Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

James E. Sweeney


The major purpose of this study was to identify and analyze the factors utilized by superintendents in achieving their "personal best" in education. The data for this study were gathered from fifty-two superintendents from California, Iowa, Missouri, and New York during the months of December 1989 and January 1990. The superintendents each filled out and returned a "Personal Best Survey" from which the data for the study were gleaned;Major findings of this study include: (1) The most frequently used practices utilized by superintendents in achieving their personal best effort were delineated. The most frequently used practice reported by superintendents was to enable others to act. (2) The background and situational factors of the personal best efforts were identified and analyzed. The superintendents wrote regarding improving the climate most frequently in their personal best effort. (3) The superintendents' actions, regarding the success of their personal best effort, were categorized into the appropriate strategy utilized. (4) The superintendents were excited and fearful as they initiated their personal best effort and they were self-satisfied during its implementation. (5) Superintendents learned to lead from others, experience, and educational training. (6) The size of the district had no significant impact on how superintendents identified and analyzed factors in achieving their personal best effort.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

David L. Long



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

126 pages