This paper aims to provide an Australian perspective on successful school leadership.
The paper focuses on case studies in two Australian states (Tasmania and Victoria). Case studies for each state were developed independently and are reported separately.
The findings show a remarkable degree of commonality demonstrating that the core aspects of successful school leadership can be identified in ways that can help explain the complexity of principal leadership that leads to improved student outcomes.
Highlights the importance and contribution of the principal to the quality of education.
Describes a multiple case analysis of six elementary school principals considered to be successful as leaders of inclusive schools. Analyses the structural and behavioural…
Describes a multiple case analysis of six elementary school principals considered to be successful as leaders of inclusive schools. Analyses the structural and behavioural factors present in six elementary schools considered to have successfully included students with disabilities in regular classroom programmes. Outlines several factors which were found to be common among the principals of the six schools. Each principal: established a system of communication that allowed staff members to disagree with policies and practices and to make recommendations for changes; was actively involved in the IEP development process; was personally involved in dialogue with the parents of students with disabilities; worked with staff to agree collaboratively on a building philosophy of inclusion; established policies for addressing specific discipline issues arising from students with disabilities; followed a personal plan of professional development regarding issues of inclusion; demonstrated skills in data gathering; and demonstrated skills in problem solving.
This paper reports on the design of an attitude scale to be used in studies investigating relationships between principals and members of school councils in Victoria. The…
This paper reports on the design of an attitude scale to be used in studies investigating relationships between principals and members of school councils in Victoria. The scale, which is composed of twenty‐four items, measures attitudes toward principal domination of council. The Likert method of scale construction was used. Item analysis demonstrated that all items discriminated between high and low scorers (Edwards t≥3.17). Internal consistency, estimated by using Kuder Richardson and Cronback's Alpha, yielded a coefficient of .80705. The corrected split‐half reliability based on the responses of 297 principals and council members was .72835. Test‐retest reliability was .69314.
At role conferences, high school deputy principals are continually re‐examining their role in the schools. Increasingly, in school level co‐operative evaluation programmes they are analyzing their work and its contribution to school effectiveness. This paper attempts to develop a classification that would provide a useful framework within which, at both system level and school level, they might examine their behaviour and consider modifications. From a Queensland study, five dimensions of leader behaviour are identified. They are Consideration, Classroom Facilitation, Staff Utilization, Authoritarianism and Routinisation. Other behaviours identified from the literature are Teacher Classroom Contact and School Management Maintenance tasks. These seven behaviours can involve interaction with either of two groups of people; clients and colleagues, thus providing a 14 segment grid that deputies might use to classify their behaviour when considering what they are doing in schools and what might be done better.
Hypotheses on principals’ optimism, teacher perceptions of that optimism, and of school effectiveness were tested. The school was the unit of analysis. Teachers and…
Hypotheses on principals’ optimism, teacher perceptions of that optimism, and of school effectiveness were tested. The school was the unit of analysis. Teachers and principals in 50 secondary schools responded to two standard measures. To avoid same respondent bias, about half of the teachers in each school completed one instrument, half the other. Teacher perceptions of their principal’s optimism and of their school’s effectiveness were correlated, but the principal’s self‐reported optimism was not a predictor of perceived effectiveness. The congruence of teacher perceptions of the principal’s optimism and the measured optimism was associated with perceived school effectiveness. Teachers saw the principals to be less optimistic than the principals scored; however, teacher perceptions of optimism and self‐reported optimism were correlated across schools. We suggested explanations for this unusual combination of significant difference with significant correlation, and for other findings
Explores the question of why principals rate their schools morehighly than do their own teachers. Following the work of others, showingthat disagreements between teachers…
Explores the question of why principals rate their schools more highly than do their own teachers. Following the work of others, showing that disagreements between teachers and principals stem mainly from disagreements on discipline, reports on results which show that views on disciplinary policy are the only factor which is strong enough to overcome the somewhat biased grading by principals. Concludes that, if a principal wants higher teacher morale and higher grading of their school, efforts must be made to develop greater congruence between teacher and principal expectations and actions on discipline.
The elementary school principal, the chief administrator at thelocal school level, occupies the boundary‐spanning role. One aspect ofthe principal′s role as boundary…
The elementary school principal, the chief administrator at the local school level, occupies the boundary‐spanning role. One aspect of the principal′s role as boundary spanner is to engage with parents. The principals′ interactions with parents in terms of their boundary‐spanning functions are described. Interviews of 113 suburban elementary school principals suggest they are concerned with buffering and bridging between the school organisation and their parental clientele as boundary spanners. When buffering, principals mediate between angry parents and their superiors at central office and moderate the impact of complaining parents on their schools. When bridging, principals aim at obtaining parental support through promoting public relations.
Investigates how high school department heads may play a role in the alignment of teachers with a principal’s vision for the school. A survey study based on a theoretical…
Investigates how high school department heads may play a role in the alignment of teachers with a principal’s vision for the school. A survey study based on a theoretical position of the high school as a loosely‐coupled system consisting of departments with distinct subcultures and department heads who are influential leaders is reported. As expected, principal components and multiple regression analyses suggest that behaviours of the principal which emphasise and reinforce the school vision, predict the extent to which teachers support the principal’s vision. However, the congruence of department heads and the principal, in terms of school vision, is a much stronger predictor of teachers’ support for the vision. To a lesser extent, stronger structural coupling between departments also contributes to teachers’ support of the school vision.
The purpose of this research is to use a collective responsibility theoretical lens to examine the work of three school principals as they focussed on school-wide…
The purpose of this research is to use a collective responsibility theoretical lens to examine the work of three school principals as they focussed on school-wide goal-setting processes to achieve valued student achievement goals. The tensions principals face in creating collective responsibility are examined so that these might be intentionally navigated.
Qualitative case studies of three New Zealand schools include data from interviews with principals, middle leaders and teachers. An inductive and deductive thematic analysis approach was employed.
Principals face four key tensions: (1) whether to promote self or centrally directed and voluntary or mandatory professional learning; (2) how to balance a top-down versus a middle-up process for accountability; (3) ways to integrate both educator and student voice and (4) the complexity of both challenging teachers' beliefs and providing support. These challenges seemed inherent in the work of developing collective responsibility and leaders tended to move along response continuum.
This research highlights the importance of being intentional and transparent with staff members about both the nature of these tensions and their navigation, and opens up further questions in relation to leader, and teacher perceptions of tensions in creating collective responsibility for achieving school-improvement goals.
An understanding of the tensions that need to be navigated can help leaders and other educators to take effective action, scrutinize the reasoning behind decisions, and understand the inherent challenges faced.
Leadership tensions in creating collective responsibility are explored and implications for leadership practice and learning considered.
Reports on a research project which investigated the preparation ofbeginning principals in Queensland primary and secondary governmentschools. Thirty‐six principals…
Reports on a research project which investigated the preparation of beginning principals in Queensland primary and secondary government schools. Thirty‐six principals completed a questionnaire, a return rate of about 80 per cent. Of these principals, 13 were surveyed early in the second year of their principalship, and 23 in August of their first year. Six of the first‐year principals were interviewed in the following month. Presents an overview of the findings, along with some general observations on their practical implications and recommendations for action.