This article aims to set the scene for this Special Issue on beginning principals and to inform one's understanding of how new principals manage their work lives to make a difference in their schools.
Based on recent literature on beginning principals, the paper draws together and analyses issues encompassing principals' formal preparation, recruitment, licensure and socialisation.
This article outlines the broader context that frames the lives of beginning principals across societies. It does this through focusing on three fairly general topics: the current expectations of principals and potential principals, which also touches on a shortage of principal candidates in some societies; the life of beginning principals, including strategies suggested by research for “surviving” those hectic first years; and issues related to principals' preparation and learning. These topics encapsulate the focuses of the articles that follow.
The paper contributes to the understanding that the quest for beginning principalship cannot be restricted by national or societal borders; it is one that calls for greater international cooperation and insight.
Walker, A. and Qian, H. (2006), "Beginning principals: balancing at the top of the greasy pole", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 44 No. 4, pp. 297-309. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578230610674921Download as .RIS
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