Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Mary Hallums


In a school district located in the southeastern part of the United States, the local problem was that principals were concerned about their knowledge and training to effectively implement project-based learning (PBL). The purpose of this study was to explore the principals’ perceptions about PBL and the implementation, training, and resources needed to improve the instructional leadership of PBL. Daresh and Playko’s proactive leadership theory served as the conceptual framework that guided this study. The research questions focused on principal perceptions about PBL, about implementing PBL, and about necessary training and resources to improve principal training of PBL. A basic qualitative design was used to capture the insights of 12 principals through semistructured interviews. Purposeful sampling was used to identify 12 participants: 4 elementary school principals, 4 middle school principals, and 4 high school principals. Emergent themes were identified through in vivo coding, and the findings were developed and checked for trustworthiness through member checking and rich descriptions. The findings revealed that principals recognized a need for effective professional development that is principal centered and tailored to equip principals to effectively implement PBL. A professional development project was then created to address principals’ concerns and to provide training on how to effectively implement PBL at all school levels. This study has implications for positive social change by creating a professional development program to offer principals strategies and resources for assisting teachers in PBL implementation.