Assessing leadership styles of principals whose schools have won the National School Change Award

Dawn Muzeni Fidanza, Fordham University


This study examined school leadership and its influence on staff, students, and the community in creating successful school change. The study explored not only how principals believe successful schools are created, but through research, investigated what principals of successful schools actually did to foster their schools success. In effect, it studies leadership style. This research utilized a multi-case study method, focusing on the leadership style of three principals. By using a case study method, the researcher was able to gather rich data when studying the principals. This study also found that a 360-degree methodology yields useful data and in this case it enabled the researcher to discover a commonality of style amongst the principals. The researcher was able to view each principal from multiple perspectives. This research found that specific leadership style makes a difference and is important to understand that different leadership styles lead to different results. In the case of schools that distinctively improved, principals possessed a leadership style that was collegial, collaborative, and democratic. Principals must be able to take action that will not only be innovative, but will empower their staff and community to become involved in the school. The relationship between the principal and school community is vital when trying to implement change. It is important that this relationship be nurtured and developed over time. The principals of successful schools are strong leaders who effectively combine motivation and inspiration to get teachers, parents, and students to change their practices and ultimately their beliefs.

Subject Area

School administration

Recommended Citation

Fidanza, Dawn Muzeni, "Assessing leadership styles of principals whose schools have won the National School Change Award" (2005). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI3166567.