Cheryl Smith

Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

Ed.D. Educational Leadership


Educational Leadership


College of Education

First Advisor

Coaxum III, James


School principals--Self-rating of; Reflective teaching


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


The purposes of this investigation were to critically examine my principal leadership and to use reflective practice to improve my leadership practice and create positive change in the practices of teachers in the school. While scrutinizing critical incidents of practice, I utilized four reflective practice cycles to develop new action theories and new paradigms of leadership behavior. Reflective practice Cycle I focused on me as an individual. Revisiting who I was conceptually opened reflection about my identity, prompting me to think differently about my leadership. My partnering with another principal consisted of reflective practice Cycle II. Our emphasis was on a problem framing analysis of managing behaviorally challenged students. This collaboration led to the establishment of a mentor program for behaviorally challenged students and a school wide positive behavior support program. Reflective practice Cycle III evolved into weekly grade-level meetings for teachers where they utilized the reflective practice framework to solve problems. This theoretical framework allowed us to examine our practice from a critical perspective for improvement in student learning. Reflective practice Cycle IV highlighted how the process of reflective practice spiraled outward to the school level for the development of a school-based learning community.