A study of the professional development needs of Shiraz high schools’ principals in the area of educational leadership



Introduction: The increased emphasis on standards-based school
accountability since the passage of the no child left behind act of
2001 is focusing critical attention on the professional development
of school principals and their ability to meet the challenges of
improving the student outcomes. Due to this subject, the current
study examined professional development needs of Shiraz high
schools principals.
Methods: The statistical population consisted of 343 principals
of Shiraz high schools, of whom 250 subjects were selected using
Krejcie and Morgan (1978) sample size determination table. To
collect the data, a questionnaire developed by Salazar (2007) was
administered. This questionnaire was designed for professional
development in the leadership skills/competencies and consisted of
25 items in each leadership performance domain using five-point
Likert-type scales. The content validity of the questionnaire was
confirmed and the Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient was (α=0.78). To
analyze the data, descriptive statistics and Paired-Samples t-test
were used. Also, the data was analyzed through SPSS14 software.
Results: The findings showed that principals’ “Importance” ratings
were always higher than their “Actual proficiency” ratings. The
mean score of the difference between “Importance” and “Actual
proficiency” pair on “Organizing resources” was 2.11, making it
the highest “need” area. The lowest need area was “Managing
the organization and operational procedures” at 0.81. Also, the
results showed that there was a statistically significant difference
between the means of the “Importance” and the corresponding
means on the “Actual proficiency” (Difference of means=1.48,
t=49.38, p<0.001).
Conclusion: Based on the obtained results, the most important
professional development needs of the principals included
organizing resources, resolving complex problems, understanding
student development and learning, developing the vision and the
mission, building team commitment, understanding measurements,
evaluation and assessment strategies, facilitating the change
process, solving problems and making decisions. In other words,
the principals had statistically significant professional development
needs in all areas of the educational leadership. Also, the results
suggested that today’s school principals need to grow and learn
throughout their careers by ongoing professional development.

Keywords: Professional; Development; Need assessment; Educational leadership

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 P ISSN: 2322-2220            E ISSN:2322-3561      

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Publisher: Shiraz University of Medical Sciences