Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Saban, Joseph M.

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations


School principals--Training of--Illinois; Mentoring in education--Illinois; Educational leadership--Illinois


Experience has shown that across the nation, school principals face a daunting task. Particularly for the new principal, the job of leading a school is overwhelming, and in order to be successful principals need significant support. One of the ways some school districts are attempting to provide that support is through mentoring programs. This study examined mentoring as a tool for professional development of public school administrators. The sample population was comprised of 180 principals randomly selected from public schools in large unit districts in Illinois. The overall response rate was 59%. The Leadership Practices Inventory was the instrument that measured the frequency of specific leadership practices used by the sample of principals who were surveyed. The question that provided the focus for this study centered on the effect of mentoring on the leadership practices of principals. The research hypotheses can be partially supported by the data for the overall leadership practices as two specific leadership practices appeared to be affected by the experience of mentoring. The practices of "Inspiring a Shared Vision" and "Encouraging the Heart" were used more frequently by mentored principals; the mentored, less experienced principals and the mentored, non-White principals scored significantly higher on the leadership practice of "Inspiring a Shared Vision." While the results of this study were partially supportive regarding the effect of mentoring on leadership practices, this study adds to the compelling argument for supporting the concept of mentoring as a tool for professional development. External forces and accountability are behind the expectation that schools must change to meet the changing times and changing societal needs. However, the real unknown in the change equation is how to prepare administrators to exercise the leadership role needed for successful schools in the twenty-first century. The investigation of programs and strategies designed to support and ultimately retain the best leaders for schools is one of the greatest challenges facing organizations today.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [118]-128).


ix, 150 pages




Northern Illinois University

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