ERIC Number: ED455555
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Apr
Principal Succession: A Case Study.
Jones, Jeffery C.; Webber, Charles F.
Principal succession is misunderstood and underutilized as a means of affecting dynamic renewal in school communities. Previously, the replacement of a principal was examined solely through the experiences of principals and teachers. This paper reports on a case study that added the previously neglected perspectives of students, support staff, and parents. The data compiled during the study emerged from personal interviews with the departing principal, the incoming principal, teachers and support staff, parents and children, plus examination of relevant school documents. The study revealed that principal succession affects all members of a school community and that all stakeholders contribute to the outcome of the succession. Stakeholders experienced various stages concerning principal succession, involving fear, detachment, expectation of change, enchantment, and disenchantment. Interestingly, children were not consulted regarding their hopes for a new principal, and the possibility that they might have been affected by a transition of principals was not considered. Instead, they were invited to participate in rituals of farewell that the teachers and parents controlled. Understanding the existence of significant variables can assist educational leaders in shaping the outcome of principal succession experiences. Principal succession should not be viewed as a single, principal-centered event. Effective succession is dependent on skillful facilitation of the powerful relationships among the many dimensions of school culture and organization. (Contains 25 references.) (DFR)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).