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EL 603 Foundations of Educational Leadership

Published : 23-Oct,2021  |  Views : 10


Discuss and evaluate two different research methods that could be used to investigate your proposed (or School-approved) dissertation topic. 

Compare and contrast the scholarly rationale for the two chosen research methods describing the strengths, weaknesses, and ethical issues associated with each. 

Recommend a process by which a pragmatic researcher might choose between the two methods.

Research Methodology

The question about research methodology will allow you to thoroughly describe various aspects of research methodology. In your answer, it is important to demonstrate your understanding of how existing literature and theory are integrated into a good study design. When demonstrating your knowledge of research methodology, it is helpful to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of each aspect of study design. Remember that your writing should always integrate examples from research journal articles in your area of specialization. Textbooks on research methodology are rarely considered primary sources of information, since they typically reference other authors.


District Leadership: Veteran Superintendents’ Perceptions of Professional Skills Needed By Novice Superintendents


District leadership is a good platform to explore the hidden skills in novice superintendents. Novice superintendents need firm support of the academic guidelines as well as the supports from the veteran superintendents. This is a very important platform where novice superintendents can prosper their career. The prospering would come with the help of professional development at the educational institutions. This is indeed very important for a bright future of students. Skilful teachers can make difference in the educational system and can also bring in the expected outcomes, which would not only benefit the tutors or the students but this would also benefit the institution and its representative country (Honig, 2012). The research topic, which the researcher has selected, is on the novice superintendents who need career development when they are into educational institution. The research has selected Capella University in USA as the organisation for this assignment. The main purpose of this assignment is to understand the two research methods that are used for different research works such as qualitative and quantitative. Additionally, the research work would also analyse the differences between the two research methods. Henceforth, this would recommend the process to select the one possible research method for the chosen research topic.  

District leadership

District leadership can be referred to a process that contains different policies, practices led by the different school or institutional leaders. This is very important and is highly required to influence the instruction quality within the classroom. Leadership is of various kinds such as Transformational, Situational and Constructivist. In this context, constructivist leadership would be highly required. A constructivist leader builds up the heap of knowledge by sharing their gained experiences to their predecessor. The novice superintendents at their early age at the workplace need only such assistance. Moreover, such assistance would not only enhance their capability, as superintendent but this would also allow them feel comfortable with the new job and the senior staffs. An improved instruction quality at the classroom would improve the educational standard in the respective institution. This would also help in achieve the vision, which a particular district has set with the institution. Different districts have different vision; however, all such institutions are more or less similar in few objectives such as raising the educational standard of their institution, producing quality students, effective administration of institution, impactful teacher evaluation programs etc. These all vision and much more than that are only possible if it is taken care with utmost leadership in institutions. The development of the required leadership can be done in numerous ways of which guidance provided by the veteran superintendents is of unique importance. The development however can be done in numerous ways, which includes the following (Hollingworth, 2012):

  • Improving the selection process to filter the aspirants
  • Design a framework to follow to develop the leadership quality in novice superintends
  • Develop the capacity of principal in supervisor role to influence the training quality imparted to the novice superintendent
  • Developing a collaborative working atmosphere within the office premise
  • Influence the district superintendent quality in the inspiration of regional networks

Novice superintendents as effective district leaders

Novice superintendents as effective leaders can bring changes in the classroom environment. They have interest in multiple domains such as finance, school law, research, networking, decision-making and personal administration (Chonzi & Sibanda, 2012). Schools available in a particular district require an appropriate administration, so that, development programs can be conducted at the school premises. Such administration would support all the district schools with all the required resources in order to facilitate the development of students and the progress of educational standard in al the district level schools. However, such a prestigious position is often not explored to varied range of opportunities, which can be made available with some serious concerns. Veteran superintendents who are about to retire can well use their experiences to guide and nurture the development of newly hired novice superintendents. Novice superintendents are generally low in confident with their new job. They find this difficult to assimilate with the veterans. This can be because the working environment is new to them and they are finding this uncomfortable to attach with the veterans who have high experiences behind them. In such situations, it becomes an utmost responsibility for the veterans that they use their experiences to a right cause. Their guidance to the newly hired novice superintendents would make them feel comfortable and would also help in adjusting with the new job. Novice superintendents in the contemporary age are well versed with the knowledge of technology. They have a wide range of interest in different kinds of service domains such as law, personal administration etc. Veteran superintendents can help the novice superintendents in exploring their different skills, which can be fruitful for all the district level schools. Nevertheless, Millennials or novice superintendents love to innovate while being in their position, which is good to bring out important outcomes particularly beneficial for the educational standard of all the district level school (Miner, 2017).

Two types of research methods

There are two types of research method, which are mostly used in a research work qualitative and quantitative. Both the research methods have their own importance and have their own area of operation. It is also very critical for the researcher that it select the best research method to reach to the research objectives. Qualitative research method is effective in such cases where much in depth findings are required to justify the research objectives and to conduct this within the line of the set research objectives. Additionally, it is also done in those cases where respondents are very few (Brinkmann, 2014). On contrary to this, quantitative research method is used in such cases where respondents are huge. This is also done when an in depth findings are less required (Hussein, 2015). Qualitative research method for example would contain interviews with the selected number of designated personnel such as mangers of an organisation, head of the department of a school or university etc. The interview with such people would be in an open-ended format, which means that participants are free to answer the questions according to their needs (Brinkmann, 2014). On contrary to this, quantitative research method would include a long list of close-ended questionnaire. Such questionnaire would have multiple options to select from. Respondents would need to select any one option, which according to them is most feasible to the asked questions (Hussein, 2015).

Qualitative approach:


Both qualitative and quantitative research methods have certain strengths in them. At the same time, both the processes have weaknesses in them as well. Qualitative approach on the same note has set of strengths in it. Probability to gather a wide range of information is higher with the qualitative research method. This includes a structured interview, which is asked from managerial position staffs such as managers at some organisation, principal in schools or veteran superintendents at the district levels. This is indeed a tougher job for the researcher to get some time from such designated people. However, it is one of the most valuable resources of primary research, which provides ample of important information. Such information could be directive towards the ultimate objective of the research work. They are highly experienced people and they have high observational skills as well. Moreover, they might supply many such perspectives, which might not have been assumed prior to the research work.


Qualitative research method has its some limitations as well. Managerial staffs participating in such structured interviews might be biased towards the organisational values. They might try to save the organisational values, which according to them could be in danger if they share some private matter in the interview. In attempt to fulfil such thoughts, they might even provide false information, which can prove to be harmful for the research work. Such information might cause the research work to deviate from its objectives. Deviation is a threatening stage, which would hamper the research work. Perspective is another important element, which has its high influence in deriving the findings from the research. Managerial staffs such as veteran superintendents might have a perspective, which is conflicting in nature with the set research objectives. Moreover, it is very difficult to get the utmost transparency and committed responses from the managerial staffs (Trotter, 2012).  

Ethical issues

There can be some ethical issues as well while conducting the interview with the selected respondents. The responses of the participants cannot be manipulated, which means it would be presented in a way as it is being answered. This is also not safe because respondents might not give transparent responses, which would cause the research objectives. On contrary to this, they might be transparent but have supplied unexpected responses, which is also harmful for the set research objectives. Either of the case is very much possible with the structured interview with the selected respondents. The other ethicality can be the involvement of the selected respondents, which would depend on the respondent’s wish. They might discontinue with the interview at anytime. Moreover, this is not fruitful for the research work (Englander, 2012).

Quantitative approach:


Quantitative approach on the other hand contains a questionnaire survey that targets a specific population. Unlike qualitative approach, it has large numbers of respondent, which means it would supply a wide range of varied responses that might help in shape the research work. Questionnaire survey is open-ended in nature, which has large number of questions. Questions are of multiple choices in nature, which would provide multiple options to select from. Participants in such survey can answer according to their thoughts on the subject topic. One of the most important parts of such survey is the participation of a large population, which would help in find variations in thoughts and would also help in calculate the inclination of majority towards a particular point. However, it adds up pressure to the researcher, as the researcher would be required to do an extensive analysis of a large data (Frels & Onwuegbuzie, 2013).


The research method has few limitations as well. Respondents in the survey might understand the seriousness attached to the questionnaire. To them it could be a routine work; however, for the researcher it is much more than that. The research is conducting the research work to reach to a conclusion, which is up in the line with the set research objectives. Moreover, this would also provide some useful findings, which would help in putting more lights on the chosen research topic. Additionally, response might not be accurate as well as the participants might not be wholly committed to the survey work. In such situation, it becomes extremely difficult to justify whether the responses are genuine. This might also create trouble in analysing the data. The findings might also be of a dissimilar nature, which could hamper the perspectives of the researcher. Moreover, this could also cause the research work to deviate from its actual determined path (Anderson & Shattuck, 2012).

Ethical issues

Some ethical issues are also required to maintain while conducting a questionnaire survey. Participants should be given intimation on basic requirements to qualify for the survey. Basic qualification requirements would include but are not limited to such as age, educational standard. Respondents would also be intimated prior to participate in the online survey process that they can leave the survey at any point in time. They would never be forced to participate in the survey. The participation would also start with their willingness to respond to such surveys (Hoe & Hoare, 2012).   

Compare and contrast between two approaches

Both qualitative and quantitative approaches have their own benefits and limitations. Qualitative approach is useful in cases where the perspectives of managers are required over a particular issue. On the other hand, quantitative research method would be highly useful to identify the customer satisfaction level with a particular product or service of an organisation.  This is because managers would generally speak about the pros of their companies. Very few dare to accept the negativity in their organisations. These two examples do simply provide information, which tells that the selection of an appropriate research method would depend on the selected research topic. If the selected research topic were on the behavioural issues of mangers at the workplace then this would be advisable to go with qualitative approach. A structured interview in such case would help the researcher to get the most accurate data. On the other hand, if the research topic were on the “factors behind the Millennial’s attraction for social activities” then a questionnaire survey would justify the research work (Allwood, 2012).

Selection of best research method for the chosen topic

The best research method for the selected research work, which is on the topic “District Leadership: Veteran Superintendents’ Perceptions of Professional Skills Needed By Novice Superintendents”, would be the Qualitative research method.

Justifying the selection

The qualitative approach for the research work is taken because the research topic is oriented with the perspectives of the veteran superintendents (Hyett, Kenny & Dickson-Swift, 2014). The research is aimed to find the perspectives of veteran super indents on the district leadership. They have been selected for the selected research work because they would provide some useful information regarding their thoughts on implementing the district leadership qualities in novice superintendent. Qualitative approach is also selected because this would provide a wide range of data, which is needed to understand the exact scenario surrounding the chosen research work (Sargeant, 2012). An improvement is required on a district level to bring the leadership quality in novice district superintendent. The leadership quality is missing at the district level, which is also influencing the environmental outcomes in schools. This is indeed very much required to construct a framework, which could incept a new change at the district level administration, so that, the instructional level in the classroom could be improved (Cajaiba-Santana, 2014). Additionally, participation of veteran superintendents in encouraging the novice superintendents is of utmost urgency. They are required to provide a comfortable working environment to the novice superintendents in order to allow them time to accustom with the working environment. Novice candidates have a wide range of unlike skills in them (Lehman, Boyland & Sriver, 2014). They just need an environment where they could feel freely and could explore the area of opportunities for them. At the district level, there is an urgent requirement of mutual work between the novice and the veteran superintendents. Mutual working would bring the required changes at the administration level, which would then influence the performance of district schools (Hanleybrown, Kania & Kramer, 2012). A competitive administration at the district level would then give way to different schools to prosper and get their desired vision fulfilled (De Angelis, 2013). The purpose of the scheduled research work could only be fulfilled if it has sufficient data on the required thing such as the involvement level of veteran superintendent in supporting the novice superintendents, working environment at the administration level, reform works at the educational institution etc. Qualitative research method would help to develop some necessary findings, which is highly needed to bring in some changes at the institutional level. Such important findings would be built upon the derived responses of the participating veteran superintendents. The varied responses of the different participating veteran superintendents would supply a lot of information, which would help in reaching to a conclusion (Baker, Edwards & Doidge, 2012). Moreover, the conclusive part would provide some important information, which may give place to some reform works in this regard.


District leadership is highly required to improve the educational system at the school level. However, the improvement can only be produced if it has supports of veteran superintendent. Veteran superintendents should act like a constructivist leader and share their gained experiences with the novice leaders. Novice superintendents have lots of passion for their kinds of workplace nature. They are also very much addicted to technologies. However, they are often loosely connected to the vision of the organisation. This is because they tend to be in comfortable zone. Additionally, novice superintendents are also found to have less dedication for hard works. They believe in working smartly than doing hard works. On contrary to this, veteran superintendents have their less connectivity to the technologies. They believe in doing hard works. These are some very few examples that show a huge generational gap in between the veteran and the novice superintendents. In such circumstances, it is necessary that both veteran and novice superintendents get into a bond of common sharing. This would facilitate knowledge sharing and would also stabilise the working environment where both veteran and novice would work to their potential. An exchange of knowledge with the newly hired superintendents is of utmost importance to incept the leadership quality in him or her. Novice superintendents have high attachments to a friendly working atmosphere. When they enter into such a big role and find that the workplace nature is not of their match, they start feeling disconnected with the organisation and with the other employees. A flourishing future of district level schools would only prosper if it has quality leaders in the form of superintendents those who take care of the administrative works. Such administration is a combination of both the veteran and the novice superintendents. It is therefore highly important that both the novice and the veteran superintendents are working as a collective unit on a shared purpose. The exchange of different ideas and the implementation of such ideas without any conflict at the workplace would improve the leadership quality of the district level administration. Henceforth, this would also improve the educational quality in the different district level schools.


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