A Signature Pedagogy for Leadership Education: Preparing Principals through Participatory Action Research

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SoTL Category

Student Research

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This study proposes participatory action research as a signature pedagogy for principal preparation programs. Signature pedagogies bring professional knowledge and core values together in distinctive teaching and learning arrangements. A rationale and learning results are presented that describe key components of action research intended to help principal candidates develop leadership abilities. In this study, 65 principal candidates from 56 schools developed action research projects to conceptually and practically connect professional development and school improvement planning. Learning outcomes are presented and analyzed. The article concludes with implications for action research as a signature pedagogy in principal preparation programs. (Contains 3 tables.)


This article was published in Planning and Changing. Vol. 41, Number 3-4. (2010).