The Superintendent as Transformational Leader: A Case Study Analysis of the Strategies, Initiatives and Processes used by Superintendents of Exemplar 21st Century School Districts to Implement District-Wide Change for the 21st Century
Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. Philip Pendley
Dr. Jonathan Greenberg
Dr. Scott Scambray
The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify and describe the visions, frameworks, strategies, initiatives and change models used by eight superintendents of exemplar 21st century school districts as designated by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, in order to successfully implement a district-wide 21st century learning model. Semi-structured interviews were used to provide rich narratives of the superintendents’ experiences with the transformational change processes in their districts as they implemented 21st century models of education. The interviews were coded and analyzed for common themes and patterns. The findings revealed that although the superintendents were system thinkers about change, they used organic rather than prescribed models of change. The initiatives most commonly implemented were: global and cultural literacy, college and career readiness, standards-based instruction and assessment, personalized learning, and technology. Successful strategies were: engaging the community, hiring for fit, allocating resources to the initiatives, building capacity through collaborative professional development, listening purposefully, recognizing and celebrating successes, building a culture of risk-taking and trust, maintaining a loose-tight relationship with site principals, and fostering organizational persistence and resilience.
Summers, Rebecca A., "The Superintendent as Transformational Leader: A Case Study Analysis of the Strategies, Initiatives and Processes used by Superintendents of Exemplar 21st Century School Districts to Implement District-Wide Change for the 21st Century" (2015). Dissertations. 54.