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Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2013

Constance Magee and Charles L. Slater

This narrative inquiry examined the experiences of new urban principals as they transitioned into their role during their first year. The research questions focused on the…

Abstract

This narrative inquiry examined the experiences of new urban principals as they transitioned into their role during their first year. The research questions focused on the challenges new principals faced and the types and effectiveness of support that were offered. Findings confirmed that principals addressed student behavior and campus appearance before shifting their attention to classroom instruction. Coaching, mentoring, and change of principal workshops were helpful district support.

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Understanding the Principalship: An International Guide to Principal Preparation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-679-8

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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.

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

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Davide Celoria and David Hemphill

– The purpose of this paper is to examine the practice of new principal coaching in schools from the coaches’ perspective.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the practice of new principal coaching in schools from the coaches’ perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

Six coaches of new principals were interviewed over a one-year period. Through the use of a qualitative, constant-comparative approach, the participants’ voices were used to discover their views. Data analysis employed emergent coding (Creswell, 2008; Denzin, 2005; Glaser and Strauss, 1998; Spradley, 1979). The study took place in the San Francisco Bay Area, a linguistically and ethnically diverse area, in the state of California, USA.

Findings

Thematic analysis of interview data from principal coaches revealed a process-oriented focus within principal coaching as a primary finding. Process-oriented coaching, rather than specific, skill-focussed content, was the main mechanism coaches used to support new principals.

Research limitations/implications

Findings are limited to the sample of principal coaches used for this analysis, although there are potential applications to similar school settings in other locations. Researchers are encouraged to examine new principal coaching in other contexts.

Practical implications

The results of this inquiry point to the importance of process skills in new principal coaching, suggest the need for new approaches in principal mentoring programs, and call for further research on specific process tools in coaching to promote reflection and inquiry.

Originality/value

The paper identifies process-oriented coaching as a valuable support mechanism for new principals, particularly during their first year in the role.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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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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Book part
Publication date: 28 May 2019

Rinnelle Lee-Piggott

Often new principals approach their first appointments with a high expectation to make their mark by introducing changes that would lead to school improvement. However…

Abstract

Often new principals approach their first appointments with a high expectation to make their mark by introducing changes that would lead to school improvement. However, these expectations may be void of thoughts of how an inherited school culture may weigh on their emotions and upset their notions about principalship on a daily basis. Emerging from a multiple case study research design, in which a critical incident technique was the main source of data on new principals’ emotional experiences, the findings show that the new principals experienced predominantly negative emotions and wounding, often linked to pre-formed expectations of school members. Also, influenced by a need to protect their leadership authority, they selected which emotions to disclose versus which to suppress. These findings as drawn from a broader study conducted in Trinidad and Tobago imply a need for training and continuing professional development that would support aspirant and practising principals’ emotion regulation.

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Emotion Management and Feelings in Teaching and Educational Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-011-6

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Book part
Publication date: 29 November 2014

Heather M. Rintoul and Richard Kennelly

In Ontario Canada, being a vice principal is not considered a career goal. Rather, school principals are drawn from the ranks of practising vice principals. Potential…

Abstract

In Ontario Canada, being a vice principal is not considered a career goal. Rather, school principals are drawn from the ranks of practising vice principals. Potential administrators must first pass the principal qualification program and spend several successful years in the interim position of vice principal (known as assistant principal, deputy principal, and assistant headmaster in other countries) before applying for the principalship itself. The current system appears to be replete with inherent challenges both for vice principals and the educational stakeholders they serve. Administrator training is based on a quantitative paradigm, but the vice principal role is highly qualitative in nature, requiring strong interpersonal skills to address conflict for which no training is provided. The current system addresses the dual role of management and leadership but from the perspective of the principal, not the vice principal. Training also favors management over leadership, yet hiring processes for vice principals place a high value on demonstrated leadership. Facility with ethical decision-making is central to the vice principal role yet absent from qualification programs. Qualification programs use classroom-based learning with no “in-role” field experience. Mentoring systems designed to provide new vice principals with help are inadequate for supporting daily tasks. As a consequence, newly appointed vice principals find themselves in a role for which they have not been trained.

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Pathways to Excellence: Developing and Cultivating Leaders for the Classroom and Beyond
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-116-9

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2019

Chad R. Lochmiller and John L. Mancinelli

The purpose of this paper is to describe how elementary school principals adjust their leadership practice in response to Washington’s new teacher evaluation policy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe how elementary school principals adjust their leadership practice in response to Washington’s new teacher evaluation policy.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a modified content analysis of open-ended survey responses collected from elementary school principals in Washington State. In all, the survey included responses from 354 elementary school principals representing 25.0 percent of the state’s elementary school principal population. ATLAS.ti supported data analysis and assisted in the derivation of three key findings.

Findings

Elementary school principals changed their instructional leadership practice in response to the new teacher evaluation policy in three significant ways. First, principals adjusted their approach to classroom observation to complete more intentional, in-depth observational activities. Second, principals redistributed non-instructional responsibilities to clerical staff members to allow themselves and other administrators more time for classroom observation. Third, principals adopted a learning stance to the new policy and thus sought external support, especially coaching, to assist them with the implementation of new evaluation practices.

Research limitations/implications

The study faced three limitations. First, the sample of respondents included in this study cannot be generalized to the state as participants were not randomly selected. Second, the survey did not utilize a longitudinal design, and thus its findings only relate to the first year of the policy’s implementation. Third, the study does not include school-based evidence to triangulate principals’ survey responses.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the instructional leadership literature. Specifically, the study offers further insights into the adjustments principals make in their leadership to accommodate expectations found in new teacher evaluation policy.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Kathleen Sciarappa and Christine Y. Mason

– The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceived efficacy of a US-based national principal mentor training program.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the perceived efficacy of a US-based national principal mentor training program.

Design/methodology/approach

A sample of 370 protégés who received services from principal mentors in a national mentor internship program were invited to complete an electronic survey. Responses were obtained from 54 protégés.

Findings

The 54 respondents rated the mentor program highly, indicating that mentors were well prepared, good listeners, and instrumental in strengthening their instructional leadership.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides preliminary information on the perceived efficacy of the program. To more fully understand the needs of new principals and the value of varying mentor approaches, follow-up interviews, a research design that provides for data to be disaggregated by specific mentor trainers and dates/locations of training sessions, and comparative data from protégés supported by mentors prepared by other programs are needed.

Practical implications

Protégés reported high job satisfaction and recommended the program to others.

Originality/value

New principals reported that the principal mentoring was critical to their adjustment and success during their first year. This is the only known principal mentor program requiring a nine-month internship. The outcomes revealed the value of evaluating perceptions of protégés for continuous quality improvement.

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Article
Publication date: 26 September 2008

Michael Cowie and Megan Crawford

This paper aims to explore the extent to which the programme for principal preparation in Scotland relates to what is expected of principals once they are in post and what…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the extent to which the programme for principal preparation in Scotland relates to what is expected of principals once they are in post and what it is that they actually do.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper analyses the professional experience of five relatively new elementary school principals reported in monthly logs maintained over a six‐month period.

Findings

The preparation for headship programme appears to help develop the professional identity of aspiring headteachers, broaden their outlook and develop confidence and self‐belief. What is not clear is the extent to which the programme is developing principals with the strength of purpose required to work towards schools centred on educational values.

Originality/value

The paper builds on previous work by the authors and makes a contribution to the research on principal preparation and the work of new school principals.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 46 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2009

Jorunn Møller, Gunn Vedøy, Anne Marie Presthus and Guri Skedsmo

The purpose of this paper is to explore whether and how success has been sustained over time in schools which were identified as being successful five years ago.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore whether and how success has been sustained over time in schools which were identified as being successful five years ago.

Design/methodology/approach

Three schools were selected for a revisit, and the sample included two combined schools (grade 1‐10) and one upper secondary school (grade 11‐13). In two schools the same principals were still in post, and in the third school there had recently been a change in principalship. Interviews with the principal and a group of teachers at each school were the major source of new data. Questions that guided the study: What structural and cultural changes can be identified within the schools compared with five years ago? What factors might help sustain success over time?

Findings

The learning‐centred approach identified earlier had been sustained in the schools during the five years. All principals focused on multiple ways of influencing staff motivation, commitment and working conditions, teamwork was a vital characteristic, and they also reported on their struggle to sustain and promote equity and social justice. For the two schools with principals still in post one could hardly detect any change in preferred strategies, but for the third school with the new principal there was a significant change. Although his ethos was closely connected to that which existed at the school five years ago, his leadership approach and the agenda for school improvement were different. As such, the study provides an example of how principals have the power to set the tone and the agenda for school development even though leadership practice is an interactive process involving many people.

Originality/value

The paper provides knowledge about sustainable leadership in a context where new expectations are raised towards schools, and principals are in particular challenged to respond to new and sometimes contradicting expectations.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 47 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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