Mary Sue Hall

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Teaching & Learning



Principals need appropriate knowledge, attitudes, and skills to be leaders in school improvement:. Continuing education for principals seems essential due to the changing nature of knowledge as weld as the obligation of being a professional. Principals should be treated as colleagues who are capable of describing their own professional development needs.

The purposes of the study were to compare the perceived professional development needs of principals employed in schools with a concentration of American Indian students to (1) those principals In schools with a concentration of students representing other minorities and to (2) those principals in schools with few or essentially no minority students; to assess the needed areas of professional development for principals as perceived by principals themselves; to determine if professional development opportunities differed on the basis of various personal and school-related variables and to compare professional development opportunities for principals on the basis.of the sources, location, and funding of the training.

Seventy-five principals from Washington state participated in the study. The principals were classified according to their ethnic minority student population. The principals were then matched by position level, building enrollment, and district enrollment. Twenty-five triads resulted.

Data were gathered by an instrument designed by the researcher which asked principals to indicate their perceptions about their present and ideal levels of functioning for fifteen competencies. The Kruskal-Wallis One-Way Analysis of Variance', Friedman Two-Way Analysis of Variance, and Wilcoxon Matched-Pairs Signed-Ranks tests were utilized to treat the research questions. A demographic information sheet was completed and used in the data analysis. The. .05 or less level of significance was considered sufficient to reject the null hypotheses.

Some variables which had a significant effect on the principals' perceptions included student minority enrollment, district enrollment, building enrollment, position level, total years as an educator, total years as an administrator, age, sex, and educational degree. Overall, the principals perceived they should be performing at a higher level than their present level of functioning. This suggested the principals have professional development needs which were not currently being met.