Growing appreciation for the potential impact of principals on their schools has stimulated a significant body of research concerning the principalship. While many aspects of the principalship have been the object of study, it is often difficult to determine the relationship among these studies and how these studies, as a whole, contribute to a better understanding of the principalship. It is also difficult to judge which aspects of the principalship would provide the most productive focus for subsequent research. The review reported in this article addressed both sets of difficulties by analysing a total of 135 empirical studies conducted between 1974 and 1988; 60 of these studies were reported between 1985 and 1988 and received more attention than the earlier 75. Results of the analysis identify aspects of the principalship about which much is known, approaches to research which appear to have exhausted their usefulness and areas in which further study seems likely to be of most value. One major conclusion from the analysis is that we know most about effective principal practices and least about how such practices develop.
Leithwood, K.A., Begley, P.T. and Bradley Cousins, J. (1990), "The Nature, Causes and Consequences of Principals′ Practices: An Agenda for Future Research", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 28 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/09578239010001014
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