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ERIC Number: EJ915390
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 72
ISSN: ISSN-0305-4985
The Lucid Loneliness of the Gatekeeper: Exploring the Emotional Dimension in Principals' Work Lives
Kelchtermans, Geert; Piot, Liesbeth; Ballet, Katrijn
Oxford Review of Education, v37 n1 p93-108 Feb 2011
Based on a secondary analysis of studies on Flemish primary schools, the article argues that the metaphor of the gatekeeper, on the threshold between the outside-school and the inside-school world, is a powerful frame to capture some of the particular complexities of principals' emotional experience of themselves and their working conditions. More in particular, the image allows for a more refined and in-depth understanding of the emotional and relational aspects in the position and role of the principal. Apart from depicting the working conditions of leadership in terms of the gatekeeper-image, the authors contend that the inevitable normative character of education contributes to a sense of vulnerability and emotionality in leadership. Two themes appeared to be prominent in principals' experience of their gatekeeper's position: first, being caught in a web of conflicting loyalties and second, the struggle between loneliness and belonging. Underneath these themes--it is argued--lies the issue of the principal's professional self in the particular school. The article concludes with suggestions for the training of (future) principals. (Contains 2 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium