Date of Award

3-26-2015

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EDD)

Degree Program

Educational Leadership

Department

College of Education

First Advisor

Joseph Melita

Second Advisor

William Leary

Third Advisor

Seema Imam

Abstract

The Muslim population in America is increasing and to meet the demand for quality religious and academic instruction for Muslim youth, Islamic K-12 schools are being established throughout the U.S. As these institutions multiply, it becomes necessary to study school board influence and leadership by principals, although literary sources appear to be sparse. This phenomenological study can be a starting point for scholarly research on this topic, as follows:

  1. How do Islamic school principals describe their leadership role as administrators of Muslim K-12 schools?
  2. What impact does the school board have on the leadership role of principals in Islamic K-12 school settings?

Seven Muslim principals participated in this study using criterion sampling and case numbers were assigned to encourage truthfulness.

Data was gathered accordingly:

  1. Demographic survey sent by email
  2. An online open-ended survey
  3. Two interviews

The data was analyzed inductively using a process called 'horizontalization of data' (collected and reviewed with equality in importance). Major themes were extracted to compile the phenomenon being studied. Some key findings indicated religious and personal characteristics of principals in an Islamic K-12 school. Religious influences include pleasing Allah, following the ways of the Prophet Moharnrnad as respectful "peace be upon him" (PBUH) and being servant leaders. Some personal characteristics explored were a passion for education, professional competency, having a positive attitude and learning from past mistakes. Islamic school boards are a major factor in influencing the leadership role of Muslim principals because they hire the administrators, create the job description and set policies. In order for principals to excel and carry out the mission and vision of their respective schools, there needs to be a positive working relationship and adequate support, both professionally and personally, from the boards.

Additional research is recommended on principal leadership in Islamic K-12 schools specifically and Islamic education matters in general so that Islamic school leaders can meet the needs of stakeholders more effectively. Such efforts also help to educate society at large on a growing foreign mainstay in the American education landscape.

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