Best Practices

Developing Effective Principals

by Barbara W. Thompson

Critical Principal Skills

-influence teacher efficacy

-establish a positive environment for teaching and learning

-promote professional collaboration

-promote and support the development of teachers

-focus resources and organizational systems toward teaching and learning

-Enlist the involvement and support of parents and community stakeholders

Exemplary Program Components

  1. Selective & rigorous recruitment
  2. Pre & Post Skill Assessment
  3. Extended Mentor Internship
  4. Differentiated Principal Experiences
  5. Cohort Model

Superintendent's Perspective on Principal Preparedness

  • Understanding the range of job demands
  • Setting the instructional direction
  • Development of others
  • Experience in collaborative relationships
  • Articulation of vision and goals
  • Functional use of personnel strategies
  • Knowledge of differentiated instructional practices
  • Time management


Cray, Martha, and Spencer C. Weiler. "Principal Preparedness: Superintendents Perceptions of New Principals." Journal of School Leadership 21.6 (2011) 927-945.ERIC. WEB. 11 Sept. 2014

Darling-Hammond, Linda and Stephen H. Davis. "Five Innovative Principal Preparation Programs." Planning and Changing. 43, 1/2 (2012) p. 25-45.

Gray, David L. and Joel P. Lewis. "Lessons Learned in Preparing Principals to Become Instructional Leaders". International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, Vol. 8, No. 1-March 2013 pp. 140-143.

Huang, Tiedan, et al. "Preparing School Leaders; What Works?" Planning and Changing. 43. 1-2 (2012): 72-95, ERIC WEB. 11 Sept, 2014.

Klar, Hans W., and Curtis A. Brewer. "Successful Leadership in High Needs Schools: An Examination of Core Leadership Practices enacted in Challenging Contexts". Educational Administration Quarterly 40.5 (2013): 768-808.Education Research Complete. WEB, 11 Sept, 2014.

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