Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Jerry Collins


The problem addressed in this study was the lack of consistency of implementation of instructional leadership practices by elementary principals. Little research existed at the time of this study to inform current practitioners about specific instructional leadership practices that positively effect student growth based on the perceptions of successful practitioner. The purpose of this study was to describe specific instructional leadership behaviors perceived by elementary school principals to have a positive effect on student growth and to describe the contextual factors that affect the different levels of implementation of these behaviors. The conceptual framework for this study was instructional leadership. The research questions were created to collect data that described specific instructional leadership practices as well as contextual factors that positively affect student growth and influence the different levels of implementation of instructional leadership practices. Using qualitative case study design, data were collected from a sample of 16 elementary principals serving students in 1 school district in a southeastern state identified by student consistent performance on the Progress and School Climate components of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews. Coding and thematic analysis were used to analyze interview data. Key themes included an emphasis on data driven decision making, the importance of a clearly defined mission and a positive school climate. This research may contribute to positive social change as consistent implementation of the specific instructional leadership practices identified in this study could have a positive effect on student growth and learning in elementary schools.