Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Ingle, Kyle

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Brydon-Miller, Mary

Committee Member

Brydon-Miller, Mary

Committee Member

Powers, Deborah

Committee Member

McGatha, Maggie

Author's Keywords

Cognitive coaching; mindfulness; mindful leadership; leader coaching; self-efficacy


Anxious, stressed school leaders can adversely affect the climate and culture of the communities they serve. The multiple roles a principal must fulfill for their schools leave little room for renewal, self-development and reflection leaving principals feeling drained of energy and a true sense of continual mastery, leaving them with low self-efficacy and primed for burnout. Leaders engaged in growing their flexibility, mindful awareness, professional and personal development may be more resilient, agile, and responsive to the high demand of school administrator’s job. This study examined the experiences of 5 principals in a suburban school district as they engaged in Cognitive Coaching. Data were analyzed using The Listening Guide methodology according to the following two research questions: 1) How do principals describe perceived self-efficacy during and after a Cognitive Coaching cycle? and 2) How do principals describe their own mindful leader traits during and after a Cognitive Coaching cycle? Bandura’s Social Cognitive Theory provides the framework for this multiple case study investigating how principals describe perceived self-efficacy and mindful leader traits during and after Cognitive Coaching cycles. Principals reported feeling better prepared, focused, at ease, and confident after planning, reflecting, and problem solving with a Cognitive Coach. Leader education programs and district leaders should explore evidence based, job embedded strategies such as leader coaching and other mindful practice to help school leaders mitigate and regulate the stress of the job for the sake of retention and well-being.