A Re-New-ed Paradigm in Successful Urban School Leadership: Principal as Community Leader

Muhammad Khalifa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

110 Scopus citations


Purpose: This article examines the impact that a principal's community-leadership has on school-community relations and student outcomes. Comparisons are drawn between leadership behaviors that emphasize school-centered approaches and community-centered approaches. Research Methodology: Ethnographic research methodology was conducted over a 2-year period, during which the researcher conducted participant observations, interviews, and descriptive and interpretive memoing. Findings: The principal's role as community leader-including high principal visibility in the community and advocacy for community causes-led to trust and rapport between school and community. Consequently, parents who were previously hostile changed their relationship with school, and supported his or her handling of their children. This led to improved academic outcomes for students. Implications: This study has implications for how principals view their role, presence in, and relationship with the community. It also offers reflection on how and where the center of school- community relationships should be (i.e., school vs. community).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-467
Number of pages44
JournalEducational Administration Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • academic achievement
  • at-risk students
  • community leadership
  • empirical paper
  • school leadership
  • school-community relations

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