Opportunities and challenges for taking a distributed perspective: Novice school principals' emerging sense of their new position

James P. Spillane*, Alma Harris, Michelle Jones, Katie Mertz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article examines how novice principals think about and understand their new leadership role, exploring the ways in which their understanding enables or constrains taking a distributed perspective to school leadership. The article analyses the work of the school principal through the eyes of the novice principal, identifying aspects of their emerging sense of the job that appear to enable and constrain them taking a distributed approach to leadership. The analysis shows that a novice school principal's work involves certain tensions, which are not only a function of the individual choices of those who assume the principal position, but also are inherent in the principal's position itself. The article concludes by showing that novice principals experience the nature and intensity of these tensions differently depending on how the school in which novices assume their leadership posts is situated in the institutional sector.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1085
Number of pages18
JournalBritish Educational Research Journal
Volume41
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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