The Principal's Role in Kindergarten to Grade 2 Education

Year: 2001

Author: Boardman, Margot

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The role and impact that a principal has on the educational provision within the school cannot be underestimated (Hallinger & Heck 1996), as he/she needs to be a positive role model in leading others (Anderson 1998) in the day- to-day operation of the school. However, limited research has been completed in respect to the specific role a school principal undertakes in the Kindergarten to Grade 2 (K-2) sector of a primary school. This important role, undertaken by principals in the K-2 area of education within Tasmanian schools, was considered in a research study by Boardman (1999). The perceptions of K-2 teachers (n=245) and their principals (n=30) were sought concerning the role, and primary leadership tasks, of the school principal in K-2 education. Results indicated a lack of congruence between teachers' and principals' responses regarding the role of the principal in K-2. Furthermore, teachers displayed a lack of understanding of the nature, as well as the diversity and complexity, of the tasks completed by the principal. Enhanced communication and interest between K-2 teachers and principals is strongly purported as an integral starting point in developing a more collaborative understanding of the leader's role.