Addressing the multiplicity of roles of the assistant principal: Insights from the field

Academic Article


  • In this article we describe research involving two focus groups with nine school assistant principals who were part of an educational leadership program at a university in the southeastern United States. We begin the article with an historical review of the assistant principals in schools in the United States, then present findings resultant from the focus group sessions. All of the respondents in the study were actively serving as assistant principals in the university service area. When asked about the roles they play in their schools, respondents identified at least 27 roles they regularly perform in their daily work as school leaders. In this article we articulate this multiplicity of roles. Next, we explore the five most frequently mentioned roles, providing insights from these assistant principals regarding these specific functions. Critical questions for those who supervise and prepare assistant principals and discussion of implications for further research conclude the article.
  • Authors


  • Assistant Principals, School Leadership, Occupational Socialization, Role Conceptualization
  • Author List

  • Gurley DK; Peters GB; Collins L; Fifolt M; McNeese R
  • Start Page

  • 135
  • End Page

  • 147
  • Volume

  • 3