Moving towards, into and through principalship: developing a framework for researching the career trajectories of school leaders

Stevenson, Howard (2006) Moving towards, into and through principalship: developing a framework for researching the career trajectories of school leaders. Journal of educational administration, 44 (4). pp. 408-420. ISSN 0957-8234

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Full text URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/09578230610676604

Abstract

Purpose - The paper seeks to develop a conceptual framework capable of informing future research into beginning principalship in diverse cultural contexts. Design/methodology/approach - Based on recent literature, and specifically drawing on contributions to this Special Issue, the paper explores the relationship between externally generated pressures and tensions facing beginning principals and their influence on principal socialisation and development.
Findings - The paper identifies tensions between increasing pressure on schools to meet a diverse range of social objectives and a context of high-pressure accountability, limited resources and increasing institutional and systemic complexity uncertainty. Beginning principals face the difficult task of having to reconcile these tensions and in some contexts there is emerging evidence of this impacting on a crisis in principal supply. The paper argues that if systemic problems of supply are to be addressed educational researchers need to develop more sophisticated ways of understanding what factors shape individuals' career paths as they move towards, into and through principalship. One such approach is discussed that integrates the concepts of personal socialisation, professional identity and career trajectory and links these to wider contextual issues. Originality/value - The paper presents a conceptual framework to underpin future research into the early years of principalship.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Purpose - The paper seeks to develop a conceptual framework capable of informing future research into beginning principalship in diverse cultural contexts. Design/methodology/approach - Based on recent literature, and specifically drawing on contributions to this Special Issue, the paper explores the relationship between externally generated pressures and tensions facing beginning principals and their influence on principal socialisation and development. Findings - The paper identifies tensions between increasing pressure on schools to meet a diverse range of social objectives and a context of high-pressure accountability, limited resources and increasing institutional and systemic complexity uncertainty. Beginning principals face the difficult task of having to reconcile these tensions and in some contexts there is emerging evidence of this impacting on a crisis in principal supply. The paper argues that if systemic problems of supply are to be addressed educational researchers need to develop more sophisticated ways of understanding what factors shape individuals' career paths as they move towards, into and through principalship. One such approach is discussed that integrates the concepts of personal socialisation, professional identity and career trajectory and links these to wider contextual issues. Originality/value - The paper presents a conceptual framework to underpin future research into the early years of principalship.
Keywords:principals, Career development, Work identity, Socialization
Subjects:X Education > X300 Academic studies in Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:994
Deposited By: Jill Partridge
Deposited On:24 Jul 2007
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:15

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