Identification of informal socialization role models for Wisconsin public high school principals

Bette Lang, Marquette University


High school principals are a critical link in the educational process. It is important that training institutions are aware of the ramifications of informal socialization. This study investigated the informal socialization role models of Wisconsin public high school principals as well as identified the skills and knowledge learned by those principals from those role models. Two hundred sixty-six out of four hundred fifty-four Wisconsin public high school principals completed the survey instrument comprised of a personal data sheet and a questionnaire. Demographic characteristics including size of high school, gender, total years of principalship experience, total years of educational administration, academic preparation, and educational work experience were used to differentiate the types of responses given by respondents when they were asked to identify skills, concepts, and behaviors they learned from significant others in both the anticipatory (before obtaining first administrative position) and encounter (after obtaining first administrative position) stages of socialization. The data were reported according to responses given in the anticipatory and encounter stages and converted to percentage of total responses. The data indicated that all skills, concepts, and behaviors classified under personnel relations-internal, personnel relations-external, instruction/supervision, and administration/management were learned in both stages of informal socialization. However, in all cases, respondents indicated that more skills, concepts, and behaviors were learned in the encounter stages in each classification. This study added to the socialization research by indicating respondents choices of prevailing significant others within four classifications. The major findings of this study had implications for central office administrators, college/university professors, and people who hold principalships. These groups were chosen most often as prevailing significant others by Wisconsin public high school principals. Applied research in the areas of informal socialization of high school principals can serve as an important basis for future training of school administrators.

Recommended Citation

Lang, Bette, "Identification of informal socialization role models for Wisconsin public high school principals" (1993). Dissertations (1962 - 2010) Access via Proquest Digital Dissertations. AAI9411494.