New Primary Leaders: International Perspectives

New Primary Leaders: International Perspectives


Edited by Michael Cowie


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  • Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 23mm | 544g
  • Publication date: 13 October 2011
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1441106871
  • ISBN 13: 9781441106872

Product description

International case studies of leadership in practice provide an overview of the 'lived experience' of new primary school Principals in different contexts. New primary leaders face significant challenges worldwide and this book brings together the range of those experiences and challenges for the first time. It includes interviews with primary school leaders in the early years of leadership in 13 different countries. Each chapter begins with an introduction by the researcher to the Principal and their local context before the Principal's own description of their experience as a new leader. The leaders discuss how they prepared for principalship, their experiences in the first year, the extent to which the job meets with their expectations and their hopes and fears for the future. The first and last chapters provide a comparative overview, exploring new principals' perceptions of key influences on schools and their communities, their reactions to the multiple, heightened and often conflicting expectations, pressures and challenges they encounter and the implications for principal preparation internationally. The voices of Principals from around the world provide a vivid and authentic picture of new school leaders in different contexts at the beginning of the 21st Century.

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Author information

Michael Cowie is Academic Co-ordinator of the Scottish Qualification for Headship in the Centre for Educational Leadership at the University of Edinburgh, UK. A former secondary school teacher, Michael was previously Senior Lecturer at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland and Director of the North of Scotland Headteacher Preparation Consortium.

Review quote

'These vivid narratives, from the remotest Inuit outpost in Canada to East Timor communities cutoff for months on end in the rainy season, provide a compelling read. They remind us of the profound impact of context and culture on what it means to lead a school, and how little of conventional wisdom 'travels'. In the most challenging and unpredictable of circumstances there is, however, one common theme -that leadership is a privileged opportunity to make a difference to the lives of children.' John MacBeath, Chair of Educational Leadership, University of Cambridge, UK

Table of contents

1. New principals: context, culture, preparation, induction and practice Michael Cowie; Part 1: Africa; 2. South Africa: 'It's about knowing what's right for your school and what's not' Kobus Menz; 3. Tanzania: Problems without solutions Brown Onguko; Part 2: Americas. 4. Texas: Guiding principles, technical skills and relationships Sarah Nelson; 5. Mexico: Being a 'wave maker' in a bureaucratic system Edith J. Cisneros-Cohernour, Jose Maria Garcia Garduno, Mtra. Gema Lopez Gorosave, Charles L. Slater; 6. Alberta: Connecting preparation and reality Charlie Webber; Part 3: Asia; 7. East Timor: 'Our school is our independence': school leadership and post conflict reconstruction Reynold McPherson; 8. China: 'They say the first year is the hardest' Xiao Liang; Part 4: Australasia; 9. Australia: At the edge of the silent centre: leading an isolated school Helen Wildy and Simon Clark; 10. New Zealand: 'You're on your own now': taking off the L Plates Reynold McPherson; Part 5: Europe; 11. Scotland: 'I want to do the best job that I can, so I worry': the responsibility, complexity and privilege of school leadership Michael Cowie; 12. England: 'OK today I'm doing this, this, this and this and then I get a phone call': navigating complex demands and expectations Megan Crawford; 13. Germany: 'I think I do a good job but I could do a better job': becoming and being a school principal Heike Schluter; 14. Conclusion: Comparing the Experience of Principals in Different Contexts Michael Cowie and Megan Crawford; References; Index.