Doctor of Education (EdD)
First Committee Member
Gerald C. Kops
Number of Pages
Creating, implementing, and sustaining a shared vision is a complicated task for any leader. The Elementary School Division of the Clark County School District (CCSD) expects elementary school principals not only to develop a shared vision for their schools, but also to implement and sustain this shared vision with the aid of their constituencies--other administrators, staff, students, parents, and the community-at-large. Leaders, in this case principals, generally are responsible for developing a shared vision; The concept of visionary leadership has been defined in the literature, and principals can be tested to determine the degree to which they align themselves with the attributes of visionary leadership (LeSourd & Grady, 1991). Creating a shared vision also requires political savvy, consensus building, shared decision-making procedures, strong communication skills, effective use of time, administrative renewal, and insightful understanding of group processes (Chance & Grady, 1994); In CCSD where creation of a shared vision is a specific leadership task of every elementary school principal, the challenges encountered in the creation, implementation, and sustenance of a shared school vision have not been identified. It was the goal of this study to collect data that assist in identifying these challenges; All 132 district elementary school principals, except for the investigator, were surveyed using The Visionary Leadership Attitude Survey (Grady & LeSourd, 1990) to determine their attitudes toward visionary leadership. Six principals aligning with visionary leadership attributes and six principals aligning with managerial style leadership, as identified by the survey, were selected for in-depth interview to identify patterns and themes in challenges to the creation, implementation, and sustenance of shared school visions; The crucial issue in this study was to identify challenges to creating, implementing, and sustaining shared school vision. Two-thirds of principals saw teachers as a challenge, especially those teachers who were holdovers from a previous administration. Three-fourths of the principals had difficulty in engaging support staff in the shared vision. While the principals felt that involving support staff is important, they also suggested that these employees may not be qualified or interested, nor do they have the time to participate. Available time was also a challenge for parents, although two principals did not see parents as a challenge in the shared vision process at all. Only one principal provided participation for students. The others cited issues such as lack of maturity of elementary school children and scheduling problems. Community partners were seen mostly in their roles as financial and other resource contributors; Money did not appear to constrain the process of shared vision creation, implementation, and sustenance. Nine principals reported adequate funding; three indicated no funds available. Half the principals reported adequate training opportunities and models. Responses indicated a lack of clarity about who should be trained--themselves, other administrators, teachers, staff, students, parents, community partners, and so on. The issue of time was challenging far seven of the principals. In reporting the amount of time spent on the visioning process, three principals reported spending all of their time, two about half their time, and seven did not allocate much time; No clear patterns or themes of applications of definition, purpose, or guidelines could be detected as differences between the selected visionary leadership attribute aligned or managerial leadership attribute aligned principals in analysis of their responses.
Challenges; Clark County; Creating; Elementary; Encountered; Implementing; Leadership; Nevada; Principals; Process; Schools; Schools; Shared; Sustaining; Visions
School management and organization; Education, Elementary
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
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Price, David Allen, "Leadership challenges encountered by elementary school principals in the process of creating, implementing, and sustaining shared school visions in Clark County, Nevada, elementary schools" (1997). UNLV Retrospective Theses & Dissertations. 3034.