Connecting the role of school superintendents to teaching and learning in schools: a research synthesis of three educational administration peer reviewed research journals between 1983-2006
Shidemantle, Steven Paul
MetadataShow full item record
This exploratory synthesis of research was the product of three years of dissertation research efforts that systematically reviewed 23 years of empirical articles between 1983 (or its inception) and 2006 from three of the most highly regarded educational administration journals. Specifically designed to collect investigative data and information from primary research contained within Educational Administration Quarterly, the Journal of School Leadership, and the Journal of Educational Administration; this research synthesis drew upon various research methods to propose pragmatic insights and proffer an empirically founded response to: What has the educational administration profession learned from the research efforts that were independently conducted, presented, and published about the overall connections between school superintendents and education's technical core -teaching and learning in schools? Results from employing meta-analysis, descriptive synthesis, and thematic synthesis techniques to appropriately collect and analyze relevant data indicate that school superintendents remain directly connected to the technical core; however, these connections have evolved from the traditional connections presently maintained by campus administrators and to new connections that meet the increased responsibilities and complexities of the superintendents' role. The thematic synthesis, reinforced by descriptive syntheses, indicated 15 separate superintendent - technical core constructs that promote new areas for investigation; however, the extent and strength of these constructs have yet to be determined. The impact from the next step suggestions for future research indicate that effects could range from educational administration knowledge base contributions to refining in-practice standards and professional development programs. The possible knowledge base contributions, coupled with specific in-practice elements that demonstrate superintendents' direct impact on the technical core, may be the necessary raw materials from which a foundational framework that clearly redefines the superintendent - technical core connections may be forged by scholars and implemented by district leaders to improve teaching and learning in schools.