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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2014

Encarnacion Garza, Jr, Lawrie Drysdale, David Gurr, Stephen Jacobson and Betty Merchant

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…

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Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

Betty Merchant, Helene Ärlestig, Encarnacion Garza, Olof Johansson, Elizabeth Murakami‐Ramalho and Monika Törnsén

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…

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2164

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Research limitations/implications

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

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98

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2021

Rose M. Ylimaki, Stephen Jacobson, Lauri Johnson, Hans W. Klar, Juan Nino, Margaret Terry Orr and Samantha Scribner

In this paper, the authors recap the history and evolution of ISSPP research in the USA with research teams that grew from one location in 2002 to seven teams at present…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the authors recap the history and evolution of ISSPP research in the USA with research teams that grew from one location in 2002 to seven teams at present. The authors also examine the unique context of public education in America by describing its governance, key policies and funding as well as increasing student diversity due to changing internal student demographics and global population migrations. In particular, the authors describe how decentralization in American public education that has led to long-standing systemic inequities in school resource allocations and subsequently to marked gaps in performance outcomes for children from poor communities, especially for those of color. These existing inequities were the reason the USA research team was the only national ISSPP team from the original network of eight countries that choose to study exclusively leadership in challenging, high needs schools that performed beyond expectations.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors describe the common multi-case case study methodology (Merriam, 1988) and interview protocols employed in order to gather multiple perspectives on school success in high-needs communities and the principal's contribution to that success. Leithwood and Riehl's (2005) framework of core leadership practices for successful school leadership was used to analyze our data across all cases.

Findings

The authors present key findings from cases across the USA and synthesize common trends across these findings.

Research limitations/implications

The authors conclude the paper with a discussion of their overarching impressions from almost two decades of study, the importance of national and local context in examining school leadership and, lastly, suggestions for future research.

Originality/value

This article contributes to findings from the longest and largest international network on successful leadership.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 September 2021

Petros Pashiardis and Antonios Kafa

The purpose of this paper is to explore successful school principalship in Cyprus based on a ten-year research project, and in particular, by analysing leadership…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore successful school principalship in Cyprus based on a ten-year research project, and in particular, by analysing leadership knowledge based on concrete actions of successful school principals derived from multiple case studies from the primary and secondary education sectors in Cyprus.

Design/methodology/approach

The initial type of evidence was original qualitative empirical research undertaken through the examination of 11 case studies of successful primary and secondary school principals across Cyprus. Following, for the purposes of this paper a cross-case reanalysis was performed in order to extract successful actions from the participating school principals.

Findings

Based on the emerging actions from the cross-case analysis, findings indicate that successful school principals, both in primary and secondary education, develop external relations, as well as networking with all relevant actors; create a collaborative and shared ownership feeling among their members and within their school organization; and finally promote a clear vision, based on a specific number of values.

Originality/value

This overall effort led us to the articulation of certain successful actions, which could be related and compared to the results in other successful school principalship contexts. Furthermore, it could contribute to the cross-country comparative knowledge body on successful school principalship, with different educational policies and different social contexts.

Details

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

Keywords

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