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ERIC Number: EJ1101499
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-May
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2164-0246
Australian Catholic Schools Today: School Identity and Leadership Formation
Neidhart, Helga; Lamb, Janeen T.
Journal of Catholic Education, v19 n3 Article 4 May 2016
This article focuses on the challenge of faith leadership in Catholic schools. In particular, it reviews Australian research that has aimed to understand how principals conceptualize and enact their role as faith leaders. Consistent with American research, Australian research found that principals saw themselves as playing a leadership role in the evangelizing mission of the church by strengthening Catholic school identity and culture. At the same time, they were mindful of their limits with respect to their faith leadership capabilities. Moreover, the principals worried that the next generation of school leaders might lack the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to engage faith leadership in a changing social and cultural context. Consequently, they recommended faith leadership formation for teachers as well as principals, their deputies, and assistants. By situating these findings within the theoretical framework of symbolic interactionism, this article argues that, together, the current interest in Australia in Catholic school identity and leadership formation represents a positive development. However, there are also inherent dangers to the imposition of a generic Catholic school identity and a "one size fits all" approach to the leadership role. This article concludes by suggesting a way forward with the promotion of a new model for leadership formation that seeks to avoid these dangers.
Loyola Marymount University. School of Education 1 LMU Drive, University Hall Suite 1760, Los Angles, CA 90045. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A