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Leadership learning through challenging situations: Primary School Headteachers

Watts, Pauline (2012)
Ed.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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This study offers an understanding of the leadership learning of headteachers through an exploration of their practices and perspectives when dealing with challenging situations. The research methodology uses semi-structured interviews to capture the experiences of eighteen primary school headteachers as they describe the challenges they face and the way in which they learn from them. The findings show that primary school leadership is embedded in relationships which are complex and challenging. The strategies and coping mechanisms headteachers use to deal with challenges are similar and reflect the powerful influence of values, trust and emotional resilience.

The insights presented in this study should inform the future research agenda in educational leadership and identify inadequacies in the leadership development of school leaders. Strategies which enable headteachers to experience more planned and meaningful development are presented. These include formal coaching systems, the formation of meaningful networks and guided critical reflection on experiences. A framework for integrated leadership development, which supports the aspects of leadership acquired through real-life challenges, is also proposed. This should enhance those aspects of leadership which can be learnt through challenging situations and better equip headteachers to manage and lead their schools.

Type of Work:Ed.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Bisschoff, Thomas
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:LB Theory and practice of education
LB1501 Primary Education
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:3316
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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