Kaneez Fatima

Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Jung, Myoungwhon

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

Department of Special and Early Education


Early childhood education; Educational leadership; School management and organization


Educational administrators are thought to affect the quality of curricular programs they direct. Inadequate academic qualifications, lack of professional expertise, and paucity of in-service professional development programs are some major factors that impact adversely the principals' performance of targeted responsibilities. This study aims to explore principals' professional expertise for improving the quality of early childhood education classroom practices in Illinois. Qualitative collective case-study methods were used; four early childhood principals were selected through a purposive sampling technique. Data were collected through semi-structured interview protocols. Findings of the study indicate that in-service professional development training opportunities for preschool and early childhood education principals vary from district to district and are mostly related to school administration and supervision. All the principals believed in collaboration among administration and staff, an important strategy for professional development of their teachers. The data also revealed that time, retention and hiring of teachers, and financial resources are some challenges principals face when implementing knowledge gained from professional development trainings. Communication, technology, teacher evaluation and scoring, planning and preparation, and establishing a multi-tiered support system for the children were highlighted as principals' future professional development needs.


Advisors: Myoungwhon Jung.||Committee members: Greg Conderman; Robin Miller Young.||Includes bibliographical references.


v, 58 pages




Northern Illinois University

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