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Article

Lauri Johnson and Rosemary Campbell‐Stephens

The aim of this paper is to discuss the views of black and ethnic minority school leaders about the Investing in Diversity program, a black‐led program developed in 2004…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to discuss the views of black and ethnic minority school leaders about the Investing in Diversity program, a black‐led program developed in 2004 to address the underrepresentation of black leaders in the London schools. Major themes are identified from interviews with black and South Asian women graduates of the program and recommendations made for leadership development strategies to help aspiring and current black and global majority headteachers “bring who they are” to their leadership.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative case study data about the Investing in Diversity program include document analysis of curriculum modules and participant observation of the weekend residential, survey satisfaction data from several cohorts, and face‐to‐face interviews with a purposive sample of seven headteachers from African Caribbean, African, and South Asian backgrounds who completed the Investing in Diversity program six‐seven years ago. These semi‐structured individual interviews were conducted in the spring of 2012 during an all‐day visit to their schools and focused on barriers and supports in their career path, approach to leadership, and their views on their leadership preparation.

Findings

Participants identified black and ethnic minority headteachers as role models, the importance of mentoring and informal networks, and opportunities to lead as supports to their career path to headship. Many of their long‐term informal networks were established with other BME colleagues who attended Investing in Diversity. Barriers included subtle (and not so subtle) discrimination from parents, teachers, and administrators for some of the participants.

Research limitations/implications

Observational studies and interview studies, which included a bigger sample of black and ethnic minority headteachers, would extend this research.

Practical implications

This study provides suggestions for schools and local authorities about leadership preparation strategies that make a difference for aspiring BME leaders.

Originality/value

There is a paucity of research on the views of British BME headteachers. This study adds to the research base on BME leadership development in Britain and contributes to international research on self‐defined black leadership perspectives.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 51 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article

Mohammed Borhandden Musah, Rozanne Emilia Abdul Rahman, Lokman Mohd Tahir, Shafeeq Hussain Vazhathodi Al-Hudawi and Khadijah Daud

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between headteachers and teachers and its effects on the role of trust in Malaysian high-performing schools…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between headteachers and teachers and its effects on the role of trust in Malaysian high-performing schools through the dyadic relationship theoretical approach.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a survey questionnaire, a total of 199 teachers from five high-performing schools were selected as respondents for data collection. Before proceeding with inferential statistical analysis, teachers were separated into the “in-group” and “out-group”.

Findings

The findings revealed that the teachers from both the groups perceived that their facets of trust are strongly associated with the type of relationship they have with their school leaders. The results also demonstrate that the quality of dyadic relationships between headteachers and teachers moderately influences teachers’ trust.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that the headteachers should always build good relationships with the teachers to gain teachers’ trust for sustaining school effectiveness. The findings encourage the Ministry of Education, particularly the Teacher Recruitment Division, to require all teachers and headteachers to deepen their knowledge on leader-member exchange (LMX) role-development processes.

Originality/value

The results are of great importance since limited empirical studies have examined LMX role-development processes with reference to teachers and headteachers in the context of Malaysian higher performing schools.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article

Joanne Cliffe

The emotional labor of headteachers and teachers is complex. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of the use of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional…

Abstract

Purpose

The emotional labor of headteachers and teachers is complex. The purpose of this paper is to explore the relevance of the use of the Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence test (MSCEIT) (Mayer, Caruso & Salovey, 2000) when assessing the emotional intelligence of headteachers as part of an investigation which aimed to reveal the ways in which female secondary school leaders were emotionally intelligent and whether it was possible to test for emotional intelligence.

Design/methodology/approach

Seven female headteachers’ MSCEIT reports are investigated. Semi-structured interviews were held pre- and post-test to explore the headteachers’ emotional labor. In addition, teachers serving under the headteachers were interviewed.

Findings

The accuracy of the MSCEIT is questioned, rather than taking the results at face value, attention is given to its content, language and cultural differences. The MSCEIT originates from the USA and is used globally. The findings of this investigation suggest it is possible the MSCEIT represents a deficit model due to the test takers’ interpretation of nuanced language. The findings show a disparity in relation to MSCEIT scores and self-reported emotional responses.

Research limitations/implications

Although the sample size is small and therefore cannot claim generalization from the findings, the use of emotional intelligence tests should be used with caution. Emotional responses are best understood through life experience as the headteachers attach retrospective meaning to their leadership actions.

Originality/value

Headteachers’ work is multifaceted because emotion is integral to the processes of teaching and learning. The emotional labor of headteachers and teachers impacts and has relevance to their roles as educational landscapes continue to shift.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 3 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

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Article

Desmond Rutherford

To explore the reflections of primary headteachers on a series of major policy initiatives introduced by successive Conservative and Labour governments from 1988 to 2003.

Abstract

Purpose

To explore the reflections of primary headteachers on a series of major policy initiatives introduced by successive Conservative and Labour governments from 1988 to 2003.

Design/methodology/method

The methodology is an interview‐based survey of six headteachers. The interviews were structured around the headteachers’ recollections of their headship during the period of Conservative government from 1988 to 1997 and, following the election of the Labour Government, from 1997 to 2003.

Findings

The headteachers’ reflections have changed from recalling a sense of excitement and anticipation immediately following the introduction of the 1988 Education Reform Act to ones of increasing disillusionment as the period of the Conservative Government drew to a close. However their expectations following the election of the Labour Government in 1977 were quickly dashed and followed by feelings of disappointment and, for some, of frustration.

Research limitations/implications

The small size of the sample is the major limitation but this opens up an agenda for future research.

Practical implications

The implications for government are to limit the number and scope of any new initiatives that schools are expected to implement and to ensure that these are properly funded.

Originality/value

The article presents an alternative view of headship that balances the overly optimistic impression that may be obtained from government and its agencies, leading to a deeper understanding of the realities of headship today.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 43 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article

Ray Bolam, Agnes McMahon, Keith Pocklington and Dick Weindling

Reports selected findings from a national evaluation of a Britishpilot scheme for mentoring new primary and secondary headteachers.Information was collected by…

Abstract

Reports selected findings from a national evaluation of a British pilot scheme for mentoring new primary and secondary headteachers. Information was collected by questionnaire from 238 new headteachers, from 303 experienced headteachers who acted as mentors and via 16 detailed case studies of reportedly successful pairs. Deals with the nature and impact of the mentoring process and the characterisitics of successful mentoring. Mentoring was judged to be a success by the overwhelming majority of participants because it offered considerable practical help with pressing problems and brought benefits which were distinct from other forms of headteacher training and support. Discusses major implications for practice, research and policy and concludes that mentoring should be offered as an integral part of national strategy for the management development of headteachers.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article

Galatia Nicolaidou Solomou and Petros Pashiardis

Although school autonomy has been a matter of great interest during the last decades and several relevant measures have been implemented toward this end, the relation…

Abstract

Purpose

Although school autonomy has been a matter of great interest during the last decades and several relevant measures have been implemented toward this end, the relation between school autonomy and school effectiveness has not been examined thoroughly. The purpose of this paper is to explore this relation and to propose an effective school autonomy model for Cyprus, a small European country with a highly centralized educational system. The suggested model indicates which decisions (related to various administrative, financial, academic, pedagogical and human resources matters) must be made at school level, which decisions can be made partly from the school with a higher level of control from the ministry and which decisions have to be made exclusively by a central authority, in order to enhance school effectiveness.

Design/methodology/approach

An unusual methodological design is followed, using scenarios to examine hypothetical situations. Cypriot headteachers’ job satisfaction and work-related stress is examined in the case of full autonomy and in the opposite scenario of very limited autonomy. The results from this phase of the study lead to the design of the suggested school autonomy model, which is then tested in terms of effectiveness through a third scenario. The scenarios are given in questionnaires and the sample includes 300 out of a population of 350 primary school headteachers of Cyprus.

Findings

The findings of the study suggest that headteachers’ job satisfaction and work-related stress is affected by the level of school autonomy that characterizes an educational system. The most effective scenario for the case of Cyprus does not refer to the existing situation of very limited autonomy, neither to the opposite scenario of full autonomy. The most effective scenario refers to the suggested model of school autonomy where all decisions related to various academic, managerial, financial and human resource matters are taken at school level, except for the decisions related to teaching materials and textbooks, teacher placements, promotions, payroll and dismissals. For these decisions the guidance, support and/or control from the educational authorities have to be enhanced.

Research limitations/implications

In this study school effectiveness is examined through the headteachers’ job satisfaction and stress as the dependent variable, and not through the conventional student achievement variable. A part of the existing literature suggests that these variables affect school effectiveness in an indirect way. Taking into consideration student achievement was not possible for the case of Cyprus, since the only scenario currently existing refers to very limited or no school autonomy. Therefore, it is not possible to compare the academic results of students coming from schools with different levels of autonomy.

Practical implications

The methodological approach of the study can be followed in other contexts as well, in order to design an effective school autonomy model for a different educational system, district or school. Scenarios can also be used to test and make corrections for a suggested educational reform, before this is implemented, in order to avoid waste of time and/or financial resources.

Originality/value

The value of this study first lies in its attempt to design a school autonomy model, based on all the educational decisions and matters that can be affected from a school autonomy reform; this became possible through an extensive literature review. Second the study, does not only support some suggestions based on the results, but also tests the effectiveness of the suggestions before these are implemented, following the unusual methodological approach of scenarios. Moreover, the relation between school autonomy and school effectiveness has not been examined thoroughly in the existing literature and some conflicting opinions exist. The findings of the study can help us gain a better understanding of the above relation.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article

Izhar Oplatka, David Bargal and Dan Inbar

The purpose of this study was to expose the phenomenon of self‐renewal and its dynamic aspects among women headteachers in mid‐career. Based on findings from an…

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to expose the phenomenon of self‐renewal and its dynamic aspects among women headteachers in mid‐career. Based on findings from an exploratory study conducted among Israeli primary school women headteachers in their mid‐career period, the study presents the phenomenon of self‐renewal that was experienced by these headteachers. This phenomenon included elements such as coping with burnout crisis, critical inner reflection, reframing managerial perspectives, elation and energy replenishing and reinforcing innovative behaviors. A conceptual frame is presented in order to understand the process of self‐renewal and its contextual and biographic determinants which enable the existence of the phenomenon in mid‐career

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article

Maximiliano Jose Ritacco and Antonio Bolivar

The purpose of this paper is to propose an emerging approach in research on school leadership, within the framework of the “International Successful School Principalship…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose an emerging approach in research on school leadership, within the framework of the “International Successful School Principalship Project (ISSPP)”, where one of the three key research strands is “Principals’ identities”.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper responds, from a biographical-narrative approach, to knowledge about the impact of the Spanish model of school management on the professional identity of school principals. It analyses the biographical interviews of 15 school principals, through a process of structuring and categorizing the data collected, applying content analysis.

Findings

The dimensions of the principals’ identities emerge in different categories: personal identity, professional identity (internal perspective), professional identity (external perspective), social identity, professionalization and dual identity.

Research limitations/implications

The authors studied identities in a project entitled “Successful school principals”, understanding that successful leadership practices largely depend on headteachers’ identities. That is, when the identities are weak and unstable, with a poor identification with the managerial tasks and functions, and not recognised by the teaching staff, the school will probably be unsuccessful. On the contrary, when there are headteachers with a strong professional identity, the authors want to show that there is a positive impact on improvement of results. In the future, in the development of the research project, the authors aim to verify the relationship between headteachers’ identities and educational improvement.

Practical implications

The knowledge gained in our study would enable us to reimagine lines in order to increase the professionalization and identities of headteachers, redesigning work contexts in ways which can strengthen fragile and unstable identities. Finally, the implications of the study in relation to future research can be summarised by the following ideas.

Social implications

Understanding the world of the lives (lebenswelt) of Spanish headteachers means adopting a hermeneutic approach, observing the self-interpretation comments expressed by the subjects, where the temporal and biographical dimensions occupy a key role. The authors understand professional identity as a socially constructed and personally created experience with its own meanings, feelings and intentions. Therefore, it is logical to use, for data collection, individual interviews which explore the school context and the impact which it has on those subjects who are part of the professional environment. In addition, the authors have the intention of following up the study of identities.

Originality/value

It formulates, first, the theoretical framework for the professional identity from a narrative approach, linked – at the same time – to the practice of leadership, as an interactive relationship with the other members of the school. Successful leadership practices depend to a large degree on strong principals’ identities. Finally, the results are discussed, and future lines are proposed to articulate and strengthen the identity of school principals in Spain.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 33 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article

Brian Fidler, Jeff Jones and Andrew Makori

The purpose of this article is to report findings from a national study of primary headteachers in their second headship in England. This investigated their reasons for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to report findings from a national study of primary headteachers in their second headship in England. This investigated their reasons for moving schools, their choice of second school and a comparison of their experiences as heads of the two schools.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design involved a national representative survey of primary school headteachers who were in a headship beyond their first. Questionnaire responses were obtained from 86 primary headteachers: a 74 per cent response rate. Follow‐up telephone interviews with 20 of them obtained more detailed responses on the research questions.

Findings

The reasons that heads gave for taking a second headship fell into three groups – personal, school and external. The over‐riding reasons were to provide a fresh challenge and prevent feelings of stagnation. Movement between schools was complex and the clearest overall trend was a move to larger schools. Heads generally considered themselves more effective in their second school than their first and there were many accounts of the re‐energising effect of taking on a new post.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that second headship should be considered as a valuable means of contributing to the continuing development of headteachers. Headteachers should consider a second headship as a possible extension to their headship career. They may need to plan their career before and during their first headship in order to obtain their desired second headship.

Originality/value

This is the first large‐scale study of headteachers in a second headship. The numbers of headteachers choosing to move to a second headship and their positive experiences suggest that further stages should be added to the current conceptualisations of the career of the headteacher.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 47 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article

David Mercer

Questions research from a number of countries which suggests that following an initial high level of job satisfaction, headteachers experience a diminution of job…

Abstract

Questions research from a number of countries which suggests that following an initial high level of job satisfaction, headteachers experience a diminution of job satisfaction over time‐in‐post. Using a grounded theory approach based on interviews with 39 secondary headteachers in the North East of the UK, identifies a number of satisfiers and dissatisfiers , an analysis of which indicates that while there is an initial high level of satisfaction, this would appear to dip before rising once again. Focuses mainly on the satisfiers and dissatisfiers experienced by the headteachers according to the time they have been in post. Explains in a detailed examination, the pattern indicates the need for support of headteachers in mid‐career if we are to avoid the loss of experienced staff as a result of early retirement.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 35 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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