Advertisement

New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies

, Volume 54, Issue 2, pp 297–313 | Cite as

Keeping Things on Track: School Principals as Managers

  • Kerry Earl RinehartEmail author
  • Noeline Alcorn
Article

Abstract

Literature about education in New Zealand and internationally over the past 30 years has increasingly focused on the need for effective school leadership. In New Zealand a major Best Evidence Synthesis study (BES 2009) led to an emphasis on instructional leadership aimed at raising achievement. This emphasis has tended to undervalue management, linked to the status quo rather than change and improvement. However, extended interviews with rural primary principals revealed they saw management as crucial to responding to parental concerns, handling disruption, and keeping the school ‘on track’. Making use of local knowledge and taking advice, they held the core responsibility for an observable response. These principals believed that managing issues helped them build and sustain the trust of the school community, which was of value ‘next time’. Thus, aspects of management combine the relational and context-dependent work of school principals. Drawing on Mintzberg (1990) we argue that the recognition and valuing of management aspect of school leadership is crucial for principal effectiveness.

Keywords

Management School principals Community expectations Disruption 

Notes

References

  1. Alcorn, N. (2011). Meat in the sandwich: The impact of changing policy contexts and local management of schools on principals’ work in New Zealand 1989–2009. New Zealand Journal of Teachers’ Work, 8(2), 122–140.Google Scholar
  2. Bass, B. (1990). From transactional to transformational leadership: Learning to share the vision. Organizational Dynamics, 18(3), 19–31.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0090-2616(90)90061-S.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brinkmann, S. (2014). Doing without data. Qualitative Inquiry, 20(6), 720–725.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bryk, A., Sebring, P., Allensworth, E., Luppescu, S., & Easton, J. (2010). Organizing schools for improvement: Lessons from Chicago. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  5. Burns, J. M. (1998). Leadership. New York, NY: Harper and Row. (Originally published in 1978).Google Scholar
  6. Denzin, N. K. (1994). Evaluating qualitative research in the poststructural moment: The lessons James Joyce teaches us. Qualitative Studies in Education, 7(4), 295–308.  https://doi.org/10.1080/0951839940070401.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). Introduction: The discipline and practice of qualitative research. In N. K. Denzin & Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 1–32). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  8. Devine, N., Stewart, G., & Benade, L. (2018). Yesterday’s policies for today’s schools. New Zealand Journal of Educational Studies, 53(2), 161–163.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dewey, J. (1938). Experience and education. (Reprinted 2015) Kappa Delta Pi lecture series [no. 10]. New York, NY: The Macmillan Company.Google Scholar
  10. Duignan, P. (2012). Educational leadership: Together creating ethical learning environments (2nd ed.). Melbourne, Australia: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Duke, D. L. (2018). Judgment and the preparation of educational leaders. Journal of Research on Leadership Education.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1942775117752455.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Eacott, S. (2015). Educational leadership relationally a theory and methodology for educational leadership, management and administration. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.Google Scholar
  13. Earl Rinehart, K. (2017). Judging what they do: Formal, informal and self appraisal of New Zealand (rural) primary school principals. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  14. Eisner, E. W. (1976). Educational connoisseurship and criticism: Their form and functions in educational evaluation. Journal of Aesthetic Education, 10(3/4), 135–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eisner, E. W. (1997). The new frontier in qualitative research methodology. Qualitative Inquiry, 3(3), 259–273.  https://doi.org/10.1177/107780049700300301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Finley, S. (2003). Arts-based inquiry in QI: Seven years from crisis to guerrilla warfare. Qualitative Inquiry, 9(2), 281–296.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800402250965 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Grissom, J. A., & Loeb, S. (2011). Triangulating principal effectiveness: How perspectives of parents, teachers, and assistant principals identify the central importance of managerial skills. American Educational Research Journal, 48(5), 1091–1123.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Gronn, P. (2003). The new work of educational leaders: Changing leadership practice in an era of school reform. London, UK: Sage Publishing.Google Scholar
  19. Heifetz, R. A., & Linsky, M. (2002). Leadership on the line. Staying alive through the dangers of leading. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kegan, R., & Lahey, L. L. (2009). Immunity to change: How to overcome it and unlock the potential in yourself and your organization. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.Google Scholar
  21. Leithwood, K., Day, C., Sammons, P., Harris, A., & Hopkins, D. (2006). Successful school leadership: What it is and how it influences pupil learning. London, UK: DfES and Nottingham: NCSL.Google Scholar
  22. Ministry of Education. (2008). Kiwi leadership for principals: Principals as educational leaders. Wellington, NZ: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  23. Mintzberg, H. (1990). The manager’s job: Folklore and fact. Harvard Business Review, 68(2), 163–176. (Original work published 1975).Google Scholar
  24. Morris, J. (2014). The school leadership effect. The New Zealand education and scholarship trust. Wellington: The New Zealand initiative. Retrieved 21 Jan 2016 from https://nzinitiative.org.nz/dmsdocument/21
  25. Murphy, J. (1988). Methodological, measurement, and conceptual problems in the study of instructional leadership. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 10(2), 117–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Pierre, E. A. (2013). The appearance of data. Cultural Studies? Critical Methodologies, 13(4), 223–227.  https://doi.org/10.1177/1532708613487862.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Richardson, L. (1994). Writing. A method of inquiry. In N. Denzin & Y. Lincoln (Eds.), Handbook of qualitative research (1st ed., pp. 516–529). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  28. Robinson, V., Hohepa, M., Lloyd, C., & New Zealand. Ministry of Education. (2009). School leadership and student outcomes: Identifying what works and why: Best evidence synthesis iteration (BES). Wellington, NZ: Ministry of Education.Google Scholar
  29. Smyth, J. (2011). The disaster of the ‘self-managing school’—genesis, trajectory, undisclosed agenda, and effects. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 43(2), 95–117.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00220620.2011.560253.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stone, A. G., Russell, R. F., & Patterson, K. (2004). Transformational versus servant leadership: A difference in leader focus. Leadership and Organizational Development Journal, 25(3/4), 349–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Stronge, J. H. (1993). Defining the principalship: Instructional leader or middle manager? NASSP Bulletin, 77(553), 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Thrupp, M., & Willmot, R. (2003). Education management in managerialist times: Beyond the textual apologists. Maidenhead, Philadelphia: Open University PressGoogle Scholar
  33. Wylie, C. (2012). Vital connections: Why we need more than self-managing schools. Wellington, NZ: NZCER Press.Google Scholar
  34. Yukl, G., & Lepsinger, R. (2005). Why integrating the leading and managing roles is essential for organizational effectiveness. Organizational Dynamics, 34(4), 361–375.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© New Zealand Association for Research in Education 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Te Kura Toi Tangata Faculty of EducationUniversity of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations