ERIC Number: ED537694
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2001-Nov
Reference Count: 0
It's the Principal of the Thing!
Education Partnerships, Inc.
One of the fundamental truths of education is that effective schools are created and sustained largely through effective leadership. While it is possible for strong leaders to help a school overcome problems and weaknesses, rarely is it possible for a school to rise above its leadership in order to achieve success. Both education lore and research on leadership agree on one point: when it comes to creating effective schools, it's the principal of the thing that matters most. Beginning in the late 1970's, Ron Edmonds and Wilbur Brookover argued that strong leadership from the principal is the most important factor in schools that work--schools in which students learn and achieve. In the past twenty-five years, the definition of "strong leadership" has evolved from a traditional, take-charge style of influence to a more facilitative model. Despite this evolution, however, there are certain constants in the literature that define the effective principal. While these statements seem simple enough, each one is the tip of an iceberg of organizational, political, technical and educational complexity. Each of them interacts with all of the others in a web of tangled relationships that make the seemingly simple tasks of school leadership unimaginably complicated. Being a principal is not only the most important job in the school, it is also the most difficult...and often the loneliest. And it doesn't take a lot of research to come to those conclusions, either. All it takes is an hour in the principal's office.
Descriptors: Leadership Effectiveness, Instructional Leadership, School Effectiveness, Administrator Role, Principals, Leadership Responsibility, Educational History, Teacher Persistence, Work Environment, Leadership Styles
Education Partnerships, Inc. Web site: http://www.educationpartnerships.org
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: Education Partnerships, Inc. (EPI)