The Relationship Between Leadership Level and Preference for Administrative Interview Questions
Tulipana, Teresa Marie
University of Kansas
Educational Leadership and Policy Studies
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The purpose of this study was to determine whether administrators at differing levels (elementary, secondary and central office) had a preference for interview questions and composite scales designed to identify effective building leaders. Research and professional standards were reviewed yielding agreement that educational leadership is a complex area of study possessing a variety of competencies. Currently in the United States, the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards are the national benchmark for identifying preferred administrator competencies. The Mid-content Research for Education and Learning's (McREL) Framework of 21 Leadership Characteristics serves as a practitioner's model describing leadership competencies. Research regarding the hiring practices for educational leaders was also explored. This research highlights concern for the lack of a coherent research-based process for identifying the best future leaders and disclosed conflicting information on an administrative shortage. An electronic survey was sent to Missouri school administrators representing both building and central office leadership. The survey requested respondents to rank on a 5 point Likert scale from not important to very important 60 principal interview questions developed for possible inclusion in an Interactive Computer Interview System (ICIS) for Principals. The Interactive Computer Interview System was created by Dr. Howard Ebmeier in conjunction with the American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA) and uses a laptop computer to track responses to interview questions, suggest follow up questions, and create a summary report to capture aspects of the interview. Reliability of the survey instrument, the Principal Interview Question Perception survey, was established through the use of Cronbach's Alpha. The full scale survey instrument was determined reliable with Cronbach's Alpha at .96. Each subscale of the instrument was also deemed to demonstrate internal consistency above the .70 level. ANOVA was used to determine whether administrators at varying levels indicated a differing perception of and preference for the importance of the interview questions. ANOVA was run on the full scale of 60 interview questions and each subscale. Post hoc analysis using the Tukey HSD method further disclosed administrator differences. Results from this study showed that on the full scale and three of the five subscales there was a significant difference among administrator levels on their preference for the interview questions. These results suggest that administrators at varying levels place differing values on administrator competencies disclosed by the interview questions.
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