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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2004

Dean Fink and Carol Brayman

A demographic time bomb is ticking in many school jurisdictions. Up to 70 per cent of present leaders in the private and public sectors will retire within the next five to…

Abstract

A demographic time bomb is ticking in many school jurisdictions. Up to 70 per cent of present leaders in the private and public sectors will retire within the next five to ten years as the “baby boomers” move on. While succession planning has become a major initiative in the private sector, leadership succession in education tends to hew to old paths. Where are new educational leaders to come from? How should their succession be orchestrated? The traditional source of succession at the secondary level, the department headship, is no longer an attractive route for many teachers. Many potential leaders do not perceive the role of principal or assistant principal in a positive light. These roles are increasingly being associated with managing the standards/standardization agenda with which many professionals profoundly disagree. While it is premature to declare a leadership crisis in education, it is not too early to call on policy makers to attend to the growing need for succession planning at all levels in education. Based on an examination of change over times in four schools in Ontario, this article addresses issues of leadership succession in education and, more precisely, examines the influence of principals’ succession on the principals themselves and their schools.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 42 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Book part
Publication date: 7 December 2009

Helen Wildy, Simon Clarke and Carol Cardno

Our chapter examines the ways national developments in Australia and New Zealand over the past two decades reflect distinctively antipodean understandings of educational…

Abstract

Our chapter examines the ways national developments in Australia and New Zealand over the past two decades reflect distinctively antipodean understandings of educational leadership and management. Our interest is twofold. We are concerned about the extent to which these understandings are reflected in strategies designed to enhance the quality of school leadership. We are also concerned about the extent to which these strategies represent progress towards achieving ‘sustainable’ school leadership. We define sustainable leadership in terms of both building leadership capacity within the organisation and embedding lasting organisational change (Fink & Brayman, 2006; Hargreaves & Fink, 2006; Spillane, 2006). The concept used here implies both models of distributed or shared leadership and leadership succession.

Details

Educational Leadership: Global Contexts and International Comparisons
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-645-8

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Linda C. Lee

The purpose of this paper is to use empirical data on new principals to clarify the connection between different succession situations and the challenges their successor…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use empirical data on new principals to clarify the connection between different succession situations and the challenges their successor principals face.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws on two waves of interview data from a random sample of 16 new elementary school principals in a major urban school district in the USA.

Findings

New principals face distinct practice challenges depending on the nature of their successions. The less planned the succession, the less information and knowledge the new principal tends to possess. The more discontinuous the new administration’s trajectory is with the previous administration, the greater the staff resistance that the successor principal tends to face.

Research limitations/implications

Few studies systematically examine how succession situations differ in schools that are in need of transformation vs those in need of stability. This study addresses this gap by illuminating the varied processes of succession and highlighting specific mechanisms that link these processes to different organizational trajectories.

Practical implications

For district officials, this study suggests that principals in unplanned successions need greater support in quickly gathering information about their new schools while principals in discontinuous successions need greater expertise in how to balance trust-building and accountability in their attempts to promote transformational change.

Originality/value

This study’s primary value is its detailed articulation of how certain characteristics of succession situations are associated with specific types of challenges. Only studies at this level of specificity can be effective guides to practitioners and policymakers who are charged with preparing, selecting, and supporting new principals and their schools.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 53 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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