23 SES 10 E, Principals and Salaries
Parallel Paper Session
In Europe, educational policies and education systems were largely conditioned by factors internal to individual countries until the extension of the European Union. Even today, due to cultural, religious, political, and other national and local patterns, there are still various differences among the education systems in Europe. However, during the last decades, European countries have adopted common features that are proposed by the European Union and other international and supranational bodies. (Daun 2011.) One evident trend in European education has for the last few decades been the policy of school autonomy. The policy movement became widespread in the 1990s and the trend still continues with some countries adopting and others expanding this type of school management. (Eurydice 2007.) Another significant trend in Europe has been the expansion of educational opportunities together with the increase of educational participation (Müller & Wolbers 2003). On the other hand, young people’s transition from education to work has become more difficult over the past few decades (e.g. Rinne & Järvinen 2011). Schools help pupils move on in their educational paths, monitor their progress and guide them towards the working life. Principals are some of the main actors in this transition process. The increased school autonomy has had many implications to the roles and objectives of school principals (Cranston 2002; Leithwood 2001; Moos & Møller 2003; Niesche 2010) which in turn affect many aspects of schools through the principles and values of the principals.
This study is part of the Governance of Educational Trajectories in Europe -comparative research project (GOETE). The mixed method study analyses access, coping and relevance of education for young people in eight European Union countries. In this sub-study the point of view is institutional, and the focus is on school principals’ views on issues related to pupils' transition and the means used by the schools in supporting the pupils.
Among other things, the questions examined by us include:
What are the levels of school autonomy and principals’ decision-making power in different European countries?
Who are the influential actors according to the principals?
How do the principals reflect, address and monitor pupils’ educational transitions?
Which support measures do the principals consider the most useful?
From the institutional and societal point of view, what are the biggest problems affecting school?
The countries are categorized based on the standardization and stratification of educational systems. The categorization was introduced by Allmendinger (1989). According to her, educational systems can be distinguished along the degree to which the quality of education (e.g. teaching resources, level of teachers’ expertise) meets the same standards nationwide (standardization) and the selection procedures within the educational systems i.e. the proportion of a cohort that attains the maximum number of school years provided by the educational system (stratification).
Allmendinger, Jutta, 1989. Educational systems and labor market outcomes. European Sociological Review 5 (3), 231-250. Cranston, Neil C., 2002. School-based Management, Leaders and Leadership: Change and Challenges for Principals. International Studies in Educational Administration 30 (1), 2-12. Daun, Holger, 2011. Globalization, EU-ification, and the New Mode of Educational Governance in Europe. European Education 43 (1), 9-32. Eurydice, 2007. School Autonomy in Europe, Policies and Measures. European Commission. Directorate-General for Education and Culture. Brussels: Eurydice, European Unit. Leithwood, Kenneth, 2001. School Leadership in the context of accountability policies. International Journal of Leadership in Education 4 (3), 217-235. Moos, Lejf and Møller, Jorunn, 2003. Schools and Leadership in Transition: the case of Scandinavia. Cambridge Journal of Education 33 (3), 353-370. Müller, Walter and Wolbers, Maarten H.J., 2003. Educational attainment in European Union: Recent trends in qualification patterns. In Walter, Müller and Markus Gangl (Eds.), Transitions from education to work in Europe. The integration of youth into EU labour markets, Oxford: University Press, 23–62. Niesche, Richard, 2010. Discipline through documentation: a form of governmentality for school principals. International Journal of Leadership in Education 13 (3), 249-263. Rinne, Risto and Järvinen, Tero, 2011. Dropout and completion in upper secondary education in Finland. In Stephen Lamb; Eifred Markussen; Richard Teese; Nina Sandberg and John Polesel (Eds.), School dropout and completion: International comparative studies in theory and policy, Dordrecht: Springer, 215–232.
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