ERIC Number: ED406750
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Challenging Managerialism: Women Establishing a Co-Principalship in a Primary School.
Court, Marian R.
In New Zealand the rhetoric of educational administration reform has claimed that local school management will lead to improvement in the areas of efficiency, effectiveness, and equity. In addition, the role of the school principal has been a significant site of contest and struggle. This paper presents findings of a ongoing ethnographic study that examined women's initiations of collaborative coprincipalships in New Zealand primary schools. The paper describes how three female coprincipals in one school handled dilemmas within the contradictory environment of "centralised decentralisation." Issues of accountability emerged as significant as the three principals and their board radically reconstructed traditional and managerial notions of the principalship. Data were obtained through interviews with principals, board chairpersons, board members, teaching and support staff, parents, students, and representatives of the Ministry of Education, the School Trustees Association, and the primary teachers union. Observation and document analysis were also conducted. The school's co-principalship was so successful that when two principals left in 1996, the board decided not to revert to a single partnership. In most cases the coprincipal model in primary schools in Aotearoa and New Zealand has been taken up mostly by women administrators, rather than by men. However, the finding does not lend itself to an essentialist view of women's leadership qualities, which asserts that all women are collaborative. Mutually supportive partnerships were developed between the coprincipals and male chairpersons or male board members. (Contains 83 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New Zealand