Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Article publication date: 16 August 2011



Ross Thomas, A. (2011), "Editorial", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 49 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/jea.2011.07449eaa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 49, Issue 5

Outstanding special issue award

I am delighted to announce that a special issue of the Journal of Educational Administration (JEA) has been selected as Emerald Publishing’s outstanding special issue for 2010. The issue has been chosen from all of the special issues published by all of Emerald’s journals.

The issue, entitled “Globalization: expanding horizons in women’s leadership” appeared as Volume 48 Number 6 (2010) of the JEA.

On behalf of members of the JEA’s Editorial Advisory Board and its readers, I extend congratulations in particular to the Guest Editor of this special issue, Dr Whitney Sherman, School of Education, Virginia Commonwealth University. Congratulations must also be extended to the other 16 authors who contributed nine superb articles to the issue.

As Editor of the JEA, I nominated this special issue for the Emerald award because I was so impressed with the range of themes addressed, the international composition of its authors, the intrinsic excellence of each article included, and the professionalism with which Dr Sherman undertook and completed the challenging task of editorship.

The award represents a milestone in the history of the JEA.

Editorial Advisory Board meeting

The JEA’s Editorial Advisory Board met during the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in New Orleans, April 8-12, 2011.

As always, it was a rewarding opportunity for members from several countries to review the JEA’s activities throughout 2010 and to discuss its future development. This was, however, a special occasion because the incoming Editors, Allan Walker and Philip Hallinger of the Institute for Education in Hong Kong, were present. Among the several agenda items addressed were the record number of submissions to the JEA in 2010, the maintenance of its relatively low acceptance rate, reviewing procedures, and the strengths and weaknesses of journal ranking tables and indexes.

At the conclusion of the meeting, it was my great pleasure to present, as part of the WG Walker Outstanding Paper Award procedures for 2010 (Vol. 48), a certificate of High Commendation to authors Alan J. Daly and Nienke M. Moolenaar for their excellent article (with Jose M. Bolivar and Peggy Burke) “Relationships in reform: the role of teachers’ social networks”. It was also a delight to acknowledge Nienke Moolenaar as winner of the Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award for 2010 and to pay tribute to her Supervisor Peter Sleegers of the University of Amsterdam who was also present on this auspicious occasion.

Emerald Publishing, whose presence at the annual meetings of AERA and the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) has become well-established, was represented at the Board meeting by Kate Snowden and Sharon Parkinson. It is most appropriate for me to acknowledge the valuable support that Kate and Sharon provide the JEA, its Editor and its Board members. They are superb representatives of our publishers. The support of Jessica Davis is also gratefully acknowledged.

The theme of this year’s AERA meeting was “Inciting the social imagination: education research for the public good”. My involvement included attendance at several conference presentations addressing this theme, convening a roundtable session of “Meet the Editors”, meeting authors who had contributed articles to the JEA as well as those aspiring to do so. It was also a particular pleasure to meet Michelle Young, Executive Director of UCEA and to discuss developments in our field with her.

As in previous AERA meetings, I was indebted to the courtesy and hospitality of Helaine Patterson and Lucy Cunningham in the AERA pressroom.

This issue

The issue contains six articles that are, as usual, representative of the international scope of our field – our authors come from Canada, Israel, New Zealand, Turkey and the USA.

In recent years, the JEA has published several articles that address the theme of trust in schools. Trust has attracted the interest of many prominent researchers whose studies have all pointed to the importance of this component of educational leadership. Our first article adopts a different – and salutary – approach to trust by emphasising the fragility of such in schools. Using a sample of school principals drawn from across Canada, Keith Walker, Benjamin Kutsyuruba and Brian Noonan examine these school leaders’ perceptions of their “moral agency” and “trust-brokering roles”. The authors record that principals often have to deal with trust-related matters that have caused trustworthiness to be threatened and, sadly, trusting relationships to be broken. Principals feel personal responsibility to ensure relationships among all school stakeholders – other administrators, teachers, parents, students – are sustained and, if broken, successfully restored.

Readers will note that the second article, by Necati Cemaloğlu, should have been published long before this. The paper, after amendments, was accepted in 2009 but when the JEA’s operating procedures moved online the manuscript (which was in the to-be-published queue) was mislaid in a closed folder in the former system. The author’s recent (and extraordinarily patient) inquiry about the paper has led to this embarrassing discovery. For this oversight, I apologise to the author and the JEA’s readers. On this occasion, it is also fitting that I thank all involved with the development of this paper – the author’s colleagues, reviewers and those who assisted with some requirements of translation. It is an important addition to the articles from Turkey that this journal has published.

The article investigates relationships between leadership styles of principals, school organizational health and workplace bullying. A total of 500 teachers in Turkish primary schools provide the data for the study, analysis of which reveals inter alia: positive relationship between transformational leadership acts of principals and organizational health; negative relationship between this type of leadership and organizational bullying.

The setting for the next article by Eileen Piggot-Irvine and Howard Youngs is New Zealand where the Ministry of Education has developed a comprehensive “Professional development plan” that provides a four-stage pathway by which teachers may progress to the principalship. The first stage, the National Aspiring Principal Pilot program, has been conducted in five regional locations and it is the evaluation of such that the authors describe. Noteworthy achievements of the pilot include: curriculum coherence, relevancy to stakeholders, and pleasing rates of principal appointments. Also noted are differences in evaluations of the program between primary and secondary participants and more critical assessments of the program by aspirants who had partial or full completion of relevant post-graduate leadership qualifications. One particularly important finding is that aspirants who were encouraged by their principals to undertake the pilot program find it to be relevant and valuable.

The following article by Misty M. Kirby and Michael F. DiPaola reports on a study of 35 urban elementary schools in a single school district in the USA. Within this setting the authors investigate the relationships among academic optimism, community engagement, and student achievement. Their findings reveal that in schools where the teachers are optimistic their students can succeed (despite obstacles such as lower socio-economic status) and where the community is engaged, students are more likely to achieve at higher levels. The authors also identify community engagement, collective efficacy, trust in clients, and academic press as influences on student achievement.

In 2007, Israeli teachers conducted a 64-day strike in protest at several mooted national-level reforms in schools. They used web logs and partisan school web sites as vehicles for expressing resistance to the proposals. In this study, Izhak Berkovich breaks new ground – he examines the “agenda-setting strategy” that teachers employed to oppose new policy at national level and analyses the narrative or rhetoric that explained their opposition. The media, and especially the internet, are identified as key instruments in garnering support for the teachers. Their rhetoric is found to be characterised by the use of emotional and rational appeals, attempts to portray teachers as “champions of education”, the use of “dramatic labelling” directed at leaders of the proposed reforms, as well as symbolic images of political parties.

In the final article of this issue, Kyle Ingle, Stacey Rutledge, and Jennifer Bishop, report on their attempt to identify how principals “make sense” of hiring teachers and their subjective evaluation of on-the-job teacher performance. Their study, set in a single school district in the USA, was conducted via interviews over two consecutive years. Although principals point out that each vacancy is different, several common characteristics appear to shape their preferences, for example, their personal beliefs, backgrounds and experiences. School type (e.g. elementary, secondary) also influences principals’ preferences for specific applicants. Nevertheless, a consistency towards certain characteristics is identified – caring, knowledge of subject matter, strong teaching skills, and person-job fit.

A book review completes this issue.


This will be the last general issue of the JEA for which I am responsible although I shall oversee the submission of the final number for Volume 49 that will be a special or thematic issue prepared by Guest Editors Steve Dinham and Frank Crowther. My direct association with the JEA will, however, extend to just one more number – Vol. 50 No. 1 (2012), the anniversary issue of the JEA, of which I shall be Guest Editor.

It is therefore appropriate to “sign off” at this stage and extend my best wishes to Allan Walker and Philip Hallinger as they set out to extend the excellence of this publication. The JEA will be in the best of hands.

A. Ross Thomas

Related articles