International Profiles of the Principalship

Year: 1992

Author: Begley, Paul T., Campbell-Evans, Glenda

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports on three university sponsored projects carried out during the time period 1990-92 in the Canadian Province of Ontario, the Canadian Northwest Territories, and Western Australia. Each project involved the development of multi-level, situationally sensitive, profiles of school leadership practices by writing teams composed of 12 to 15 academics and practicing school administrators. The outcome was three documents, each depicting in a graphical manner, contemporary and regionally specific images of the principalship. Each profile portrays multi-dimensional images of practice, described behaviourally within developmental stages of growth leading to ideal practice as locally defined. In addition to the contrasting images of the principalship and the genuinely transformational experience of producing such profiles, the writing teams report as outcomes several uses for their profiles at the state, district, or school site levels. All three profiles are currently being used as a basis for developing situationally sensitive pre-service preparation courses for aspiring principals as well as in-service programs for incumbent school leaders. They may also be used at the district level as supports to strategic planning processes. Within individual schools, profiles of effective practice can be used as resources to support self-directed professional development or collegial coaching processes.