Jean M. Hall

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning


This study examined the emphasis North Dakota elementary principals gave to selected curriculum leadership practices. Principals' perceptions were compared with teachers' perceptions of principals as curriculum leaders. Information was also sought concerning how well these principals believed they were prepared to carry out the practices of curriculum leadership. Forty curriculum leadership practices were identified and listed as part of the domains of Curriculum History, Curriculum Philosophy, Curriculum Design, Curriculum Development, Curriculum Assessment/Evaluation, and General Issues of Curriculum.

Data were collected by obtaining responses to two survey instruments, one mailed to the 326 North Dakota elementary principals and one mailed to two teachers from each of the principal's schools. Fifty-six percent of the principals responded, and 43% of the teachers responsed. This was less than the 60% response rate identified by the investigator as adequate and is a limitation of the study. Demographic questions were included in the surveys. Data for answering the research questions were analyzed by utilizing t tests, One Way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) with Tukey’s HSD (Honestly Significant Difference), or Pearson correlation coefficients to ascertain whether differences or relationships existed. The probability for significance for all inferential tests was set at the .05 level.

The fact that curriculum does not have a widely accepted definition adds to complexity and diversity in the field. This may explain why elementary principals in North Dakota did not believe they were very well prepared in the task of curriculum leadership. However, principals consistently rated themselves higher on emphasis given to curriculum leadership practices than did teachers. Significant differences were found in 11 of the 40 comparisons between male and female principals, and female principals were higher on all 11 curriculum leadership practices. Another finding showed that the level of emphasis increased as the level of education increased. The number of years experience as an elementary principal did not make a significant difference on emphasis given to curriculum leadership practices. A correlation existed between level of preparation on emphasis given to curriculum leadership practices for all 40 curriculum leadership practices.

Recommendations were given for further study and for action by appropriate groups. To have improved curriculum, it appears principals need additional education in curriculum areas.