Principal support : a personal construction? : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Education (Adult Education) at Massey University
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The aim of this work was to find new approaches to supporting principals to be the ‘best they can be’ using individual principals’ own ideas of what support for principals does, could or should look like. Reflection was used as a research tool throughout as it offers opportunities to consolidate assumptions, to change our minds and rethink our assumptions, to synthesise new ideas with existing knowledge and come with up fresh perspectives to take up, reflect upon and act or not, to produce change, or not. The literature review having demonstrated that much is already known about what forms support for principals ought to take, this work became a vehicle for the voices of eight principals in Aotearoa/New Zealand each of whom after reflection provided accounts of their own experiences regarding support. Justified by the viewpoint that “originality” is “often buil(t) on ideas that others have already written about, extending an argument … … or modifying a point of view “Clark (2007, p.12), the investigation focussed on the data presented by individual principals juxtaposed at times with existing literature to determine if individual accounts might provide new perspectives on how provision of support for principals might enhance individual wellbeing. In concluding a number of recommendations were made for further research, both about support for principals and about collaboration between government departments to enhance services in schools.
School principals, Leadership support, Educational leadership