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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 15 April 2016

Les Stein

In the world of public school education everything depends on good leadership. Sadly, many of our schools administrators can't differentiate the difference between leading and…

Abstract

In the world of public school education everything depends on good leadership. Sadly, many of our schools administrators can't differentiate the difference between leading and managing; far too many of them don't know the first thing about fundamental leadership principles. In short, they don't understand the fundamentals of Mission Oriented Leadership, the need for top-down leadership, or the critical differences between leadership and management. A cursory review of the selection process for school administrators, and the graduate level curriculums for those who seek a degree in school administration, clearly supports the contention that policymakers and educators are under the misconception that anyone can be taught or trained to be an effective school leader. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Details

Journal of Leadership Education, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1552-9045

Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Mary McMahon, Brigid Limerick, Neil Cranston and Cheryl Andersen

This paper aims to document women's reflections on their careers over a ten‐year period to provide quantitative baseline data on which to frame follow‐up in‐depth interviews. The…

1462

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to document women's reflections on their careers over a ten‐year period to provide quantitative baseline data on which to frame follow‐up in‐depth interviews. The participants work in the public service in Queensland (Australia) and had been recommended for, and participated in, women in management (WIM) courses conducted in the early 1990s.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected by means of a survey (containing closed and open items) which gathered demographic data and data related to employment history, perceptions of success and satisfaction, and the women's future career expectations.

Findings

Findings revealed that the percentage of women in middle and senior management had increased over the ten‐year period, although not to the extent one might have anticipated, given that the women had been targeted as high flyers by their supervisors. While not content with their classification levels (i.e. seniority), the majority of the cohort viewed their careers as being successful.

Practical implications

Questions arise from this study as to why women are still “not getting to the top”. There are also policy implications for the public service concerning women's possible “reinventive contribution” and training implications associated with women only courses.

Originality/value

The study is part of an Australian longitudinal study on the careers of women who attended a prestigious women‐only management course in the early 1990s in Queensland. This is now becoming a study of older women.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 11 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Neil Cranston, Lisa C. Ehrich and Megan Kimber

The purpose of this paper is to report on research into the ethical dilemmas faced by school heads from seven independent schools in Australia.

6734

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on research into the ethical dilemmas faced by school heads from seven independent schools in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

Data for the research were gathered by semi‐structured in‐depth interviews with the Heads, all of whom were experienced school leaders. All the schools had religious affiliations.

Findings

The findings are broadly consistent with the conclusions reached in other Australian and international studies dealing with school leaders which suggest that ethical dilemmas, usually concerning issues to do with staff or students, are so common now that they have become the “bread and butter” of educational leaders' lives. The findings contribute to a better understanding of the struggles school leaders experience when faced with such dilemmas and the forces at play as they seek to resolve them Typically, the dilemmas are not about “right” versus “wrong”, but “right” versus “right” options.

Research limitations/implications

It is clear that the ethical dimensions of the work of school leaders require further investigation as ethical dilemmas are almost a daily occurrence for them as they strive to make complex decisions in the best interests of their school communities.

Practical implications

Professional development in the areas of ethics and ethical decision‐making for school leaders is indicated. Problem‐based learning offers potential in this regard.

Originality/value

The research reported in the paper adds to, and builds on, the growing body of research into ethics in education, particularly how ethical issues emerge when school leaders are required to make complex decisions in contexts where individual, group and organisational interests may be in conflict.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 August 2008

Neil Cranston

This paper aims to document the development and use of cases for the leadership development of principals in one large education system in Australia. The case initiative was…

1360

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to document the development and use of cases for the leadership development of principals in one large education system in Australia. The case initiative was specially targeted at deepening understandings of the department's recently released statement about the principalship, Leadership Matters. The theoretical underpinnings of cases and their use in leadership development are examined. A discussion of critical feedback from users is provided with commentary on future developments completing the paper.

Design/methodology/approach

The literature relevant to cases and their use (and related approaches such as problem‐based learning) is reviewed, providing the framework for the development of the cases themselves and the principles guiding their application via a series of workshops. A small‐scale evaluation study accompanying the workshops provides critical feedback from principals and principals' supervisors on the efficacy of the cases themselves and the case method.

Findings

The cases have been very well received in the workshops. It is clear the cases represent powerful and authentic ways for leadership developments among school leaders, with considerable potential to focus on supporting understandings of, and development with respect to Leadership Matters. Some of the reported positives of the cases are that they are grounded in authentic “real world” stories of challenges for principals and that the discussions at the workshops lead to creative and constructive discussions about such leadership challenges.

Practical implications

The paper provides a number of practical suggestions for take‐up by others interested in the leadership development of principals in these challenging and changing times for school leaders. Ideas how to develop and construct cases are provided, together with suggestions for application in workshop situations.

Originality/value

While cases have been used in school leadership development previously, the focus here is a specially constructed developmental process framed around a system's statement about the principalship, Leadership Matters.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 46 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 6 July 2010

Neil Cranston, Bill Mulford, Jack Keating and Alan Reid

The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a national survey of government primary school principals in Australia, investigating the purposes of education, in terms of…

3025

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report the results of a national survey of government primary school principals in Australia, investigating the purposes of education, in terms of the importance and level of enactment of those purposes in schools.

Design/methodology/approach

In 2009, an electronic survey was distributed to government primary school principals in Australia seeking their views on the purposes of education. The survey comprised 71 items of a closed format and three items of an open‐ended format. Respondents rated first the importance they ascribed to particular purposes of education, then second the degree to which they believed these purposes were actually enacted in their particular school. Factor analyses were conducted on the item responses. Differences between importance and enactment of purposes are discussed together with reasons for these differences.

Findings

The findings overwhelmingly point to tensions between what they, the principals, believe ought to be the purposes of education and what the strategies to achieve those purposes might be, and the realities of what is actually happening. It could be argued that the results indicate a major shift away from public purposes of education to those more aligned with private purposes. Many of the barriers to achieving a greater focus in schools on public purposes are seen to be related to external (to the school) issues, such as government policy decisions, differential funding and resourcing across school sectors and emerging community and societal factors.

Research limitations/implications

This research complements other aspects of this project into the purposes of education in Australia. There are some limitations to the reported findings in so far as only government principals participated in the survey. Non‐government school principals were invited but declined to participate.

Originality/value

This is the only piece of research of its kind in Australia and provides unique insights – those of principals – into what schools are focusing on and what the leaders think they ought to be focusing on. There are clearly policy and practice implications of the research.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 48 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 23 March 2010

Neil Cranston, Megan Kimber, Bill Mulford, Alan Reid and Jack Keating

The paper aims to argue that there has been a privileging of the private (social mobility) and economic (social efficiency) purposes of schooling at the expense of the public…

19880

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to argue that there has been a privileging of the private (social mobility) and economic (social efficiency) purposes of schooling at the expense of the public (democratic equality) purposes of schooling.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a literature review, policy and document analysis.

Findings

Since the late 1980s, the schooling agenda in Australia has been narrowed to one that gives primacy to purposes of schooling that highlight economic orientations (social efficiency) and private purposes (social mobility).

Practical implications

The findings have wider relevance beyond Australia, as similar policy agendas are evident in many other countries raising the question as to how the shift in purposes of education in those countries might mirror those in Australia.

Originality/value

While earlier writers have examined schooling policies in Australia and noted the implications of managerialism in relation to these policies, no study has analysed these policies from the perspective of the purposes of schooling. Conceptualising schooling, and its purposes in particular, in this way refocuses attention on how societies use their educational systems to promote (or otherwise) the public good.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 22 March 2011

A. Ross Thomas

442

Abstract

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Content available
Article
Publication date: 22 March 2011

513

Abstract

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Content available
Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Emeritus Professor Frank Crowther

414

Abstract

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 March 2009

63

Abstract

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 47 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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