ERIC Number: ED354579
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Structural Change, Professional Change: The New Zealand School Principal.
Cusack, Brian O.
The New Zealand education structures were reorganized on a national scale in the late 1980s. In 18 months, a 100-year-old education system was radically restructured to create new administrative structures, new career paths, and new professional expectations for personnel. This paper summarizes these structural changes, reviews research reports characterizing the nature of professional change for educational administrators and managers, discusses emerging issues, and elaborates a framework for professional values. Restructuring was achieved by central agency retention of policy controls and by devolution of institutional responsibility as close as possible to the communities and people served. Structural change led to changes in the nature and control of professional activity. Principals overwhelmingly approved these changes, but found them fast, chaotic, traumatic, and exhausting. The employee relationship changed as all school principals went into contracts, the board of trustees became the employing authority, and the "hands-off" style of leadership emerged. Two contentious issues, managerialism versus professionalism and instructional leadership versus credentialism, are discussed, along with a new values framework for principals requiring public accountability, community involvement, longer work hours, instrumental control, and entrepreneurial management skills. It is uncertain whether the changes will genuinely improve children's educational experience. (Contains 18 references.) (MLH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand