This work represents a publishing event in education research.
Genuinely groundbreaking, it is the result of longitudinal research
from five nations over five years. The authors set themselves an
unprecedented task: to analyze how it is that successful school
principals sustain positive outcomes over a significant period of
time. To find out, they initiated the International Successful
School Principal Project (ISSPP) assembling 30 multinational case
histories and numerous comparative analyses. In doing so, they
recorded fresh perspectives on the influence school principals can
have on their schools, the quality of teaching in their classrooms,
and student outcomes. Revisiting the subject schools in 2007, they
found many principals still in place, having steered their
organizations through various minefields of political, governance
and educational reform.
As the most penetrating longitudinal investigation of the
subject, this research has unearthed fascinating new insights into
school leadership that add real substance to the sum of our
knowledge. It incorporates data from educational systems in
Australia, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, England and the USA. One key
finding is that while all principals delegate a range of leadership
tasks, successful ones distribute responsibility on a case-by-case
basis founded on personal assessments of their staff as well as on
organizational and policy contexts. The research also demonstrates
that successful principals maintain close communication with their
staff and the wider school environment, and that they are adaptive,
maximizing the opportunities presented by new political contexts
and expectations, yet without losing sight of their school 's core
moral and ethical principles. The volume 's international thematic
analysis has allowed comparative conclusions to be drawn on what
the principals do to sustain and foster pedagogical and
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