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ERIC Number: EJ1403126
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2023
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
EISSN: EISSN-2642-2344
Cultivating Leadership Identity: Exploring the Motivations and Experiences of Aspiring School Leaders
Jamie Kudlats; Jillian La Serna
European Journal of Educational Management, v6 n3 p179-189 2023
We know that school principals are critical to school success and must have the appropriate knowledge, skills, and dispositions to lead effectively. However, research shows that identifying these potentially effective leaders is difficult. Furthermore, little is known about the motivations and experiences of aspiring school leaders. This study, conducted at a university in the Southeast United States, aims to understand better the lived experiences and motivations of aspiring public and private school leaders enrolled in graduate principal preparatory programs. Through phenomenological document data analysis of 38 written narratives from 19 participants, the authors revealed several common experiences contributing to participants' leadership identity development: early life leadership experiences, exposure to models of leadership, and leadership opportunities in their professional lives. Findings also support existing literature on the altruistic motivations of school leaders. Finally, the authors discuss implications centered primarily on growing the principal pipeline, suggesting a focus on youth/student leadership opportunities and teacher/staff leadership experiences.
Eurasian Society of Educational Research. 7321 Parkway Drive South, Hanover, MD 21076. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A