Viviani, Lauren M. “Capital Improvement to Principal Leadership”, Boston College, 2022. http://hdl.handle.net/2345/bc-ir:109609.
This individual case study is part of a larger group study examining how principals benefit from and shape professional capital to improve schools. Specifically, this study sought to understand what organizational and individual factors contributed to principals’ decision-making about implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) policies in a large, urban school district in Massachusetts. The research team interviewed a total of 21 participants, including central office leaders, principals, and educators. The study found that principals use a variety of factors to make sense of DEI policies. In particular, they were responsive to organizational changes instituted by the central office, notably the creation of an executive team to lead the district’s DEI initiatives and the first ever district-wide professional development day dedicated to DEI. While most principals indicated that they believed in the work of the DEI office, there was less evidence that they were self-reflective about their role in how to implement DEI policies. Further, the data suggested that principals made few individual decisions to take action with regard to the DEI policy implementation. However, coupling organizational learning with research on policy implementation shows that self-reflection and individual learning stem from individual sense-making of organizational changes, and that these changes become cyclical and ongoing, leading to greater implementation.