This paper introduces the use of action research to examine the content and outcomes of university-based leadership preparation programs. Using examples drawn from an ongoing action research project with candidates in a master’s level principal preparation program, we demonstrate how the collection and analysis of candidate’s written reflections, completed as part of required coursework, informs our work as university faculty and supports a cycle of continuous program improvement. Over the years, action research has become a common strategy for professional learning in teacher education. The use of action research to study leadership development remains uncommon, however, especially among leadership educators. This study offers a new and promising approach to examining the preparation of school leaders.
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