Date of Award

2012

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

College

College of Education

Type of Degree

Ed.D.

Document Type

Dissertation

First Advisor

Michael L. Cunningham

Second Advisor

Jacqueline G. Goodwin

Third Advisor

Mary Harris-John

Abstract

Among the many qualities or attributes that serve as the framework for school leadership development programs, communication is repeatedly noted as being an important facet of the administrative leader’s repertoire (Finch, Gregson & Faulkner, 1992; Gougeon, 1991). It is not enough for a leader to be concerned only about communicating with constituents; it is essential that the leader also considers the effectiveness of this communication (Gougeon, 1991). The consolidation of schools in West Virginia over the past forty years has placed more importance on the ability of a principal to communicate with staff, other administrators, students, parents and communities. Each consolidated school must reach a wider range of staff and a wider demographic range than the smaller one room school of yesterday. The relationship of the public school to the community and the role of the school in sustaining the community have also been a concern when consolidating. The wide ranges of media sources today offers community members the opportunity to share information and opinions through many types of tools, or even create their own media streams to communicate with a targeted audience (Conners, 2000). The 21st century has witnessed the rapid growth of Web 2.0 tools, which are especially helpful in the three areas of transforming communications: advocacy, networking, and collaboration. Networking through technology can form powerful alliances, connecting leaders and experts locally, nationally and internationally (Soulé, 2008). Valentine (1981) asserts that most principals spend approximately seventy-five percent of their days communicating with constituents. Media and technology are converging with new methods of communication. The types of communication that are emerging will rapidly change the way in which we communicate with each other (Killian, 2009). This study provides information related to the methods of communication principals use with their constituencies and their perceived effectiveness of these methods. This information may assist those who prepare develop professional development programs that aid school leaders and develop coursework for 21st century principals in the area of communication.

Subject(s)

School principals - Communication.

Technology and education.