Mindful Instructional Leadership: The Connection Between Principal Mindfulness and School Practices
Sharp Rodriquez, Jenny
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Mindfulness offers a wide range of benefits for teachers and students, however, less is known about the role of mindfulness in the work of principals. Current tools that assess instructional leadership, which is a major part of the principalship, omit issues of mindfulness. Further, measures of mindfulness connect little to instructional leadership to make meaningful assessment of the mindful instructional leadership of administrators. The study discusses development of the Principal Resilience for Educator and Student Success (PRESS), a 20-item self-assessment of principal instructional practices and beliefs concerned with cognitive processes shown to support mindfulness: preoccupation with failure, commitment to resilience, deference to expertise, resistance to simplify, and sensitivity to operations. Data were gathered and analyzed from a representative statewide sample of principals in Washington State. Findings reveal differing degrees of variability on specific mindful instructional leadership practices. Scores generated by PRESS are compared to respondent scores on the Cognitive and Affective Mindfulness Scale-Revised (CAMS-R); results indicate positive correlation between the PRESS Mindful Instructional Leadership (MIL) single factor score and the CAMS-R mindfulness single factor score. Use of the tool as part of principal professional growth, as well as further research to examine the relationship between mindfulness in instructional leadership and school improvement, are recommended.