26 SES 11 B, To Learn from Similarities and Variations- Country Specific Research on Principals Role. Work and Leadership 2
The recent year’s public debate on school result has put a focus on school leaders and their role in the school system. Researchers agree that principals and their work have impact on schools and, more important, students learning. Comparative researchers argue that the main perspectives are the same despite country. Schools face increased diversity, the tension of decentralization and central control needs to be handled, the roles and tasks of teachers are changing and school leadership is dependent on cooperation within and between schools.
At the same time principals’ prerequisites, what they do and how they impact their schools is closely connected to national policy and the local context. Principals need to understand the local culture and environment to become successful. This means that research needs to cover global trends and understanding as well as give examples of how context and policy can render to national and local differences. Researchers can be sensitive and attentive to history, culture, and current contexts for educational policy and simultaneously learn from rich bodies of earlier and present research and compare findings from different countries and contexts (Johansson and Bredeson, 2011). Even if research on principals is growing it is an emerging research field in many countries. The amount of research in the countries differs considerably.
This symposium will present research from a project where researchers in 23 countries have described the principals’ role, work and leadership during the 21th century in their country’s school systems as well as recent research on principals’ role from their specific country. By clearly describing the school system, national policy and the principals’ role the researchers will give examples from their country specific main findings. This symposium covers resarch from four countries France, Sweden, Noray and Austria
This approach promotes research published in other languages than English to get attention. It also makes it possible to connect how research on principals varies with the national and local context. The results and analyses also show what research areas are still missing both globally and local.
Together the overview covers a wide spectrum of both quantitative and qualitative methods as well as several theoretical viewpoints.
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