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ERIC Number: ED444217
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000-Apr
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
The Role of the Principal and Responsibility for Improving the Quality of Teaching in Japanese Schools.
Bjork, Christopher
This paper examines the structure of administrative authority in Japan and America and explores how differing conceptions of the principal's role influence instructional guidance provided to teachers. In the United States, administrators are viewed as facilitators of a school's educational program and are expected to take an active part in professional growth. In Japan, however, principals are seen as managers rather than as directors of an instructional program. To understand these differences, 25 Japanese principals were interviewed. All of them emphasized the organizational facets of their positions over the educational responsibilities. The Japanese principal is more of a coordinator than a leader, whose primary responsibility is to maintain school harmony and ensure that the institution runs smoothly. Therefore, conflict avoidance ranks high on the principal's agenda so they do not press people to improve their performance or to reach specific professional goals. It is believed that if the principal creates a harmonious environment for teaching and learning, members of the community will naturally achieve excellence. Furthermore, the principal's location at the sideline creates a space for teachers to develop and publicly demonstrate their professional expertise, while encouraging faculty members to develop strong bonds with their teaching colleagues. (Contains 37 references.) (RJM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan