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Societies 2015, 5(2), 537-565; doi:10.3390/soc5020537

Complexity and Volume: An Inquiry into Factors that Drive Principals’ Work

1
Faculty of Education, Western University, 1137 Western Rd., London, ON N6G 1G7, Canada
2
Faculty of Education, Department of Educational Studies, The University of British Columbia, 2125 Main Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z4, Canada
3
Department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, 252 Bloor Street West, Toronto, ON M5S 1V6, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Kenneth Leithwood and Jingping Sun
Received: 30 March 2015 / Revised: 15 May 2015 / Accepted: 18 May 2015 / Published: 2 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue How School Leadership Influences Student Learning)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [297 KB, uploaded 11 June 2015]

Abstract

Background: The work of contemporary school principals is intensifying in terms of its complexity and volume. Many factors moderate and drive such work intensification. This study aims to understand what and how factors interact to complicate principals’ work. Methods: Focus groups and an online survey were used for data collection. Three focus group sessions with eight principals were conducted to help develop and refine the online survey. The survey covers 12 key areas in principals’ work and was distributed among the members of Ontario Principals’ Council. Descriptive statistics, correlation and factor analysis were conducted on survey results. Results: The study shows that there are many key areas that moderate principals’ work, such as administrative duties and responsibilities, jurisdictional policies, external influences, partnerships, and challenges and possibilities. School principals are experiencing increased expectations at work in terms of the number of tasks they are expected to undertake, the duration of time they are required to complete those tasks, and the many challenges they face at their work. Conclusions: Principals’ choice of leadership approaches and practices is subject to factors that exist within and beyond schools. Such factors moderate the way that principals carry out their work and limit their choices in exercising their professional autonomy. View Full-Text
Keywords: principals’ work; school leadership; moderating factors; instructional leadership; budgeting; partnerships; policies; technology; changing student demographics; labour issues principals’ work; school leadership; moderating factors; instructional leadership; budgeting; partnerships; policies; technology; changing student demographics; labour issues
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Pollock, K.; Wang, F.; Hauseman, D.C. Complexity and Volume: An Inquiry into Factors that Drive Principals’ Work. Societies 2015, 5, 537-565.

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