Outlining the research design of a relational project on principals' time use

Year: 2016

Author: Eacott, Scott

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Philanthropic and government agencies are increasingly investing considerable resources on developing school leadership, typically, though not always equated to the principal (Spillane & Zuberi, 2009). Within this broad agenda principals’ time use has emerged as a serious problem in an era of reported declining standards and student outcomes and fiscal pressures. This paper responds to questions at #AARE2015 that the relational research program (Eacott, 2015) is little more than theoreticism (theory for theory’s sake) with limited, if any, empirical utility and more recent commentaries (Crawford, 2016; Oplatka, 2016; Riveros, 2016; Wallin, 2016), by outlining the design and rationale for the Principals’ Experiencing Time (PET) pilot project. The goal of this paper is to translate the argument of the “Sketching a relational approach to principals’ time use” paper into an empirical project. Significantly, it will subject the project design to rigorous and robust critique in the interests of advancing this generative research program. To that end, the audience will be asked to think with, through, and where necessary against my argument for the purpose of advancing scholarship and knowledge frontiers.