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Journal of Educational Administration
Number of Followers: 9  
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0957-8234
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  • The impact of job isolation on new principals’ sense of efficacy, job
           satisfaction, burnout and persistence
    • Pages: 315 - 331
      Abstract: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 56, Issue 3, Page 315-331, May 2018.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to test the model first presented by Federici and Skaalvik (2012) involving the relationships among four attributes of principals’ work: self-efficacy, burnout, job satisfaction, and intention to leave (persistence). The model is then extended to test the role of isolation as a precursor. Design/methodology/approach Path analysis is used to test the models, based on responses from an electronic survey of first-year principals in a southeastern US state, using established measures of each construct. Findings First, the results show support for the model presented by Federici and Skaalvik, supporting their original hypotheses. Second, the authors show that isolation is an important predictor of all four constructs in the model, and that when included as an antecedent factor, isolation represents the most potent predictor of new principals’ intention to leave. Research limitations/implications The analysis involves a sample of new principals from a single setting, thus limiting generalizability. Additionally, the exclusive use of self-reported data in this study raises the possibility that the results are influenced by single-source bias. Practical implications The findings showing that isolation is a significant predictor of work outcomes, such as efficacy and satisfaction, and an important predictor of persistence suggest that scholars and practitioners alike need to consider ways to understand and mitigate the sources of isolation experienced by school leaders. Originality/value Isolation is largely neglected in empirical studies of principals’ work. This study adds to what is known and raises questions about the study of isolation experienced by school leaders.
      Citation: Journal of Educational Administration
      PubDate: 2018-01-12T12:05:46Z
      DOI: 10.1108/JEA-07-2017-0078
  • Investigating teachers’ and school principals’ enactments of
           national testing policies
    • Pages: 332 - 349
      Abstract: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 56, Issue 3, Page 332-349, May 2018.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine teachers’ reported experiences, practices, and attitudes on the use of national test results in a low-stakes accountability context. Whether the stakes are high or low, teachers and school leaders have different experiences, knowledge, and beliefs concerning how to use national test results to benefit individual student learning. This paper addresses how teachers experience school leadership and policy requirements for using national test results in local schools. Design/methodology/approach This paper is part of a larger study conducted in a Norwegian educational context investigating school leaders’ and teachers’ enactments of policy demands via the use of national test results data. The sub-study reported in this paper is based on survey data from all lower secondary teachers (n=176) in one Norwegian municipality. Micro-policy perspectives and the concept of crafting policy coherence served as analytical tools. Findings Diversity between the schools was found in how teachers perceive the principals’ role. Practices and attitudes appeared restrained, somewhat conformed by, but still indifferent to the policy intention. However, there was a close relationship between the principals’ facilitation of national tests and the teachers’ practices of utilizing the results. Originality/value This study clarified how micro-policy works in local schools in a low-stakes context. A prominent difference was found between the policy intentions and local schools’ practice of using national test results.
      Citation: Journal of Educational Administration
      PubDate: 2018-01-29T11:25:22Z
      DOI: 10.1108/JEA-04-2017-0035
  • Academic culture: a promising mediator of school leaders’ influence
           on student learning
    • Pages: 350 - 363
      Abstract: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 56, Issue 3, Page 350-363, May 2018.
      Purpose This study is a quantitative exploration of a new construct the authors label as “academic culture (AC).” Treating it as generalized latent variable composed of academic press (AP), disciplinary climate (DC), and teachers’ use of instructional time, the purpose of this paper is to explore the potential of this construct to be a key mediator of school leaders’ influence on student learning. The study is guided by three hypotheses. Design/methodology/approach Responses by 856 elementary teachers from 70 schools to an online survey measured the three components of AC along with school leadership (SL). Provincial tests of writing, reading, and math were used as measures of student achievement (SA). Social economic status (SES) was used as control variable for the study. Data were summarized using descriptive statistics and correlations were calculated among all variables. Analyses included intra-class correlation analysis, regression equations, confirmatory factor analysis, and structural equation modeling. Findings Evidence confirmed the study’s three hypotheses: first, AP, DC, and instructional time formed a general latent construct, AC; second, AC explained a significant proportion of the variance in SA, controlling for student SES; and third, AC was a significant mediator of SL’s influence on SA. Concepts and measures of academic optimism (AO) and AC are compared in the paper and implications for practice and future research are outlined. Originality/value This first study of AC explored the relationship between AC and SA. Although at least two AO studies have included measures of distributed leadership, minimal attention has been devoted to actually testing the claim that AO is amenable to the influence of explicit leadership practices (as distinct from enabling school structures) and is a powerful mediator of SL effects on student learning. Addressing this limitation of AO research to date, the present study included a well-developed measure of leadership practices and assessed the value of AC as a mediator of such practices.
      Citation: Journal of Educational Administration
      PubDate: 2018-04-11T02:55:03Z
      DOI: 10.1108/JEA-01-2017-0009
  • Examining the architecture of leadership coaching
    • Pages: 364 - 380
      Abstract: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 56, Issue 3, Page 364-380, May 2018.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to identify the coaching structures that aspiring principals associate with developmentally consequential coaching interactions; identify structural features/functions/attributes that shape a structure’s developmental utility and use; and consider how a multifarious coaching structure might advantage the learning experiences of aspiring principals. Design/methodology/approach This qualitative study included multiple interviews with two cohorts of aspiring principals (n=20) from one preparation program and with their leadership coaches (n=5) and was framed using the theories of social capital and networks, situated learning, and distributed cognition. Findings The authors identified eight coaching structures that aspirants identified as consequential to their learning and development. The authors identified four structural features/functions/attributes that shape a structure’s developmental utility. The authors identified three factors that contribute to the developmental utility of this multifarious coaching model. Research limitations/implications This study includes a relatively small participant sample –70 percent of the aspiring principals from two cohorts within one preparation program. Data do not include direct observations of coaching interactions within the context of individual coaching structures. Practical implications The findings suggest that the structuring of leadership coaching is a critical consideration for those designing leadership coaching programs. This multifarious structuring of leadership coaching created three developmental affordances. Originality/value This paper generates new knowledge for the field of principal preparation related to the structuring of leadership coaching and ways in which structuring can shape aspirant learning experiences. These findings are likely to also be instructive to those interested in coaching more generally.
      Citation: Journal of Educational Administration
      PubDate: 2018-03-26T10:58:40Z
      DOI: 10.1108/JEA-05-2017-0049
  • Subversive leadership and power tactics
    • Abstract: Journal of Educational Administration, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose Principals’ leadership has become a subversive activity that is carried out strategically to challenge and disrupt the status quo and resist policies and practices that are counterproductive to their work. The purpose of this paper is to reveal subversive tactics principals use in pursuit of justice and equity in schools and identify challenges and risks associated with their subversive leadership practices. Power tactics were used as a conceptual framework to guide the analysis of subversive activities by school principals. Design/methodology/approach This qualitative study focuses on 18 elementary and secondary school principals from six district school boards in the Metro Vancouver area who participated in the semi-structured interviews on their practices that epitomize different tactics in response to increasing demand and accountability. Findings The power tactics identified in this study illuminate many of the dilemmas principals face in their work and demonstrate the various ways principals exercise their political acumen to “act strategically to determine which tactics to use, when, and with whom.” In exercising ethics of subversion and critique, participants are more likely to use soft, rational, and bi/multilateral rather than hard, non-rational, and unilateral power tactics. Such tendency reveals their concern about causing relational harm and shows their strategic avoidance of direct confrontation. Research limitations/implications Considering the limitations on the sample size and the research context, more research is needed to examine to what extent subversive practices are exercised and how they play out in different contexts. Originality/value The study shows that leadership involves upholding morals and values, even if this means having to use subversive practices to ensure inclusive, equitable, and just outcomes.
      Citation: Journal of Educational Administration
      PubDate: 2018-04-10T08:24:09Z
      DOI: 10.1108/JEA-07-2017-0081
  • An exploration of preferred teacher characteristics and hiring tools in
    • Abstract: Journal of Educational Administration, Ahead of Print.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to answer the following research questions: what characteristics do key Belizean educational leaders value in teacher applicants and why' What hiring tools do they use to ascertain whether teacher applicants have the characteristics they prefer' Design/methodology/approach The authors utilized a mixed-methods approach drawing upon three data sources – face-to-face interviews with Belizean educational leaders, field notes, and government documents. A card sorting activity of applicant characteristics and tools was embedded into the interview. Findings Informants preferred motivation, caring, subject matter knowledge, and teaching skills. Intelligence was perceived as a potentially negative characteristic unless coupled with other characteristics, such as strong teaching skills, motivation, and caring or the umbrella of other characteristics, such as content knowledge or university training/credentialing. Professional characteristics, such as where one went for teacher training and academic performance, were perceived as having less relative importance than personal characteristics. Least important were applicant demographics. Consistent with the extant literature, Belizean informants perceived the interview, evidence of prior experience, and certification as the most important tools in vetting and hiring applicants. Research limitations/implications The exploratory study is limited by the small sample of informants, but provides insights into preferences for applicant characteristics and hiring tools in an understudied international context. This study informs future research that may seek to survey representative samples of various stakeholder groups (i.e. general managers and principals) for their preferences in applicant characteristics and hiring tools from across Belizean schools and educational providers. Originality/value The study adds to limited research on preferred teacher characteristics among educational leaders responsible for hiring and/or working with teachers and to the limited international educational leadership research.
      Citation: Journal of Educational Administration
      PubDate: 2018-04-03T10:04:07Z
      DOI: 10.1108/JEA-05-2017-0051
  • Brokering, buffering, and the rationalities of principal work
    • Pages: 262 - 276
      Abstract: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 56, Issue 3, Page 262-276, May 2018.
      Purpose Brokering and buffering represent two ways in which principals may respond to hyperrational elements of policy demands in the current era of accountability. The purpose of this paper is to examine how some principals broker more efficient, measurable, and predictable evaluation practices for teachers and others buffer their teachers from inefficient, immeasurable, and unpredictable aspects of policy. Design/methodology/approach Qualitative data were obtained from 37 school principals and 363 teachers across 12 districts participating in a new teacher evaluation policy in one state of the USA. Principal interviews and teacher focus groups were conducted at the beginning, middle, and end of 2012-2013. Transcripts were coded to identify hyperrational elements of the policy and principals’ brokering and buffering practices. Findings All principals described elements of the new evaluation policy as inefficient, incalculable, or unpredictable – hallmarks of hyperrationality. Principals brokered efficiency by designing schoolwide parent goals and centralizing procedures; brokered transparency of calculation methods and focused teacher attention on measuring effort, rather than outcomes; and encouraged collective sensemaking to facilitate predictable procedures and outcomes. Principals buffered teachers by de-emphasizing the parent-based component; minimizing the quantitative nature of the ratings; ceding responsibility over calculations to district leaders; and lowering expectations to make ratings controllable. Originality/value The paper provides new understanding of principals’ strategic leadership practices, which represented rational responses to hyperrational policy demands. Therefore, the paper includes recommendations for principal preparation, district support for policy implementation, and further research on principal practice.
      Citation: Journal of Educational Administration
      PubDate: 2017-11-24T11:28:20Z
      DOI: 10.1108/JEA-10-2016-0129
  • Principal influence in teacher hiring: documenting decentralization over
    • Pages: 277 - 296
      Abstract: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 56, Issue 3, Page 277-296, May 2018.
      Purpose Over the past decade, policy researchers and advocates have called for the decentralization of teacher hiring decisions from district offices to school principals. The purpose of this paper is to document the trends across two and a half decades in principals’ reported influence over teacher hiring decisions in the USA and explore how and whether principal influence varies systematically across contexts. Design/methodology/approach Regression analysis with secondary data using seven waves of nationally representative data from the Schools and Staffing Survey. Findings Principals report increased influence over the 25 years that the data span. While principals of urban schools were much more likely to report having less influence over teacher hiring compared to their non-urban counterparts in the late 1980s and early 1990s, their reported influence increased more than that of other principals. Research limitations/implications Empowering principals as primary decision-makers assumes that they have the best information on which to make hiring decisions. At the same time, other research suggests that local teacher labor market dynamics contribute to the inequitable sorting of teachers across schools. This study raises questions regarding the implications of the increased influence of principals in teacher hiring on equity of access to quality teachers across schools. Originality/value This is the first study to explore whether and how principal influence in teacher hiring decisions has changed over time.
      Citation: Journal of Educational Administration
      PubDate: 2017-12-06T02:11:18Z
      DOI: 10.1108/JEA-05-2017-0061
  • The complexity and contradictions of Finnish superintendents’ work
    • Pages: 297 - 314
      Abstract: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 56, Issue 3, Page 297-314, May 2018.
      Purpose The purpose of this paper is to explore the governance of educational reform, as an interpretive process – “interpretive governance” – through a case study of five superintendents living in a predominantly Swedish-speaking region in Finland. Design/methodology/approach To foreground superintendents’ perspectives on reforms as simultaneously reflective and constitutive of governance processes, the research applies and extends Rhodes’ (2012) notions of “network governance,” “meta-governance” and “interpretive governance.” Interpretive governance, an underresearched area, is construed as particularly important for developing better insights into how school reform is understood by key actors involved in its enactment. Findings The research identifies what are described as three “deliberative” dimensions of interpretive governance; these modes of governance are elaborated as “dialogic,” “directive” and “defensive” in nature. Originality/value The study reveals senior educators’ interpretations of governance as multifaceted, and argues that these complex modes of deliberation need to be taken into account to better understand how school development is understood and enacted in municipal and school settings.
      Citation: Journal of Educational Administration
      PubDate: 2017-11-23T01:46:30Z
      DOI: 10.1108/JEA-06-2017-0066
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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Fax: +00 44 (0)131 4513327
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