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Eğitim ve İnsani Bilimler Dergisi

Yıl 2010 , Cilt 1 , Sayı 1

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Mapping principal preparation in alberta, canada

Yazar kurumları :
Thompson Rivers University1, University of Calgary2
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This research project investigates the effectiveness of principal preparation programs for early-career principals using the question How useful are principal preparation programs to novice principals? This paper maps the formal and informal principal preparation opportunities available in Alberta, Canada. The analysis was part of the International Study of Principal Preparation designed to explore leadership development in 13 countries. The social, political, and economic context of Alberta is outlined to provide a backdrop for the education system in which principals’ practice. The study employed a mixed-methods design comprised of three stages: mapping of principal preparation programming using a range of information sources, case studies of school principals in the first three years of their appointments, and a questionnaire administered to a sample of early-career principals in each country represented by the ISPP research team. This article reports the first stage mapping of principal preparation programming in Alberta, Canada. Principal preparation in Alberta is described in terms of its intended audience, content, structure, deliverers, delivery modes, credentials, and pedagogy. Leadership development opportunities that are described include non-credit in-service, graduate certificates and graduate diplomas, master’s degrees, and doctoral degrees. Informal programs may be powerful but variable in terms of rigor. The laddering from graduate certificate-graduate diploma-master’s degree may provide an articulation pathway that more traditional programs preclude. Formal programs may link local, national, and international evidence more strongly than their informal counterparts. The mapping of principal preparation in Alberta, Canada, suggests that leadership development has evolved over the history of the province and nation and, therefore, so must leadership development programming. The mapping also suggests that principal preparation should attend more to the needs of all citizens in Alberta, not just the majority. There is a need for ongoing cross-cultural examinations of leadership development and its impact on principals’ identities and professional practices. The authors caution against “credential creep” in that more certificates, diplomas, and degrees do not necessarily mean better leadership without adequate attention to the social, political, and economic environments in which leaders practice. Also, the potential benefits of inter-institutional collaboration among organizations and across cultures should be explored in future studies. Finally, the authors do not suggest a one-size-fits-all model for leadership development but, rather, they offer a set of insights intended to inform other professional developers.

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