings from Blase's (1988, 1990) research were based on data from an open-ended survey completed by 902 teachers. Blase used a power over definition to define politics. Politics was defined as the strategic use of power to keep or acquire the control of real or symbolic resources (Bacharach & Lawler, 1980). Blase (1990) reported that thirty-one percent of 902 survey respondents claimed that principals used negative strategies or coercive power to affect the behaviours of teachers. These principals used protectionist strategies such as sanctions to control individual teachers, manipulate resources, or reward some teachers. As a result, teachers alleged that they became angry, depressed, anxious, resentful, and alienated. Teachers claimed that these principals violated basic professional norms, broad educational standards, and basic human rights. Using the same data, Blase (1988) analyzed the responses to the following survey question: What do teachers mean when they refer to politics in 39 schools? Thirty-nine percent of the teachers maintained that administrative favouritism had a negative impact on the morale and work of teachers. According to the teachers, administrators used favoritism to protect their jobs, and to influence and control others. Blase (1987b) used Bacharach and Lawler's (1980) definition of politics in a case study in a biracial, urban high school in southeastern United States. Bacharach and Lawler defined politics as the strategic use of power to keep or acquire the control of real or symbolic resources. Blase interviewed 80 teachers to investigate interpersonal politics. He found that teachers developed both negative and positive political orientations towards principals and department heads. Teachers viewed ineffective administrators as unsupportive, non-collaborative, and self-oriented. Teachers employed the following strategies when working with ineffective administrators: confrontation, passive aggressiveness, ingratiation, flaunting, and avoidance of principals. Blase (1989, 1993) reported that teachers used the following strategies to influence or protect themselves from the principals. Diplomacy was used by 50% of the teachers. The other major strategies were conformity (10%), avoidance (7%>), extra work (6%), visibility (3%), and ingratiation (3%). Fifteen teachers maintained they used documentation, intermediaries, coercion, and threats to influence both open and closed school principals. Ball (1987) conducted his investigations when English schools were undergoing considerable structural change. The national government was the chief architect; coercion and authority was used to develop and implement educational policies. Most i f not all of the decisions were top-down directives that school 40 administrators were required to implement. Ball focused on how administrators used authority and coercion to force changes in schools and to affect the behaviours of teachers. Ball found that administrators controlled the political stability in the schools, while teachers controlled the teaching and curriculum in the classrooms. Even though both groups exercised power in school, conflict occurred when administrators interfered with teacher autonomy. The maintenance of organization, control by administrators, the degree of teacher autonomy, disagreement about policies, and teacher participation in decision-making were micropolitical issues that caused conflict between teachers and administrators. Administrators and teachers constantly negotiated and renegotiated boundaries controlling these areas. Ball (1987) identified three types of school leaders: adversarial (heads of schools used coercion to dominate the staff), authoritarian (heads of school were seen as the legitimate leader, but there was covert dissension among the staff), managerial (heads used their formal positions to affect the teachers), and interpersonal (heads relied on person relationships and informal procedures to influence teachers). Ball did not identify facilitative leaders who used their power to assist teachers. In his case study in a British school, Vann (1999) reported that the principal caused tension by using confrontation as a way to make teachers participate in decision-making and to force change in the school. He reported that school leaders sometimes used forceful strategies to influence teachers. Spaulding (1994) reported comparable findings in his case study of a school in the US. Spaulding found that the school principal affected teachers through manipulating teacher suggestions, using voting techniques, planting information, exchanging principal favours for the support 41 of teachers, and using expert knowledge. Administrators used coercion when they wanted to force teachers to act in specific ways. Noblit, Berry, and Dempsey (1991) conducted evaluative case studies in two schools in one school district in southeastern United States. The researchers evaluated the district goals, which were to develop shared beliefs among educators in the district and to promote teacher professionalism. When teachers increased their political power, gained influence at the school level, and actively spoke out on issues that affected district-wide policies, the district administrative leaders terminated the initiative to develop shared beliefs between teachers and administrators. They expected teachers to accept the philosophy and beliefs of the district. The district administrators did not want to share their power to formulate district-wide policies with the teachers. In these schools, the goal to develop shared values was a one-way, uni-directional, top-down process. Anderson (1991) investigated the micropolitics of an affluent, suburban high school. He found that the philosophy of cooperation and collaboration at the school limited the teachers from opposing school policies. The teachers were powerless as individuals in schools, but they were able to exercise power as a union and affect the district-wide restructuring and reform processes. The principal was also powerless in the district. Overt conflict between the teachers and principal was not evident. Kleine-Kracht and Wong (1991) examined the effects of the top-down, authoritarian style of a superintendent in a one-school district. The superintendent caused tension, insecurity, and competitive behaviour among the district supervisors, high school principal, and curriculum directors because of his leadership style. Corbett (1991) studied the 42 cultural norms of teachers in a suburban, affluent high school. He reported that the principal used his authority to change the student discipline policies. The principal was trying to protect the teachers from parental pressure. Instead, he weakened the authority of the teachers over the students. Schempp, Sparkes, and Templin (1993) investigated the experiences of three novice teachers in three separate schools. Findings indicated that new teachers quickly learned that principals possessed power over them because of their authority to appoint new teachers to permanent positions. The novice teachers recognized that they influenced the principals through demonstrating effective classroom management and participating in extra-curricular activities. The researchers found that students and other teachers exercised informal power over the new teachers by informing them how people thought and acted in the schools. Teachers, administrators, and teachers informally transmitted the cultural codes of the schools (Foucault, 1970) to novice teachers. Power With and Micropolitics The findings in several studies indicated that facilitative power existed in schools; administrators used this power to work with and support teachers. Blase's (1989, 1993) findings were based on an open-ended survey completed by 770 teachers enrolled in graduate classes in US universities. Blase used a symbolic interactionist perspective to explore the strategies teachers used to influence and protect themselves from school principals. Blase (1989) reported that 52% of the teachers claimed they worked with open principals. Open principals were honest, collaborative, friendly, 43 comrnunicative, supportive, accessible, organized, and efficient. These principals utilized facilitative power to support teachers. Blase (1993) analyzed the same data from the open-ended surveys of teachers enrolled in the graduate classes. The results indicated that open, effective principals embodied the core values of the schools and focused on the needs of the students. These principals used rewards and recognition, clear communication, support (financial, administrative, material), formal authority, visibility, interpersonal interaction, and modeling behaviours (honesty, consideration, and optimism). The principals used facilitative power or empowerment to influence teachers. The principals consulted and involved teachers in decision-making. In a case study in an urban, ethnically mixed high school in the southeastern US, Blase (1987a) claimed that effective principals had strong effects on the sociocultural contexts of the school. According to Blase, effective principals were accessible, visible, decisive, knowledgeable, fair, equitable, and consistent in their behaviour with all of the staff. They communicated expectations, followed up issues, managed their time, supported teachers over parents and students, participated and consulted with teachers before making decisions, praised and rewarded teachers, and delegated some authority to teachers. The teachers reacted positively to supervisors who were supportive, collaborative, integrative, reciprocal, and interactive. Greenfield (1991) conducted a case study of an elementary school in a district that valued cooperation and negotiation. Greenfield maintained that the moral or professional school leader was the ideal educational leader. He found that the principal used facilitative power to support the teachers and students in the school. Interpersonal 44 interactions and collaboration between teachers and the principal were noted characteristics of the relationships. District and school-based administrators believed working with teachers would have the best effect on the learning of the students. Greenfield concluded that moral leadership occurred when the all school decisions were based on the interests of the children. Acker-Hocevar and Touchton (1999) interviewed several "Teachers of the Year" candidates. The teachers claimed that they possessed the capability to influence others because they worked with administrators who engaged in shared decision-making practices. According to Harvey (1991), new principals used three strategies to influence the culture of their schools. The principals became familiar with the views of the teacher groups in the school; they used communication with teachers to shape the culture of the school, and they managed the school culture by reaffirming the central values of the schools. Principals in this study acquired knowledge and information about the school sites to influence teachers. The credibility of the novice principals depended on their ability to manage the school culture. Conley, Bas-Isaac, and Scull (1995) examined whether a district-initiated peer coaching program caused contrived or collaborative collegiality between novice and experienced teachers. Conley et al. found that district-sponsored peer relationships led to collegiality among teachers. The results were based on one third of 157 surveys. Their findings challenged the results of Hargreaves' (1991) study of collegiality in two Ontario school districts. Hargreaves concluded that contrived collegiality was the 45 result of forced cooperation among teachers. Hargreaves claimed that forcing teachers to be collegial was another administrative tool to control teachers. Smylie and Brownlee-Conyers (1992) conducted a study in one district that had a teacher leadership program to develop new opportunities for teacher professional learning and development, to recognize teacher excellence, and to expand teachers' professional roles and responsibilities. The findings were based on interviews with seven teacher leaders. The researchers found that the principals and teachers used their influence to shape their relationships with the other person. They based their views on their own values, perceptions, and beliefs about their roles. Blase and Blase (1994) contended that teachers and their evaluators, school administrators, used four micropolitical strategies during their post-observation conferences: teachers viewed personal orientation and conversational congruence as helpful strategies; conversely, the use of formal authority and situational variables caused discord and conflict between the teachers and evaluators. The researchers reported that the teachers and evaluators tried to shape the conversation of their evaluation conferences based of their individual perceptions, expectations, interests, and prerogatives of their tasks and interpersonal relationships. The teachers and supervisors used influence. However, the teachers reacted when the supervisors attempted to use authority. In her investigations of elementary school reading programs in four school districts, Fraatz (1987) claimed that although teachers perceived themselves as powerless, they were more likely to exercise influence inside and outside the classroom than any other school personnel, including administrators. The power base 46 of teachers was professional autonomy; they controlled what and how they taught in their classrooms. Additionally, Fraatz found administrators used influence (persuasion and negotiation) rather than authority because teachers controlled the classrooms limited the ability of the principals to use rewards or sanctions. Fraatz concluded that teachers seemed to possess more power than administrators. Critique of micropolitical studies. Micropolitics is prevalent in schools because of the divergent values, goals, purposes, and beliefs of teachers and administrators. Schools are complex, multifaceted, intricate organizations that are primarily influenced by the principals, vice-principals, and teachers. The relationships between administrators and teachers are critical to the internal live of schools. Power is the main element of micropolitical theory. Administrators and teachers exercise power that is based on their educational philosophies, beliefs, and goals. Micropolitcal theorists have examined a wide range of topics (i.e., novice administrators, teacher-administrator relationships, school leadership, induction of novice teachers, mentor relationships, and evaluation of teachers). As a result, the issues and findings of various investigations are diverse and complex, a reflection of the daily life of schools. A rich body of literature has been developing on school micropolitics since the mid 1980s. However, the micropolitical studies reviewed in this chapter have several limitations. The majority of researchers use a traditional definition of power to frame their studies. That is, administrators exercise power because of their positional 47 authority in the school hierarchy. In these studies, reports of the teachers' use of power are not as prominent as the administrators' use of power. Consequently, the findings in most of the studies demonstrate how administrators exercise power to affect the behaviours of the teachers. A broader definition of power is used in this study. Power is defined as the ability of an individual or group (i.e., administrators or teachers) to affect the behaviours of others. It is not limited to a power over or top-down perspective. In addition, power encompasses authority, influence, facilitation, and coercion. A goal of this research is to look at how administrators and teachers exercise the different types power in schools and to examine how it affects the vice-principals' understanding of school leadership. Additionally, the teachers' perspective of how administrators exercise power in school is the focus of most of the studies. Few researchers (e.g., Greenfield, 1991) investigate the teachers' use of power from the administrators' perspective. In this study, one objective is to examine how vice-principals view the use of power in schools. Another limitation of the studies is the lack, from a micropolitical perspective, of research on novice elementary vice-principals. First-year elementary vice-principals experiences have been overlooked by the research community although there have been several studies on novice secondary vice-principals (i.e., Marshall, 1985b, 1992; Marshall & Mitchell, 1991; Marshall & Scribner, 1991). A goal of the study is to analyze how first-year elementary vice-principals understand school leadership within the realm of micropolitics. Using micropolitical theory to examine the relationships 48 between vice-principals and teachers should contribute to our understanding of the day-to-day dynamics of elementary schools. Theories of School Leadership School leadership has undergone considerable change since its inception in the early 1900s. The governance structure of school administration in the early 20 t h century has changed somewhat to the administration in the early 21 s t century. Traditional, critical, feminist, democratic, and distributive theories of leadership, and the reform and restructuring movements of the 1980s and 1990s have contributed to and influenced the leadership styles that currently exist in these schools. In this section, I provide a summary of several leadership theories that affected educational administration throughout the 20 t h century, briefly describe school reform and restructuring that has occurred in the last 20 years, and discuss shared decision-making between teachers and administrators in schools. Traditional Leadership Rational/structural leadership theory and research dominated educational administration from the late 19 t h century to the 1980s, but less so since the 1980s (Greenfield, 1975). Since the 1970s, other theories of leadership (e.g., critical, transformational, feminist, democratic, participatory) have influenced educational leadership. Rational/structural research and theory focused on management, thus reinforcing the authority of managers (principals) over workers (teachers). Scientific management (Taylor, 1984), Weber's (1984) theory of bureaucracy, and Fayol's 49 (1984) administrative principles contributed to the establishment of this leadership style. Taylor's work in scientific management has had substantial influence on schools. Managers were more important than workers because they planned and designed the work, and then directed the workers who performed it. The goals of scientific management were efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability. Dividing a task into smaller tasks, which was performed repeatedly, by more the one person, thus separating workers from their work is another facet of scientific management. Weber's theory of bureaucracies has had a substantial impact on schools. Bureaucratic leaders, who occupied formal positions or held offices in hierarchical organizations, possessed the authority to direct their subordinates. Followers recognized the legitimacy of the leaders and willingly submitted to their leadership. Leaders were objective and independent. Rules and regulations controlled bureaucratic organizations; administrators performed specific functions and needed specialized training. Bureaucratic features in schools were necessary because of the technical activities that needed to be performed. These approaches to leadership were mechanistic, functional, top-down, value-free, and linear. They emphasized efficiency and accountability. Logical positivism influenced administrative research from the 1950s to the 1980s. Research was based on the scientific method, that is, social phenomena were studied, measured, and analyzed. Findings from these investigations were perceived to be neutral, objective, and value free. In the 1970s, scholars began to discuss the limitations of these types of studies. Logical positivism research separated people from the structure of the organization. This was a false dichotomy because people are the organizations. Greenfield (1975) was instrumental in challenging and pressuring 50 educational administrator scholars to use other paradigms and perspectives to investigate school leadership. Interpretive research has become more prevalent in leadership studies during the past 25 years. Research on the relationship between leaders and followers has been extensive (e.g., Barnard, 1938; Griffiths, 1959; Halpin & Croft, 1963; Stodgill, 1950). Human resource theory emphasized the commitment of employees to the organization through their support of the goals, values, and beliefs of the organization. In the 1930s, research in human resource theory demonstrated the importance of motivating and satisfying workers within industrial settings (Roethlisberger & Dickson, 1939). Managers were expected to motivate workers to perform activities that achieved the goals of the organizations. The trait approach to management has had a lasting effect on business and school leadership (Fiedler, 1984; Stodgill, 1950). This research was based on the identification of distinctive physical or psychological characteristics of leaders that were related to or explained their behaviours. These characteristics included, but were not limited to personality, height, weight, appearance, and intelligence. Researchers attempted to isolate specific traits that endowed leaders with unique qualities, which differentiated them from their followers. Stodgill claimed that the correlation between traits and leadership was positive, but low. Furthermore, he claimed there were many contradictory findings. The effective school leader was another example of a traditional, top-down leadership style. Based on his research of inner-city schools, Edmonds (1979) developed the following principles of effective schools: strong administrative and 51 instructional leadership, high academic expectations; an orderly school atmosphere, student acquisition of basic skills; close monitoring of student progress; the belief that all students can learn, and recognition of student achievement. The school leaders were the catalysts for school changes and improvements in student learning. Edmonds argued that i f school principals followed and instituted the tenets of effective school research, they would become effective leaders. Angus (1989) criticized effective schools research because the focus was on the principal and the individual school sites; it ignored the broader social, political, and economical circumstances that affected educational systems. Angus suggested that educational leaders use their authority to facilitate critical and reflective discussions among staff about the educational issues and purposes of school reform. Since the 1930s, researchers have focused on the interpersonal relationship between the leaders and the followers. Researchers found it was important that the followers were satisfied with their jobs; this was directly linked to increased productivity. The focus on the relationship between leaders and followers has continued unabated. Burns' (1978) theory of transformational leadership has had considerable impact on schools. Burns compared transformational leadership to transactional leadership. He claimed that most leadership was transactional. Exchange and bargaining were the key characteristics of transactional leadership. Transactional leadership acts occurred when leaders and followers used exchange and bargaining to achieve or advance their own goals or purposes. According to Burns, exchange and 52 bargaining did not engender mutual and reciprocal relationships even though the purposes were related. Bums (1978) saw transformational leadership at the opposite end of the continuum as transactional leadership. Transformational leaders possessed the capacity to influence followers to pursue higher purposes. Transformational leaders were more skilful and knowledgeable than their followers. They evaluated the followers' motives, anticipated their responses, and determined their power bases. The foci of the leaders were to create mutual support and shared goals with their followers. Transformational leadership emphasized the relationship between leaders and followers and the importance of a shared vision. Bums viewed transformational leadership as fundamentally moral because the leaders elevated the followers to pursue higher ideals. Bass (1985) maintained that leaders engaged in both transactional and transformational leadership actions. He saw transformational leaders as motivators who influenced followers to do more than they originally expected to do. Leaders influenced followers by raising the awareness levels of followers and by connecting with them. Furthermore, leaders convinced followers to pursue the group's goals rather than their own goals. The traditional approach to leadership has advantages and disadvantages. Generally, the qualities of rational/structural leadership theory are hierarchical, centralized, linear, and objective. According to the traditional leadership theory, school leaders are dominant in schools. Administrators possess and exercise power over their followers because of their higher organizational positions. They possess the authority to make school decisions, and they expect teachers to consent to their 53 leadership and abide by the rules and regulations of the schools. Traditional leaders focus on consensus; conflict between teachers and administrators was overlooked. Successful school leaders are top-down, authoritarian, efficient, and accountable. One of advantage of traditional leadership that continues to benefit schools is the need for school leaders to make unilateral decisions that do not affect the teachers or students. One role of the school leaders is to protect the internal operations of the schools from external pressures. Bureaucratic structures are necessary to schools because of the complexity of the school districts. Policies, rules, and regulations continue to guide the operations of schools. In addition, people who possess specific expertise and knowledge serve in different capacities in schools. Critical Leadership In the 1970s and 1980s, critical theorists challenged the dominance of rational/structural theory in schools. Critical theorists explicated how schools were value-laden, biased, and inequitable. Critical scholars contended that the hierarchical nature of schools reflected the structure of society, thus certain groups of students were empowered or disempowered based on their socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, and gender (e.g., Anyon, 1981; Bernstein, 1975; Bourdieu, 1986; Gaskell, 1987; Giroux, 1983; Gordon, 1998; Lareau, 1987, 2000). Burbules (1986) elucidated how the power differentials among individuals and groups caused conflict of interests in schools. The privileged groups in society were the privileged groups in schools. Critical theorists challenged the "zero-sum" nature of 54 organizational power within the rational/structural paradigm theory. They maintained that organizational power and control can and should be contested. Several researchers applied critical theory to school leadership (e.g., Bates, 1980, 1989; Foster, 1986a, 1986b, 1989; Smyth, 1989; Watkins, 1989). Scientific management, reification of traditional models of leadership, the hierarchical school structure, the separation of structure and process, and the power and control elements of schools were scrutinized. Dantley (1990) urged school leaders to use schools as vehicles for social and political change. Smyth argued that the emphasis on traditional leadership, which focused on efficiency, effectiveness, and accountability needed to be replaced with leadership that focused on critical pedagogy. He maintained that teaching and learning were the focal point of school discussions and examination. Angus (1989) asserted that leadership needed to be reconceptualized for leaders to become facilitative leaders. Foster (1986a, 1989) discussed leadership in terms of praxis. He defined praxis as "the ability of all persons to engage in acts of leadership which help in the transformation to a way of life which incorporates participative principles; leadership in this regard is, is both critical and a shared leadership" (1986a, p. 18). According to Foster, leadership existed among all members of the school community; leadership acts were more important than leaders. Based on Foster's views of praxis, leaders needed to engage in critical reflection and critical action, analyze and challenge the way schools are structured and how they are viewed, alter the power and control in schools, engage in dialogue with others (teachers) about schools, and advocate for changing power over into power with. The language of schools needed to be evaluated 55 critically in terms of what was communicated and how it was communicated. Foster maintained that the communication of school leaders needed to be honest, straightforward, comprehensible, transparent, and appropriate. School cultures needed to be assessed in terms of who was privileged and why they were privileged. The goal of critical leaders is to challenge the status quo of the hierarchical nature of schools and actively try and change it and to treat all groups equitably. The argument for critical leadership in schools has benefits and drawbacks. Critical theorists denounce the power over element in schools, and they support the moral authority of power with. Critical leaders are encouraged to reflect on their roles in the schools and challenge the hierarchical structure of schools. However, they might not be able to change the structure of schools as individuals although they might be able to change the power relations between teachers and administrators. Critical leaders can reduce the power differentials between teachers and administrators by engaging in democratic shared decision-making. Additionally, they can refuse to use their authority to make unilateral decisions that warrant collaboration with teachers and others. Critical theorists challenge the power over element of rational/structural leadership theory. They reject the notion of zero-sum power. Instead, critical theorists advocate power with or shared power in schools. Feminist Leadership Feminists argued that gender was fundamental to the way people perceived themselves and their relationships with others (Gaskell & McLaren, 1991). Since the 1960s, feminist scholars have investigated the gender inequality in educational 56 institutions (e.g., American Association of University Women, 1992; Eichler, 1979; Kenway & Willis, 1998; Klein & Ortman, 1994). One focus of the research has been challenging the sex roles and stereotypes of females depicted in educational books (e.g., Gaskell, 1977; Sadker & Sadker, 1994). Another topic of inquiry was the comparison of how teachers treated girls and boys differently in classrooms (e.g., Davies, 1993; Keller, 1985). Feminists challenged the traditional school leadership styles, which were based on masculine models of power over governance. Radical feminists viewed power as exercised in contemporary society as power over, which was representative of a masculine, or patriarchal world-view in which social relationships originated from primary relationships defined by male power over women and children (Rich, 1976). Radical feminist contended that our societal structure needed to be changed completely. Carroll (1984) claimed power was the capacity of the community as a whole that was used for good intentions; it was not dependent on the goals of formal leaders. In the early 1980s, some feminist scholars began to examine the dominance of men in school administration (e.g., Blackmore, 1989). Shakeshaft (1993) found that there were fewer female than male school leaders because hiring practices favoured men. In addition, men were more visible in schools, women were not viewed as leaders, and there was a lack of support networks for women. Furthermore, the lack of women in positions of authority was linked to the inferiority and low status of women in society. A primary goal of feminist scholars was to equalize the number of male and female administrators. 57 Feminist scholars conducted research to compare the leadership attributes of female and male school administrators (e.g., Andrews & Basom, 1990; Feuer, 1988; Neville, 1988). A caveat is necessary when discussing leadership characteristics based on the gender of individuals. Not all women exhibit feminist leadership characteristics, nor do all men display traditional masculine leadership attributes. Neville reported that the style of leadership of the majority women was less hierarchical, more democratic, and inclusive than traditional, patriarchal school leadership. She posited that more people were involved in the decision-making process when women were leaders. Several other researchers supported this finding (Feuer; Heck, 1995; Shakeshaft, 1993). Findings indicated that the majority of female leaders used less authoritarian language than men (Shakeshaft). Overall, a majority of women leaders did not use their position to gain power over people; indeed, they were interested in collaborative, supportive, cooperative, and collegial relationships (Blackmore, 1989). According to Feuer, a substantial number of women leaders appeared to be more flexible and sensitive to the needs and concerns of the teachers. Andrews and Basom found that morale was higher among teachers in women-led schools, and female administrators were more instrumental in the learning process. Regan and Brooks (1995) identified five attributes of feminist leadership. These qualities were based on the work of women administrators who explored, analyzed, and discussed leadership over a 20-year period. This group of women maintained that collaboration, caring, courage, intuition, and vision were feminist leadership characteristics. They defined collaboration as the ability of people to work together in a supportive environment. Caring was described as the development of an 58 affinity for the world and the people in it; it occurred when there was a commitment to work on the behalf of others. Courage was depicted as the ability to take risks and test new ideas as professionals. Intuition was depicted as the capacity to consider feelings and experiences equally. Vision was defined as the ability to formulate and express original ideas, enabling others to consider options in new and different ways. The contributions by feminist and critical researchers to school leadership have been considerable. Feminist and critical leadership theorists have been instrumental in expanding the way people perceive and exercise power. Power with others, not power over others; interdependence of people, a more egalitarian view of community, and decisions based on concern for and responsibility of people are central features of these approaches to leadership. Feminist and critical leadership research and theory have affected work in shared decision-making, distributive leadership, and teacher empowerment. Democratic Leadership Democratic leadership became an issue in education during the second wave of reform in the 1980s. The principles of democratic leadership included the open exchange of ideas; confidence the group will resolve problems; critical reflection and analysis of ideas, problems and polices; concern for all members of the group, and a specific concern and respect for the rights of individuals and minorities (Bean & Apple, 1995). Gastil (1994) argued that the tasks of democratic leaders were critical. Based on Gastil's work, the first undertaking of democratic schools was the distribution of 59 responsibility. Everyone participated in all discussions and decisions. Additionally, democratic leaders ensured that every group member possessed a certain level of competence to lead and to take on leadership tasks. Because the process was as important as the product, the democratic process became the focus. Working together to resolve problems was important because it led to resolutions. Democratic leadership challenged the notion that great leaders were needed at the apex of organizations. Starhawk (1987) proposed a "leaderful" approach to organizational leadership. The position of leader was rotated among all members of the group so everyone developed the skills and competencies to provide leadership; they experienced leadership. As a result, all members were held accountable for their actions, all were held responsible for the well being of the group, and all acted to restrain any autocratic tendencies. One drawback of democratic leadership is the assumption that consensus is reached on all issues or problems. Democratic leadership does not eliminate the different values and beliefs of teachers and administrators. Rotating leadership positions among individuals can be a disadvantage because of the time needed to assume leadership roles. It appeared that more time was devoted to leadership and less to the work of the organization. According to Gastil (1994), democratic leadership is most effective when the interests of community members are at stake and they are qualified to make the decisions. However, democratic leadership is less suitable for resolving technical problems or when the group is indifferent to problems or issues. The decision to vote is problematic for democratic groups because it can be difficult for a group to decide when a vote is necessary. Gastil identified the question that beleaguers democratic groups: "How do we vote on the need to vote?" Voting on 60 every issue is not necessary. Democratic leadership is based on a power with philosophy. Individuals are not dominant in the groups. Group members possess equal status and power. Distributive Leadership In the mid 1990s, school leadership literature shifted away from individual and role-based conceptions of leadership and toward organizational and task-oriented conceptions of leadership. Leadership was described as an organization-wide resource of influence and power rather than the performance of specific tasks or functions of individuals (Ogawa & Bossert, 1995; Pounder, Ogawa, & Adams, 1995). Ogawa and Bossert argued that leadership occurred through the interaction among individuals not through the actions of individuals. They maintained that leadership occurred through interaction; leadership was multidirectional; and it flowed vertically, horizontally, and diagonally within organizations. As well, influence that was exerted through leadership was not only unidirectional; it did not always move in one direction. Leadership was not confined to specific roles or positions in organizations. Therefore, power and influence were distributed across roles. People in different roles had access to different levels and types of power and influence. Based on distributive leadership theory, the functions of effective organizations were the following: (a) goal achievement, (b) ability to control relationships with the environment, (c) commitment among members to the organization, and (d) social solidarity among members. Spillane, Halverson, and Diamond (2000, 2001) argued that leadership was distributed in the active network of people, interactions, and situations. They claimed 61 that the situation was a core element of leadership, and that leadership could not be separated from its organizational, structural, and social-cultural contexts. Reciprocal forces existed between situations and leadership activities. Leadership activity influenced and caused changes in the situation over time, whereas elements of the situation affected leadership through facilitative or restrictive activities. Models of distributive leadership affect school leadership in several ways. Teachers as well as administrators perform important leadership tasks inside and outside formal positions of authority. Distributive leadership is based on shared power between administrators and teachers. Distributive leadership requires mutual reliance among all school personnel even though different personnel might perform some leadership tasks better than others because of knowledge, skills, or expertise (Thurston, Zenz, Schacht, & Clift, 1995). Distributing leadership tasks among various people are crucial for schools because the school leaders are not able to perform all of the school leadership tasks (Johnston & Pickersgill, 1992; Hallinger, 1992; Murphy & Hallinger, 1992; Vandenberghe, 1992). Fullan (2001) argues that distributive leadership model in schools allows different people to take on leadership tasks and enhances the commitments of those people to the school. It brings to the forefront a greater number of resources, knowledge, and skills in the school. Reform and Restructuring Movements In addition to the leadership theories, the reform and restructuring movements beginning in the early 1980s and continuing to the present day have influenced schools in Western, English-speaking countries (i.e., Canada, Great Britain, New Zealand, 62 Australia, and the United States). Presumably, the primary goal of school reform and restructuring was the improvement of schools and the academic achievement of students. Schools were seen as failing to educate students; consequently, various stakeholders (i.e., politicians, business people, government officials, researchers, educators, and parents) believed major changes were required. In the early to mid 1980s, the first wave of reform focused on the quality and effectiveness of education. This was a traditional, authoritarian, top-down attempt to improve schools. Power over policies were developed and implemented to force changes in schools. Accountability of student academic achievement was the main theme of school reform. In the United States, the 1983 federal document, " A Nation at Risk: The Imperative for Educational Reform" was the catalyst for implementing changes in various states and local school systems. Policy initiatives of the states included standardized, narrow curriculum, student testing, and teacher evaluations and testing. School principals were key to the reforms because they monitored teachers and students in their schools. During this time, the state of Texas was zealous about the reforms. As a teacher in the Houston Independent School District from 1985 to 1990,1 had first hand experience of several policy changes. Students were tested on math, reading, and writing at every other grade level beginning with grade one. As a fifth grade teacher, I was responsible for preparing the children for the test and I was accountable for the test results. Another Texas policy change in the mid-1980s was teacher testing. In June 1986,1 had to prove my teaching competency by passing the state mandated Texas Examination of Current Administrators and Teachers. In addition, principals, vice-principals, and supervisors evaluated my teaching 20 times 63 using The Texas Teacher Appraisal System instrument, which was made up of approximately 40 criteria. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, various stakeholders continued to claim that schools were failing to educate students. Accountability, standardized curriculum, student testing, and teacher evaluations continued to be integral to school reform. However, researchers, educators, and policymakers suggested different types of changes to improve student learning. School restructuring and decentralization of power were two prominent changes that occurred at this time. Politicians, educators, policymakers, business people, and community members supported these changes. School districts engaged in school restructuring and decentralization of power. Restructuring was based on the belief that radical structural changes were needed to improve organizational effectiveness. Decentralization of school management and the increase of participation in decision-making by teachers, parents, and community members were policy initiatives for restructuring schools. Decentralization was the transfer of formal power and authority away from the district office to the school sites. Site-based management (SBM) was an umbrella term used to describe various degrees of decentralization. Shared governance, participatory leadership, democratic schools, and shared decision-making have been used interchangeably with S B M to describe various forms of decentralization and devolution of authority. The meanings of these terms overlap, consequently, they do not always precisely describe the same type of school governance. Murphy and Beck (1995) developed a typology of S B M that encompasses the various terms used for 64 decentralization of authority, which was transferring power from the school district office and allocating it to the school sites. Murphy and Beck (1995) identified the following three ideal types of site-based management: administrative controlled SBM, professionally controlled S B M , and community controlled S B M . In administrative controlled SBM schools, the school principals were the key figures in the schools. The central office transferred complete or partial authority to the principals in individual schools. Although the principals were expected to engage in shared decision-making and seek the input of teachers and parents, the principals possessed the ultimate authority to make decisions in the schools. Principals maintained power over teachers at individual school sites. Schools in Miami, Florida had administrative controlled S B M schools (Wohlstetter & McCurdy, 1991). Professional-controlled SBM occurred when authority was transferred to the teachers at the individual school sites; they were the primary decision-makers in the schools (Murphy & Beck). Teachers possessed the power over others at individual schools. Schools in Los Angeles, California most closely resembled professional-controlled S B M (Wohlstetter & Odden, 1992). Teachers had the largest number of representatives on local school councils, and they were extremely influential in the decision-making. Administrative controlled S B M was more prevalent than the professional controlled S B M (Murphy & Beck). Community-controlled SBM shifted the power and authority from professional educators to parents and community groups that were not previously involved in school governance (Murphy & Beck). Community control of schools was implemented in Chicago schools in the early 1990s (Hess, 1991). Local councils comprised of lay people, made 65 decisions for individual schools. Community members maintained and exercised the most power in schools. The second major piece of restructuring was teacher participation in decision-making. Teacher empowerment, teacher autonomy, ownership of decisions and changes, and increased professionalism were arguments made by teachers, researchers and others to include teachers in educational decisions. Several researchers argued that the increased control over teacher work through student testing and standardized curricular was antithetical to the professional autonomy of teachers (Darling-Hammond & Wise, 1985; Rosenholtz, 1987). Conway (1984) found that teachers wanted to become more involved in school-wide decisions. The US Carnegie Task Force on Teaching as a Profession (1986) promoted teacher involvement in decision-making. Additionally, educational practitioners supported teacher participation in decision-making (e.g., Heller, 1993; Kessler, 1992; Vann, 1992). Decentralization in educational organizations ranged from administrative to community to professional controlled schools (Murphy & Beck, 1995). Within each model, there were different degrees of teacher participation in educational decision-making. Moreover, different groups possessed and were able to exercise more power than other groups depending on the type of restructuring the school districts implemented. For the purpose of my research, I considered studies that focused on teachers and administrators engaging in shared decision-making (SDM) at the individual school sites that were administratively controlled S B M schools. In the next section, studies that focused on S D M at the school level are reviewed. 66 Shared Decision-Making According to Taylor and Bogotch (1995), teacher participation was defined as teachers' engaging in decision-making about issues that affected their job assignments or activities. Weiss (1993) defined shared decision-making as "a formal system for the representation of teachers in a decision-making body" (p. 69). For this study, S D M was defined as teachers engaging in decision-making with administrators about school-wide issues. Wohlstetter, Smyer, and Mohrman (1994) conducted a comprehensive study of shared decision-making in twenty-four schools in four districts where substantial authority had been transferred to the school sites for three to four years. The researchers investigated i f and under what conditions administrative-controlled S B M engendered principals and teachers to plan changes in curriculum and instruction to improve student performance. Schools that were struggling with S D M were compared with schools that experienced success with SDM. The researchers compared the following aspects of S D M at the school levels: knowledge, power (participative structures, the role of the principal, devolved authority), information, rewards, and instructional improvement. Successful S B M schools provided time and money for professional development; unsuccessful schools did not provide as much financial support or time for professional development. In successful schools, power was shared among teachers and administrators; it was devolved to committees and subcommittees, whereas, power was a contentious issue for educators in the unsuccessful schools. Different types of and broader information were disseminated to the teachers in successful S D M schools. Furthermore, there was a focus on sharing information 67 among educators in the successful S D M schools. The principals were critical to the success or failure of SDM. Adversarial relationships existed between the administrators and staff in the unsuccessful S D M schools. The teachers in the successful schools were recognized for their work. Teachers discussed curriculum and pedagogical improvements and changes, and they reached consensus on curriculum goals in the successful schools. The most important features were teacher involvement with decision-making of all school-wide decisions and the support of the school principals and district of SDM. The researchers maintained that S D M and curriculum and instruction reforms should be implemented simultaneously. The findings in Wagstaff s (1995) study supported the findings in Wohlstetter, Smyer, and Mohrman's (1994) study. Both studies identified similar elements that engendered and supported successful S D M in schools. Wagstaff examined the impact of S D M on math and science curriculum and instruction in 16 schools in two Texas districts that had engaged in some form of S D M for two years. The findings indicated that S D M had considerable impact on math curricula and instruction, but less so in science. The researcher contended that S D M was successful when the following conditions existed: preparation and guidelines for the shared decision-making process were developed, S D M training was provided before implementation; S D M was implemented in stages; the district superintendent and state education agency supported S D M ; and schools allocated time to make decisions. Researchers in the next set of studies identified conditions in schools that supported SDM. The faculty and staff at the Coral Springs Middle School engaged in successful S D M for several years (Kilgore, Webb, & Faculty & Staff of Coral Springs 68 Middle School, 1997). The researchers claimed that the following conditions were necessary for successful S D M : trustful relationships between teachers and administrators, focus on learning and teaching, good communications, and criteria for decision-making. In a case study of one school, Epp and MacNeil (1997) reported that S D M was effective i f there was a free flow of information, commitment to the process, expectation of change, and candour in resolving conflicts. Bauer (1992) found that school changes or improvements were sustained when teachers participated in, and took responsibility for and ownership of decisions. In addition, the redistribution of power between teachers and administrators was a significant outcome of SDM. Weiss, Cambone, and Wyeth (1992) reported that delineating the lines of responsibility of the decision-making process and implementing training on how to function within a S D M model were necessary conditions for success with SDM. The findings by Ingersoll (1996) and Taylor and Bogotch (1994) supported the findings of Wohlstetter, Smyer, and Mohrman (1994). Ingersoll and Taylor and Bogotch used surveys to examine teacher involvement in decision-making and its effect on student performance. Ingersoll found that teachers had power over activities related to curricula and instruction, but they lacked power over issues related to students (e.g., discipline outside of the classroom, assignment to classes). Teachers reported that when they were unable to influence student issues, there was no improvement in student learning. Taylor and Bogotch reported that teachers were most involved in decisions related to their classrooms (i.e., how and what they taught and grade or subject assignments). The researchers found there was no statistically significant effect on the outcomes of students and teachers based on the teachers' 69 limited involvement with decision-making. Limiting teacher decision making to curriculum and pedagogy did not improve student learning. Ingersoll (1996) and Taylor and Bogotch (1994) concluded that teachers needed to participate in decision-making that encompassed school-wide decisions and policies. Researchers reported on the deterrents and problems that affected the implementation of S D M in schools. Weiss (1993) identified several challenges for schools that engaged in SDM. These included loss of support from central office, disillusionment among teachers, action of principals to end SDM, and budget cuts for training. Weiss, Cambone, and Wyeth (1992) investigated the demand that S D M placed on teachers. Data were based on interviews and observations in 12 high schools over a two-year period. There was confusion about who possessed the ultimate power and authority to make decisions—teachers or administrators. The roles and responsibilities of teachers and administrators were vague and ambiguous. Furthermore, there was uncertainty about who ensured the execution of decisions. In addition, conflict occurred among teachers because they were unprepared to argue with their colleagues when they expressed different views. Weiss and Cambone (1994) contended that S D M was a major change in schools; therefore, other school changes should not be linked to it. Instead, school staff needed time to implement and practice S D M before undertaking other major educational changes. According to Johnson and Pajares (1996), the following factors were detrimental to S D M : the need for additional resources, resistance to democratic reform, inexperience with group decision-making, and the perception of teachers that the district was unsupportive. Based on interviews with five teachers from five 70 schools, Griffin (1996) reported that the teachers were reluctant to engage in discussions about pedagogy because they did not want to disrupt the collegial school atmosphere and their relationships with their colleagues. The researcher also found that S D M caused relatively modest effects on student performance. Epp and MacNeil (1997) found that the teachers were surprised when conflict increased among the teachers when S D M was implemented. Researchers identified insufficient time to engage in S D M (Cistone, Fernandez, & Tornilo, 1989). The relationships between teachers and administrators influenced the success of S D M in schools. Researchers addressed this issue in their findings. Wohlstetter, Smyer, and Mohrman (1994) reported that teachers and administrators worked together in schools that had successfully implemented S D M ; where as, conflict between teachers and administrators existed in schools that did not successfully implement SDM. Weiss and Cambone (1994) supported this finding in their five-year study of 12 schools. There was more conflict between the teachers and principals in the unsuccessful schools. In these schools, the teachers were split over supporting the principals' agendas or maintaining the status quo. When principals supported S D M and did not have personal educational goals, there was less conflict between administrators and teachers. The benefits for students were limited in both schools. Two researchers found that the principals' beliefs about S D M were critical to successful implementation. School principals played pivotal roles in these schools. Lunsford (1993) explored the impact of S D M on the role of the principals in 14 schools in one school district. Findings indicated that the principals who instituted S D M structures believed they did not have all the answers, trusted teachers, and felt 71 better decisions were made with teacher participation. Strong commitment by the principal, acceptance of role change, and a philosophical belief about shared governance were critical elements for implementation of shared governance. Moreover, Stine (1993) reported that principals were organizers, advisors, and consensus builders in the shared decision-making processes. Weiss (1993) compared six schools that had implemented S D M to six traditional principal-led schools. She found the school principals were the initiators of change whilst the teachers supported the changes in S D M schools. Weiss reported that S D M improved teacher morale and their sense of professionalism, but it was not a vehicle for improving student academic success. Johnson and Pajares (1996) examined the implementation of S D M in a large public high school in a longitudinal study. The participants reported they were supported by the principal, confident in themselves and their colleagues, and experienced early successes. Furthermore, the participants created democratic rules and procedures. The S D M process altered the traditional concepts of leadership that existed in the school. Johnson (1990) stated, "As teachers' formal powers are augmented and administrators' authority is abridged, the role of the principal will be redefined" (p. 343). Siskin (2001) surveyed 500 Texas school administrators to ascertain their dominant leadership styles, attitudes, and practices. In the first section of the survey, principals reported that shared decision-making with teachers was important. However, this statement was not supported when the principals identified their preferred leadership style in the second part of the survey. Seventy-one percent of the 72 principals maintained that "telling" was their style of leadership. Telling leadership was defined as leaders who closely monitored instruction and teacher performance. Seven percent of the principals preferred selling while 22% stated that they favoured a participatory style of leadership. Siskin contended that leadership style appeared to be mainly a function of professional characteristics rather than personal or organizational characteristics. A majority of the principals were either top-down, authoritarian leaders who controlled what occurred in their schools. Most of the principals in this study expressed a power over leadership philosophy. Shared decision-making between administrators and teachers in schools was instituted to improve the learning outcomes of students. There were mixed results regarding the effects of S D M on student learning. However, teacher professionalism and morale increased when S D M was successfully implemented. The following factors contributed to the success of S D M : belief and support of school principal, support from the district, ongoing professional development of S D M process, guidelines regarding responsibility, execution of decisions that were made, criteria for decision-making, involvement in all school-wide decision-making (e.g., policies, testing, class assignments), recognition of teachers, dissemination and sharing information, and good relationships between staff and administration. A critical feature of S D M was the knowledge of how much authority was transferred from the district office to the school sites and who (teachers, administrators, and parents) possessed the authority to make decisions. 73 Critique of shared decision-making Researchers have developed a comprehensive body of literature regarding shared decision-making in schools. Several researchers (e.g., Wohlstetter, Smyer, & Mohrman, 1994) have identified factors that contribute to successful shared decision-making in schools. In addition, scholars (e.g., Weiss, 1994) have noted practices that impede the effort of teachers and administrators from engaging in shared decision-making. The results of the shared decision-making studies provide guidelines and guidance for teachers and administrators engaging in shared decision-making. A limitation of these studies is the lack of information regarding how power is used to influence the shared decision-making process. In this study, shared decision-making will be examined in relation to how first-year vice-principals, teachers, and principals use power to affect the decision-making process. Power is a key factor of the literature in this chapter. A power over philosophy underpins traditional theories of power and the rational/structural leadership styles. Ball's (1987) research on legitimate, managerial, and adversarial school leaders and Blase's (1987b, 1988) studies of closed principals correspond to the power over perspective. Feminist, critical, democratic, and distributive leadership styles and critical and facilitative theories of power are interlinked to power with philosophy. Facilitative power appears be an integral quality for schools that successfully implemented SDM. Blase's (1989, 1993) open principals and Greenfield's (1991) moral leaders correspond to the power with viewpoint. 74 Summary In this study, I used the following lens to examine how vice-principals understood the dynamics of school leadership and administration: research on vice-principals, the theories of school leadership, micropolitics, and shared decision-making. The studies on vice-principals provided considerable background information of the typical tasks, roles, challenges vice-principals encounter. In my research, I was interested in identifying the tasks and roles of the elementary vice-principals. In addition, I focused on how the vice-principals balanced their leadership and administrative duties with their teaching responsibility. The focus of micropolitical theory was how individuals and groups used their power to influence the actions and/or behaviours of others. The relationship between the principals and the vice-principals, and the teachers and the vice-principals were central in this study. I focused on the following questions: What types of power did the vice-principals, principals, and teachers use that affected each other? What strategies did teachers and vice-principals use? How did the beliefs, goals, and interests of the vice-principals, principals and teachers affect the micropolitics of the schools? How did these processes influence the vice-principals' understanding of their new administrative roles? The questions that arose around shared decision-making were the following: What were the characteristics and main elements of the shared decision-making model in the schools in this study? How were power and decision-making interrelated in the schools? What policies were initiated and developed at the school site or the district 75 level? How did shared decision-making that existed in the schools affect the vice-principals understanding of administration and school leadership? In the next chapter, I review the methodology, strategies of data collection, analysis, and trustworthiness of the study. 76 CHAPTER THREE: METHODOLOGY AND RESEARCH DESIGN In this chapter, I present the methodology and research design employed in this study. I define what constitutes a qualitative inquiry, and describe its attributes and characteristics. I present information on case studies as one type of qualitative inquiry, and explain why I chose to use a multiple case study design. I discuss my position as a researcher. After that, I present the purpose of the study and provide a detailed description of how I conducted the research. This description includes the selection of the cases, background information on the district, schools, and vice-principals, methods of data collection, the timeline of the study, and procedures for analyses of the data. I examine the merits of a qualitative study based on the attributes of triangulation, credibility, transferability, dependability, confirmability, authenticity, and ethics. Last, I discuss the limitations and delimitations of the study. Qualitative Inquiry A qualitative methodological approach was utilized in this study. Researchers used qualitative inquiry as an umbrella term for different types of research. These included ethnography (Creswell, 1998; Denzin & Lincoln, 1994; Merriam, 1998), phenomenology (Creswell; Denzin & Lincoln; Merriam), educational criticisms (Merriam), case studies (Creswell; Denzin & Lincoln; Merriam; Stake, 1995; Yin, 1994), biography (Creswell; Denzin & Lincoln; Merriam), grounded theory (Creswell; Denzin & Lincoln), historical inquiries (Denzin & Lincoln; Lancy, 1993), life histories (Strauss & Corbin, 1990), ethnomethodology (Denzin & Lincoln), interpretive 77 practices (Denzin & Lincoln; Miles & Huberman, 1994), and feminism (Atkinson, Delamont, & Hammersley, 1988). Qualitative researchers were emphatic about understanding how people made sense of their lives (Bogdan, Biklin, & Knopp, 1998; Filstead, 1970). Researchers engaged in qualitative inquiry because they were concerned with understanding the viewpoints, situations, and perspectives of the participants in the study (Bogdan & Biklen, & Knopp). For researchers to understand social phenomenon they needed to "immerse themselves in the settings or lives of others" (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992, p. 7). This enabled researchers to develop an in-depth understanding of the phenomena they were studying. Moreover, to understand the world of the participants, investigators observed them in natural settings, such as schools (Bodgan, Biklen, & Knopp; Filstead). Researchers focused on the "human and social actions" that occurred within historical or social contexts. This allowed the researcher to explore the complexity of the situation or social phenomenon and to place it in a larger context (Wolcott, 1988). Hendstrand (1993) maintained, "The heart of qualitative work is the opportunity to know a few people or a social system really well" (p. 83). Eisner (1998) distinguished six characteristics of qualitative inquiry. First, qualitative inquires were field focused; hence, researchers collected data in the field. They observed, documented, illustrated, interpreted, and considered settings as they were. Participant observations and interviews were techniques researchers employed while working in the field. Other strategies that investigators utilized to organize and to begin to analyze data were memos, analytic files, rudimentary coding schemes, and 78 interim reports (Glesne & Peshkin, 1992). As well, maintaining a journal of reflective notes was an integral component of qualitative inquiry (Merriam, 1998). For the second characteristic of qualitative research, Eisner (1998) claimed the researcher was the instrument of interpretation. Throughout the study, researchers used all of their senses to comprehend, to figure out, and to reflect on what and why something occurred. Investigators brought their own insights, perspectives, and worldviews to the research. As a result, investigators attended to and were conscious of their subjectivities or personal biases. Peshkin (1991) argued that subjectivity "filter, skew, shape, block, transform, construe, and misconstrue what happens" (p. 285). Researchers considered how their personal beliefs and values affected their engagement in the study. Recognizing, acknowledging, and disclosing their biases enabled researchers to deal with their subjectivity. Third, the study was interpretive; the inquirers needed to be able to account for their observations and perceptions, and they needed to understand the experiences of the participants (Eisner, 1998). Researchers interpreted what they saw, heard, and perceived; they asked questions throughout the study to explain why events and behaviours occurred. Smith (1993) defined interpretation as the art of understanding, reflecting, analyzing, and reporting on a particular phenomenon. Researchers needed to be aware of how the personal histories of the participants influenced their experiences. Schwant (1997) maintained that intersubjectivity was critical to qualitative research. Intersubjectivity was rooted in shared interpretations of experiences. That is, people who worked and lived together in schools had common experiences, which led to overlapping views, and shared meanings and values. 79 Coupled with the feature of inter subjectivity was the ability of researchers to write about the study in detail, and with insightfulness and profundity. Geertz (1973) used the term "thick descriptions" to illustrate how the writing placed the readers into the "heart of that which is the interpretation" (p. 18). He eloquently described this quality as providing the readers with a complex, rich, vivid portrayal of the phenomena that was studied. According to Eisner (1998), a fourth feature of qualitative inquiry was the ability of researchers to use expressive language and have their voice present in the findings of a study. Researchers accomplished this through developing empathy for the participants in the study. Empathy was defined as the capacity of investigators to develop an understanding and appreciation of the people involved in the study. In a similar vein, Stake (1995) claimed qualitative inquiry was emic; the understanding of events was through the perspectives of people in the study. Perceptivity was the fifth characteristic of qualitative inquiry (Eisner, 1998). Some aspects of the study were more important than others. Effective researchers learned to recognize and attend to the more important elements of a study and paid less attention to the insignificant aspects of the study (Peshkin, 1991). Researchers paid attention to the particulars of the phenomena; they were attentive to the details of specific events, people, and objects. Merriam (1998) asserted that successful researchers possessed the following attributes: (a) a tolerance for ambiguity, (b) sensitivity to complex social phenomena, and (c) the ability to establish rapport with the participants and to possess a capacity of instinctive communication. 80 Finally, coherence, insight, and instrumentality were the criteria forjudging the credibility of qualitative inquiry (Eisner, 1998). The study needed to be comprehensible, believable, and useful to the reader. In addition to Eisner's benchmarks, Marshall and Rossman (1995) argued that the following criteria were fundamental to qualitative inquiry: triangulation, credibility, transferability, dependability, confirmability, and authenticity. I will discuss these characteristics, as well as ethics and reciprocity, in more detail later in this chapter. Case Study The feature of "boundaries" distinguished case studies from other qualitative research. Case studies were limited or restricted to a single unit, such as a person, group, institution, period of time, or event (Merriam, 1998). Case studies were used to increase the understanding of a particular problem, issue, or concept (Schwant, 1997). Furthermore, researchers who used a case study approach asked why and how questions (Yin, 1994). Y i n (1994) argued that the major advantages of case studies were the various methods that were utilized to collect data and the multiple facets that were examined. He identified the following data collection strategies: archival records, documents, in-depth interviews, observations, participant observations, and physical artefacts. Y i n emphasized the need for detailed plans and notes for case study research. Yin maintained that case study research was applicable to school situations because the researcher was able to closely observe the phenomena being studied. Researchers using case studies were able to work side by side with the participants (Bromley, 81 1986). Numerous and diverse topics have been studied within a case study design. Bromley claimed that case studies were particularistic, descriptive, heuristic, and holistic. Merriam (1998) maintained that the origins of case studies were rooted in anthropology, history, psychology, and sociology. Questions, issues, and topics of anthropology, history, psychology, and sociology were analogous to education. Anthropologists studied the sociocultural nature of cultures and communities. School cultures and the local community fell within the domain of ethnographic case studies. Peshkin's (1991) work, The Color of Strangers, the Color of Friends: The Play of Ethnicity in the School and Community, is an exemplar of an ethnographic case study. Fournier and Crey's (1997) book, Stolen from Our Embrace: The Abduction of First Nations Children and the Restoration of Aboriginal Communities, is an example of an historical case study. Piaget's (1930) work with an individual child on math conservation concepts is an example of a psychological case study. Sociologists are interested in how the structure of society and institutions affected the education of young people. Home Advantage, an investigation of how the socioeconomic status of the parents influenced the education of their children, is an example of an educational/sociological case study (Lareau, 1987, 2000). Merriam (1998) maintained that case studies were descriptive, interpretive, or evaluative. Investigators employed a descriptive case study and presented a detailed account of their findings when little information was gathered about a specific topic and/or problem. The investigation of the working relationship between a teaching staff and a gay or lesbian administrator would be an example of a descriptive case study. 82 Investigators used an interpretive case study to explain some phenomena or to extend theory that was inadequate or incomplete. Researchers used interpretive case studies to collect data about phenomena with the intention of analyzing, interpreting, and theorizing about the issues. Descriptions were basic to developing a conceptual framework for the problem or topic that was being investigated. Researchers of interpretive case studies produced rich and thick descriptions of the phenomena. The third type of case study was evaluative; it consisted of description, explanation, and judgment. Assessment was the key feature of this type of case study. Delpit's (1993) work on the effectiveness of teaching reading to inner-city students within a whole language approach is an example of an evaluative case study. I chose to use an interpretive case study for my research for several reasons. I was able to do an in-depth investigation of a multi-faceted and dynamic topic, and I conducted the investigation in a natural setting. This case study was holistic; I was able to investigate the multiple perspectives of various educators. I gained valuable insight and different points of view from interviewing teachers, principals, assistant superintendents, and the leadership coordinator as well as the vice-principals. As a researcher, I was required to critically understand and reflect on how the vice-principals understood school leadership. Using an interpretive framework required that I describe how vice-principals understood school leadership and administration during their first year, and explain why it happened. Eisner (1998) encapsulated the essence of interpretive research: "Inquirers try to account for what they have given account o f (p. 34). 83 This Study The purpose of the study was to report on how novice elementary vice-principals understood school leadership and administration during their first year. The research design was a multiple case study; three vice-principals, employed in three schools in one school district, participated in the study. Herriot and Firestone (1983) argued that case studies were considered more robust and rigorous when several cases were included in one project. In the next section, I will discuss the selection of cases, gaining access to the sites, the timeline of the study, and the data collection strategies. Selection of School District For this study, purposeful sampling was used to choose the district, the three schools, and the three vice-principals. The Evergreen School District, a large, urban school district in British Columbia, was chosen because of its diversity, proximity, and size. The school district was economically and culturally diverse. There were low, middle, and high socioeconomic neighbourhoods and ethnically diverse student populations throughout the district. The schools were located in different socioeconomic neighbourhoods. The student populations were multicultural. I was able to visit the schools frequently because of the location of the district. During every school year, the Evergreen School District accepted applications for the elementary vice-principalships from internal and external candidates. The interview process included culling the applications, interviewing the candidates, and appointing individuals to vice-principalship positions. Because there were over 100 2 A pseudonym is used for the school district to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of the school district personnel that participated in this study. elementary and secondary schools, the district hired a number of vice-principals every year. The Evergreen School Board appointed nine elementary vice-principals during the year I conducted my research. I was confident that I would be able to include three vice-principals in my study. I was able to conduct three case studies. As a result, I worked in schools that were different and distinct in some ways, but similar because they were in the same school district and had similar directions, goals, and district leadership. Working in one school district was beneficial because I became familiar with the philosophy of leadership, networks for supporting new administrators, and expectations of first year vice-principals in the Evergreen District. I was able to discern some common elements and similar experiences that the vice-principals encountered because they worked in the same district. I acquired information about the district organization, hierarchy, bureaucracy, and politics that helped me develop a more comprehensive understanding of the first year experiences of the vice-principals. Conducting the research within one district allowed me to explain some links between the district office and its effects on the experiences of the vice-principals. This critical relationship would not have been as evident i f the research had taken place in more than one district. The governance of the Evergreen School District was traditional. A hierarchical structure was firmly in place. Elected school trustees, at the apex of the district, developed policies, rules, and regulations, and set goals for the district. The superintendent, the head of the professional ranks, was responsible for the operations of the schools, and the organization, administration, supervision, and evaluation of all 85 educational programs (Evergreen S c h o o l B o a r d , 1999). 3 In addi t ion, he oversaw the overa l l supervis ion and direct ion o f the staff. F o u r area assistant superintendents were under the direct authority o f the superintendent; they were responsible for the management and administrat ion o f about 30 schools i n the four geographical areas (west, central, east, and southeast) o f the district. The assistant superintendents were the direct supervisors o f the school pr incipals . W h e n po l ic ies were set at the district l eve l , senior administrators expected the school-based administrators to execute the po l ic ies . P r inc ipa l s and v ice-pr inc ipals were the school-based administrators. The pr inc ipals were the direct supervisors o f and possessed authority over the v i c e -pr incipals . S ince the 1970s, the Evergreen S c h o o l Dis t r ic t instituted consultative process to ensure that var ious stakeholders participated i n and contributed to dis t r ic t -wide dec i s ion-making (Evergreen S c h o o l B o a r d , 1999). Representatives o f teachers, parents, administrators, and communi ty members served o n dis t r ic t -wide committees and p rov ided advice and feedback to the school trustees. A l t h o u g h the focus o f the study was three ind iv idua l schools sites i n one district, the B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a M i n i s t r y o f Educa t ion was the governing body o f the pub l i c schoo l districts. It inf luenced the i nd iv idua l school districts p r i m a r i l y through the development o f po l ic ies , goals and objectives, and rules and regulations that p rov ided guidance to the school districts ( B C M i n i s t r y o f Educa t ion Goa l s , 1999). The M i n i s t r y o f Educa t i on p rov ided funding for each school district. The goals o f the M i n i s t r y o f the Educa t i on inf luenced the goals o f the i nd iv idua l school districts. F o r J A pseudonym is used for the school documents referred to in this study to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of the participants. 86 example, one objective of the Ministry of Education was the following: "Improve learning conditions/environment for students." In response to this initiative, the Evergreen superintendent and trustees developed the policies for anti-bullying programs, and then directed principals to institute the anti-bullying programs in their schools. The Ministry of Education had an indirect effect on vice-principals because the principals and vice-principals were responsible for implementing and at times adapting and developing the policies at the school level. Selection of the School Sites and Vice-Principals Spradley (1980) identified six key elements for researchers when they chose participants and sites for a study. Willingness, simplicity, accessibility, unobtrusiveness, permissibleness, and participation were the criteria for selecting the settings. Primarily, the participants must be willing to participate in the study. Simplicity allowed the researcher to move from studying uncomplicated situations to more complex ones. Accessibility was equated with how often the researcher can visit the sites. Unobtrusiveness was the degree to which the researcher was inconspicuous or viewed as ordinary when visiting the school. Permissibleness allowed the researcher to have access to restricted areas at the school site. Participation meant the researcher engaged in or attended activities in the school. The degree of access that a researcher negotiated directly influenced the kind of research that was conducted. It was unusual for researchers to meet all of the criteria; consequently, compromise was usual. 87 Burgess (1984) described the difficulties associated with gaining access to research sites. When a researcher shared information about the study with prospective participants, the description of the research design and the role and routine of the researcher must be clearly defined. Based on his experiences, Burgess maintained that researchers negotiated access to people at different levels of the school hierarchy. Researchers might have to renegotiate access during the study. Choosing the school sites and gaining the consent of the vice-principals to participate in the study were inextricably linked. Undoubtedly, the agreement of the vice-principals was critical to the study because they were the key actors in the study. For this study, I did not need the permission of the Evergreen School District. The district delegated this authority to the school principals. The principals decided who conducted research in their schools. A l l three principals consented and gave me permission to engage in research in their schools (see Appendix P). Purposeful sampling was used to determine which schools would be in the study. Stake (1995) argued that choosing sites was based on how much can be learned at the site. Hence, the researcher needed to consider the uniqueness of the site, and its characteristics and features. The decisive factor for choosing the three schools was the presence of a first-year vice-principal and one school in each of the four areas of the district. I wanted to conduct my research in schools that were different from each other in terms of the following characteristics: (a) type of school (inner-city, French immersion, community, and typical neighbourhood school), (b) socioeconomic status (low, middle, and high) of the schools and neighbourhoods, (c) ethnic origin of the student population (mix of ethnic groups), and (d) school enrolment (range of student 88 populations). I also wanted representation of male and female vice-principals in the study. The Evergreen School District hired eight first-year elementary vice-principals for the 2000-01 school year. These eight vice-principals were the original pool of novice administrators for this study. The district hired another novice elementary vice-principal in October 2000. The nine first-year vice-principals were Caucasian; two were males and seven were females. Eight vice-principals were in-district hires. Four vice-principals were assigned to schools in the west area of the district. Two vice-principals were appointed to schools in the central area. Two vice-principals were assigned to schools in the southeast area, and one vice-principal was appointed to a school in the east area of the district. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah consented to participate in the study; they received permission from the principals.4 Celeste was one of two principals assigned to the southeast area. Her school was the first choice because it had a large multicultural student population, was an inner-city school, and was located in a low socioeconomic area of the district. The second choice for the southeast area was a community school located in a middle-income neighbourhood. A male vice-principal was assigned to this school. Gina and another novice vice-principal were assigned to the central district area. I decided to invite Gina to participate in the study because she worked in a community, multicultural, middle-income, mid-size school in the central district area. The other 4 To protect their anonymity and confidentiality, pseudonyms are used for the names of the participants in this study. 89 vice-principal in the same area was new to the Evergreen District; she was an outside hire. She was the second choice in this area of the district. There were four female vice-principals in the west area. The vice-principal who worked in an affluent school with mostly European-Canadian students agreed to participate in the study. At the beginning of the school year, she decided not to participate because she was concerned that the study and her involvement in a school-wide evaluation would be too demanding for a first year administrator. Hence, I contacted Hannah, who worked in a similar type neighbourhood school in the same area of the district, except the ethnicity of the student population was different. It was a mixture of European-Canadian and international students. Hannah agreed to participate in the study. I did not consider the vice-principal who was assigned to an annex in the west district because her role was more like a principal than a vice-principal. She was the only administrator in her building. The vice-principal who was appointed in October was not in the initial group of vice-principals. The only vice-principal appointed to the east area of the district did not want to participate in the study. He felt the demands of participation would interfere with his work at the school. Three female, Caucasian vice-principals in three diverse schools, from three of the four district areas, participated in the study. The Evergreen District employed all three vice-principals when they were appointed to the vice-principalships. The schools were distinguished from each other based on the type of school, the socio-economic status of the school neighbourhood, the ethnic diversity in the student body, and the number of students enrolled in the school. The schools were similar because the 90 principals, vice-principals, and teachers in the schools worked within a model o f shared decision-making. This w i l l be discussed in more detail in chapter six. The table below depicts information about the schools and nine vice-principals: • Locations o f the schools • Type o f school • Socioeconomic status o f neighbourhood • Ethnicity o f the students. Figure 1: Vice-Principals Assignments to Schools Southeast Female (Celeste) Inner-City School Low-Income First Nations, Chinese, Indo, & Filipino-Canadians Southeast Male Community School Middle Income European & Asian Canadian East Male Partial Inner-City School Low/Middle Income European & Asian Canadian Central Female (Gina) Community School Middle Income Indo, Chinese, Filipino, & European-Canadians Central Female French Immersion School Middle Income European-Canadian West Female Neighbourhood School High Income European & Asian-Canadian West Female (Hannah) Neighbourhood School High Income First Nations, European & Asian-Canadians, Non-Canadian West Female Neighbourhood School High Income School Annex European-Canadian students West Female (Appointed in October) Neighbourhood School High Income European-Canadian Gina, Celeste, and Hannah, the vice-principals, possessed different educational backgrounds and employment histories. Gina completed a Master's degree in curriculum and instruction during the first term of the school year. She taught all elementary grade levels (K-7) and computer technology during her 10-year teaching career. Gina taught for seven years in the Evergreen District and three years in another province. Gina attended the seven-week district leadership program the year before she was appointed to the vice-principalship. Gina was appointed to McCleery School, 91 which was a cornmiinity school and had a 90-year history.5 As a community school, a director organized programs and classes after school for adults and children living in the surrounding school area. For example, the school offered access to computers after school. Mandarin and Punjabi language classes were held in the school. The school enrolment was approximately 450 (McCleery School Profile, 2000).6 The student body was mainly Chinese-Canadian, Indo-Canadian, Filipino-Canadian, and European-Canadian. There were 24 professional staff members — 17 classroom teachers and 7 non-enrolling teachers, four male and twenty female teachers, and a part time counsellor and multicultural worker. The support staff included a full time secretary, part time secretary, engineer, and three supervision aids. Celeste's professional career spanned 22 years in the Evergreen school district. Her experience included classroom, English as a Second Language, resource, and special project teaching before becoming a vice-principal. Celeste attended graduate school classes during her first year in administration. She completed the district leadership program the year before she became a vice-principal. She was assigned to Ashland Elementary, an inner-city school, which served economically disadvantaged and ethnically diverse students in a low-income area. Ashland's student population was approximately 735 students. There were forty-six teachers; thirty-one were classrooms teachers, sixteen taught English as a Second Language or were resource teachers. Thirty-seven members of the staff were women; nine were men, and nine were people of colour. Two full time secretaries, an engineer, lunch supervisor, and 5 To protect the anonymity and confidentiality of the participants, pseudonyms are used for the three schools in this study: McCleery, Ashland, and Woodlawn. 6 Each school in the district published a school profile of basic school facts. Pseudonyms are used for the schools and documents to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of the people who participated in this study. 92 four supervision aids made up the support staff at Ashland. Twenty-nine nationalities were represented in the school; students of Chinese, East Indian, Vietnamese, European, and Filipino heritages were the most populous groups. Over 30 languages were spoken in the school. Almost 70% of the students were English as Second Language students at one time. As an inner-city school, Ashland received several benefits (Ashland School Profile, 2000). A counsellor, youth worker, First Nations worker, urgent intervention worker, neighbourhood liaison, and multicultural worker were assigned to the school. Hannah was a 20-year veteran who worked in the Evergreen School District for most of her career. She had taught social studies and physical education in another school district in British Columbia for several years before transferring to the Evergreen District. Hannah had been a counsellor at the elementary and secondary levels, coordinated the district urgent intervention program, and was a resource home instructor during her tenure in the Evergreen School District. Hannah possessed Master's degrees in counselling and school leadership. She was assigned to Woodlawn Elementary, which had a multicultural population of almost 500 students with a yearly transient rate of 22% (Woodlawn School Profile, 2000). Thirty percent of the students were non-Canadian and 37% were English as Second Language learners. Within this group, there were children from East Asian, African, South America, and the Middle East. In addition, six percent of the students were First Nations; the remaining students were European-Canadians. The children came from upper middle-income and high-income families in the local neighbourhood as well as the families of students and staff at the local postsecondary school. The professional staff consisted of twenty-four 93 classroom teachers and five English as Second Language teachers; four teachers were male; twenty-six were female, and two were people of colour. The support staff included a full time secretary, part time secretary, engineer, three supervision aids, and lunch server. Role of the Researcher Qualitative researchers recognized that their life experiences influenced their views of the world, and subsequently their research. M y 11-year teaching career and five years as an elementary principal had considerable impact on my research. On the one hand, I was familiar with schools, their cultures and complex environments. Many of the events and activities that I observed in the three schools had a familiar feel for me. I believed I understood what occurred in the schools at greater depth because of my prior experiences. M y educational experience was critical to me during my study. Geertz (1983) vividly explained why experience and knowledge contributed to the researcher's perspective: "In order to follow a baseball game one must understand what a bat, a hit, an inning, a left field, a squeeze play, a hanging curve, and a tightened infield are, and what the game in which these 'things' are elements is all about" (p. 69). However, I was cautious that my recollections of my first-year in administration would not colour my interpretation of the experiences of the new elementary vice-principals in this study. As a first-year principal, I was overwhelmed with the amount of information I needed to assimilate because of my new role and because I was new to the school. In addition, I had difficult relationships with several teachers even though I believed I was working collaboratively with the teaching staff. 94 During this study, I needed to guard against keeping my experiences separate from the vice-principals' experiences. I believed I was successful because I was conscientious about examining and finding supporting evidence for various data throughout the study. Asking many questions about specific topics was another way I limited how my experiences affected my research. For example, I made numerous inquiries about the shared decision-making processes in the schools. I tried to attend as many meetings as possible to observe the process first hand. Last, I believed my experience as an administrator influenced the study because the vice-principals were aware of my background and respected me as an educator. The vice-principals viewed me as a person they could talk to relieve some of the pressure they felt as new administrators. Methods of Data Collection Before I began the formal research in October 2000,1 gathered background information for the study. I had informal conversations with two novice vice-principals employed by the Evergreen School Board. I talked with five first-year vice-principals about their experiences as novice administrators when I attended a summer leadership institute for new and aspiring administrators sponsored by the British Columbia Principals and Vice-Principals Association (BCPVPA). Additionally, I met with a long-time executive of the B C P V P A to obtain information regarding the history, roles, and functions of administrators in British Columbia. The following methods were used to collect data: in-depth interviews, direct observations, participant observations, and analyses of documents. My research plan 95 included interviews, observations, and documents (see Appendix A). Every activity in the research project was recorded (see Appendix B for a sample of the record). The main data collection phase of the study began in October 2000 and ended in June 2001. The three vice-principals were interviewed in October, January, and June. Teachers, principals, assistant superintendents, and other first-year elementary vice-principals were interviewed from January to June 2001.1 engaged in observations from October to June, and I reviewed documents throughout the school year. As a follow up to the study, I interviewed the three vice-principals at the end of their second year in administration in June 2002. Although a schedule was pre-arranged for the observations and interviews, I remained open, receptive, and flexible regarding investigating unanticipated events, situations, and new phenomena. These changes are discussed in the appropriate sections of this paper. Observations I observed for 20 or more days in each school for a total of 360 hours (see Appendix C for details). I engaged in participant observations and direct observations of the vice-principals from October 2000 to June 2001. Direct observations took place when the vice-principals were in meetings, assemblies, or classrooms. The settings were not conducive to casual conversations. Participant observations occurred when the vice-principals and I talked informally while they performed some of their duties. For example, we chatted while they supervised the children during recesses or when the vice-principals worked in their offices. 96 The purposes of the October, November, and December visits were to become familiar with the vice-principals and the structures and cultures of the schools. Because I was in such close proximity to the vice-principals during the visits, it was crucial to build relationships based on integrity and trust. On some days, I spent two to four hours with a vice-principal while she worked in her office. Every visit was a delicate balance of remaining quietly unobtrusive in the shadows yet probing the world of the vice-principals by asking questions. After January, I felt less conspicuous in the schools; I had become a familiar face and an accepted visitor to the schools. Many teachers and the school secretaries were friendly and talkative; they had become accustomed to my visits with the vice-principals. From March to June, I had several opportunities to engage in informal conversations with the principals of the schools. The principals shared insights about their views of leadership and their roles as schools leaders. These exchanges were invaluable because I obtained information about the Evergreen District. Decisions regarding which events and activities to observe at the school sites were based on the focus of the study (Schatzman & Strauss, 1973). In this case, I observed the vice-principals, the daily routine of the schools, and special events (e.g., sports day, professional development workshops). I observed the vice-principals working in their offices, performing administrative duties, interacting with teachers, staff, and the principals, facilitating and leading meetings, and supervising students. I observed Hannah and Gina teaching students; however, I did not observe Celeste teaching because she taught few classes. Meetings encompassed a wide range of topics and subjects. These meetings (both scheduled and spontaneous meetings) concerned 97 the staff, curricular matters, events, resources, parents, and professional development. I negotiated access to some meetings I had not anticipated attending when I commenced the study (e.g., professional development and some committee meetings). School activities were opportunities for observation; I attended several assemblies, performances, and parent meetings in each school. Occasionally, I was involved or observed unexpected events (e.g., a mid-size earthquake and fire drills occurred during visits). In general, I was present at the majority of the meetings the vice-principals attended (see Appendix G & H for meetings attended). However, on several occasions I was not included in meetings because sensitive issues were discussed. For example, I did not attend a meeting when a vice-principal met with government officials to discuss a child who was in government care. When and how often the researcher visited the school was critical because each school had its own rhythm, regular events, and activities (Burgess, 1984). Initially, I planned to observe the vice-principals on every day of the workweek during different weeks so I would be able to observe as many different activities as possible (See Appendix C for observation schedule). For instance, I visited Woodlawn on Wednesday one week; the following week I observed on Thursday. However, I adjusted the schedule for Hannah and Gina because they taught 60% of the time (see Appendix D for teaching schedule of the vice-principals). As a result, I rescheduled the observations for Wednesdays because Hannah and Gina did not teach on this day. Changing the observation schedule was important to the study because I was able to 98 observe the vice-principals engaging in administration activities rather than teaching classes. After every observation, I wrote up my field notes and reviewed them, then I engaged in preliminary analyses in preparation for the next observation. I used the information to prepare myself for interviews or to check school or district documents. In addition to writing field notes, I systematically recorded the daily interactions of the vice-principals with other members of the staff from January to June (see Appendixes F and G). This was a strategy to portray the daily lives of the vice-principals (Burgess, 1984). Additionally, it provided another means to triangulate and verify the data I had collected. Interviews Interviews were integral to this study because the participants were able to explain their thoughts, ideas, and concerns about various issues and topics. The three vice-principals were interviewed four times. Three interviews were held during the school year that I conducted the study; one interview was held at the end of the vice-principals' second year in administration. In addition to the vice-principals, I interviewed 10 to 12 teachers in each school, the three school principals, two assistant superintendents, and the leadership coordinator. I interviewed five other first-year elementary vice-principals appointed at the same time as the three vice-principals. In all, I conducted 53 interviews during the research; the interviews ranged from 45 minutes to two hours in length (see Appendixes A and N for information on the interviews). 99 Generally, the interviews were semi-structured. I was receptive to discussing issues not anticipated but relevant to the study. Initially, I prepared a comprehensive list of questions for the interviews because I wanted to ensure that I obtained crucial information. However, as I reviewed through the interviews, I depended less and less on prepared questions. Instead, I focused on specific topics or questions that were important to the study or the interviewees. For instance, I thought the predecessors of the vice-principals might have influenced the acceptance of the vice-principals by the teachers. I planned to ask the teachers several questions about this issue. However, I quickly realized that the teachers did not believe the previous vice-principals influenced how the teachers responded to the newly appointed vice-principals. Subsequently, I spent less time inquiring about this issue. Participants: vice-principals. The vice-principals were interviewed four times (see Appendix J for a sample of interview questions). The purposes of the first interview were to gather background information about the vice-principals, to ascertain their early perceptions and expectations of their roles of administration, to collect data on how their relationships with the principals and teachers might have influenced their understanding of administration, to identify their tasks and responsibilities, and to note their observations of the culture and micropolitics of the schools. The goals of the January interviews were to ascertain i f and how the views of the vice-principals about administration had evolved, to discuss whether their tasks and responsibilities had changed since the beginning of the school year, to determine 100 how their teaching time affected their transition into administration, to query the effects of the collective agreement on vice-principals, to discuss their support systems, to ask about the challenges of their new posts, and to inquire about their views on their participation in the study. Several questions addressed the micropolitics of the school, shared decision-making, teacher leadership, and critical incidents the vice-principals encountered. The purpose of the June interviews was similar to the January interview. The issues that were discussed included, but were not limited to the following topics: understanding school administration and leadership, challenges of the job, relationships with the teachers and principals, their support groups, participation in the study, self-assessment and self-evaluation of their performances as first year administrators, and plans for next year. The purposes of the interviews at the end of two years as administrators were the following: (a) comparisons of the second year of administration to the first year of administration, and (b) evaluations of their performances over the two year period. Participants: other first-year vice-principals. In May and June 2001,1 interviewed five of the six other first-year elementary vice-principals in the Evergreen School District (see Appendix J for interview questions).7 I decided not to use the interview of one vice-principal because her situation was different than the other vice-principals; she worked in a school annex. 7 One vice-principal did not respond to my letter or to a follow-up phone call. 8 She fulfilled the role of the principal rather than the vice-principal because she was the lone administrator in an annex which was a satellite school of a main school. 101 The chief objective of the interviews was to provide triangulation of the data I had collected throughout the school year. Four of the interviews were held at the respective schools. One interview was held at the University of British Columbia. I compared these interviews with the interviews of the three vice-principals who participated in the study. We discussed the challenges of the position, their tasks and responsibilities, their relationships with the school principals, assistant superintendents, influential teachers, and their self-evaluations. Participants: principals. A l l three principals were interviewed in April or May 2001 (see Appendix K for interview questions). The interviews were conducted in the offices of the principals. The purpose of the interviews was to ascertain information regarding the career and administrative experience of the principals, their philosophy of leadership, district information regarding vice-principals, how the principals influence the transition of the vice-principals into administration, the collective agreement, shared decision-making, teacher leadership, and general information about the culture and micropolitics of the school. Other queries covered the following topics: the number of vice-principals with whom they had worked, informal and formal mentoring relationships, leadership styles of the principals, roles of administrators, the philosophy of management and leadership of the district, vice-principal training, expectations of vice-principals, support for the vice-principals, power of the principals over the vice-principals, the 102 positions of the vice-principals in the district hierarchy, and the teaching assignments and administrative duties of the vice-principals. Participants: teachers. Ten to twelve teachers in each school were invited to participate in the interviews. The interviews, which took place at the school sites, were held from January to May (see Appendix M for interview questions). I deliberately scheduled the interviews during the second term of the school year because I wanted the teachers to have had substantial and sustained contact with the vice-principals before I interviewed them. The selection of teachers was based on combinations of the following criteria: grade levels (primary and intermediate), specialist areas (e.g., librarian, counsellor, and resource teacher), tenure in the school, teaching experience, gender, and ethnicity. In addition to the previously mentioned criteria, I felt it was essential to interview the chairpersons of the staff advisory committee (SAC) and the union representatives (see Appendix N for teacher demographics). The majority of the teachers were able to devote an hour to the interview. Of the twenty-nine teachers asked to participate in interviews, only one teacher declined to be interviewed. Another teacher requested that segments of her interview not be taped. The goals of the interviews were to gather data on the history and culture of the schools, the perceptions and expectations of the teachers of school administrators, influential teachers in the school, evaluation of the effectiveness of committees in the school and shared decision-making, and expectations and views of the teachers related to first-year vice-principals. 103 Participants: assistant superintendents and leadership coordinator. I hoped to interview the four assistant superintendents who were in charge of the four areas in the district and the coordinator of district leadership program. The coordinator and two of the four assistant superintendents agreed to be interviewed. However, only one o f the assistant superintendents was the supervisor for a school in this study. He was in charge of the southeast area in the district. The other assistant superintendent was the administrator for the east area of the district. Regrettably, the other two assistant superintendents did not respond to my invitations to be interviewed. The June 2001 interviews were held i n the offices o f the assistant superintendents and the leadership coordinator (see Appendix L for interview questions). In addition to triangulation of the data, the purposes of the interviews were to obtain information about the roles of the assistant superintendents and leadership coordinator, their views of the roles o f vice-principals, typical problems that new administrators encountered, and the processes and procedures for training new administrators. The interviews contributed to a broader view and understanding of leadership in the school district. Review of Documents The third strategy used to collect data was examination and analyses of school, district, and government documents (see Appendix A for documents that were reviewed). The objectives of examining the documents were to gain background information and data about the schools and district, to compare and contrast some o f 104 the information with the data I collected during the observations and interviews, and to compare the information from the documents with the experiences of the vice-principals. School documents provided background information about the history, structure, and goals of the individual schools. District documents served two purposes: (a) they included information on the hierarchy, directions, and goals of the schools and district; and (b) there was information on the training, expectations, and evaluations of principals and vice-principals. Government documents provided historical and legal information about the roles of the school administrators and their association with the teachers. Data Analysis Procedures During this study, I collected data from 53 interviews and 62 days of observations (i.e., 360 observational hours). I reviewed numerous documents to obtain background information about the schools, district, and Ministry of Education. The research questions, which encompassed the vice-principals' understanding of school leadership and administration, the micropolitics of the schools, the use of power by the vice-principals, principals, and teachers, shared decision-making, and the vice-principals' relationships with the teachers and with the principals, were guidelines I used to collect the data throughout this investigation. Conversely, I was receptive to other issues and topics that the vice-principals discussed during the interviews and the observations. I recorded field notes in a notebook during the school observations. After each observation, I rewrote and added comprehensive comments to the field notes. 105 Additionally, I included my interpretation and thoughts about the observations. I used similar procedures for the interviews I conducted. I usually wrote a few notes during the tape-recorded interviews, and then I added detailed and analytical remarks after each interview. Because unexpected topics emerged from the observations and the interviews, I asked additional questions about these issues during subsequent observations and interviews. For example, the vice-principals claimed that mentoring by their principals was important to their development as school leaders. As a result, I inquired about mentoring during the second term of the school year. Moreover, I asked the principals and the assistant superintendents about mentoring. The concurrent and reciprocal processes of collecting data, writing field notes, and analyzing data enabled the identification of topics, themes, and patterns in the data. Analyses of the data began during each vice-principal's first interview, and I continued to analyze the data throughout the study. As I collected data during the observations and interviews, I engaged in preliminary analyses. I used codes based on the research questions and interview questions to describe block sections of the field notes. Also, I coded topics that emerged from the data (e.g., mentoring). The codes included, but were not limited to, the vice-principals' roles and responsibilities, goals, challenges, expectations, beliefs about leadership, leadership styles (e.g., collaborative, laissez-faire), adjustment to the role of the vice-principalship, decision-making, critical incidents, and exercise of power by the vice-principals, principals, and teachers. Following the preliminary analyses of the data, I used the following tools for the in-depth analyses of the data: Atlas.ti, matrices, forms, networks (Miles & 106 Huberman, 1994), and interaction charts (see Appendix E). I reviewed and reanalyzed the preliminary data codes. Next, I used the Atlas.ti program to compile the data by topics, issues, and themes (e.g., the vice-principals' goals). Matrices were used to compare and contrast critical aspects of the data (e.g., the teachers' expectations of administrators). The forms included the following: contact (interview) summary form, document summary form, observation form, and interim case study summary. Networks were utilized to illustrate the links of various themes, issues, and patterns among the data (e.g., linking beliefs about leadership to school incidents). From January to June, I used an interaction chart to record different aspects of the vice-principals' conversations with the principals, teachers, support staff, and students. Interpretation of the data, drawing conclusions, and verification of the data were inextricably linked to the analyses of the data. To ensure the credibility and plausibility of the conclusions, I compared and contrasted different aspects of the data. These included the vice-principals' careers, administrative goals, duties and responsibilities, challenges, teaching assignments, expectations, and leadership styles; teachers' expectations of administrators, and shared decision-making procedures. Also, I examined the similarities and differences of the principals' views about the vice-principalship and their relationships with the vice-principals. In addition, I looked at the themes and patterns in the data and noted relationships between different issues in the data. For example, the links between the vice-principals beliefs about leadership, their interactions with teachers, and decision-making procedures were investigated. 107 To verify the interpretations and conclusions, I checked to ensure that sufficient data were collected to answer the research questions throughout the study. I constantly reviewed raw data and asked questions of various participants to verify the data I had collected. Several issues became prominent during the research. For instance, the vice-principals' loyalty to their administrative colleagues was a more important issue than I had initially anticipated. Consequently, I asked the assistant superintendents, leadership coordinator, principals, and vice-principals additional questions about loyalty. I searched for confirming and disconfirming evidence in the data. Throughout the study, I engaged in member checking. I asked the vice-principals, principals, and several teachers follow up questions about different issues and incidents that occurred during observations. A l l of the interviewees were asked to review and comment on the interviews. Furthermore, I asked various participants (vice-principals, principals, teachers, assistant superintendent, and leadership coordinator) questions regarding specific issues, topics, and critical incidents to check the data and confirm or disconfirm the findings. Data that were unconfirmable were not used. The vice-principals responded to questions regarding my interpretations and conclusions. I reviewed the findings of the study with the three vice-principals. Quality of Study Triangulation, credibility, transferability, dependability, confirmability and authenticity determined the merits of qualitative research (Marshall & Rossman, 1995). Triangulation involved collecting data through multiple methods and from multiple sources (Marshall & Rossman). In a sense, triangulation was a measure of 108 internal validity; hence, checking the data was fundamental to research. In this study, triangulation was addressed in several ways. I used the following four different data collection strategies: interviews, observations, participant observations, and document analyses. I interviewed people in several positions and levels of the school district; these included the vice-principals, other vice-principals, principals, teachers, assistant superintendents, and coordinator of the leadership program. I reviewed documents to obtain background information about the schools, district, government, and school administrators (see Appendix A for an overview of observations, interviews, and documents). Transferability Marshall and Rossman (1995) defined transferability as "demonstrating the applicability of one set of findings to another context" (p. 145). Lincoln and Guba (1985) urged researchers to provide extensive and detailed reports so the readers can judge whether the findings were transferable. Ample details about the circumstances of the case were required for the readers to use the information and apply it to other situations. Mitchell (1983) maintained that the onus was on the readers of the case to determine whether the findings were transferred to other situations. However, it was the responsibility of the researchers to provide thick descriptions of their studies to engender transferability (Geertz, 1973). Kennedy (1979) offered a different and complementary view of how to address transferability. He drew a parallel between case study research and case law. A jury and judge based legal precedents on the cumulative effects and findings of other 109 similar cases, which depended on in-depth investigations and an interpretation of the cases. The process was similar to how social scientists engaged in case study research and then provided a comprehensive report enabling the readers to make a decision as to the relevancy of the report to their circumstances. Dependability Marshall and Rossman (1995), Piatt (1992), and Y i n (1994) argued that dependability was providing a comprehensive and detailed plan of the study so that other researchers were able to determine exactly what occurred, when it occurred, and why it occurred. According to Lincoln and Guba (1985), dependability corresponded with the concept of reliability in quantitative studies; it was the careful documentation of procedures for gathering and analyzing data. For case studies, Y in suggested that researchers used multiple cases, drew up detailed plans, and utilized several data collection strategies. Timelines, hours of contact, records of interviews, observations, and review of documents were systematically recorded during this study. The links between questions asked, data collected, and the conclusions were explicit. Transcription of notes was completed after each observation. The research plan was detailed and thorough; however, I was open to unexpected events and made changes when necessary (e.g., observing two vice-principals on Wednesdays). See Appendixes A and B to review the research plan. 1 Credibility Credibility, closely linked to authenticity, was the correspondence between the way the participants actually perceived social constructs and the way the researchers portrayed their views and perspectives (Marshall & Rossman, 1995). The researchers maintained that authenticity was the responsibility of researchers to present the perspectives, views, and beliefs of the participants. Member checks were used for this criterion. Credibility was achieved by extensive and sustained contact between the researcher and the participants (Stoecker, 1991). I achieved this through the number of days and hours I engaged in observations. Persistent observation, checking with interviewees, critical questioning, and sustained analysis throughout the investigation were necessary. Field notes were written after each observation; questions were generated from the field notes and were used to prepare for subsequent visits. I engaged in regular and consistent observations for eight and a half months, for 62 days, for a total of 360 hours. Confirmability According to Schwant (1997), confirmability was minimizing the biases of the researcher. Member checks were critical to the quality of the study (Schwant). interpretations and conclusions were logical and the connection between the conclusions and the data was explicit. Searching for disconfirming evidence countered the critique of researcher bias. The vice-principals provided feedback regarding interpretations of events, observations, and interviews. They were asked to comment on the analyses and findings of the study. A l l of the interviewees received a 111 transcription of the interview within 10 days of the interview. Although they were asked to provide feedback and comments, only a few of the interviewees responded to the request. During the study, I examined my own biases that were related to my experiences as a first-year principal. I used the literature on first-year administrators to help me frame and reframe the study. Ethics Soltis (1990) argued that all investigators must uphold a code of ethics throughout the research. He maintained that these were related to moral values and professional issues. Honesty, fairness, respect for persons, and goodness were ethical values. Professional issues that dictated the conduct of researchers were privacy, avoidance of deception, confidentiality, and informed consent. I followed the procedures of the ethical review committee at the University of British Columbia. A l l of the participants of the study received and signed consent forms, which stipulated confidentiality and anonymity as conditions of the study (see Appendixes O, P, Q, R, S, and T to review the consent forms for interviews and permission to visit the schools). For some researchers, reciprocity was an important aspect of qualitative inquiries. Researchers were able to complete dissertations and write papers, articles, and reports because educators allowed them to conduct research in their schools. Reciprocity was the intent of the researchers to give back to the participants and the schools (Schwant, 1997). Reciprocity was extremely important to me. During this study, I reciprocated in ways that did not interfere with the study. For instance, I 112 counted newsletters because the secretary was unavailable due to an emergency. On another occasion, I demonstrated how to locate Internet websites for two vice-principals. At one school, I led an effective use of time workshop to a group of teachers during a professional development day. In addition, I presented preliminary findings of my study to a local group of administrators. One vice-principal in the study attended the presentation as well as three of the other elementary vice-principals that I had interviewed. Fourteen months after I completed the study, I met with the new coordinator of the leadership program in the Evergreen School District to share the findings of my research. Limitations and Delimitations of the Study Several limitations affected this study. First, the study was restricted to three schools, in one public school district, in one province in Canada. The findings are not generalizable to all elementary schools in Canada, but they might be transferable to other school situations and settings. The readers of the study determine i f the findings are transferable to other situations. Detailed descriptions of the schools, district, and primary participants are provided to aid the readers' determination of transferability. Another limitation of the study was related to the complex and dynamic nature of organizations. Vice-principals were involved in countless events, conversations, exchanges, activities, and interactions during a typical school week. It was impossible and unfeasible to observe everything they did. Furthermore, I visited the schools about one day a week. Although I observed many different activities and events during the study, I could hot observe everything. M y observations were limited due to the 113 parameters of the study and limitations on my time and ability to be in different places at different times. The Evergreen School District appointed seven female and two male first-year vice-principals during the year this study was conducted. In the initial design of the study, I sought the participation of both male and female vice-principals. Three female vice-principals participated in the study. One male vice-principal did not want to participate in the study. I did not invite the other male vice-principal to participate in the study because his area of the district and the type of school where he worked were already represented in the study. However, I did interview him as one of the non-focal vice-principals. On a few occasions, I asked questions about the gender of the vice-principals; however, the three vice-principals maintained that the individual characteristics of the person were more important than the gender. Consequently, I did not explore it further. There was a limitation in the data collection procedures. Although I conducted a substantial number of interviews and observations, it was difficult to verify the interpretations about specific issues to the extent that all uncertainty was removed. However, conversations, interviews, observations, and review of documents produced similar findings to the extent that interpretations were replicated in the responses of others, the observation of events, and pertinent documents. Therefore, the results can be seen as robust because they were obtained from various sources. A delimitation was the exclusion of students, parents, and support staff from the study. The focus of the study was how the vice-principals understood administration and school leadership as it related to their duties and their relationships 1 with teachers and principals. Specifically, I was interested in the daily lives of the vice-principals inside the schools. Consequently, I did not consider interviewing children, parents, or the support staff. The secretaries, supervision aids, parents, and students might have provided insights or information that teachers and the principals could not. In chapters four, five and six, I report the findings of the data collection regarding the three vice-principals. The tasks and duties of the vice-principals, relationship between the vice-principals and the principals, the relationship between the professional staff and the vice-principals, and the micropolitics of schools are analyzed. 115 CHAPTER FOUR: THE VICE-PRINCIPALS: THEIR GOALS, THE SCHOOLS AND THEIR ROLES Although many educators deemed the vice-principalship challenging and difficult, Gina, Celeste, and Hannah were eager to tackle the duties and responsibilities of their new administrative assignments. In the first section of this chapter, I introduce the vice-principals and review their goals, expectations, and beliefs of school leadership. Background information about the three schools is provided. Then, I describe the vice-principalship and its position in the school hierarchy, provide details of the traditional roles of the vice-principals, and discuss the teaching assignments. I briefly summarize other challenges the vice-principals encountered. The details of the experiences of the vice-principals were drawn from the interviews with the three vice-principals, five other first-year vice-principals, the school principals, teachers, and assistant superintendents; field notes, and documents. Gina and McCleery When I met Gina for the first interview, she reminded me of a young business executive. She was about 30 years old, professionally and stylishly dressed, assertive, and knowledgeable. Throughout the interview, Gina was articulate, gregarious, and passionate about various school issues. She was intense and serious about her new role in administration. Gina had specific reasons for becoming a vice-principal. She believed a formal school leadership position would enable her to affect the education of children beyond a single classroom. She expected to accomplish this through 116 involvement in school-wide activities. Gina explained, "Because I saw you could make a difference. I've done parental involvement in my own classroom, but now I can actually do this with a school-wide model. One classroom doesn't make that much of a difference." Her intensity towards her new job was noticeable throughout the interview. Gina reported that she worked long hours and committed herself to many school projects and activities. Gina underlined the partnership between administration and teachers. She believed teachers should take ownership of school decisions and school activities. She advocated a "bottom-up" or shared decision-making leadership style. Gina explicated this approach to leadership: I think there are two types of administrators; there are the top-down and the bottom-up. I mean teachers want you to be the bottom-up type of administrator where they're consulted. Everybody likes, most people would prefer that type of administrator. I happen to be. Both Harry [the school principal] and I are like that. We don't want to make all of the decisions. Gina identified initiating new activities and proposing new ideas to teachers as obligatory for administrators. She claimed that teachers expected administrators to perform this function. Gina also believed her transition from teaching to administration would be unproblematic because she had worked in seven schools over a ten-year period. She talked about adapting to a new school: "I've had to do that all along. The seven schools in ten years, because you have to learn to adapt to certain ways of doing things." Gina was certain that she would make a difference at McCleery Elementary. At one point in the interview, Gina reflected on her age and appearance. She stated that she did not look like a "typical" vice-principal. At the beginning of the school year, comments by students and parents reinforced this perception. According 117 to Gina, they were surprised she was a vice-principal. Gina wanted to project a professional and mature image to the school community. She wanted the parents and students to see her as an administrator. She talked about her concerns: Yes, that's why I dress up. If you notice, I do quite a bit. I'm comfortable wearing those clothes anyway, but I've bought more suits because I also look it [like an administrator] a little bit more. And in this community, there is a little bit more respect of authority, of teachers, administrators, and I feel more the part. Gina was assigned to McCleery School, which was located at the corner of tree-lined streets in a middle-income, multicultural neighbourhood. The school's mission statement emphasized the reciprocal and cooperative relationship between the school and the local community (McCleery School Profile, 2000) . Chinese New Year and Diwali (Hindu festival) were celebrated to honour the cultural diversity of the students and families. In another effort to recognize students, the teachers acknowledged the good deeds or academic improvements of students at the monthly McCleery Star assembly. The students' art and class work were displayed throughout the hallways of the main school building. In addition, teachers offered many extra-curricular activities to the students (e.g., basketball, volleyball, track and field, cross country, strings program, and chess). A teacher conveyed her pride in McCleery Elementary: "People are friendly and considerate of each other. The parents are respectful of the teachers and the students. Overall, I think the culture of the school is a very pleasant environment to work in, to learn in." The majority of the McCleery teaching staff was mature and experienced; however, several younger teachers had joined the staff during the past several years. The professional staff seemed friendly toward each other; a social committee 118 organized the Christmas and end o f year parties, and teachers shared treats on Fridays. Teachers tended to associate wi th the same colleagues. The primary teachers (Kindergarten to Grade 3) were a close-knit group. The intermediate teachers seemed to be divided by age and by teachers who coached sports. The resource teachers were the least cohesive group; several o f these teachers did not blend in wi th the group. Wi th the exception o f a few teachers, the McCleery staff seemed to get along wel l wi th one another. A teacher aptly described the teacher culture at McCleery: There certainly doesn't seem to be deliberate clique-ness or exclusion o f anyone. I think we tend to sit in little groups, but it doesn't mean you couldn't j o in a group i f you felt like it and be welcomed and feel welcomed in it. The staff were concerned about the McCleery school leaders. Harry, the school principal, was appointed to McCleery at the same time Gina was appointed to the vice-principalship. Both the principal and vice-principal were new to the school. According to several teachers, the previous principal had been authoritarian, anti-union, and traditional. One teacher seemed to capture the views o f the majority o f teachers regarding the previous principal: He did not suffer fools gladly. I think that would be the way to put it. His view was—get on wi th it. And because he was a top-down leader, basically, he told you this was the way it was going to be done. That's not my idea o f a leader. Because o f the principal's leadership style, a group o f McCleery teachers contacted the area assistant superintendent to request a principal who would be collaborative, collegial, and innovative. They did not want someone who was going to retire from McCleery Elementary within a few years o f the appointment. This seemed to be the trend for the principals sent to this school. Instead, the staff wanted someone who was 1 1 9 energetic, enthusiastic, and innovative. By the second term, it appeared that Gina possessed more o f these traits rather than the new principal, Harry. Celeste and Ashland Celeste, who was approximately 45 years old, was friendly, personable, and humorous. She asserted that her assignment to Ashland was a good match. She knew the school community because she had worked at a neighbourhood school for ten years. Early in the school year, it was obvious that many o f the teachers liked Celeste a great deal. Her jokes on the public address system caused ripples o f laughter in the staff room. Celeste greeted and talked with the teachers in a casual, relaxed manner. Teachers visited her office not only to discuss school issues, but also to chat about other topics. Her rapport wi th the staff was in stark contrast to the previous vice-principal. During the first interview, Celeste talked about her reasons for becoming an administrator. Celeste succinctly explained that i t was time to "move on," to do something other than teach after teaching for twenty years. Celeste expressed a desire to engage in professional growth and different types o f challenges; her new administrative role afforded her these opportunities. Celeste discussed her goals as a first-year vice-principal. She wanted to get to know the teachers and to become familiar wi th the school culture and history. She believed it was important to develop a trustful relationship wi th the staff. Celeste was aware o f the tumultuous school atmosphere when she was assigned to Ashland Elementary. Feelings o f animosity and divisions among some 120 teachers and the previous vice-principal had festered during the past few years. A l l of the teachers interviewed discussed this situation. Celeste was aware of the stormy relationship between her predecessor and a group of teachers. However, since Gi l was appointed to the principalship the year before Celeste was assigned to the school, the attitude of the staff and the relationships among the teachers and between teachers and administrators had improved considerably. Gil addressed this issue in his interview: Initially when I came to this school, they had gone through two years of trying times with regards to the staff-administrative relationships. There had been some administrative transfer of a long serving teacher here that split the staff down the middle. There were some personality clashes between the administration and certain people in the school. There wasn't a lot of trust between the administrators and the staff. Celeste wanted to support and contribute to the positive atmosphere that was beginning to take root in the school. Celeste believed that was one reason she was appointed to the school: "They want someone to support the staff. Maybe that's one reason [I was sent here]; I can get along with people. I can see myself working on just improving the tone and the communication." Celeste hoped to help improve the relationships between the teachers and administrators. Ashland, an inner-city school, was located in an economically disadvantaged neighbourhood. The school offered free and reduced breakfasts and lunches to the students. The mission statement of the school reflected the challenges that the students encountered in their everyday lives. The school goal was to provide the students a safe and respectful environment, which would support their academic, social, and physical development (Ashland School Profile, 2000). The teachers were dedicated to the children. They planned many events (e.g., art presentation, camp, walkathon, and multicultural dinner) to expose the children to life experiences that they might not 121 otherwise enjoy. In addition, the teachers offered extra curricular activities (e.g., basketball, badminton, softball, badminton, homework club, and choir) to the students. A large student enrolment was a major problem that affected the staff and the administrators throughout the school year. The capacity of the main buildings was about 600 students. Six additional portable and small buildings housed the remaining 175 students. Every assembly was held twice because the gym/auditorium was too small to accommodate all of the students. Based on my estimation during the school visits, almost 800 students ate lunch in the school basement, which had a seating capacity of 400. During an intense 25-minute period, wave after wave of children crashed through the lunchroom. It was noisy, crowded, and chaotic. Celeste had the daunting and challenging task of supervising the lunchroom every single day with the assistance of four supervision aids. Hannah and Woodlawn Hannah, who was in her late forties, was self-confident and introspective as well as being easy-going and even-tempered. These qualities were evident in her approach to her role as vice-principal and her relationships with the students, teachers, and principal throughout the school year. Hannah's career as a counsellor was reflected in her demeanour and her interaction with others. Hannah displayed a professional attitude in all aspects of her job. She was kind and respectful towards the students and staff. Hannah's style of dress—business casual—reflected her personality and her leadership style. A n assistant superintendent asserted that assigning Hannah to a school was uncomplicated because she was able to work with many of the school 122 principals. He claimed that most vice-principals and principals were matched based on personalities and skills (e.g., computer skills). During the first interview, Hannah talked about her goals as an administrator. She emphasized her responsibility to support teachers, to make the jobs of the teachers easier to perform. Hannah reasoned that supporting teachers, by obtaining resources and materials for them, would allow the teachers to focus on the education of the children. Hannah shared her views: I see my role as supporting the staff and the teachers to do the best they can teaching kids. That's a general concept that I have. And in terms of specific duties so far it's been supplies and equipment, etc... Hannah claimed that facilitation was an important function of vice-principals, thus she espoused a facilitative theory of power to enhance the performances of teachers. This view concurs with the literature (e.g., Dunlap & Goldman, 1991). As a formal school leader, Hannah explained that another objective was to put the larger processes in place in schools. Hannah explained her point: As an administrator, you see the picture as a whole. As a teacher, you only get segments of people who talk with you; you kind of just know about a few things or a few issues. I get a really good sense of all of the issues that are out there. Affecting the education of children beyond a single classroom was a primary motivation for her to become an administrator. Hannah commented on how she would support the students: M y main goal is to support and help build a community where kids are learning what they need to be learning at appropriate times, in their intellectual, social, and emotional development. So, you know to provide that environment, to help supporting how that environment is built. And you know the immediate goals for me are to learn as much as I can about how to do that. 123 Hannah had a broad, but clear view of her administrative roles. Hannah maintained that her Master's degree program in leadership had provided her with a solid foundation for the vice-principalship and school leadership. Hannah had worked as an elementary school counsellor the previous year; however, she had worked primarily at the secondary school level throughout her career. Consequently, Hannah maintained that adjusting to an elementary school was challenging as a novice vice-principal. She emphasized the differences between the two levels: Because I know how secondary schools work. They all have their idiosyncrasies and stuff, but it's more like fun to me. It's much more my comfort area than elementary. It's different. To speak to an assembly of elementary kids is very different than speaking to secondary kids. I'm always thinking, 'okay how do I do this?" It's not second nature like it would be if I was in a secondary school. Hannah became the vice-principal at Woodland School, which was located near a city park in a stunning, natural setting; trees surrounded three-quarters of the campus. The Woodland mission statement focused on personal development, life-long learning, the diverse ethnic student population, and the connection to the physical setting of the school (Woodlawn School Profile, 2000). About 30% of the student population were international students; consequently, there were student transfers every year. Hannah was a good match for the school because she utilized her counselling skills when working with the students. As the year progressed, the principal and teachers valued her counselling expertise and experience. The main Woodlawn Elementary building was five years old; two portable buildings were constructed due to the growing student enrolment. To an outsider, the main building was skilfully designed and physically striking. Because of its many 124 windows and high vaulted ceilings, sunlight flooded the building. Although the main building was relatively new, many of the teachers complained because the structure of the building caused sound to reverberate off the walls and ceilings. It was extremely noisy when students congregated in the long hallways, particular at lunchtime. The building was the legacy of the previous principal who oversaw the construction of the school. She remained a controversial figure for some of the staff even though Jane, the current principal, was in her third year at Woodlawn. The staff articulated different perceptions of the previous principal. Several long-term teachers claimed the negative influence of the principal still affected the school culture. Some teachers felt Jane's predecessor was distant, directive, and authoritarian. A few teachers claimed she was a visionary leader, but was misunderstood by the staff. The previous principal had a pronounced effect on the staff. Jane talked about following in her footsteps: So mine was healing the animosity the staff had towards the previous principal. Until you dealt with that nothing else was going to happen. And then so I was just really, I don't hold my cards against my chest. That is what I'm doing, interpersonal relations. Besides the legacy of the past principal, Woodlawn teachers were known to be independent and outspoken; they frequently expressed opposing and diverse views on many issues. One teacher described the school atmosphere: I think it's a fairly good one [school]. It's not an easy school. You have a lot of diverse personalities as you would have on any [staff], but you also have a very challenging clientele. It's not easy so you have to have someone that is quite efficient and doesn't get bogged down in issues, yet gives you the feeling that it's not just a snap decision. Several teachers commented that the teachers were not collegial even though the quality of teaching was very good. 125 Section Summary Gina, Celeste, and Hannah talked about their philosophies and goals of leadership. Gina articulated specific beliefs about school leadership. She wanted to affect the education of all of the children in the school. Gina claimed that administrators must be innovative; it was their role to initiate new ideas and activities She believed that teachers needed to be involved in school-wide decisions and take ownership of the decisions. Celeste talked about building trustful relationships with the teachers. She wanted to become familiar with the teachers, and the culture and history of the school. Professional growth as a novice administrator was one of Celeste's goals. Hannah stressed supporting teachers by obtaining resources and materials. This would enable the teachers to serve their students. Hannah wanted to influence the education of the students by helping to build a school community. Based on the first interview and initial observations, Gina, Celeste, and Hannah advocated facilitative leadership. The three vice-principals articulated power with rather than power over philosophies. Moreover, supporting teachers was a primary goal. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah maintained that working with and collaborating with teachers were important aspects of administration. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah were assigned to schools where there had been problems between some teachers and the previous administrations. A l l of the teachers interviewed chatted about the difficulties with the previous administrators. Based on my conversations with teachers and administrators, the McCleery staff seemed to be the least affected by the previous principal. He had been authoritative and a top-down decision-maker, but most of the staff either ignored or acquiesced to his style of 126 administration. The atmosphere at Ashland had been the most debilitating, but had improved considerably under Gil's leadership. The Woodlawn staff seemed the most fractured throughout this study. The independent and non-collegial nature of the staff and the legacy of the previous principal contributed to the school culture. The Vice-Principalship Researchers maintain that the vice-principalship is the typical entry position for educators who are aspiring administrators (Calabrese & Adams, 1987; Marshall, 1992; Norton & Kriekard, 1987). In addition, the vice-principalship, which is the lowest rung of the administrative ladder, is difficult and trying. In fact, Evergreen District educators (vice-principals, teachers, principals, and assistant superintendents) at all levels of the school system viewed the vice-principalship as onerous and demanding; they expressed analogous views of it. They claimed it was the most challenging and unrewarding position in the school district. The vice-principalship lacked the prestige and status attributed to higher-level administrative posts, specifically the principalship. Marshall (1992) reported similar findings in an earlier study. The vice-principals were aware of the exigent characteristics of their new roles. Another first-year vice-principal and colleague of Gina, Celeste, and Hannah cogently described the position: I've had friends who were vice-principals who just complained non-stop; it was the dog's breakfast. And I would look at the job. Oh, my goodness you're teaching 60% minimum; you're administering 100%. You're in charge of the discipline and the furniture and the old books and things like that. I just thought, do I really want to bog myself down? For a number of years, I thought of applying, but didn't. 127 Harry, the principal of McCleery, expressed similar concerns and commented on the dual roles of the vice-principals: I believe even in the best of circumstances the vice-principal's job has got to be one of the nastiest in the system. You're neither fish nor fowl. You're not a real administrator; you're not a real teacher and yet there are expectations from both sides that you are. Teachers talked about the tedious tasks and duties that consigned vice-principals to "Joe jobs," the sundry tasks or inconsequential roles in the schools. A teacher offered this view: I think the vice-principals have a hard role because some of it depends on the principal and what they are willing to give them. I think vice-principals get given Joe jobs and gofer jobs so they don't have anything substantial in the school. They are sort of a clerical worker. James and Bob, assistant superintendents in the Evergreen District, contended that survival was the primary goal of a first-year administrator because of the demands of the job. 9 Managing their time and adopting an administrative perspective were objectives of first year vice-principals as well. James, an assistant superintendent, talked about first-year elementary vice-principals: Realistically, survival is number one. It really is because it's a tough, tough year. Survival from a personal and physical sense. Two, I think at the end of it, they have to have some sense of what the job entails now. Vice-principals were expected to learn the fundamentals of administration and school leadership during their tenure in this position. In the Evergreen School District, vice-principals usually became principals within four to six years of their initial appointment according to the Ashland principal, assistant superintendents, and the Evergreen leadership coordinator. The position of vice-principal was viewed as a 9 To protect the anonymity and confidentiality of the participants in this study, pseudonyms are used for the assistant superintendents. 128 prerequisite to the principalship. Bob, an assistant superintendent, articulated the position of district regarding the first year of the vice-principals: It's a really hard job. It's very demanding, but you have to have that one goal there all the time. Prepare yourself to become a principal, have that as your objective. So you can get over this difficult demanding time. ) Gi l , principal of Ashland, attested to this view of the vice-principalship: "The purpose of being a vice-principal is to prepare yourself to be a principal." In addition to working in a challenging situation for several years, Evergreen vice-principals were mindful of how they presented themselves to their superiors. Georgina, the coordinator of the Evergreen leadership program, discussed her advice to new administrators regarding their first year.10 She maintained that the vice-principals should be knowledgeable and aware of their rank and status in the district hierarchy. Georgina conveyed that their status was low. She cautioned vice-principals to avoid negative attention: Know who all the players are, how all the players are. How the power structure works because there is a power structure. I would be wrong to say there wasn't. But you need to understand it before you make yourself known out there [in the district]. So, stay low for that first year. That's what I always tell them. Vice-principals needed to exhibit appropriate and acceptable behaviours to their superiors if they wanted to be promoted to the principalship in the future. A vice-principal, who was appointed the same year as the three vice-principals in this study, talked about a conversation he had with his principal. Early in the school year, the principal informed him that i f he wanted to be promoted to a principalship, he needed to be unequivocally loyal to her and not the teachers. The vice-principal 1 0 The Evergreen leadership coordinator had many other responsibilities; this was not her main role in the district. 129 stated that his principal's blunt attitude affected his relationship with the teachers. He maintained that he was not friendly or open with them. This was an unfamiliar position for the vice-principal because he had had amiable relationships with teachers in the past. Vice-principals were admonished to think about their careers beyond their first year in administration. They needed to be aware of the impressions they made on the assistant superintendent and the superintendent. In the Evergreen District, it seemed that the vice-principals needed to conform to the Evergreen administrative image and avoid negative attention. They needed to monitor their behaviour when they were around their superiors. Loyalty to management was as important to promotion as learning the skills and knowledge about administration and school leadership. Also, the vice-principals felt the pressure to demonstrate their competence and effectiveness to the teachers and principals. James, an assistant superintendent, discussed the situation in elementary schools:11 Because again elementary teachers, with smaller schools, you spend more time with those teachers and very quickly they can assess competence. And they don't appreciate, and I'm not sure that is the right word, but maybe they appreciate competence and ability of the admin officer to help them, to provide for them, to guide the school without being the dictator. So, you've got to find experiences in a whole range of things that makes you look like when you walk in that job that you're a competent leader. At the end of the first term, Celeste contemplated about knowing the teachers' expectations of vice-principals. She commented on her situation: The most challenging is balancing it all. Because it's always she [the vice-principal] should be doing this; she should be doing that. What are we doing? So, the most difficult thing is knowing what people's perceptions are and what it ought to be like. 1 1 James was not a supervisor of any of the schools or vice-principals in this study. 130 She was concerned that she did not know how to respond to teachers in some situations. Roles of the Vice-Principals Vice-principals taught 60% or three days a week; the remaining 40%> of their time was allocated to management and leadership responsibilities. This schedule was based on a school day that began at 8:30 a.m. and ended at 3:00 p.m. However, the vice-principals in this study worked three to six additional hours per day. The management duties of the vice-principals were comprised of the supervision and discipline of students, traditional tasks, and "Joe jobs." The Joe jobs will be discussed in more detail in another section of this chapter. At the beginning of the school year, the vice-principals were adjusting to the pace of the job, volume of work, its fragmented and piecemeal nature, and its numerous responsibilities. The vice-principals reported feeling overwhelmed and stressed with their new roles during the first term. A colleague of the vice-principals spoke about the demands of the job: I'm here between 7:00 and 7:30 in the morning and I'm usually here until 7:30 at night. Now that's my choice, but in order for me to feel like I'm organized, because it does affects me. It affects my stress level if I go away, knowing that everything is mixed up. M y head stays mixed up. Researchers have reported similar findings for the past 20 years (Black, 1980; Garawski, 1978; Kaplan & Owings, 1999). Additionally, the vice-principals had to adjust to working with and interacting with more people as administrators as opposed to when they were not administrators. The first-year vice-principals encountered more diverse and varied responsibilities and tasks. At times, Gina, Celeste, and Hannah felt 13 they lost control over part of their time because of the demands of others. To some extent teachers, staff, students, and the principals dictated what the vice-principals did because of requests and needs. Another aspect of the professional lives of vice-principals was attending school and district level meetings — a basic feature of administration (see Appendix G for meetings the vice-principals attended). The vice-principals attended more meetings as administrators than they did as teachers. School level meetings usually included the monthly staff advisory committee (SAC) meetings and other committee meetings, such as professional development, resource, budget, fundraising, literacy, school-based team, inner-city, and parent. The SAC was the primary meeting in the schools because the administrators and teachers made most school-wide decisions during these meetings. Also, teachers chaired this meeting, not administrators. I will discuss the SAC in more detail in chapter six. The bi-monthly superintendent meetings and the monthly assistant superintendent meetings were district level meetings attended by elementary and secondary administrators. To some extent, the vice-principals were exposed to the leadership expectations of the Evergreen superintendent and assistant superintendents. These meetings helped the vice-principals adopt and assimilate the perspectives and ideas of administrators. The vice-principals had to leave the school campus to attend the district administrative meetings. From one point of view, these meetings prevented the vice-principals from supporting or working with teachers for almost a half-day every month. 132 In general, Gina, Hannah, and Celeste performed similar management and administration duties; however, there were some variations among them (see Appendix D for the daily schedules of the vice-principals). For instance, Gina, who was a classroom teacher, did not supervise students. Hannah was the only vice-principal who evaluated a teacher during the school year. Celeste was more involved in the daily management of the school and discipline of students than either Gina or Hannah. The vice-principals lacked knowledge and information to answer questions, solve problems, and make decisions early in the school year. Moreover, there were few, i f any, resources, guidelines or information about the individual schools. The vice-principals had to constantly ask questions about school procedures and events. Gina talked about her frustration with the situation at McCleery: "The first year, unfortunately I had to change things because there wasn't a lot for me to look at. How can I do things the way they're supposed to be done when the information wasn't there for me?" During several observations, I observed the vice-principals spending an inordinate amount of time calling the school board office and colleagues obtaining information to perform many of these tasks. Although the school personnel were helpful, another novice vice-principal, talked about the predicament of the vice-principals: Trying to navigate the bureaucracy and the people, the departments, the names. It's just immense. It would take several phone calls to find out what to do in certain situations or who to talk about a certain topic, whereas now I know who to contact. It's only one phone call away rather than four or five phone calls. The vice-principals needed easy access to information about the schools and the district early in the school year to perform some of their tasks. 133 Teaching assignments. The most difficult challenge for many vice-principals was balancing their teaching assignments (60%) with their management and leadership responsibilities. The time (60%) vice-principals allocated to teaching was not a condition in the E E T U contract. The superintendent and assistant superintendents decided the amount of time the vice-principals taught. The vice-principals' teaching assignments were based on the needs or teaching openings in the individual schools. The vice-principals in this study were enrolling teachers, resource teachers, or preparation teachers.12 A n enrolling vice-principal taught a class of students at a specific grade level. Vice-principals, who were assigned to resource positions, provided academic support to students. These vice-principals were English as a Second Language, learning assistance teachers, and project coordinators. Vice-principals, who were preparation teachers, provided class coverage for the teachers' two weekly planning periods. This coverage was a stipulation in the collective agreement. The preparation teachers taught various subjects (e.g., music, art, computer, physical education). According to Harry, approximately nine vice-principals in the district were enrolling teachers because of a provision in the collective agreement between the Evergreen Elementary Teachers Union (EETU) and the Evergreen School Board. 1 3 Because a percentage of teachers were assigned to resource positions, some vice-principals were classroom teachers. The teaching assignments of Gina, Celeste, and Hannah varied in ways that affected the time they engaged in their administration duties and school leadership 1 2 Classroom teacher and enrolling teachers will be used interchangeably. Resource teachers provided extra academic instruction to students. 1 3 A pseudonym is used for the teachers union to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of the participants in this study. 134 roles. Gina who was a classroom teacher had the most challenging job of the three vice-principals. The major differences between enrolling and non-enrolling vice-principals were greater time demands, additional classroom responsibilities, and an inflexible class schedule. Gina's intermediate class of 24 students demanded considerable attention.14 Allocating time for preparing lessons, marking papers, writing report cards, and conferring with parents added to her workload because she needed to complete her administration tasks as well. Gina worked 10 to 12 hour days to complete both her teaching and administrative work. She added to her workload by coaching girls basketball and volleyball during the autumn term. Not surprisingly, Gina was exhausted with the pace and volume of her work. Gina taught language arts, social studies, and science, which required more time to plan and mark students' work than math and music, which were taught by her teaching partner. Working with a partner also presented some dilemmas for Gina. For instance, she claimed it took extra time to get organized in her classroom, find her materials, and begin to teach because the other teacher had a different way of organizing class materials. Gina reported that she did not use some of the teaching units and programs that she had in previous years. For example, in the past Gina had developed and instituted a comprehensive school-home reading program. Gina usually supplemented the basic curriculum with enrichment activities and fieldtrips. Parents, who were fixtures in her classroom for many years, were not invited to volunteer. As an enrolling vice-principal, Gina eliminated most of these activities because she lacked the time to plan or coordinate the activities. 1 4 Grades four to seven are intermediate grades. 135 Several times throughout the school year, Gina was concerned about the quality of her teaching. She felt the students in her classroom were short changed because she could not sustain her standard of teaching of past years. During some class observations, Gina was visibly frustrated and exhausted when she was teaching. At times, she was inconsistent when she disciplined the students. A class rule was enforced one day and overlooked on another day. At other times, I observed a talented and gifted teacher. Gina was dynamic and innovative, and the children responded to her lessons and enthusiasm. She articulated her concerns about being a classroom teacher and a vice-principal: You don't have the time as an enrolling VP; you're in your class 60% of the time. When you're in your office you're trying to go through your mail, deal with the few behaviour problems really quickly because of course you have one period in the office. And it doesn't work. On occasion, Gina claimed she had difficulty maintaining continuity in her teaching program because of her staggered teaching and administration schedules (see Appendix D). For example, she taught from 8:30 a.m. to 10:10 a.m. and again from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on two days during the week. The demands of administration interrupted and interfered in her teaching and vice-versa. Gina was late for several classes because she had to deal with a discipline problem, a faculty request, or a parental concern. She could not ignore or overlook these problems and return to her classroom. Additionally, Gina explained that splitting her time according to her contract; that is, 60% to teaching and 40% to administration was impractical and impossible. Gina remarked on the demands of the double roles of teaching and administration: 136 What's been challenging, and I started off thinking this, is realizing that you can't be the teacher you want to be and you probably can't be the administrator that you want to be. Both are compromised and I think that's why you look forward to being an administrator full time, which means being a principal. As an enrolling vice-principal, Gina faced many challenges. According to Gina, the quality of her instruction was compromised because of her administrative responsibilities. Gina commented on her desire to be a resource teacher rather than a classroom teacher: "I was there today grabbing stuff to do my planning over the weekend because of course I have curriculum to teach. I would love to be in a resource position." Resource teachers had fewer students, thus there was less preparation and outside class work. Gina believed her workload would be reduced if she were a resource teacher. Harry, the principal of McCleery, was concerned about the administrative and teaching workloads that Gina tried to manage. He expressed apprehension regarding how much work Gina could handle given her teaching assignment: I guess Gina being brand new to the job, I've been... the word isn't wary or cautious or anything like that, but I just haven't felt that I've been able to do the degree of coaching or mentoring because of the teaching assignment. I certainly would have been and I'm certainly looking forward to next year. Her being in a non-enrolling situation; she will have the opportunity to do a lot more. Harry continued: "I don't think you can plan a classroom program and teach a classroom program and still do the kind of job you can be doing as a vice-principal." From Gina's perspective, Harry could have helped to reduce her workload. Gina talked about another enrolling vice-principal who was supported by the principal. According to Gina, the principal reduced this vice-principal's workload by instructing the teachers to see him about specific problems rather than the vice-principal. This vice-principal was not beleaguered with her dual roles of teaching and administration. 137 Principals, assistant superintendents, and vice-principals agreed that vice-principals who enrolled classes were in demanding and trying situations. All eight of the vice-principals who were interviewed for this study confirmed that enrolling vice-principals had the most difficult and challenging assignment as compared to the non-enrolling vice-principals. The two assistant superintendents acknowledged the difficulties of enrolling vice-principals. Bob, an assistant superintendent, conveyed his views: Also, sometimes the teaching load doesn't quite match what they have. The vice-principal in the school that has a non-enrolling position is in a far better position than the vice-principal who is in an enrolling position to adjust and address concerns that are coming at you. The challenges of the enrolling vice-principals were well known in the Evergreen District. Given the situation and the contention that the quality of education of the children was compromised, appointing vice-principals to enrolling classroom positions was problematic. Unlike Gina and Hannah, Celeste did not have an established teaching schedule. She was a project coordinator. Her role was initiating, coordinating, and monitoring activities that supported student learning at all grade levels. For example, Celeste organized fundraisers to purchase books for the school, planned a Halloween book raffle for the students, and organized a multicultural dinner for the school community. The teachers, students, and their families gathered for dinner at school. In addition, she supervised a student walkathon to raise money for the student spring camping trip. Celeste worked eight to ten hours a day. This was typical for first-year vice-principals (Bognar, 1996). Her duties included student supervision during recesses and lunch. 1 Celeste never taught when I observed in the school. In fact, she reported teaching only a handful of classes throughout the school year. The benefits of her "teaching" assignment were considerable. Celeste was able to spend approximately 85% of her time in her office because of her project coordinator position. Celeste was more accessible and available to the staff than either Gina or Hannah. Early in the school year, she was able to develop relationships with many teachers because five to fifteen teachers visited her office every day. Furthermore, she had access to the principal and spoke to him several times a day when she visited his office. During most observations, Celeste talked to the principal between two and five times a day. Celeste engaged in more administration and management tasks than the other two vice-principals because she had more time for these endeavours as opposed to teaching 60% of the time. Essentially, Celeste was a full time vice-principal; most of the staff viewed her as a full time vice-principal. Hannah taught English as a second language (ESL) at Woodlawn. In addition to her teaching duties, Hannah supervised students during lunch and recess everyday, and she frequently monitored the playground area before and after school. Her teaching and supervision duties required a considerable amount of her time. Hannah typically worked from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. She arrived at school early and stayed late so she could talk to the teachers. Woodlawn School had a large and transient population; consequently, there was always a considerable number of non-English speaking children enrolled in the school. From 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and from 1:00 p.m. to 2:50 p.m., approximately 20 of these children left their homeroom classrooms to work with a (ESL) teacher. 139 Hannah taught intensive English instruction to groups of five to eight students from this ESL class. Because Hannah worked with children from this ESL class, cancelling a class was not a problem for her. When Hannah cancelled classes, the children returned to the ESL classroom rather than homeroom classroom. During several observations, Hannah cancelled classes to attend different meetings. Hannah was able to tend to student discipline cases and emergencies because the ESL teacher supervised the children in his classroom. Hannah ruminated about the situation: "He's [ESL teacher] really good about it. If I've got school-based team [meetings] or something like that, he keeps them. He's very open to doing that and I really appreciate that." The children did lose intensive instructional time if Hannah had to cancel classes. However, the classroom teachers did not seem to object when Hannah cancelled classes because the children went to the ESL teacher; they still received ESL instruction. A Woodlawn teacher explained why teachers might become frustrated if the children were returned to their homeroom classrooms when the classes were cancelled: I think they [vice-principals] get a lot more respect if they are good teachers and dependable. And you probably run across a lot of vice-principals doing non-enrolling positions. So, what teachers hate is when their timetables are constantly being changed because the administrator is gone to do something else. So the administrator, because you're non-enrolling you can send the kids back to the class while you deal with whatever. Hannah's situation was different because the children did not return to their homeroom classrooms when Hannah cancelled classes. For Hannah, the teacher-related tasks for ESL were minimal. She did not have to complete report cards; instead, she wrote abbreviated reports for her ESL students. Furthermore, Hannah met with few parents during the parent-teacher conferences. 140 Hannah worked hard and was a conscientious teacher. She spent extra time planning lessons because she had no ESL teaching experience or credential. Hannah's lack of ESL training and experience should have, but did not influence her vice-principalship placement. The Joe jobs. Another goal of the vice-principals was to learn the skills and knowledge that enabled them to perform and function competently in their new roles. Hannah, Gina, and Celeste spent a considerable amount of time performing the traditional tasks or Joe jobs such as organizing and distributing class supplies, ordering materials, obtaining furniture, and planning events. These were typical tasks of elementary and secondary vice-principals (Bognar, 1996; Gorton & Kattman, 1985; Kaplan & Owings, 1999; NASSP, 1991; Reed & Himmler, 1985). Jane, the Woodlawn principal, claimed that vice-principals performed these tasks because of budget cutbacks in the Evergreen District during the past several years. Before the budget reductions, clerical workers completed these tasks. Because of the shortage of clerical staff, Gina, Celeste, and Hannah were in charge of many of the Joe jobs. I observed the vice-principals performing these tasks throughout the school year. Celeste allocated a substantial amount of her day working on the school supply order for the following school year during three observations in October. Hannah organized rides for children who attended a district-sponsored gifted program at another school. She spent time calling parents and talking to teachers to ensure the 141 children had transportation to the classes. Gina devoted several days organizing the stockrooms before school began in September. Initially, the vice-principals conscientiously and dutifully completed these tasks because they were fundamental to their roles. In October, Gina commented on this aspect of administration: I also think as vice-principal, it's customary to deal with supplies and furniture. The kinds of things the principals don't want to deal with. Tradition has said that certain jobs are vice-principals' jobs. Things like stock, all V P s do stock; that's basic. Jane, principal of Woodlawn, explained why the vice-principals were in charge of the Joe jobs: There are some jobs that are muscle work. It's put the supplies away. Someone has to do it and it ends up being the administration that does it. A n d usually it ends up being the vice-principal does it, only cause it kind of works that way. One of the things the vice-principals have to learn is to order supplies for the school. A n d you need to know the process it goes through. Y o u need to do it from beginning to end. So, that becomes the vice-principal's job, but it doesn't really matter who does it. Bob, an assistant superintendent, had a different concern. He worried about the possibility that some principals limited the vice-principals to performing only these minor jobs: M y biggest concern is that the vice-principal be given the opportunity to be the principal in absence of the principal. Not to be a glorified secretary or something of that nature. To be able to do meaningful, professional development activities and so forth. To have the freedom to use the skills that they have to prove themselves, not to be a pencil pusher that counts stock. G i l , the Ashland principal, offered his interpretation of the relevance of the tasks to the vice-principals' first few weeks in their new roles: "But it is a doable job and when you start working somewhere, there's got to be some things that you feel, hey, I can do this." He believed that performing these tasks accomplished two things: 142 (a) the vice-principals did complete the tasks, thus building their confidence; and (b) it was an opportunity for the vice-principals to interact with and get to know the school staff. The teachers viewed some of these tasks as insignificant, but they expected the vice-principals to perform them effectively and efficiently. A teacher offered the following remarks: Taking the tasks that teachers need them [vice-principals] to take on. Like looking after the supplies and making sure it's taken care of. That's important otherwise we have to do it. Whatever their administrative tasks are, to do that well and do that efficiently so things are running smoothly at the school. Towards the end of the year, the vice-principals deliberated that other staff could perform some of these minor tasks. Hannah voiced her frustration during the last interview: You saw me at the end of the year, I was reorganizing and I still have to reorganize more, a whole bunch of cupboards. It's great to do it and it feels good to have it done and set up differently so that the teachers can get their supplies better, but I'm high-priced clerical help. Hannah was perturbed that she was spending a considerable amount of time organizing the supply cabinets. She acknowledged that it was an important task and the teachers appreciated her efforts. Hannah did not feel the work was insignificant, but she felt she was high priced clerical help. The vice-principalship was a low status position in the district hierarchy. In a way, moving from teaching to the vice-principalship was a loss of prestige and power for Gina and Celeste because they had been influential teachers in their previous schools. Celeste reminisced about her past teaching position: I was absolutely powerful. I had the most wonderful job because I had the total support of the teachers. The administration would let me do what I wanted to do and I had no responsibility. It was the dream job. 143 The vice-principals spent a substantial amount of their time performing the Joe jobs at the beginning of the school year. These tasks contributed to the stress and work overload the vice-principals faced. Additionally, the Joe jobs contributed to the loss of influence and prestige that these vice-principals had possessed as teachers. The vice-principals gradually became frustrated with performing the Joe jobs, and they believed the jobs were less important than other responsibilities. The Joe jobs limited the vice-principals from engaging in other activities such as assuming more leadership responsibilities. As administrators, the vice-principals needed to be familiar with the procedures for ordering and obtaining supplies and furniture. However, other people could order the supplies and furniture (e.g., secretary) and distribute the materials to the teachers (e.g., volunteers and students). Summary Gina, Celeste, and Hannah articulated several similar administrative goals, but emphasized different objectives as novice vice-principals. At the beginning of the school year, they were overwhelmed with the workload, long hours, and adapting to their new roles. The vice-principals performed many of the traditional tasks and Joe jobs. At times, the vice-principals reported that these tasks were less prestigious and lower skilled than their previous teaching/counselling assignments. However, they were expected to perform these tasks and others as competent and efficient administrators. The teaching assignments affected the vice-principals in different ways. Gina faced the most challenges balancing her teaching assignment with her administrative duties. Hannah had fewer challenges because she was a resource 144 teacher. Celeste was able to attend more school level meetings than either Hannah or Gina because of her limited teaching schedule. Celeste was more like a full time vice-principal. 145 CHAPTER FIVE: THE VICE-PRINCIPALS' RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE PRINCIPALS AND ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENTS In this chapter, I discuss the relationships of the three pairs of vice-principals and principals: Gina and Harry at McCleery, Celeste and Gil l at Ashland, and Hannah and Jane at Woodlawn. Each principal had been an administrator for about 12 years. The principals, Jane, Harry, and Gil , were long time educators; individually they had worked for the Evergreen School District for approximately 30 years. In addition to examining the principal and vice-principal relationships, common themes and patterns among the three pairs of administrators are discussed. These include loyalty to administration, training, learning by trial and error, acting principals, and mentoring. In the last section of the chapter, I highlight some aspects of the relationships between the vice-principals and the assistant superintendents. The data in this chapter were drawn from the vice-principals, principals, assistant superintendents, and leadership coordinator interviews, field notes and observations. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah emphasized that having good, working, and collegial relationships with the principals was crucial. At the beginning of the school year, the vice-principals were content with their appointments to the schools because they shared similar leadership beliefs as their respective principals. The three pairs of administrators rejected an authoritarian, dictatorial, top-down, power over style of leadership. They believed having a positive school atmosphere and collegial relations with the staff were vital to a successful school. They were committed to shared-decision making and collaboration with teachers. Teacher leadership was important to the principals and vice-principals. Jane discussed teacher leadership: "You have to use 146 the strengths of the staff and try and give staff the opportunity to display the strengths that they've got. To be supportive of their risk taking and just support." Supporting teachers was a part of the philosophy of leadership articulated by the principals and vice-principals. Gina and Harry at McCleery Gina and Harry were new to their school; hence, neither administrator had intimate knowledge of the school staff, culture, nor school community although they met briefly with the outgoing principal the previous spring. Since McCleery did not have a vice-principal the previous school year, Gina had no one to contact for information regarding the McCleery vice-principal position. During the initial interview, Gina reported that she and Harry were well matched and like-minded because they shared a similar philosophy of leadership. Gina asserted that they wanted to work closely with teachers and involve them in school-wide shared decision-making and planning activities. Nevertheless, Gina agreed with Harry that administrators must take on leadership roles in schools. She asserted that, "they look to us for leadership. Harry's point is we're supposed to be leaders. We're not supposed to be paper pushers. We want to take on the visionary things." She intended to be an active and innovative leader, and she expected the teachers would embrace her ideas because she was an administrator. It seemed that Gina believed the teachers would be receptive to her initiatives because of the legitimacy of her administrative position in the school hierarchy. 147 Early in the school year, Harry claimed he and Gina were equal partners as administrators; he would support any decision Gina made. Gina described what transpired between them: When I first came in, one of the first things he said to me. He sat me down; he said "you're an administrator, I'm an administrator. Whatever decisions you make even if it's what I wouldn't have made, who cares. You need to understand that you need to make whatever decision." He treated me as an administrator the first day. He gave me full rein on everything. Harry did not discuss what roles, duties, or tasks Gina performed; he placed no restrictions on her. Clearly, Gina was in charge of the supplies and furniture; however, she took on many other tasks and responsibilities. In October, Gina described her situation: I just instantly took on all of these responsibilities because Harry said, "We're both administrators. Whatever comes our way, comes our way. You deal with it; that's your role; we're a team." He didn't delegate certain things. He just took stuff on and I took stuff on. It's not that I sat down with Harry and he said, "you do this, I do this, you do this." And some people have had that, I haven't. Whatever comes your way, comes your way. It's a much more open-ended approach because he's not a control person either. Gina was extremely busy during the fall term. She taught 60% of the time; coached two teams, initiated new activities (e.g., Canada-thon, pizza fundraiser, and presentation on academic disabilities), and was the acting principal for three weeks in December. While Gina was free to choose various tasks, she was attentive to the power of the principal. Harry claimed they would work as a team, but Gina was aware of his power over her. She did not take on roles that Harry claimed for himself even though he chose to lead few activities. For example, Gina expressed an interest in working with the parent advisory committee (PAC), but she did not pursue this interest because Harry took on this obligation. Early in the year, she did not transgress 148 the boundaries between the principal and vice-principal. She discussed her decision to defer to Harry: We did have a P A C [parent] meeting. I would have loved to get that organized, but I felt I was overstepping my bounds in a way because you can't take on too much. If I was the principal, yeah, but he has to initiate it. Towards the end of the first term, Gina pointed out that she and Harry had not discussed her administrative or teaching roles in the school. Harry had offered little advice or guidance on activities in which Gina became involved. They engaged in casual conversations about minor school incidents or problems, but there were no in-depth or reflective conversations about being a school leader or the expectations of new administrators. Gina wanted to meet with Harry at regular intervals because she believed more guidance was essential to her development as a new vice-principal. Gina discussed her concerns: Harry sometimes gives me too much leeway. Maybe I need to be pulled in a little bit more. I need to share some of my thoughts. It needs to be that, but that doesn't happen much. I would appreciate a bit more direction, but I'm happy I have the opportunity. Gina attempted to pursue a mentor relationship with Harry in January. She requested a weekly meeting with him to discuss the events in the school and receive feedback on her performance. Harry and Gina met once or twice. The meeting that I attended lasted less than ten minutes. Harry seemed inattentive to the conversation, and he ended the meeting abruptly by answering the telephone and engaging in a conversation. During the April interview, Harry discussed his relationship with Gina and described his approach to leadership. Harry, who had been a principal in five different schools, claimed that he was well known in the district for training and mentoring vice-principals. Harry claimed, "I've always tried, after getting to know my VPs, to 149 step back and let them step forward and take a leadership role, whether it be in conducting an assembly, a staff meeting or whatever." Based on my observations and conversations throughout the school year, Harry was an inattentive mentor and supervisor. Gina pursued working on numerous activities and initiatives. I frequently asked Gina about Harry's mentorship and guidance. Gina always responded that Harry was a good person to work with because he allowed her to do whatever she wanted. Gina focused on her freedom to engage in different activities rather than Harry's indifference to mentor her. His approach to training seemed to be based on a "hands o f f policy rather than a mentoring relationship. Although Harry boasted about his ability to train vice-principals, he argued that some people were natural leaders. Harry contradicted himself when he discussed successful school leadership: I think they need to make the mistakes on their own. I believe that in many respects the old saying leaders are born and they're not made is very, very true. I think you have a personality or a belief system that allows you to do this job either well or poorly. Harry asserted that he had nothing to prove as administrator, but he stressed that he was a leader, not a manager. Harry described his leadership style: I believe strongly that I am more like a conductor of an orchestra trying to bring all of the pieces together and everything working together as a group and as a whole rather than somebody who is a manager or somebody who is authoritarian. If Harry were the conductor of an orchestra, he did not always use his batons to lead. His vision of the school leadership seemed vague and ambiguous, and he exhibited a laissez-faire leadership style. Harry equated successful school leadership with giving 150 teachers the opportunity to talk about issues. He did not articulate a complex picture of leadership: Everyone has to have the opportunity to share their feelings and talk about what's not working for them and see i f something can be done. I don't know what else. I really don't think there is too much more to this job. Furthermore, he rarely performed management tasks; instead, he delegated work to other people. Harry viewed management tasks as minor and insignificant. He exhibited behaviour that reinforced this image during my observations throughout the school year. In September, Harry refused to award the children certificates at the monthly McCleery star assembly in recognition of good deeds and academic achievements. He claimed that it did not matter whether the principal or teachers handed out the awards. Many teachers were surprised by his response. At the Diwali assembly in October, Harry dismissed 435 children from the gym by waving his hands. I witnessed a chaotic scene when over 400 students stood up simultaneously and headed for the same exit. Gina remained behind and with the assistance of a few students put away the chairs, benches, and sound equipment. Harry missed several staff advisory committee (SAC) meetings throughout the school year. Several times, Gina was the only administrator at the staff advisory committee meetings. During a (SAC) meeting I attended, she was not able to respond to some of the teachers' concerns because of her lack of administrative experience and knowledge. Harry claimed the principal did not have to attend the meetings because the teachers could make the decisions. This was not necessarily true because the principal possessed different types of power than those held by the teachers. Teachers needed Harry to exercise his positional authority in the school district. Towards the 15 end of the school year, Harry cancelled an evening PAC meeting because his car needed service. Gina discussed Harry's relaxed approach to leadership: Harry hasn't set any boundaries really. But you have to, I don't know. I just think that Harry is a little too easygoing and lackadaisical for my style. The principal needs to have a little bit more of a handle on who's going where, when. He's just too nice. Accommodating, that's the word. Harry talked about his relationship with the teachers and his leadership at McCleery Elementary. Harry acknowledged that some McCleery teachers were not accustomed to or receptive to his management style. He explained the reactions of some teachers: I've had people come in and be quite snippy and angry and say, "Well i f we'd known you weren't going to do it, we'd have done it ourselves." So, you deal with them too. I've just simply said to people as they come, I guess people will soon realize that I do not see myself as a manager. I don't see myself as someone who orders pencils. He attributed the reactions of some of the teachers to his predecessor: "I've certainly gone through my growing pains around here because I followed someone who was very much a manager and an autocrat." Although some teachers were concerned with Harry's leadership style, other staff viewed Harry as friendly. He was outgoing and sociable, and he used humour to develop relationships with staff members. On several ocassions, I observed teachers congregated in Harry's office because he was sharing jokes with them. After working with Harry for five months, a teacher made the following observation: I haven't had a lot of time with Harry to say this for sure, but i f you don't tread on toes and you don't alienate anybody on the staff, you're going to get probably a more happier staff and more output from people. They're going to feel happier about coming to work. He is actually a very jovial type of person. 0 152 Harry's easygoing personality and relaxed attitude toward administration seemed to protect him from the criticisms of the staff. Based on the teacher interviews, they preferred a principal who left them alone as opposed to someone who was authoritarian and controlling. Harry's laissez-faire approach to leadership affected Gina because she was part of the administrative team. She willingly took on many responsibilities and tasks that Harry did not perform. For example, Harry usually arrived at McCleery at 8:30 a.m. and left by 3:00 p.m. During several of my school visits, he arrived at 9:00 a.m. and left at 1:30 or 2:00 p.m. As a result, Gina regularly dealt with problems that occurred after school (e.g., phone calls, children left at school, and playground problems). This limited the time Gina used to complete her work. Furthermore, Harry did not always follow through on tasks. For instance, Harry offered to purchase school items for Gina because she was inundated with work. A few minutes later, Harry delegated the task to an office worker. In May, Gina became frustrated when she faced a discipline problem. Instead of taking care of the situation because she was teaching, Gina sent the students to Harry. Since Harry was leaving the school at 1:30 p.m., he sent the students to his office for the remainder of the day. The school secretary supervised them. These types of incidents occurred frequently during my school visits. Harry's assertion that Gina was an equal partner did not correspond with the circumstances I observed throughout the year. Gina was the workhorse in this partnership; she took on more than her share of the work. 153 Assuming so many responsibilities and tasks eventually caused problems and additional stress for Gina and affected her relationships with teachers. A n incident that occurred in December but was not resolved until April highlighted how Harry influenced Gina's work. When Gina was the acting principal in December, an itinerant teacher informed her that the McCleery resource teachers were not writing reports for students who received extra academic support. Gina immediately approached the resource teacher chairperson to discuss the situation. Although the chairperson believed that the reports were updated, in fact, the resource teachers had not completed the reports. Consequently, they scheduled a January meeting for the resource team to discuss the student reports. Gina proceeded to gather information from school district personnel to share and discuss at a meeting with the teachers. She kept Harry informed of the proceedings because she was facilitating the resolution of this problem. Unexpectedly, Harry exercised his administrative authority in January when he sent a survey to all of the enrolling teachers seeking their opinions regarding the quality of teaching by the resource teachers. Harry had not consulted the teaching staff before he distributed the survey. He had reacted to a complaint from an outspoken classroom teacher who was also an acquaintance of his. He explained his actions: I'm hearing rumblings and grumblings and they have to be addressed or they're going to blow up in our face. So, we find out what the problems are and we fix them. So, we talk about them and we fix them. So, we go on an information gathering expedition. Harry contradicted his pledge to involve teachers in school-wide decision-making by sending out the survey. The resource teachers were disconcerted with the development of events. They held the administrators responsible for escalating tensions among the resource teachers and some enrolling teachers. The problem was 154 twofold: the resource teachers had not met to discuss the student reports, and they were distressed because the classroom teachers had criticized several of the resource teachers. The tension intensified among some of the teachers because the January meeting was rescheduled for March. Harry did not attend the March meeting because he was absent from school. At this meeting, the group decided that they needed to write academic reports. During a subsequent observation, Gina reported that the teachers were hostile towards her during the meeting because they believed the administrators had caused unnecessary enmity among some staff members. The resource teachers eventually apologized to Gina for their aggressive behaviour. From my perspective, Harry caused a minor situation among a few people to expand into a major conflict that affected many teachers. Moreover, he did not help to resolve the situation nor did he support Gina. Gina received the brunt of the criticisms even though she resolved the situation. It seemed the teachers expressed their frustration to Gina rather than Harry. Gina was more available and visible in the school, and she was involved in more school activities, events, and committees. Another event occurred at the end of the school year involving Gina, Harry, and the teachers. During one of my school visits, Harry informed Gina that she might be a resource teacher the following school year. Gina's teaching workload would decrease substantially i f she were assigned to a resource position. Harry asked Gina to write a report justifying why she should be a resource teacher. Gina spent a considerable amount of time writing a report because she had some experience, but she did not have the requisite credentials for this position. When she presented her 155 case to Harry, he informed her that she would be the preparation teacher instead of a resource teacher. Preparation teachers provided class coverage for the teachers' two weekly planning periods that was stipulated in the collective agreement. The preparation teachers taught various subjects (e.g., music, art, computer, physical education). Gina was assigned to this position because the current preparation teacher decided to become a full time classroom teacher instead of teaching music. Because of her seniority in the school, the preparation (music) teacher had the right to become a classroom teacher. Another teacher had been assigned to the resource position because she had the necessary credentials. Gina was disconcerted Harry had not informed her sooner because he had known for several weeks. The aforementioned situation continued to cause problems for Gina when Harry informed the staff that Gina was the preparation teacher for the following school year. The teachers expected her to teach music because the current preparation teacher was teaching music. Gina refused to teach music because she was not qualified; instead, she decided to teach social responsibility. This meant that classroom teachers would teach music to their own students. During the May staff meeting, several teachers aggressively questioned Gina about her refusal to teach music. With the exception of the current preparation/music teacher, the other teachers were not aware of the details of the situation. According to Gina, Harry did not support or explain the mitigating circumstances to the teachers. Gina shared her concerns about Harry: But I did go into his office and said, "I really want that discussed. I want you to explain why this has come up, why I'm in this position." I think the teachers like to know and like to be heard and once they're heard, they'll feel better. And it's not my responsibility; it's the principal's responsibility to set those meetings. 156 Since the teachers were distressed, the chairperson of the SAC also urged Harry to explain the situation to the staff. However, it was not resolved before the summer holiday; the teachers remained opposed to Gina teaching social responsibility for the preparation classes. Gina was troubled by what transpired: I need to speak to Harry and just firm up more or less what I'm going to do, and I have to stick with it. Like right now, things are so up in the air about prep. We have to decide on what steps with the admin team and stick with those without compromising myself too much. In April , Gina was frustrated about her dual roles of administrator and enrolling teacher. She asserted that Harry should have supported her by talking to the teachers to reduce her workload. She articulated her concerns: I would have liked i f Harry took that role a little bit more. Because at this other school where I know someone is enrolling [a class], I know the principal was very clear about stating that "they [the vice-principal] have an enrolling class; it's very difficult. We need to support our vice-principal by not [going to her]." The end of the school year was difficult for Gina, but that did not dampen her enthusiasm for administration. Gina assessed the school year and offered the following explanation for some of the difficulties that she experienced: No because there wasn't a vice-principal there last year, and because both of us were new. If one person, if the administrator [principal] had been there, he would have known and it would have been a lot easier. The last administrator did leave us a couple of notes about McCleery Stars and the agenda, but not a month to month about what happens in the school and how it's organized and contact names and who is in charge. Gina expected her second year to be different because she and Harry were familiar with the school and knew the staff. Gina reported that she was meeting with Harry before school began in September to discuss the school year: 157 So, Harry and I are meeting in August and create a calendar of all of the happenings at McCleery and we'll be better prepared. Well you know everything went well. I mean I have to focus on that. It was a successful year, it really was, but it will be less stressful next year because we know what to expect. Harry's approach and beliefs about school leadership and administration affected Gina from September to June. Initially, Gina and Harry articulated similar beliefs about leadership. They supported collaborative relations with teachers and maintained that teachers needed to be involved in school-wide SDM. In fact, their views of leadership were very different. Harry had a laissez-faire approach to administration; he was content with stepping back and allowing things to happen. He did not seem to engage in any type of leadership activities and administrative tasks. Harry believed the administrative tasks were insignificant, and overlooked these aspects of school leadership. Gina maintained these tasks were important, and she worked diligently on this aspect of the job. Gina believed school leaders were initiators and innovators; she implemented many new activities. She made the following observations about Harry's performance: I think he's a leader; he doesn't manage as much. He's not a loose ends person. He's very good at delegating. He's very good at having things happen by others taking on the roles. I mean you have to do a lot of that. Unfortunately, I have to pick up the loose ends. Early in the year, Harry claimed that he and Gina were equal administrative partners. Indeed, Harry did not restrict Gina's participation in any activities. Consequently, Gina took on more of the administrative duties and tasks than Harry. On the surface, they were equal partners in decision-making. It was unlike Harry to reverse Gina's decisions; however, he did not always support her (e.g., incident with preparation teacher). Moreover, Harry interfered with Gina's handling of the situation 158 with the resource teachers. From my vantage point, Harry did not exert any power over the teachers. However, Harry exerted his power over Gina by what he did not do rather than what he did do. Gina was affected by his refusal to act. Harry affected Gina's behaviour and actions during the school year. Furthermore, Harry did not mentor and rarely offered guidance to Gina even though she was a novice administrator. He sent confusing messages about training and mentoring. Harry asserted that he was recognized as trainer of vice-principals in the Evergreen District. He may have been viewed as a trainer because the vice-principals with whom he worked performed most of the administrative work. Then, he stated that leaders were born and not made. Gina needed a mentor, someone to direct her to prioritize her work and to give her feedback about her progress so she could develop her leadership skills. Harry did not provide this for her. However, throughout the school year, Gina maintained that working with Harry was beneficial because of the freedom she had to pursuit many activities and introduce new initiatives. Harry's laissez-faire approach to school management and leadership combined with Gina's willingness to assume many responsibilities and her eagerness to exhibit her leadership abilities caused Gina to be stressed and overwhelmed at different times during the school year. Harry was concerned about the teachers' views of him. From one vantage point, Gina's problems with the teachers diverted their attention away from Harry's lack of leadership. 159 Celeste and Gil at Ashland Celeste and Gi l , the Ashland principal, had several brief meetings in September to discuss her tasks and responsibilities as a new vice-principal. Celeste talked about their conversations: We've started. We've gone through lists. He gave me some things I needed to do. He said, "You've got to do this and you might want to think about these things, the furniture." When I see him, he says, "What's on for today?" I give him a list; I find him easy to talk to. Celeste performed the typical tasks of vice-principals, such as ordering and obtaining supplies, resources, and furniture for teachers. In addition to the traditional tasks of vice-principals, Celeste took on many roles that her predecessor had performed. She supervised students during recess and lunch, and she attended to most of the student discipline in the school. As the project coordinator (teaching assignment), Celeste planned many school activities that supported the students throughout the school (e.g., reading contests, Halloween and Remembrance Day assemblies, translators for parent teacher conferences, silent auction fundraiser, and food donations for needy families). Celeste reported that Gil allowed her to engage in any activities and attend any meetings she chose. Gi l , the Ashland principal of two years, was highly regarded, respected, and trusted by the staff. He was shy and reserved, but exuded a quiet confidence. Gi l was instrumental in improving the school atmosphere and the relationship between the teachers and administrators that had been marred by hostility and distrust for the past several years. A l l of the teachers interviewed conveyed this view. One teacher commented on his influence in the school: "Now at this time, people have a lot of 160 respect for Gi l because he knows how to reach them, he knows how to approach them. So, they react to his style of administration where it's more of consultation." When Gi l spoke at the SAC meetings, the teachers were attentive and respectful. Several teachers commented on how the tone of the meetings had changed since Gi l became principal. He talked about transparent and shared decision-making during an October SAC meeting that I attended. According to several teachers, he was the first Ashland principal who informed the teachers how much money was in the school budget. During the first term, Celeste was impressed with Gil 's ability to work collaboratively with the teachers. She described how Gil interacted with the teachers and how he included them in the decision-making process: Gi l pays attention to the big picture. He's very adept at pulling people together. He's great in the leadership department; he always uses "we and all." He's a role model; he thinks about how he is going to present things. He comes with plans and opinions. He asks for feedback and goes with something. Celeste remarked on his efforts to encourage teachers to participate in various activities in the school. Celeste offered these views: I think with Gi l , he's been open about procedure and he's good at giving information. He allowed discussion time at staff meetings. I think he is good as much as possible at letting people have control of what kinds of things they want to happen and gives out responsibility. Gi l used facilitative power to support the staff and to involve them in SDM. This contributed to the trustful relationship he had built with the staff. Moreover, Gi l trusted and supported teachers who were in leadership positions (e.g., chairpersons of committees) to be successful in their roles. 161 Even though Gi l was collaborative and supportive, Celeste maintained the staff recognized that he would exercise his positional power in the school because he was the principal. Celeste stated, "They see him as having the final say. I think they do. I think they know, no means no." Based on the teacher interviews, Gi l used his influence to pressure the teachers to take action on only one occasion. Over a two-month period, Gi l asked the teachers to change the lunchtime SAC meetings to an after school time period. It was difficult for him and Celeste to attend the lunch meeting because they supervised the students at this time. The SAC chairperson supported this change. Gil had developed enough trust with the staff that they voted to change the meeting time even though a teacher informed me that several teachers were not happy with the change. At the end of October, Celeste claimed that she was not meeting Gi l on a regular basis to discuss her tasks, responsibilities, or school leadership. Instead, she had brief exchanges with Gi l because she visited his office several times a day to ask him questions about various school incidents. She stated, "I think Gi l sees that I'm really busy. When I first started, we thought we would meet more often and problem solve." During the January interview, Celeste talked about her relationship with Gi l . Celeste recognized the power Gi l possessed as school principal and his authority over her as vice-principal. However, Celeste claimed that she and Gi l worked well together. On numerous ocassions, I observed a professional and respectful relationship between Gi l and Celeste. She stated, "I think I've developed a good relationship with Gi l and I think he allows me to be an equal partner in decision-making." Celeste and Gi l had a 162 respectful and friendly relationship. They were equal partners in terms of the administrative duties, tasks, and responsibilities because two full time administrators were required to run a school the size and complexity of Ashland. Gi l supported Celeste's involvement in different committees and activities. Throughout the school year, Celeste attended various meetings and reported or shared the information with Gi l . During the January interview, Celeste talked about her upcoming January meeting with Gi l . She expected Gi l to give her feedback on her performance because he had asked her to do a self-assessment before they left for Christmas holidays. In mid-January, Celeste approached Gi l to set up the meeting. Gi l responded that the meeting was unnecessary because Celeste had not "strayed far from the [administrative] path" during the first term. Gi l maintained that she was doing fine and had not made any major mistakes. Celeste was disappointed because she wanted Gi l to evaluate her job performance so she could improve, particularly since she was a new administrator. Celeste shared her frustration: "But what I need now are V P meetings with Gi l just to say where we are actually going." Instead of asking Gi l to meet, Celeste seemed to depend on her brief daily visits to his office. Gi l and Celeste talked about school issues, but they did not discuss her administrative abilities. Based on my observations and informal conversations, Gi l believed Celeste's was performing very well as a first-year vice-principal. Most likely, he did not think Celeste needed his guidance or mentoring. Student discipline was a major and controversial issue at Ashland throughout the school year. The classroom teachers and principal held different beliefs about 163 disciplining students. Gi l opposed the heavy-handed style of discipline that was instituted by Celeste's predecessor during the previous two school years. Celeste's predecessor had a specific punishment for every behaviour infraction, and she applied rules uniformly; no exceptions were made for any student. The teachers appreciated and supported how the previous vice-principal handled student discipline because they believed that student behaviour had worsened since she left the school. However, Gi l advocated an individualized approach to discipline. He did not want to apply the same set of rules to all situations and students. Instead, he wanted to find out the causes of the behaviour first, rather than immediately punishing them. Celeste was affected by this policy more than the staff because she handled most of the discipline cases. Based on my observations and interviews with Celeste, everyday after lunch recess there were four or five students waiting in the main office for Celeste to return from her supervision duties. Celeste found herself at the centre of the quagmire because her approach to discipline was similar to the approach of her predecessor. Privately, teachers asserted that i f Celeste were in charge of discipline, the behaviour of the students would be better. She agreed with the teachers' assessment of the situation. Although Celeste claimed she argued for a stricter school-wide discipline policy, she did not openly oppose Gi l . Celeste might not have shared her views about student discipline with Gi l . Based on my observations of and conversations with Gi l , he appeared to be receptive to Celeste's ideas and suggestions. Celeste was distressed with all of the discipline cases she handled, particularly since no school guidelines existed. The student discipline issue persisted until June. Gi l , the school counsellor, and several teachers attended two presentations on school-164 wide behaviour systems at other schools. Celeste was frustrated that she had not been invited even though she had not asked to attend the meetings. From my viewpoint, Gi l would have welcomed Celeste's presence at the meeting i f she had requested to attend. During a June SAC meeting, the teachers rejected the adoption of a school-wide behaviour system because they believed this specific method was too time-consuming to implement. They opted for a less stringent system. Throughout the last term of the year, Celeste was more concerned with Gil 's leadership style than she had been earlier in the school year. She described two incidents to support her views. At the end of February, Celeste claimed Gi l was frequently away from the Ashland campus; he was usually attending district-level meetings. As the acting principal, this was problematic because Celeste could not make some decisions without the approval of the principal. Without the permission of the principal, she could not suspend several students who had vandalized cars in the staff parking. Celeste was frustrated with this situation because she was responsible for the school, but she lacked authority to perform certain tasks. The authority of the principal was not transferred to the vice-principal during his absences. Although Celeste was frustrated with the situation, she seemed to overlook the experiences and knowledge she gained as acting principal. She was exposed to experiences that enabled her to leam more about school leadership and administration. The second incident was related to the work of the early literacy committee. The school staff had engaged in a school-wide assessment the previous spring. Because many primary students were not performing well in reading, a committee was struck to review and implement a new reading curriculum to improve their reading. 165 About 20 primary classroom and resource teachers and the vice-principal were members of the literacy committee and attended the meetings. During the school year, the teachers visited schools to observe different types of reading lessons. They attended workshops, reviewed reading programs, and discussed various ways to improve the reading abilities of the primary students. Towards the end of the school year, Celeste expressed concern that the literacy committee did not come to a consensus in choosing a reading program. Different groups of teachers advocated different ways to teach and improve reading. Celeste expected Gi l to intervene and persuade the teachers to choose one course of action. She believed the teachers would listen to him because they respected him. Celeste was surprised and confused when the principal was reticent to use his influence or authority. Gi l did not become involved in the discussions or suggest any solutions. No major changes were made in the reading program. Celeste did not discuss the situation with the principal. Gi l contended that the teachers had to make the decision because that was the only way a program would be successful. He was adamant during his interview with me that the teachers had to support the changes; otherwise, the changes might not be implemented. He argued that administrators could not force teachers to make changes. Celeste talked about Gil's leadership style. She stated that administrators should provide structure for decision-making and they should use their influence with teachers to solve problems. She asserted that Gi l did not use his power to pressure the teachers to resolve school issues: He's reluctant to use his [influence]. He has an amazing reputation. Well I think he's more, "let's let it evolve and see how it goes." And in some ways that's great, but you get to the point with the committee, where everyone the whole thing was getting fractured. 166 She claimed she would have closely monitored the work of the early literacy committee. It seemed Celeste was willing to exercise her administrative authority in the school. Based on her own accounts, she had been a powerful and influential teacher. Celeste shared several stories about her ability, as a teacher, to persuade her colleagues to participate in various activities. It appeared that Celeste hoped to become influential as a vice-principal. At this point, it was difficult to accomplish this because she did not know the staff as well as she had in her previous school. Celeste described an exchange she had with Gi l that reinforced his view of shared decision-making: " G i l says, 'We' l l see what the staff thinks.' I think you need someone with influence. He says, 'You can't boss them around.' I don't want to boss them around. I think they have to be charmed into it." Gil 's unwillingness to make decisions contrary to the wishes of the staff frustrated Celeste. Based on her comments during the school year, Celeste seemed to be willing to use power over strategies to make changes in the school. Celeste stressed that her approach to the problem would have been different: I feel i f I was in charge of it, I would take a little more control of it. That I would be the one scheduling the meetings. That I would be the one saying this must be done, that must be done. I would be a little more insistent about things, whereas I think he is more, "let's let it evolve and see how it goes." But you get to a point and we got to that point with the reading committee where everyone, the whole thing was getting fractured. I think I would like to have a little more close contact and overview. I don't think he is well enough aware of what the staff wants or needs. Gi l did not waver from his convictions about leadership at Ashland except for changing the SAC meeting time. The Ashland teachers were involved in most of the decisions that affected them. This was an appropriate strategy considering the recent 167 history of the school. If Gi l had used his positional authority more often than he did, the distrust and animosity between the teachers and administrators might have continued. Gi l used facilitative power to support the teachers, and the teachers felt empowered working with Gi l . Moreover, Gi l and the teachers did not have different goals. In fact, Gi l aligned his goals with the teachers' goals rather than imposing his own on the staff. During his interview in April, Gi l talked about his leadership experiences as a principal in four schools. He maintained that he used a different leadership approach in each school because the teachers possessed different backgrounds. He believed the experience level and the educational philosophy of the teachers influenced the leadership styles he utilized. For example, one school had a child-centred philosophy, but a fractured staff. Therefore, Gil felt that this staff needed to engage in extensive dialogue to resolve problems. Additionally, Gi l contended that collectively the teachers had more knowledge than he did so it was logical to engage in shared decision-making with the staff. Gi l claimed that he tried to do things as a principal that he wanted done when he was a teacher. Gil used a directive, top-down approach in another school because the staff was inexperienced and needed more guidance. In terms of his relationship with Celeste, Gi l maintained that Celeste performed like an experienced vice-principal. Consequently, he did not have to provide her much guidance. Gi l seemed to be unaware of Celeste's wish to engage in critical conversations with him. 168 Gil discussed how important it was that the principal and the vice-principal worked together in the school and presented a united front to the teachers. G i l explained the importance of the vice-principal and the principal supporting each other: There is an importance, as principal and vice-principal. Whatever you decide; you know not everyone is going to like it; you stick together. We're not second-guessing our decisions. It doesn't accomplish anything by second-guessing. Unless at some point you really think that and this isn't the case of a minority or obscure point of view. But i f there is something that you really did overlook, of course you have to have another look at it. Gi l talked about his power and formal authority over the vice-principal even though they were colleagues in the schools. He recognized that vice-principals were careful and cautious because the principals were critical to their careers. Gi l stressed this aspect of the relationship: " A lot of VPs are not willing to talk because they're afraid if they're having a bad experience, they don't want to tell anyone because they think it could harm their opportunities for being promoted." A recommendation by the principal was essential for the promotion of the vice-principal. Moreover, he claimed the vice-principals were justified in their actions because the vice-principals and principals did not know each other before they were assigned to work together. Gil talked about the trust between the principal and vice-principal: I didn't know Celeste at all. I'd seen her a couple of times, but I didn't know her at all. So, she doesn't know whether or how I'm going to react or what trust level is there, it is not a given. They're not going to trust you, just because they think they should. It doesn't work that way; you've got to get to know someone first. During the April and May observations, Celeste talked about Gil 's leadership. Celeste claimed that Gi l was not proactive in the school, and he did not use his authority as principal. Celeste reported that some teachers were coming to her more than Gi l to solve problems during the latter part of the school year. Based on my 169 observations throughout the year, it did seem that more teachers had gravitated towards Celeste. There were several reasons why this might have occurred. Celeste had gradually taken on most of the management tasks during the year because previous Ashland vice-principals performed these tasks. Because many teachers needed support in these areas, it was logical for them to talk to Celeste. The staff went to Gi l for the school-wide issues (e.g., possible strike of support workers). Additionally, Gi l was less visible than Celeste. He worked mostly in his office because of the amount of administrative tasks that required his attention. He maintained that Ashland was more like a high school than an elementary school because of the large student enrolment, diverse programs, and numerous school problems. Besides, teachers were drawn to Celeste because of her gregarious personality. A few teachers reported that they were reluctant to approach Gi l because he was reserved and quiet. Gi l and Celeste had very different personalities. While Gi l was quiet and shy, Celeste was outgoing and witty. Celeste seemed to relate well with the teachers on a personal level, whereas Gi l was reserved and remained distant from several teachers. These factors might have influenced some teachers to talk to Celeste rather than Gi l during the last few months of the year. At the end of the school year, Celeste requested a meeting with Gi l to discuss the school year and plan for the following year. Gi l replied that he did not start planning for next school year until August. Celeste described her disappointment: I said I would like to do some sort of end of year discussion, just a little review of the kinds of things we did this year. I'm not even talking about our relationship. I'm talking about what happened and what we see happening next school year. He said to me; he was a bit off putting. He said, "I don't really think about those things until the middle of the summer. If you think of anything, phone my voice mail and leave a message." 170 Although it appeared that Gil had rejected Celeste's request, it seemed that he needed time away from the pressures of the job before he began to prepare for the next school year. Celeste and Gi l had a professional and respectful relationship throughout the school year. Gi l supported Celeste throughout the school year, and he felt she was a capable and competent vice-principal. Celeste was able to become involved in many activities, and she attended most of the committee meetings because Gi l did not restrict her in any way. Eventually, Celeste coordinated many of the school events. Although their beliefs and goals about leadership seemed analogous early in the year, some differences were noticeable as the school year evolved. Overall, Gil was a democratic and facilitative leader who supported teachers. Gi l facilitated the decision-making process by ensuring that the teachers were able to discuss school issues and make decisions. He was interested in the process; he rarely used his authority or influence to force a particular decision. The Ashland teachers made many of the school-wide decisions during the SAC meetings. Celeste's goals were supporting teachers, getting to know the staff, and contributing to a positive school atmosphere. During her last interview, Celeste commented that she would be "more in control of it" i f she were the principal. Furthermore, Celeste asserted she was willing to use administrative authority and influence as well as facilitative power when working with the staff. Celeste believed administrators should provide direct guidance so the staff could achieve school-wide goals. In other words, Celeste would use power over strategies more readily than Gi l . 171 Hannah and Jane at Woodlawn Hannah was content with her assignment to Woodlawn because she and Jane, the school principal, held similar beliefs about education and school leadership. Hannah asserted that supporting and working with the principal were her primary goals in her relationship with Jane. Hannah offered these sentiments: With Jane, it wasn't difficult because I did want to support her. If I had a principal I didn't agree with, I don't know if I could do the job. Like, i f our values were different, not just a difficult person I could manage that probably, but really different values -1 don't know. Hannah described Jane as a leader who cared about the children, teachers, and parents. When Jane transferred to Woodlawn, there was money in the school budget that the previous principal had not spent. Jane proceeded to purchase resources that the teachers and the school lacked. Hannah admired what Jane did: She [Jane] is a good educator. She knows what the kids need. She tries to provide it [resources] to the teachers so they can give it to the kids. And she cares about their parents and she cares about the teachers. She is a very human person. Of the three pairs of administrative teams, Jane and Hannah articulated and demonstrated the most similar beliefs about school leadership. Hannah and Jane had a friendly, professional, and courteous relationship. Jane, in her third and last year as Woodlawn principal, was energetic, animated, intense, and frank. During my school visitations, I observed Jane constantly working and involved in some type of activity. I frequently saw her in the school hallways moving equipment or supplies, supervising students, and conversing with the staff. A chief concern of Jane and Hannah was supporting teachers. They were most interested in facilitating and helping teachers achieve their goals. 172 Hannah commented on the relationship between the staff and the principal: "I think Jane for the most part [the staff] really like her. There was a vibrancy and an energy and a willingness to pull the staff into whatever was going on. A lot of forthrightness, directness." Jane talked about her leadership approach: "You nudge in the background, but never, you don't confront. To me confrontation doesn't get you anywhere but in an argument. You can't do anything draconian because you pay for it." Jane believed that supporting the teachers was critical to school leadership. The teachers contended that the school atmosphere had improved since Jane was assigned to Woodlawn. She is very human and has worked hard to create a sense of trust because it was tense. Personally, I feel supported; I feel acknowledged as a professional and I have autonomy that I make decisions that are professional, make sense, and are worthy. I like that and I feel appreciated that way. I don't feel it's difficult at all to go to administration about any concerns or problems or ways that I liked to be supported in the classroom or with particular kids. Jane discussed the power she possessed because she was the principal. She acknowledged and succinctly described the power of principals. She commented: "No matter what, as a principal you have a lot of powerful force. And i f you say something, it happens." Hannah also talked about the power of the principal and the reaction of the teachers. She remarked that Jane did make difficult decisions, i f necessary. Hannah observed, "On most issues [teachers decided], but she can also take a stand, which is important for most teachers to see, too." According to Hannah, the teachers were responsive to and accepting of Jane's authority and leadership. Hannah reported that Jane was viewed as a facilitative leader who focused on supporting and working with the teachers. A teacher discussed the collegial and supportive approach of the principal: 173 A good administrator can. Like our administrator; there's discussion and then she will say something that no one has thought of or bring it all together. Or she will have thought about it all night, and worked on it and come back. We don't have the time to do that. She'll have a brilliant way of looking at it. That's the way you lead, I think. You facilitate what's going on or the potential of what's going on. Hannah talked about her vice-principal role at the beginning of the year. Although she had some specific duties, other responsibilities of her job were vague. Hannah talked about getting resources and supplies for teachers, working with the students on discipline and social issues, and supporting the principal. For Hannah, the three major issues in the fall were the administrative work, time to converse with Jane, and problem solving. In October, Hannah was concerned that she was not carrying her share of the administrative workload. She felt she should be doing more to help Jane. During a November observation, Hannah talked to Jane about taking on additional tasks and assuming her share of the "administrative workload." Jane responded that it was impractical for her to do more given her teaching responsibilities. Hannah maintained that she had few opportunities to discuss school issues with Jane during a typical school day. Because of Hannah's teaching schedule and vice-principal responsibilities, they rarely had lengthy conversations. Instead, they talked to each other on the "fly." Hannah explained the situation: "You know Jane, she is there. There is stuff happening all the time that she is involved in, and for her to try and fill me in on it, it takes longer." She and the principal interacted when Hannah was not teaching or during lunch supervision because they performed this duty together. During two observations when Jane was absent from school, Hannah had lengthy phone conversations with her. Hannah wanted frequent and comprehensive 174 conversations with Jane because she wanted to benefit from Jane's years as an administrator. From the beginning of the school year, Hannah was involved in problem solving with students and staff. Hannah worked with student discipline because of her expertise and background in counselling. Jane recognized Hannah's ability to work with students. In October, Hannah assisted an intermediate teacher to obtain extra academic support for students in her classrooms. Hannah observed the class, arranged a meeting with three resource teachers and the principal, and she facilitated the discussion to develop a schedule to assist the teacher. Jane deferred to Hannah's leadership during the meeting. In January, Hannah was still concerned about the lack of dialogue between herself and Jane. She requested that they meet on a regular basis to discuss school administration and leadership and Hannah's performance at Woodlawn. Hannah explained why she made the request: There is so little time that she and I have together. So last week I said to her, "It would really help i f we could set some time aside for just the two of us to touch base once in a while." For me to get a sense of feedback from her about what's happening and what's going well with me and what's not going well as a new VP. She does kind of say, "you're doing fine." And she thought about it and said, "Let's have dinner once a month." Jane and Hannah met during an evening in January, but this was a rare occurrence. In February, Hannah recognized that her inexperience and lack of knowledge as an administrator affected her when Jane was absent from school. During a SAC meeting, the teachers complained that neither the principal nor the vice-principal was on the school campus one morning. The teachers were concerned that i f an emergency had occurred, no one possessed the authority to make decisions. The principal had not 175 appointed a teacher to assume this responsibility when she and the vice-principal were not at school. The vice-principal believed the teachers had a legitimate complaint. Hannah talked about the challenges of being by herself in the school and not being able to respond to the teachers. Hannah was concerned because she did not have the experience or possess enough school information to respond to the teachers. This situation occurred several times. Hannah explained her frustration about the lack of information: So, i f people came to me with something as the acting principal, I couldn't put my hands on it anywhere. If she hadn't told me, I didn't know it. And that happened over and over again. Now Jane will know exactly what's happening, but she hasn't written it down which she won't have. And she hasn't told me. So, it's lost knowledge. Although Hannah and Jane did not meet on a regular basis to discuss school issues, leadership, and administration, they were a team and worked well together. Hannah shared the following observations: I see a lot of my job is to be the other part of the admin team, so Jane doesn't feel like she is out there on her own. For example, I'm always looking to cue off her. Like today, before I left and I'm running out the door. I said, "There is a staff meeting tomorrow. Is there anything that we need to talk about before?" But she said, "We' l l just wing it." So what I do then basically is wait for her to open her mouth before I open mine. In the springtime, Hannah felt more confident about the decisions she made in the school because she gained knowledge, information, and experience. From January to June, Hannah assumed even more responsibility for working with students who had social or behaviour problems. Jane recognized and appreciated her expertise and knowledge in this area. Jane commented on the patience that Hannah had working with students. During a meeting with a parent and a team of teachers, I observed the vice-principal facilitate the meeting because the principal left at the beginning of the 176 meeting. Later, I asked Jane why she left the meeting. Jane explained that Hannah was better than she was working with this parent. During my interview with Jane, she stated that Hannah was more like a principal in waiting than a vice-principal in training. She believed Hannah was ready to become a principal, and she encouraged her to apply for a principalship at the end of her second year in administration. Jane commented that Hannah had the experience to be a principal and that the paper work was a minor part of the job. Jane offered her views: Hannah is unique in the kind of things she has done. She's had to deal with all kinds of situations that you need to deal with as a principal. The only thing she doesn't have yet is some of the paper work stuff. I'm not teaching her how to be a principal or a vice-principal. She already knows that stuff. Jane treated the vice-principal as an equal rather than a subordinate. To some extent, Jane was unaware of the problems Hannah encountered as a novice administrator because she believed Hannah was performing like a veteran administrator. Hannah was concerned because Jane felt she had as much knowledge about administration as Jane did. Hannah did not benefit fully from Jane's administrative experiences because of Jane's views. Hannah discussed the principal's perceptions of her abilities: One of the things that I realized and really affected me throughout the whole year is Jane had this assumption of me that was wrong. And the assumption was that I knew almost as much as she knew or something like that. So, I don't think she thought twice about leaving the school with me as a brand new VP. But it was hard for me. As the school year evolved, Hannah began to discuss the differences between her and Jane's approaches to leadership even though their philosophies were similar. Hannah maintained that Jane worked very well with the teachers most of the time, but 177 every so often Jane got "revved up" and overexcited about an issue. Occasionally, Jane reacted to people and situations rather than anticipating problems. Sometimes Jane's reaction exacerbated the situation. On several ocassions, Hannah intervened and helped keep things calm. For example, a problem arose between two intermediate teachers regarding a field trip. Jane approved a two-day fieldtrip for a grade level team even though one teacher on the team had not been invited. When several other teachers, who were not involved with the trip, became aware of what had occurred, they criticized the teacher who had excluded her colleague. This caused hostile feelings among the staff and between two intermediate teachers. A few days after the trip, Jane contributed to the tension by publicly supporting the teacher who went on the trip. The negative feelings lingered until the end of the school year. Jane had not anticipated that her decision would affect the staff, nor did she realize the discord that grew among some teachers. Hannah attempted to help the teachers resolve the dilemma by talking with the teachers. She tried to arrange a meeting so the teachers could discuss the situation. The meeting was never held because the teachers refused to meet. During a visit in May, I attended an impromptu staff meeting Jane called to discuss the distribution of $10,000 contributed by the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). Jane became frustrated when the teachers complained about the allocation of the money. The conversation became heated because the teachers wanted the money divided evenly among all of the teachers rather than on a first come, first serve basis. Jane insisted that the decision could not be reversed because the budget committee, chaired by a teacher, had met and set the criteria. When Jane left the meeting, several 178 teachers gathered around Hannah, and continued to criticize how the money was to be distributed. The teachers also complained about the lack of money to purchase basic school supplies and paper at the end of the school year. Hannah skilfully and calmly defused a potentially explosive situation by listening to and addressing the teachers' concerns. Two or three similar situations had occurred during the year. Hannah maintained that she would have acted differently by anticipating the problems or making a different decision earlier in the process. Throughout most of the school year, Jane and Hannah had few in-depth conversations about administration. However, Jane shared some of her knowledge about teacher evaluations and the school organization during several of my observations in May and June. Hannah was completing an evaluation of a primary teacher. Jane described the process of teacher evaluation and gave her evaluation materials and notes to Hannah. Jane stressed that administrators should not force evaluations on teachers i f the teachers were anxious about the evaluators and the evaluations. She also advised Hannah to discuss the positive aspects of the observations with the teachers first, and then gently share the criticisms. In June, the school organization was developed for the following school year. This entailed placing students in classrooms. Assigning the children and the teachers to classrooms was a challenging and precarious endeavour. If the school organization was not done correctly, there could be problems for teachers, students, and administrators the following school year. It was critical that the class size limits and formulas for placing special needs children in classrooms were strictly enforced. For teachers, the problems were combined classes (e.g., fourth and fifth graders in the 179 same class) and tenure. Assigning teachers to classes was based on teacher seniority in the district and in the school. Jane and Hannah worked on the school organization independently, and then met to discuss it. When they completed the school organization, they shared it with the teachers. Jane stressed that they should approach teachers individually to discuss the classroom compositions and grade levels because some teachers might be upset. If teachers objected, Jane maintained that they would negotiate with the staff and make changes. The principal and vice-principal had to make changes on the school organization, but eventually it was completed. Towards the end of the school year, Hannah talked about Jane's ability to persuade people to do things without upsetting them. Jane had convinced a teacher to take on a different teaching assignment in the school for the following school year. According to Jane and Hannah, this move was beneficial to the students. Hannah enjoyed an equal, collegial, and professional relationship with Jane throughout the school year. However, Hannah was surprised when this changed during the last few weeks of the school year. She explained what occurred: But it was really interesting because the last month was the first time that I really felt quite irritated with the relationship between Jane and 1.1 think partly irritated, but there was frustration. What the behaviour was happening, I was doing something and she had to be involved in it. But just to touch base in it. Kind of mix it up a little and leave a little. I became really aware that nothing was clearly my role and never really had been. What I got a sense of was there just weren't any clear boundaries around the role of principal and vice-principal in our situation. Jane's behaviour might have changed at the end of the year because she was leaving Woodlawn School. In fact, she was facing a career milestone and an important transition in her life. 180 Based Jane's behaviour at the end of the school year, Hannah maintained that it was critical for vice-principals to remember that the principal was the ultimate authority in the school. She stressed the importance of the vice-principal and principal relationship: One thing that I learned is the VP is not the leader of the school and they're not really the second leader of the school. I think it's more like the principal is the leader and the vice-principal is their helper. And just try and figure out communication between you and the principal. That is a big one. It's very much in the middle position. You know you really do have to be loyal to your principal and you have to be loyal to the school board. During the last interview, Hannah discussed what she had learned about administration and school leadership from Jane. Hannah talked about their similar philosophies, but emphasized their different approaches to school leadership: I can really understand her style, but I think we are quite different. For me there is a certain amount, I'm pretty flexible, but within certain parameters I'm flexible. I mean I'm much more of a logical sequential thinker, and she is much more of a creative, free flowing can go anywhere kind of thinker. So I think when she said we had similar styles, I think actually what it was, was we could work together. Hannah compared herself with Jane. She maintained that she and Jane were adept at solving problems. However, Hannah noted that she needed to make a decision, whereas, Jane was comfortable i f a problem was not resolved. Hannah analyzed the differences in their approaches to problem solving: Well there's kind of a laissez-faire, it wil l happen. It will come together and in many ways it does. But for some of the people the process that leads up to it finally coming together is really hard on them. I think I'm much more of a planner. I like to know there is a general plan. I don't need to micromanage stuff, but I do like to know there is a general plan. Hannah commented that Jane did not always anticipate the consequences of her decision-making, nor did she realize that some of her actions upset some teachers: 181 I think the other thing that I can do much better is I think I can anticipate what to do before it [crisis] gets bigger. That's one of the things I learned from Jane because I didn't see her often anticipating. I saw her often missing the anticipatory part. Except at the end of the school year, Jane and Hannah were administrative partners at Woodlawn. Of the three pairs of administrators, their beliefs about leadership and schooling were most alike. They were facilitative leaders; their primary goal was to support and assist teachers in their work with the children, and they promoted collaborative and collegial with the teachers. Jane asserted that Hannah possessed most of the requisite skills and the abilities to be a successful principal. Hannah assumed leadership roles in many situations because Jane believed she was a capable leader. However, Hannah also wanted someone to coach her, to provide critical feedback, and to help her evaluate her administrative actions so she could develop into a successful school leader. Jane believed Hannah did not need a mentor because she was already a very good vice-principal. Although Hannah was involved in problem solving, decision-making, and assumed leadership roles in different situations, she was mindful of the power of the principal in the school. At the end of the school year, Hanna maintained that her roles and responsibilities had, in fact, depended upon the principal. Summary The vice-principals were originally satisfied with their assignments because they believed they had similar philosophies of leadership as the principals. Presumably, the three pairs of administrators rejected an authoritarian, dictatorial, top-1 down, power over style of leadership. A l l six of the administrators believed having a positive school atmosphere and collegial relations with the staff were vital to a successful school. Supporting teachers was a component of the leadership approaches articulated by the principals and vice-principals. Early in the year, the vice-principals acknowledged that the principals listened to the needs and concerns and they were accessible to the staff. Later in the school year, there was dissonance between Harry and Gina and Celeste and Gi l regarding their beliefs about school leadership. The problems arose in the execution of their duties. Because Harry was a laissez-faire leader, Gina took on a lot of work. Celeste was concerned because Gi l was focused on the S D M processes, and he did not pressure the teachers to take specific actions. These differences affected the vice-principals' performances and their relationships with the teachers. Harry's actions contributed to some of the difficulties Gina encountered with some teachers. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah discussed the responses of the principals to problems that arose in the schools. Gina and Celeste seemed willing to exercise their formal authority and influence when they worked with the teachers. Hannah talked about being influential because the staff trusted her judgment as the school year evolved. She maintained that anticipating problems was a crucial ability of administrators. Occasionally, Hannah felt Jane was reactive rather than proactive. Hannah, Gina, Celeste, and the other five novice vice-principals interviewed for this study acknowledged the power of the principals over them. Another first year vice-principal talked about her power: "I think the fact that my principal is so willing to allow me to take on responsibilities, to make decisions. [I am] as powerful as the 183 principal allows me to be." Georgina, the district leadership coordinator, readily acknowledged the power of the principals over the vice-principals. Georgina elucidated on the relationship between them: But obviously i f you don't have a good relationship with that principal, then your advancement chances are going to be a little bit harder and a little slower until you've had a number of people who have been able to work well with you. So, it is a crucial relationship for the vice-principal. The principals were crucial to the nascent careers of the vice-principals; they evaluated them and they would be instrumental in the vice-principals' promotions to principalships. Circumstances That Affected the First-Year Vice-Principals Gina, Hannah, and Celeste became involved in different activities and encountered different problems in their respective schools. However, several issues affected the three vice-principals and their relationships with the principals and their understanding of school leadership and administration. In this section of the paper, I review the following themes: loyalty to administration, learning through trial and error, mentoring, and vice-principals as acting principals. Loyalty to Administration The principals were concerned that the vice-principals recognized the importance of their allegiance to their new administrative colleagues. They worried that the vice-principals might be susceptible to the influence of the teachers or encounter difficulties separating themselves from teachers because of their recent membership in the union. According to these administrators, adapting to and 184 assimilating an administrative perspective took time. Gi l talked about the difficulties first-year vice-principals experienced: So, the teachers wil l vent stuff like that to the vice-principals. It makes it tough on the vice-principals because they have to be careful about what they can say and can't say. They can't say "yeah you're right that idiot - that's really stupid" because i f they start to do that, they've just indicated that they can be lobbied and any decision that goes on, that they [vice-principals] can become an advocate for someone other than the administration in the school. Gina did have difficulties seeing herself as an administrator early in the school year. She grappled with her transition from teaching to administration: The biggest thing, in the beginning of the school year, I considered myself more a teacher and I connected more with the staff because I wanted to still be one of them. And then when the months went by, especially when I took on the acting principalship. And then by January, no, I'm an administrator. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah acknowledged their commitment to their new colleagues and to the school board. The vice-principals knew they were expected to demonstrate their loyalty to other administrators before they were appointed to the vice-principalships. Hannah described the situation of the vice-principals in the Evergreen School District: I could do it because the expectation is that you support your principal and you support the school board as the administrators. And that is very different than being a teacher. It's a real shift. You can no longer openly agree with teachers when they're ranting on about this policy or that policy. Even though you think, "yeah, you're right, it stinks." You really have to keep your mouth shut. That was something I had to learn. I don't think I made any major mistakes. Although the principals were concerned that vice-principals demonstrate allegiance to administration, the vice-principals expressed their loyalty to their administrative colleagues during the school year. The vice-principals attended a district meeting at the beginning of the school year where the assistant superintendents emphasized that the vice-principals were 185 members of the Evergreen District management and legal representatives of the board. When Hannah, Gina, and Celeste became vice-principals, they relinquished their membership in the Elementary Evergreen Teachers Union and the BCTF. The division between administrators and teachers occurred 15 years ago. Until the late 1980s, the teachers and administrators were members of the same associations. In 1987, the BC provincial government passed the Teaching Profession Act (Bill 20), which affected the relationships of teachers and administrators in British Columbia (Fris, 1987). Before the legislation, the BCTF and the local teachers' associations were professional organizations; they were not unions. Bi l l 20 forced the teachers to choose between unionization with full bargaining rights or to remain an association with limited bargaining rights. The teachers voted for unionization. The principals, vice-principals, and curriculum directors' memberships in the local teachers' associations and the BCTF were terminated. They were designated administrative offices (AO) by law, and they became members of management and representatives of the school boards. There were contradictions and tensions regarding the degree to which the vice-principals juggled their allegiance to management while trying to work collaboratively with teachers. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah realized they needed to support their principals because the principals had power over the vice-principals' careers. They would evaluate and recommend the vice-principals for promotions. Because the vice-principals were part of management, they could not publicly disagree with district policy, rules, or regulations. They were aware of the legal implications of being administrators in British Columbia. 186 The vice-principals were expected to simultaneously separate from and cooperate with the teachers. The teachers expected the vice-principals to be part of management and separate from them. The vice-principals faced tenuous situations. They were expected to work closely with teachers because the district supported a consultative decision-making process at the district level. The area superintendents advocated shared decision-making at the school level. However, the district expected the vice-principals to support administrative viewpoints and implement policies; they could not disagree with the school board. The vice-principals needed to balance their power with goals and philosophies with their power over administrative positions. Working With and Training the Vice-Principals Although the principals and vice-principals had courteous and professional relationships, the vice-principals believed they were not receiving sufficient guidance, training, and feedback from the school principals about management and leadership.15 The vice-principals and principals met early in the school year to discuss the tasks (e.g., ordering and distributing supplies and resource, student supervision and discipline) the vice-principals would perform; however, the vice-principals reported that for the remainder of the school year they rarely discussed their roles with the principals. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah talked about the lack of training and guidance they received from the principals, but they appreciated the freedom the principals gave 1 5 The Evergreen School District offered weekly optional in-services to administrators. The purpose of the in-services was dissemination of information on different topics (e.g., suspending students, evaluation of teachers, and computer programs). 1 them to engage in numerous school-wide activities. Hannah attempted to describe her role early in the school year: Well, I haven't really sat down and gotten a clear role description, yet. So at this point, my role has been, a lot of it has been providing support to the teachers around resources. Getting resources, supplies. I worked with students around discipline issues, social difficulties that they're in and working with them. Supporting the principal whatever it is she is doing. At the end of the school year, Hannah was still concerned about the lack of administrative information that she received from the principal. M y concern is because she keeps an awful lot of what's going on up here [in her head]. She is not a highly organized record keeper. So I'm always saying, "How do you do this or where is this?" It's somewhere. So, my fear is when she moves on, a lot of things are going to go with her and it's going to be in her mind. I'm kind of trying to get that, but again there is no time. Training and guidance were constant sources of anxiety throughout the school year because the vice-principals were unsure i f they were experiencing all of the necessary duties, tasks, and responsibilities to be successful administrators and school leaders. Harry, Gi l , and Jane discussed training the vice-principals. Although they identified some of the roles and functions of the vice-principals in the schools, they maintained that the vice-principal roles varied and were unique to each school situation. Based on my observations in the three schools, the roles of the vice-principals were more similar than they were different. The principals claimed that there were no district guidelines for principals to work with the vice-principals. Gi l remarked on the absence of procedures for working with vice-principals: "No one has written out any guidelines on how anyone is supposed to work with your vice-principals. Tradition has said that certain jobs are vice-principals' jobs. Things like stock, all VPs do stock; that's basic." He claimed that he and Celeste decided which tasks and duties they performed based on the 188 demands of the school and the expertise of the principal and vice-principal. Jane argued that the paper work was insignificant compared to other administrative responsibilities. She contended, "Most of the things having nothing to do with paperwork. The most important things are still the people things. And it depends on the strength of your vice-principal." Gi l maintained that he worked with his vice-principals based on what he did as a vice-principal; he was also critical of the district preparation of school leaders. He reflected on the issue and offered his opinion: Most of it is based on my experience and what my experience was as a VP . What I liked about it, what I didn't like about it. What I thought was useful. What I thought I would have changed. That's been my philosophy. But I think way too little time is spent in this district supporting leaders and potential leaders and developing leaders. I've never sat down with another administrator to talk about how we work with our VPs. No one has ever brought the topic up. Gi l talked about the difficulty of developing a comprehensive leadership program for vice-principals in the Evergreen District. He implied that this decision would come from the superintendent, not from the principals. Gi l explained the situation in the district: But how are we going to plan it? Who has time to plan it? In fact, someone has to acknowledge that "gee, this would be a really good thing i f someone did this." A principal of a school is not likely to phone up the superintendent and say, "I have a great idea for putting on a workshop for vice-principals, and I would like to do it on how to organize a class." That's not likely to happen. Unless it comes the other way [superintendent suggests it]. And someone says a lot of our principals don't seem to know how to organize a class. James, an assistant superintendent, acknowledged the shortcomings of the district's preparation for vice-principals: 189 Formal, is that they, I guess we rely on their supervising principals, first off. That's the person who is closest to them, the person who supervises them on a daily basis. And I have to say, I'm not sure as a profession we've done a very good job at training people to be effective supervisor mentors. The assistant superintendents maintained the principals were responsible for mentoring and training the vice-principals. The principals alleged they trained the vice-principals as best they could. Vice-principals reported the training was inadequate. Training was an issue that had not been adequately addressed and examined in the Evergreen School District. Learning by Trial and Error The vice-principals were under pressure to perform competently and efficiently by the principals and teachers. Moreover, the district expected vice-principals to prepare themselves for the principalship. The principals maintained that the most effective ways that vice-principals learned about administration and leadership was by making mistakes and experiencing various types of situations. Gi l made the following observations: I think no matter what, we react because of who we are. I think i f you don't have those skills the only way you can be taught is by making those mistakes and having someone help bail you out. Well, you learn by making mistakes. By having some good people you can phone. By having a lot of skills before you ever get there. Vice-principals had opportunities to face many new situations because their principals allowed them to perform many tasks. Generally, the vice-principals decided which tasks, responsibilities, and activities they dealt with. Harry suggested specific functions and activities the vice-principals should undertake: 190 First, I think there's got to be some experience in committee work or drawing people in to get some kind of program or something implemented so you get the experience of getting something like that off the ground. I think the whole idea with working with parents, working directly with staff in some sort of large project. Reading report cards and the whole assessment and evaluation process. I think in terms of community involvement. Furthermore, Harry contended that the vice-principals should deal with whatever happens because administrators did not always anticipate what would occur. Gi l acknowledged that it would be difficult for the vice-principals to approach the principals when they encountered problems or needed feedback about mistakes they had made. Novice vice-principals were trying to prove their competence, not their incompetence to the principals. Gil shared the following observations: There is this fear amongst VPs that they're supposed to know all of these things even though they've never been taught or had exposure or the experience to learn them. Somehow in their minds "I'm a V P now, I should know all this. So, I'm not going to go in there and ask him [the principal] how to order tables or get the lights for the assembly." Whatever it may be because they think when the time comes for me to be principal, someone is going to call the person who supervised me and tell me about so and so. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah agreed that they learned the most about administration and school leadership through their experiences. The vice-principals did not systematically learn about administration; they received little or no guidance or training from the principals. Acting Principals Gina, Celeste, and Hannah learned a great deal about administration when they were acting principals. This occurred when the principals were not on the school campus. The vice-principals were in charge of the schools; they handled the emergencies or problems that arose. Gina was the acting principal for three 191 consecutive weeks during the first term and approximately 10 additional days during the second term of the school year. Hannah and Celeste were acting principals for 10 to 12 days from February to June. The vice-principals faced some challenging predicaments when they were acting principals. Hannah was the only administrator on campus during an earthquake, whereas Celeste dealt with a serious vandalism problem on school grounds. Hannah talked about the magnitude of the responsibilities for the well-being and safety of the children. Hannah commented that she needed to think carefully and more cautiously about the decisions she made as acting principal. The teachers and children expected the vice-principals to be in control of all situations; the vice-principals were pressured to make correct decisions during emergencies because the school community was affected. Celeste was the acting principal for one week in May. She recorded her daily interactions with teachers, students, and parents. She was the main problem solver and decision maker in the school. As acting principals, the vice-principals experienced a high level of responsibility, even though it was temporary. Gina, who was acting principal for the longest time of the three vice-principals, noted several differences between the roles of the principals and the vice-principals. Gina had more time to become involved in more administrative issues and attend to more school-wide activities because she was not teaching. As a result, Gina dealt with discipline problems in a proactive rather than reactive manner. She raised her visibility in the school by visiting several classrooms. She talked to classes about anti-bullying on the school campus. Gina noted that principals received more information than vice-principals: "One thing I discovered as the principal you get the information. You're 192 knowledgeable because you're in the know. You get all the information." Gina commented on how much she learned and experienced as the acting principal. She looked forward to becoming a principal; she described the advantages of the principalship: I can't wait to be principal because you are a principal full time. You're in there 100% and you can deal with; you can be much more proactive, you can go into the classrooms to visit more. You can do all the things and you have the time. You have the right to phone the school board to chat with whomever, people that are in higher positions. Gina continued to discuss her experiences as acting principal. She commented on the formal authority of the principals: It really is the principal's school. You know, it's not the principal's school; it's everyone's school, but what I mean is you have a sense of i f you want to do anything, you just don't have to worry as much about pleasing other people. You're much more in control and you can do what you darn well please, in light of obviously not stepping on anyone's toes. The vice-principals benefited from the experiences as acting principals; they encountered a different level of responsibility than they did as vice-principals. These circumstances helped deepen their understanding of school leadership. Mentoring the Vice-Principals According to Osterman and Kottkamp (1993), mentorship occurs "through communication and collaboration; individuals become more effective, assume greater responsibility for their own performance, and engage more closely and more productively with others in the workplace" (p. 185). Mentor relationships include the following stages: initiation, collaboration, inclusiveness, coaching, reciprocation, development, separation, and modeling (Calabrese & Tucker-Ladd, 1991). Mentoring was an important issue to Gina, Celeste, and Hannah. The vice-principals wanted a 193 mentoring relationship with the principals. Hannah spoke about the importance of self-evaluation, self-knowledge, reflection, critical feedback, and mentoring as ways for her to learn more about leadership and administration: I think people need ongoing self-reflection and coaching. I think that's the biggest way leaders learn. They also need the Pro D on all those different things, legal the discipline and all that stuff. And that's when you have to have your own stuff together. And the only way you're going to get that is through really looking at it. Throughout the school year, all three vice-principals emphasized the lack of critical discussions with the principals about their work. During the interviews, the principals felt strongly about mentoring the vice-principals even though they articulated narrow and partial definitions of mentoring. Harry described how he mentored vice-principals: I see myself in the role of being a mentor. I see vice-principals as being principals in training. I believe vice-principals should be doing every aspect and facet of the job. Anything we do, the vice-principals should be experiencing exactly the same thing. Gi l discussed his mentorship of vice-principals; he illustrated his point by comparing first-year administrators to new drivers: VPs are learners with an " L " [learner] on their car. They need to experience everything they're going to experience, but in a mild sort of way. So that they're never left on their own totally. They can always ask for help or advice. There is a safety net somewhere in there; they're not going to fail. I'm not going to let you fail, but you've got to try. I try and stay out of the way as much as possible. Jane shared her thoughts on mentoring: "Mentoring is also standing back. It isn't always in their face. Sometimes it's not doing anything. I think I've mentored other people's vice-principals more than I've mentored my own." Gi l also claimed that he mentored other administrators rather than his own vice-principals: 194 There are several people I know throughout the district who are vice-principals and even some principals who are more likely to phone me for help or advice than they are to ask anyone in their own school because they feel safer doing that. I don't know why, but they do. More so than people I've worked with directly. Gi l acknowledged that it would be difficult for the vice-principals to approach the principals when they encountered problems or needed feedback about mistakes they had made. It might have been difficult for the principals to mentor their own vice-principals because the vice-principals might have had to expose their lack of knowledge and experience, and reveal their problems and deficiencies. The principals recognized that this would be difficult even though the vice-principals were learning on the job. Novice vice-principals were trying to prove their competence, not their incompetence to the principals. The principals equated mentoring with learning through experiences and making mistakes. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah asserted that coaching, which was the one aspect of mentoring, was missing in their relationships with the principals. According to the vice-principals, they did not perceive the principals as mentors. In fact, the vice-principals were concerned about the absence of reflective discussions and critical feedback from the principals on school leadership and management. The vice-principals did not have in-depth, reflective, comprehensive conversations with their principals. The findings in Calabrese and Tucker-Ladd's (1991) study supported the experiences of these vice-principals; the researchers found that mentoring by the principals was important to vice-principals, but it rarely occurred. If a novice vice-principal requested a mentor, the Evergreen Elementary Administrators' Association (EEAA) matched them with an experienced vice-195 principal. Celeste requested a mentor, but she spoke to this person only twice during the school year. Celeste met her by chance at two district meetings. Even though the E E A A assigned mentors, the district did not schedule time for them to meet; the district did not provide information or comprehensive training on mentoring relationships. James and Bob, the two assistant superintendents, assumed that the school principals were mentoring vice-principals. When I pressed the assistant superintendents for evidence, they were uncertain i f the principals were actually mentoring the vice-principals. Instead, Bob highlighted the power of the principal over the vice-principal's career when he discussed the relationship: "I think primarily it falls on the supervising principals to be an effective mentor and an effective supervisor. And make sure that they get the word out on this person's strengths and attributes and that kind of stuff." Mentoring took on a different meaning for the assistant superintendents. They defined it as advocating and supporting the vice-principals' promotions to principalships. The assistant superintendents discussed how the principals possessed power over the vice-principals. In January, I asked the vice-principals how their participation in the research had affected them. Individually, the vice-principals claimed that I was their mentor. They viewed me as a support person, someone who asked questions, who caused them to reflect on various aspects of their jobs. Each vice-principal discussed why she saw me as a mentor. Gina commented, "It's been rewarding having you there because you've been a mentor and that's been very rewarding. But that doesn't exist for 196 everyone." The vice-principals discussed aspects of their jobs with me. Hannah noted that she was isolated in some ways: I really think that you helped me the most because I could sit and self-reflect with you. And you give me questions. I saw you as a coach in a coaching role. I didn't have anybody else. Jane didn't do that for me. And certainly senior management doesn't do that. Celeste shared similar views: I think it's made me know that first I have someone to talk to about all these things. It has also given me a chance to reflect. Like right now, what are you going to do because the job is so fast-paced? It's just like gone. Gina pointed out that I was not in a position to evaluate her; therefore, she shared her thoughts without worrying about repercussions: It's given me a chance to reflect on things I may not have thought of. Also, I can tell you things I can't talk about to other people in [Evergreen District]. I love you being there because I can say whatever I want to you because you're nobody, you're not part of that [supervisory] group. They explained they were able to discuss their roles with someone who asked perceptive questions and who was not evaluating their performances. It was a safe relationship for them to discuss their concerns and struggles as well as their successes, and I visited them on a regular basis. Celeste maintained that she looked forward to my visits so she could share some of her experiences. Because the research lasted until June, I continued to observe and question the vice-principals; hence, they continued to view me as their mentor. The mentoring relationships that developed between the individual vice-principals and me were unintentional. The relationships evolved over time. At the beginning of the school year, I observed the vice-principals in action, supervising and disciplining students, teaching, and responding to the requests of teachers. During the first term, I asked many basic questions about their jobs. As I learned more about the 197 roles of the vice-principals, their schools, and the challenges they encountered, I asked questions that were comprehensive and analytical. The inquiries allowed and gave the vice-principals opportunities to examine and discuss their performances and reactions to various circumstances they had as novice administrators. The discussions and questions led to more questions and conversations, and to the vice-principals viewing me as a mentor. Support for the Vice-Principals The vice-principals encountered many challenges during their first year in administration. At various times, they identified those people with whom they could talk to about their experiences. Hannah, Gina, and Celeste claimed that their friends and families were supportive, but in different ways. On the one hand, their families and friends provided the vice-principals an opportunity to talk about and to escape the pressures of their jobs. On the other hand, they felt their jobs put undue pressure on their personal relationships because it reduced the time they spent with their families and/or friends. The other five first-year vice-principals interviewed for this study shared similar opinions. The vice-principals talked about colleagues, both teachers and administrators, who were friends before they became vice-principals. Gina, Celeste, and Hannah reported that they contacted these colleagues to obtain information about some of their administrative tasks and duties. The Evergreen School Board hired nine new elementary vice-principals during the year that I completed the study. Gina initiated and organized three or four meetings 198 during the year for the first-year vice-principals to share their experiences, give each other feedback, and support each other. Of the nine first-year vice-principals, five or six usually attended the gatherings. Georgina, the coordinator of the leadership program, maintained this group was the best support system for the vice-principals. She declared that their group was "second to none." Although the vice-principals enjoyed the gatherings, they emphasized that they could not share confidences about the problems they encountered as novice administrators because they did not know each other well enough. Celeste represented the opinions of the vice-principals: It's interesting because people say you're part of the support group and all that stuff. I can't imagine getting to this level of discussion or exposing yourself in this way with any support group. I like [the other vice-principals] but I, we'd never have this conversation. Being hired for the same position and at the same time did not guarantee openness and trust among the vice-principals. The Evergreen Elementary Administrators' Association (EEAA) was an important support group for first-year vice-principals.16 The E E A A was the professional organization for all elementary principals and vice-principals. The E E A A executive committee worked closely with the Evergreen District on issues and problems that directly affected the principals and vice-principals. The president contacted the novice vice-principals during the first week of school to welcome them into the association. Every week the association sent supportive and informative messages to all elementary administrators. The eight E E E A dinner meetings during the school year were opportunities to socialize and get to know other colleagues. A pseudonym is used for the Evergreen Elementary Administrators' Association to protect the anonymity and confidentiality of the participants. 199 Hannah and Cel