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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Felipe Aravena

The purpose of this paper is to explore the mentors’ knowledge gained of eight Chilean mentors during their first experience working within a formal mentoring program…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the mentors’ knowledge gained of eight Chilean mentors during their first experience working within a formal mentoring program supporting novice school principals.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses a qualitative approach. Research design, data collection and data analysis comprise an interpretative approach to aid the understanding of the learnings and personal processes involved in the mentoring experiences of mentors. For that the authors have coded 280 reflection sheets from the whole process of mentoring.

Findings

Mentors learn how the system works, how the school context offers opportunities and limitations for novice school principals, how they themselves perform their role and what professional strategies are effective for supporting new principals. In practical terms, mentors learn the relevance of being a good listener, critical friend, guide, supporter, respondent and source of knowledge.

Practical implications

Mentoring is an important professional activity that can promote the retention of principals and improve their organization and professional socialization within schools.

Originality/value

This is the first study presenting a formal experience in mentoring in Latin America.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 31 May 2013

Cheryl James‐Ward

This study followed four novice principals in two urban school districts through one or two years of their leadership coaching experience. The purpose of this study was to…

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Abstract

Purpose

This study followed four novice principals in two urban school districts through one or two years of their leadership coaching experience. The purpose of this study was to determine principals’ perceived benefits of the coaching experience, principals’ beliefs regarding the most beneficial attributes of a coach, and the match between these findings and the core leadership practices that most dramatically impact student achievement.

Design/methodology/approach

This study followed four novice principals in two urban school districts through one or two years of their leadership coaching experience.

Findings

Principals in this study appeared to have had a successful coaching experience in part because of: the coach's knowledge of curriculum, schools, and districts; the practicality of the experience; and the coach's ability to collaborate and shape the thinking of principals without being authoritative or intrusive. Principals experienced success on the job as identified by the student achievement on state tests and their advancement to district principal leadership roles.

Originality/value

The focus of the coaching in this study appeared to be centered on the core leadership practices noted to have the most impact on student achievement. The results revealed that the skills sets and knowledge of a coach are critical to the coaching experience. The general effects of a coaching focus on core leadership practices may also play a significant part in principal success; however, more research is needed to make a full determination.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Matthew Shirrell

The purpose of this paper is to examine first-year principals’ sense-making about two potentially conflicting demands as they take over low-performing urban schools: the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine first-year principals’ sense-making about two potentially conflicting demands as they take over low-performing urban schools: the demand to exert control over their teachers’ practice, and the need to build their teachers’ trust, collegiality, and commitment.

Design/methodology/approach

This study draws on a series of surveys and interviews with 12 first-year principals that took over some of the lowest-performing public schools in one large urban district.

Findings

Some principals begin their first year seeing their work to build accountability and commitment as complementary, while others see these two areas as in tension. Principals remain relatively consistent in these approaches over their first year on the job, although some principals change their views, generally coming to see these two areas as increasingly separate over time.

Research limitations/implications

Future work should examine principals’ work to balance the demands of accountability and commitment in a variety of organizational contexts.

Practical implications

Principal preparation may benefit from training principals on the particular challenges they may face as they work with teachers in low-performing schools. Accountability systems may also seek to alter the demands placed on novice principals.

Originality/value

Despite the centrality of principals to school improvement, the prevalence of high-stakes school accountability, and findings on the importance of commitment to school success, little empirical research has examined how principals make sense of the potentially conflicting demands of accountability and commitment in highly pressured circumstances.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 54 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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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…

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1005

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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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Oksana Parylo, Sally J. Zepeda and Ed Bengtson

The purpose of this paper is to examine principal mentoring, a process that is significant in principal identification, socialization, development, and retention.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine principal mentoring, a process that is significant in principal identification, socialization, development, and retention.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was framed within the social constructivism paradigm and thematically examined individual perspectives to develop the thematic constructs relevant to the participants’ experiences of and perceptions about principal mentoring.

Findings

Thematic analysis of the interview data from 16 principals from the state of Georgia, USA, revealed five major themes related to leaders’ experiences of and perceptions about principal mentoring: mentoring as recruitment; mentoring as socialization; mentoring as support; mentoring as professional development; and mentoring as reciprocal learning.

Research limitations/implications

These findings were limited to the sample of principals used for this analysis. Researchers are encouraged to examine principal mentoring in other contexts.

Practical implications

The results of this inquiry suggest the need for formal and informal mentoring opportunities for new and experienced principals and call for further research on comparing mentoring practices between the large and small schools systems.

Originality/value

The paper identifies mentoring as an important path to principal effectiveness and contributes to the corpus of literature on educational mentoring by examining the perceptions and experiences of new and experienced principals about the mentoring they received and provided.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 September 2021

Dorit Tubin and Talmor Rachel Farchi

The purpose of this paper is to present the successful school and principal (SSP) model, which has developed over 13 years of Israeli involvement in the ISSPP study.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the successful school and principal (SSP) model, which has developed over 13 years of Israeli involvement in the ISSPP study.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a conceptual paper summarizing the findings of more than 20 case studies of successful, coasting and low-performing schools and their principals, into the SSP model. In all the cases, ISSPP protocols were used to collect the data, and the findings were analyzed in accordance with the organizational approach and organizational routine theory.

Findings

The explanatory SSP model comprises three cyclical phases that explain cause–effect relationships and presents intervention points for school improvement toward success. The first phase is an organizational restructuring of two core routines: the school schedule routine and the school tracking routine, which shape and affect school staff behavior. The second phase is the priorities and values revealed in these behaviors and which shape the school as a learning environment. The third phase in school improvement is the institutional legitimacy derived from and reflecting the school’s priorities and values. All these phases are based on the principal as a crucial key player who turns the wheel.

Originality/value

Theoretically, the SSP model explains cause–effect relationships and indicates possible interventions and improvements. Practically, the SSP model can influence principal preparation programs, novice principal mentoring and serve as a roadmap for school improvement.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 60 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 25 January 2013

Parinya Showanasai, Jiafang Lu and Philip Hallinger

The extant literature on school leadership development is dominated by conceptual analysis, descriptive studies of current practice, critiques of current practice, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The extant literature on school leadership development is dominated by conceptual analysis, descriptive studies of current practice, critiques of current practice, and prescriptions for better ways to approach practice. Relatively few studies have examined impact of leadership development using experimental methods, among which even fewer studies have employed a cross‐cultural comparative perspective. The aim of this paper is to discuss the feasibility of using a computer simulation as tools for research in leadership development.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a methodology development paper. It discusses the feasibility of using a computer simulation as tools for research in leadership development. Exemplary research questions, research designs, and data analyses are used to illustrate the potential of this approach for addressing under‐explored issues in management education.

Findings

Three categories of cross‐cultural comparative research questions are proposed: comparative study of leadership expertise, comparative study of instructional approaches, and comparative study of leadership development processes. This study demonstrates the research potential of using the computer simulations to address complex issues in leadership development across cultures.

Originality/value

Although computer simulations have been used as training tools for several decades, few scholars have explored their potential for use in the collection of complex data in an efficient fashion. The current study not only demonstrates how a specific simulation has been adapted to collect data on leadership development in education, but also models the means by which computer simulations could be employed in a similar fashion in other domains of education and training.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Izhar Oplatka

In order to fill the gap in theoretical and empirical knowledge about the characteristics of principal workload, the purpose of this paper is to explore the components of…

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1293

Abstract

Purpose

In order to fill the gap in theoretical and empirical knowledge about the characteristics of principal workload, the purpose of this paper is to explore the components of principal workload as well as its determinants and the coping strategies commonly used by principals to face this personal state.

Design/methodology/approach

Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 50 principals, all from the elementary and secondary educational systems of Israel. The analysis followed the principles of qualitative research.

Findings

Four subjectively held constructs of principal workload, main sources of this workload, and the key strategies used by principals to face this workload were found in this study.

Practical implications

It is recommended to strengthen school autonomy, increase the number of positions of middle management, prepare future principals for the heavy workload, and encourage supportive superiors who are sensitive to this issue.

Originality/value

This study fills the gap in theoretical knowledge concerning principal workload, assuming that the particular characteristics of the school organization have some unique impact on this personal state. It also enables us to identify the types of this personal state occurring in educational organizations from the subjective perspectives of school members and stakeholders, thereby broadening the understanding of employee workload in various settings, including educational arenas.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 55 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Lyle Hamm

The purpose of this paper is to examine the leadership role(s) of vice-principals in diverse, multi-ethnic schools and communities and understand the supervision and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the leadership role(s) of vice-principals in diverse, multi-ethnic schools and communities and understand the supervision and mentoring support they require to help them become more effective leaders within them. The research questions guiding this study were: what forms of mentoring do vice-principals, who serve in diverse schools in rapidly changing communities, require? Who is in the best position to provide mentoring for them?

Design/methodology/approach

The author used a qualitative case study methodology. Data that were analyzed for this paper were drawn from surveys, semi-structured interviews, one focus group interview and school and community documents from three data sets within two case studies in Canada. The first data set was part of the author’s doctoral research program in a diverse school in Alberta; the other case study was part of a larger collective case study that the author is currently involved with and leading in New Brunswick. Several vice-principals were part of both studies. The author then constructed a survey questionnaire specifically focused on mentoring vice-principals in diverse schools. Vice-principals in both provinces, who were part of the two studies, were invited to respond to the follow-up survey. Using a constant comparative analytical approach, the author coded and analyzed the data from all three sets together. The author formed several categories and ultimately collapsed the categories into five distinct themes that illustrated and confirmed the social realities of the vice-principals in their schools and communities.

Findings

Five key findings emerged from the analysis of the data sets. They were building leadership capacity, fostering positive relationships, increasing global awareness, reducing stress and anxiety and becoming a diversity champion and peace-builder.

Originality/value

To this researcher’s knowledge, this paper contributes to a significant gap in the literature on vice-principals who serve in diverse schools and communities.

Details

International Journal of Mentoring and Coaching in Education, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6854

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Linda J. Searby

The purpose of this paper is to define and describe the mentoring mindset in a protégé. The central research question was: What constitutes a mentoring mindset in a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to define and describe the mentoring mindset in a protégé. The central research question was: What constitutes a mentoring mindset in a protégé who is poised to receive maximum benefits from a mentoring relationship, as described by the mentor?

Design/methodology/approach

A phenomenological approach was used to conduct this study. Interviews were conducted with veteran school principals who were trained mentors, assigned and paired with newly appointed principals for a year of mentoring. The identification of the phenomenon of the mentoring mindset of the protégé was derived from the mentors’ perspectives of their protégés’ behaviors, dispositions, attitudes, and competencies, as they were conveyed in the research interviews.

Findings

A definition of the protégé's mentoring mindset was created after analysis of the interview data, and indicators of the presence and absence of the mindset were formulated into a Protégé Mentoring Mindset Framework that provides information on protégé competencies. The protégé with a mentoring mindset takes initiative, possesses a learning orientation, has a goal orientation, is relational and reflective. Conversely, the protégé who does not have a mentoring mindset lacks initiative, lacks a learning orientation, a goal orientation, and is not relational or reflective.

Research limitations/implications

One limitation of the study is that it only gathered the perceptions of the mentor, but the protégé is the one being described. This, however, is consistent with other studies of protégé competencies. The study was conducted with a specific population (school principals) in a southern state of the USA. Hence, it cannot be assumed to be generalizable to other populations or fields of study. Replication of this research in other settings is suggested, so that the Framework can be further affirmed, disconfirmed, or augmented. Implications of this research could be that the Mentoring Mindset Framework can be used for considering the varied competencies of the protégé, and can be used in both mentor and protégé training.

Originality/value

To this researcher's knowledge, there has not been a Protégé Mentoring Mindset Framework of competencies created in mentoring research.

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