Date of Award


Degree Name



Educational Leadership and Administration


Maria Teresa Cortez

Second Advisor

Rodolfo Rincones


Educational leadership literature and research are dominated by linear, evidence-based methodologies to describe and guide decisions made by the school principal. These methodologies and conclusions do not examine the conceptualizations made by the principal to form the professional knowledge that makes up the framework that the principal might use to define problems, understand the problem in context and create a response. How principals form these conceptualizations by using experiences, multiple perspectives, and theories might explain how principals understand the school to address needs that are specific to the nature of the campus.

An early college high school is the setting for examining the development of a conceptual framework because the unusual school design requires solving school problems distinctly from the rigidity imposed on comprehensive high schools. The early college high school functions as a laboratory to understand how a principal can develop a conceptual framework situated in the context of the school rather than imposed by a cause-effect rationalization of school events, decisions, and outcomes.

The bricolage and autoethnography were used as methodologies to thread numerous experiences and theories through phenomena to explain how a principal's conceptual framework developed. Threading the theories and burgeoning conceptualizations leads to a deeper and richer understanding of the nature of school problems and how decisions are made by the school leadership. This study could lead to insights on developing the conceptual frameworks of principals by respecting and examining the voices of school principals over the generic rationalizations of detached researchers.

Keywords: early college high school, school leadership (principals), conceptual frameworks, complexity, bricolage, autoethnography, narrative inquiry, displacement of concepts, philosophical domains, epistemology, ontology, axiology, access, democracy, spiritual, economic, school culture, at-risk students, educational research




Received from ProQuest

File Size

88 pages

File Format


Rights Holder

Edmond Martinez