Principals on L-plates: rear view mirror reflections

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Abstract

This paper aims to contribute to the literature on beginning the principalship by identifying and illustrating key challenges that novice principals encounter in their first year for which they would benefit from improved preparation. The paper is a synthesis of a decade of research focusing on the principal with the general aim of analysing ways in which principals can work more effectively within the realities of schools as highly complex organizations. Throughout this work, the narrative account has been used as the main approach for depicting principals' understandings of the contexts in which they find themselves and their interpretations of the experiences that confront them in their roles. A range of findings generated from the research as a whole has been refined into the conceptualisation of four distinct but interrelated challenges facing novice principals in exercising their roles. The paper proposes a conceptual framework that can be used as a heuristic tool for informing the preparation of principals, especially in the Australian context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)727-738
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Volume46
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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