The purpose of this paper is to examine four case studies from the International Successful School Principalship Project to explore and highlight how the role of the…
The purpose of this paper is to examine four case studies from the International Successful School Principalship Project to explore and highlight how the role of the principal is critically important to sustaining school success. Implications for improving the preparation of aspiring and practicing school leaders are discussed.
Data were collected using multiple sources, including documents and interviews with a variety of people including the principal, other school leaders, teachers, school council/board members, parents and students. Each case study was analyzed to understand how the principal and other leadership contributed to school success.
There were several core dimensions of the principals’ leadership that led to sustained school success. Principals clearly articulated views on education and helped their schools set appropriate directions. They were all concerned with the professional development of teachers to build capacity and teacher leadership. All principals were instructional leaders who influenced teaching and learning and were committed to making a difference. They exhibited other qualities such as resilience and their motivation to sustain their efforts over time. Another important dimension was building community. These principals reached out to their communities. They clearly understood that they could not succeed in isolation.
The notion of sustainability in education remains ambiguous and this paper provides some empirical evidence of how successful school principals maintain school success over an extended period. Importantly, it considers how aspirant and practicing principals can be developed and supported in their efforts to lead and sustain successful schools.
The purpose of this cross‐cultural study of schools in Sweden and Texas is to examine the cultural contexts of schools in both settings, and the leadership role of…
The purpose of this cross‐cultural study of schools in Sweden and Texas is to examine the cultural contexts of schools in both settings, and the leadership role of principals in creating and sustaining inclusive schools for diverse populations.
The data were drawn from two studies; the first involving school visits, classroom observations, and interviews conducted in researcher exchanges between both countries. The second source of data comes from the authors’ participation in a multi‐national longitudinal study, the International Successful School Principals’ Project (ISSPP). A common survey instrument, individual interviews, school visits and observations provide the data for this study.
The seven themes that emerged were manifested in ways that reflected the differing philosophies of each country: engagement and pride, high expectations, student autonomy, early student learning and development, teamwork, diversity and integration, and international focus on academic rankings. It is concluded that the creation of inclusive schools in a diverse context requires that principals maintain a focus on academic accountability while also working consciously to address social and civic issues.
Current migration and immigration patterns create a need for research, like this study, that examines how the social philosophies of different countries might support or hinder the success of various efforts to develop leadership for inclusive schools with diverse populations.
Examining the leadership of inclusive schools within two countries that differ substantially in their relative emphases on individualism and socialism provides valuable insights into how national philosophies are reflected in the ways school systems respond to diversity.