Mission and inclusive leadership: An independent school principal examines mission with students, teachers, and alumnae

Timothy M Johnson, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

This paper explores a collaborative, mission-centered process for inclusive decision-making in schools. Students, teachers, and alumnae at Springside School, a pre-kindergarten through twelfth-grade independent school for girls in Philadelphia, are the subjects of the study. Utilizing surveys, focus group sessions, and interviews, this qualitative study documents how constituents within a specific school setting examine the broad goals within their mission to frame experiences, assess performance, and provide valuable information for school decisions. The collaborative and reflective nature of my inquiry process had a positive impact on both strengthening community belief in mission, and providing valuable leadership lessons for future work. Using the words of teachers, students, and alumnae, I present action steps for Springside in the final chapter, along with potential implications for educational research. I assert that there needs to be a known, guiding philosophy that supports teaching and learning in every school, and that this philosophy must be owned by teachers and students. Questioning standardized approaches to teaching and learning, I attempt to show that individualized, collaborative, and mission-centered leadership can be a more effective means of motivating, inspiring, and augmenting institutional transformation.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Johnson, Timothy M, "Mission and inclusive leadership: An independent school principal examines mission with students, teachers, and alumnae" (2006). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3209990.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3209990

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