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Hicks Diss FINAL for Defense 4-18-24.pdf (1.31 MB)

THE LIVED EXPERIENCES AND PERCEPTIONS OF INDIANA PUBLIC-SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA

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thesis
posted on 2024-04-18, 22:46 authored by Tamara H HicksTamara H Hicks

This dissertation studies the lived experiences and perceptions of Indiana public-school superintendents use of social media. This phenomenological qualitative study seeks to explore how superintendents use social media in their careers, why they use social media and how they respond to parents[1] and stakeholders on social media platforms.

This study uses semi-structured interviews with five Indiana public-school superintendents to gain insight into their experiences with social media in their professions. The Spiral of Silence theory developed by Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann (1974) was used as a lens to code and interpret the findings related to superintendent engagement with stakeholders on social media.

Superintendents explained the importance of having dedicated staff to create, post and monitor social media for the district due to it being time consuming and quick changing. They emphasized the critical importance of knowing the audience for posts and utilizing the best platform for communicating with that audience. Since social media is immediate communication, they emphasized the importance of celebrating students and staff along with keeping the public informed.

As a result, the assertions evolved to stress the importance of dedicating a position within a budget for a person to create, post and monitor on social media. As the key communicator for the district, the superintendent must focus on building relationships with the community to build a culture of trust and support for the district.


[1] I am using “parent” to describe all primary caregivers, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, foster parents, legal guardians, etc.

History

Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy

Department

  • Educational Studies

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Marilyn Hirth

Additional Committee Member 2

Alice Johnson

Additional Committee Member 3

LaMonica Williams

Additional Committee Member 4

Richard Olenchak