ERIC Number: ED414624
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Nov-1
Reference Count: N/A
Complexity and Capacity: A Survey of Principal Role Change in Washington State.
Portin, Bradley S.
This paper reports findings of a study that explored the changing role of school principals in Washington State. Data were collected during stage 1 through focus-group interviews at an annual conference of a Washington State principals' association. During stage 2, a questionnaire was sent to all members (n=2,431) of the Association of Washington School Principals (AWSP). A total of 840 responses were received, a 34.6% response rate. Of the 840 responses, 687 were from principals with 5 or more years of experience. The data suggest that fundamental shifts have occurred in the role of the principal in Washington's public schools. Principals face increasingly complex interactions and tasks while simultaneously encountering limitations to their capacity to lead their schools. The data show an increased complexity in the scope and elements of school change and school programs. However, the capacity of principals to lead and develop shared leadership communities is constrained by the overwhelming nature of added responsibility, continuous innovation overload, an unclear empowerment for true direction setting, and threats to morale. The challenges described by the data reveal an imperative for shared and empowered leadership, in which the center of power is passed around and on the move. Finally, the data illustrate the need to build the leadership capacity of the schools. (Contains 38 references). (LMI)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Washington