Assessing Aspiring Principals Readiness for Principalship

Year: 2019

Author: Drysdale, Lawrence, Gurr, David

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Abstract:
The purpose of the paper is to identify current practice in assessing the readiness of aspiring principals. We collected data from 14 jurisdictions worldwide. We were interested to know from each jurisdiction who they identified as aspiring principals, and how they were identified. We also wanted to know what attributes were being assessed, how they were assessed, and how the results were used. Finally, we wanted to know in the opinion of experts if there were alternative attributes or ways of measuring the attributes that would better predict the readiness of perspective principals for the role.




Leadership is important in schools and the principal role is the one that has the most responsibility, expectation and opportunity to exercise leadership. It is therefore vitally important that those with the potential to be outstanding principals are identified early in their careers, and then supported to develop appropriate characteristics, qualities, skills and knowledge. There is little research that compares leadership preparation programs around the world.




The research study used a modified Delphi process that engaged with Australian and international education systems to explore how these systems assess aspiring principal readiness, how the assessments are used, and how the processes may be improved. In total we approached 10 Australian and 17 international respondents. Countries invited were Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.The study provides a valuable insight into who is identified as a perspective principal, on what criteria are they identified and how they are assessed as ready for the principalship in the different jurisdictions around the world.There was general agreement that aspirants need to be identified as early as possible in their career and then supported to develop the qualities needed to be a principal. Whilst there was agreement on the need to assess aspirant readiness for the principalship, there is less agreement about how to do this. Often a range of test methods were employed. Mostly these were supported by a variety of other sources. Whilethese processes can lead to licensure, this is not common around the world.The findings show it remains a challenge to fully prepare for the principalship. It appears that a combinationof preparation and post-appointment programs would be advantageous.The findings show it remains a challenge to fully prepare for the principalship. It appears that a combinationof preparation and post-appointment programs would be advantageous

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