Latina/o School Principals as Instructional Leaders

Juan Manuel Niño, Frank Hernandez, Fernando Valle, Jon McPhetres


Focusing on the fundamental purpose of schools as student learning, this exploratory study attempts to better understand the role of Latino principals’ activities that are centered on the teaching and learning process. Specifically, the authors were interested in comparing the instructional leadership literature (what do instructional leaders do) and analyze the time and tasks that describe how Latino principals spend their time, and then compare these activities to Yosso’s (2005) cultural wealth model. Findings from our study revealed how principals create structures to prioritize instructional time by focusing on the relational aspect of the profession. Top activities where Latina/o principals spend most of their time include 33% in classrooms, 25% connecting with students, 23% pushing paperwork, 18% planning, 16% in meetings, 15% teaching training, and 14% in professional development. Additionally, our study highlights barriers for Latino school leaders indicating activities to reduce their time in meetings, student discipline, paperwork, and teacher administrator discipline.

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