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Access Type

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Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name



Educational Leadership and Policy

First Advisor

Frances LaPlante-Sosnowsky


This study focused on instructional leadership behaviors of high school principals at comprehensive high schools and magnet high schools with large urban student populations. The purpose of this study was to compare teacher perceptions of their principals' instructional leadership behavior in these two types of schools. Principal instructional leadership behaviors were identified through the use of the Principal Instructional Management Rating Scale (PIMRS) developed by Hallinger in 1983. A nonexperimental, descriptive research design provided the framework for this study. A total of 223 teachers in four comprehensive (n = 121) and five magnet (n = 102) high schools participated in this study. Two surveys, PIMRS and a short demographic questionnaire, were used obtain the data needed to describe the sample and address the two research questions posed for this study. The PIMRS measured 10 aspects of instructional leadership: framing the school's goals, communicating the school goals, supervision and evaluation, curriculum coordination, monitoring student progress, protecting instructional time, maintaining high visibility, promoting incentives to improve teaching, promoting instructional improvement and professional development, and providing incentives for learning. The results of this study indicated that teachers in magnet schools perceived their principals were more likely to perform the behaviors associated with instructional leadership than teachers in comprehensive high schools. In addition, teaching in a magnet school was also a significant predictor of principals practicing behaviors associated with instructional leadership. Professional development needs to be provided to new and experienced principals to provide them with strategies to be instructional leaders in their schools. Further research needs to extend the study to other building levels to determine if their principals are practicing behaviors associated with instructional leadership.

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