Date of Graduation

5-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership (EdD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Advisor

John Pijanowski

Committee Member

Kevin Brady

Second Committee Member

Kara Lasater

Keywords

administrator, Arkansas, education, healthy educational leaders, human performance, principal, self care, self-care, sleep

Abstract

There is a potentially dangerous disassociation between human behavior, decision-making, and ethics and the notion that these fundamental aspects of what it means to be human originate simply as the functions of an organ. A deeper knowledge of the operation and limitations of the brain suggests biological input could possess the ability to unknowingly alter human behavior and effectiveness. This study utilizes a research-based understanding of the implications of human health and self-care habits on neurological, psychological, and behavioral function to examine the current practices of educational administrators across Arkansas while exploring systemic and job-based factors within the profession that could be competing with the establishment of good health. A mixed method design employing a statewide survey distributed in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Education asked principals and assistant principals questions intended to uncover the current reality of administrative self-care. Qualitative data designed to identify commonalities in personal experiences was collected through open-ended questions in the survey and focus groups specifically constructed to hear from participants with diametrically opposed self-reported habits. At the convergence of the data representing the state of self-care and the qualitative experiences from practitioners is the potential for education and change that could promote healthier, more effective educational leaders.

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