Educational Leadership Training Programs


The education everywhere recognizes the new technological, social and economical changes effected in the modern societies. Measures have already been successfully implemented to bring the educational policies and leadership to come out and perform up to the expectations of the fast changing phase of the most modern society. Educational policymakers have realized that the translation of these changes is possible through the professionalization of principals with an enhanced accountability (Ballet and Verbiest 2000). Though professional development in a teachers or principals career is said to be a lifelong and complex process, there could always be interactionistic, contextualised and constructivist short term programs aimed at developing knowledge, skills and attitudes of new educational leaderships.

New principals and their leadership role require extreme assistance during the early stage of their professions to get use to the challenges of the position and to come out as successful principals for their schools. This literature review accounts on the management instructional program presented to assist new principals as they transits to new school headship positions. The Program for New Principals signifies that the most challenges faced by new principals are mostly of leadership and the successful implementation of modern strategies in the provision of a more conducive teaching and learning environment. In line with this, the new principals felt that instructional and motivation program was an optimistic accumulation to the orientation skill for new proprietors. New principals carefully analysed constructive motivational education leadership and stressed that it is both an important and distinctive structure of expertise progress.

However, the new principals referred to modified assistance as one of the teaching form’s most important qualities. They further felt that the outcomes should update the improvement of a hypothetical description of management training for new principals.

School leadership is the solution to school enhancement, moreover, new principals are the leading edge organizers, the motivator of an educational institution through stimulating and showing the way by conducting or leading; imposing direction on their team towards achieving an innovative point of success.

In this new age of answerability where school leaders are expected to demonstrate bottom-line results and use data to drive decisions, the skill and knowledge of principals matter more than ever (Hess and Kelly 2005).

The importance of good leadership and management for the successful operation of schools and colleges has over the time been appreciated and accepted of late. The development towards self-management in many parts of the world has led to an improved positive reception of the importance of educational sector managerial know how for educational leaders.

More recently, there has been growing appreciation of the distinctions between leadership and management and an understanding that school principals and senior staff need to be good leaders as well as effective managers. The leadership element embraces notions of vision, values and transformational leadership.

In addition to this, managing capably is an important necessity but in some countries educational leadership is recognized to be even more significant. This paper will focus on the new principal educational leadership position in the society and tertiary institution. In line with this, the review will also deal with the role of a new principal since they are extraordinary leaders in the educational sector, who motivate and influence people, arouse excitement and increase or strengthen the best in individuals. No matter what leaders will set up orderly or logically to do- whether it’s creating plans or summoning teams to act, their success will depend upon on how they do it. Even if they get everything else correct, and fail in this first undertaking of motivating emotions in the right direction, nothing they will do will work (Cranston, 2007).

The educational method is intended to build up the knowledge, skills, and abilities in the accountability based governance’s setting. The most important outcome of an educational program is for participants to be able to share and communicate their new leadership skills in helping every organization in developing its accommodative ability.

Schools in particular can be tied to traditions in which they operate; thus, it can be easily swayed by its past origins. However, a strong intellectual challenges or adversity continuing education program that is integrated into all departments and service lines through the organization can present the mechanism for continuous learning and performance improvement.

Consequently, the general ideas of the school structure and behavior that compare to an earlier developed era are still employed in schools. It is necessary or obligatory for educational leaders or new principals to know these historical basis and also organizational structures that are more closely linked with the cultural demands and expectations of a post industrial society. New principals or Educational leaders in the present day should know that the schools they are leading are marked by constant change or efficient organizations action.

The roles of leadership in the educational sector are usually described as including planning and setting goals; overseeing and controlling operations; and regulating and assessment of organizational and interpersonal abilities. Good leaders also identify important themes, or a vision for the organization, that others can identify with and rally round. They (leaders or new principals) can balance the responsibility of their own decision making with the participation of others in decision making at all levels in an organization.

Several current books on literature on school leadership stresses other functions, roles, and characteristics of effective leaders, many of which are result of current changes in the political and social environment of education in general. Consequently, some of the most important changes which are affecting our schools and school leaders or new principals are the increased diversity in students and families and the current changes in the economy. When the new principal or leaders can understand a school structure they can scrutinize the essential structural components of a school district when it comes to their roles, specializations, and interrelations. Moreover they can coordinate the goals purpose, and functions of school organizations with the larger cultural and societal goals, norms and values.

Purpose of this review

The challenges faced by today’s school leaders are multifaceted. Studies have pointed out a few of them such as the challenges of students for greater achievements, shortfalls in budgets and increased inspection of schools (Eller 2010). Crow (2006) had stated that “higher expectations for…principals in the area of instructional leadership… increased public scrutiny of public schools, and the promotion of privatization as a public policy agenda, have significantly changed the role of school principal” (p 310). This statement shows the intensity of public expectation from a new principal to perform through chaos and be effective and focused throughout.

However, the situation suggests that new principals can not be placed in a building to lead on their own and discover through the process how to lead. Instead, new school leaders must have the needed support and guidance to navigate through the environment holding the hand of the given community of staff by satisfying their needs and successfully supporting the students. There can be three major classifications of leadership skills important to principals that seem to be worth specifying in principal training program. The areas, according to Daresh and Playko (1994), are difficulties in role clarification, lack of technical expertise and problems involving socialization in both career and personal fronts.

The purpose of this review, therefore, would be analyzing the principal training programs to evaluate their potential to provide a mastery over the role clarification and socialization along with the sophisticated written technical prowess.

At the same time, the new principals have multiple ways to learn and train themselves (Walker and Qian 2006). They could be learning from extensive reading, holding meetings with contemporary professionals and talking to friendly professionals are all different ways of gaining skills and expertise for the novice principals. Whereas, an initiative to develop these traits must be cultivated during their training program. The times are such that the principals themselves began to feel the pressure of being less prepared for the job. Such need of outstanding preparation calls for educational administration programs. The quality of principal training programs were once questioned when Levine’s (2005) survey found that the specialized courses required of principal candidates were disconnected from the realities of school management. Considering these facts, the present study would seek to see if the fundamentals of school management taught in the principal training programs are strategically formatted to suite the current requirements. How far are they trained in pedagogy and instructions? More importantly, the study would be determined to investigate the variations in the programs provided by institutions of different social and educational status.

The objectives of the literature review

The objective of this literature review will be, first of all to focus on the principle roles the principal training programs play in a successful career development of a principal. Thus the new principals can be more concentrating on the significant aspects of their career while they are under training. Grogan and Andrews (2002) point out that the more significant aspects of a school leadership are to be concentrating on students’ achievement, improving the schools atmosphere and addressing the day today challenges of marinating the school’s reputation upward.

This chapter will, therefore, review the existing literature to see the various responsibilities that are to be considered in nurturing a new leader to a school. In other words, this objective is achievable only through a thorough analysis of the skills and knowledge that are being taught in principal training programs.

This review uses a programs evaluation program to find the significant factors to be taught during the principal training program. The study was based on recently concluded school administrators programs. The participants’ feedbacks regarding program strength, their comments on need areas after they have been on real life situations and their recommendations for the program refinement along with the limitations of the programs the participants experience are analytically reviewed in this literature review.

Problem statement

One of most encountered problems of new principal in the educational structure is not the entry of the student only but whether the student will achieve their goals. However by examining and stressing on the key and important roles of effective educational leadership it provides a basis for understanding the basics of running a smooth and effective administrative system and how to nurture and solve student behavior problems. Consequently a global leader should be generally approved.

Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System

It has had a listing of 496 administrator preparation programs in the year 2004. The list had both elite and non elite programs including those in large and small scale. Reviewing the data from the above listed programs help to avoid the problem of concentrating only on large scale elite programs while evaluating the principal training programs (Steiner 2004). There were 20 educational Leadership Preparation Programs included in the pool of elite programs. They have awarded a large number of M.Ed degrees during their tenure. The following literature review will help leaders to better understand the significant components that would be essential in a educational leader development program.

The instructional categories of programs

There were seven categories in which the instructions of the programs were coded into. They were namely “managing for results, managing personnel, technical knowledge, external leadership, norms and values, managing classroom instruction, and leadership and school culture” (Hess and Kelly 2005 p.14). All of these seven categories have been stressed by the scholars of educational leadership. “Managing for Results” is explained by Tucker and Codding (2002) as “the crucial role of data in the drive for results, from the careful setting of targets to the collection, display, and analysis of implementation and outcome data to the use of data for setting goals, monitoring progress, allocating and reallocating resources, and managing the school program” (p. 37). This part of the course was dedicated to the implementation of programs in the school level, training skills to enable the candidate to bring organizational changes as a principal. The category included the special factors such as accountability, assessments, managing data, change and organizational structure along with decision making.

Managing the school especially with regards to the quality maintenance, restructuring the routines and disciplines and improving the performance are dwelt with in this category. The administrators’ survey 2003 revealed that 63% superintends think that raising the achievements of students is a biggest part of principal’s evaluation. Moreover, their initiative to move the successful principals to less reputed schools to improve performance of the schools shows how accountable are principles for students learning (Farkas, Jean and Duffett 2003). Creighton (2001) had stated earlier that holding principals accountable for the students learning would encourage principals to make use of data and sophisticated technical expertise in coordinating the curriculum activities.

HR Management Expertise

“Managing Personal” however, talks about the human recourse aspect of school leadership. It entrusts them to hire, place and assess the right personals in a most responsible way. Rebore (2004) notes in his well known human resource text book that “School districts are ethically bound to find the most talented and skilled people available to achieve their mandate of educating children” (p 93). School staff including teaching and non-teaching staff along with vice principal are presented in relation with the principal in this section of the training program. “These discussions, in fact, include issues like recruitment, selection, induction, teacher evaluation, clinical supervision, motivation, conflict management, professional development, and termination or dismissal” (Hess and Kelly 2005 p.15).

Hiring some one with right evaluation and assessing their future performance could one of the critical roles of any principal. About 15% of the principal training program is devoted to personal management and the training includes the recruiting procedures of selection and interview. It always needs to be considered as one of the key factors of management as a study in 1999 showed that the cost of wrong recruits were accounted to two dozen times higher than the failed employees initial salary (Smart 1999). However, it is yet to be determined if the allotted time for managing personals were enough for the trainees to be equipped to meet the challenges of the current HR pressures of the educational front.

Technological Expertise

The third category deals with “Technical Expertise”. Ferrandino and Tirrozi (2004) called for the change in the attitude towards technological approach of a principal saying, “Yesterday’s principal was often a desk- bound, disciplinarian building manager who was more concerned with the buses running on time than academic outcomes” (2004). The program on the technical knowledge factor talks about enabling principals to use the facilities, procedures and resources of the school to improve the students’ achievement. According to Hess and Kelly (2005) this part of the course deals with the process of funding the school, church and states, statistical analysis, managing the data base and so on…

The whole world wants to have principles to think of how to improve the school performance while the principals are occupied with running the school itself. What courses should the program concentrate on balancing this minute at the same time very complex reality? The intensity of these courses and the level of mastery needs to achieve in these factors are to be sought after.

Leadership in External Affaires

It is the other aspect of educational management stressed during the principal training programs. The school and community relational affairs, the politics in the school and attending to school and board affaires along with the dealings in the external constituencies are importantly stressed by scholars of school leadership (Kowalski 1995; Bagin & Gallagher 2001). Hoy and Miskel (2005), in one of their most popular management text book, state that “understanding the existing and budding environmental influences is of extreme importance to school administrators” (p 241).

Almost 8% of the course durations were dedicated to leadership instructions regarding external affairs. Understanding local politics and relating to local community were given much priority along with parental relations. These programs also carried instructions on small business skills.

Norms to Promote Effective schooling

The importance of having set norms and values to promote effective schooling has always been a point of discussion for long time (Cochran-Smith 2004). He further argued that since school and its procedure is a fact that has political significance for the future nation the people involved in education “deliberately claim the role of educator as well as activist based on political consciousness and on ideological commitment to diminishing the inequities of American life” (Cochran-Smith 2004 p 19).

This part of the program “exposed principal candidates to different educational and pedagogical philosophies, discussed debates about the nature and purpose of public schooling, and examined the racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic context of education. These instructions typically included lessons on stratification, multiculturalism, diversity, constructivism, inequality, equity, social justice, and gender” (Hess and Kelly 2005 p.15).

Leadership in Instructing

Training in the instructional qualities is the most commonly stressed aspect of principal training. The topics dwelt usually under this head are the organisational culture and leadership qualities in instructing. However, this particular aspect of leadership deals with many features of school management (DuFour 2002; King 2002). The instructional part of this training concentrates on the pedagogy and classroom management along with the curriculum. As far as the school culture is concerned, Deal and Peterson (1999) suggested that “School culture affects every part of the enterprise from what faculty talk about in the lunch room, to the type of instruction that is valued…to the importance of learning for all students” (p 9).

The special stress on this category is given to leading with a vision, school atmosphere, creating a school culture and so on. Somehow, the program at this point looks like creating particular point of views in potential principals. The courses at this stage appear to be social justice, leadership and another competent social and leadership aspects in profession. Deal and Peterson (1999) states that “the social climate and culture of a school influence the emotional and psychological orientation of its staff…. This is especially the case in schools that are optimistic, socially caring and supportive, and energetic” (p 8). This is just a conceptual example of the training that addresses the importance of an affectionate, fostering and encouraging school environment.

Meaning of educational management

Educational management is a field of studies and practice that has to do with the running of an educational organization. There are diverse and different interpretations of educational management. Educational management was defined as ‘the administrator for carrying out agreed plan of action’. He sets apart management from educational leadership which has ‘at its most vital the task of forming a plan of action and, where fitting, organizational changes’. Bolam further stated that ‘management is a set of activities directed towards being able to accomplish a task and capable of producing the intended result using organizations available source of aid or support to achieve what the organization wants to achieve’.

Management studies are involved with ‘what occurs inside the educational institutions, and also in connection with their surroundings. For example, the communities in which they are set and the administration bodies to which they are formally responsible’. In other words, managers in schools and colleges must encourage the participation of both internal and external participants in leading their institutions. The functions and goals intended for the management of schools and colleges is common when trying to understand different fundamentals to the subject. Some of the aspects of goal setting are:

  1. The value of initial anticipated outcome;
  2. Whether the goals are those of the organization or an individual
  3. How the institution’s goals are made.

Description of educational leadership

There is no one meaning given to leadership and Ellison, & Hayes, 2006 argues that ‘the understanding of leadership can be modified by individual bias. Dimensions of leadership may be described as a basis for developing a working definition. The property of leadership refers to common traits or characteristics shared by effective leaders. Characterized leadership as a way of thinking, a sense of spirit founded in overlapping environments-our own, that of the profession, and of the educational process itself. They further defined leadership as an interactive relationship between leaders and followers. Its cultural, gender, class, or ethnic components aside, leadership is best characterized by influence and identification.

Moreover, educational leaders have a challenge of educating a growing and diverse student population; they should be responsive to the needs of students and their families and to implement teaching and learning strategies that will prove effective for both students and parents.

Leadership as an influence

A central element in many definitions of educational leadership is that there is a process of influence. Most descriptions of leadership in the educational sector reveal the hypothesis that it entails a social authority procedure whereby intentional leadership is used by an individual (or group) over the other to organize the actions and relationships in an organization workforce. (Ellison, & Hayes, 2006). The use of ‘person’ or ‘group’ serves to emphasize that leadership may be exercised by teams as well as individuals. Their definition shows that the influence process is purposeful in that it is intended to lead to specific outcomes: ‘leadership then refers to people who bend the motivations and actions of others to achieving certain goals; it implies taking initiatives and risks’ see this influence as an organizational quality flowing through the differing internal network of organizations.

Leadership as value

Educational Leadership may be understood as ‘influence’ but this notion is not biased in that it does not explain or recommend what goals or actions should be sought through this process. However, certain optional concepts of the new principal leadership role focus on the need for leadership to be based on strong personal and professional values. ‘The main task of any new principal or leader is to bring people together around important issues’. It is also noted that leadership starts with the personality of the new principal or leaders, expressed in terms of his state of mind that is emotional, self-awareness and his sense of right and wrong (Hess, and Kelly. 2005).

Leadership and vision

Vision is becoming more considered as an important attribute of the new principal in relationship to the function of good leadership and to draw on work expressing clarity of ideas and having general application about leadership role of the new principal, which in turn directly relates to the four to vision of the new principal;

  1. Outstanding leaders have a vision for their organizations.
  2. Vision must be communicated in a way which secures commitment among members of the organization.
  3. Communication of vision requires communication of meaning.
  4. Attention should be given to institutionalizing vision if leadership is to be successful.

Structural Constructs of Organizations Organizational Components

Another approach to having the idea for organizational structure is to represent accurately or precisely the fundamental components of an organization. About this, Ellison, & Hayes. 2006 identified three basic elements of the educational sector of any organization. These are

  1. the operating core,
  2. the administrative component, and
  3. support staff.

The operating core

The operating core is comprised of those people who carry out the basic tasks of the organization.

The administrative component

The administrative component contains three parts-the strategic apex, the middle line, and the techno-structure. The strategic apex represents or expresses the top administrators who make sure that the organization operates systematically or consistently with its mission. About this, the techno structure is composed of administrators whose most important responsibilities are planning and training.

Support staffs

Support staffs are specialists who provide support services for the organization but operate outside the organization’s operating progress (or rate of progress) in work being done.

The table below illustrates the Structural Constructs of educational or organizations organizational Components.

Primary power used General Reaction Type of Organization Primary Goal Elites
Coercive Alienation Coercive Other Separation of officers from informal leaders subordinate to officers
Remunerative Calculation Utilitarian Economic Mixed
Normative Commitment Normative Culture Cooperation among officers and informal leaders High integration between leaders and subordinates

Leadership, culture and globalization

Leadership is a culturally and contextually enclosed process that means it cannot be disentangled with its larger environment – at levels ranging from organizational, to local community through to greater society. The cultural authority on leadership is marked by several dimensions or aspects, repeatedly complicated to distinguish, delicate and simple to ignore, – though underplayed by several people, and ignored by others.

The aim is to highlight the importance of the concept of societal culture to developing theory, policy and practice in educational leadership within an increasingly globalizing educational context. Recognizing the link between about cultural and contextual motivation can contribute to improvement in its practice. (Darling-Hammond, and Orphanos 2007) leadership For example, given the multi-ethnic nature of schools around the world, leaders nowadays shoulder responsibility for shaping their organizations in ways that value and integrate heterogeneous groups into successful learning communities for all. The successful leadership of such communities calls for very specific knowledge and skills attuned to ethnicity and multiculturalism.

Culture is a hard and complex theory to describe. For example, it is different from, but very closely linked to, society. Whereas society is simply the system of interrelationships connecting individuals, culture is the bond that joins people together through a common understanding of an accepted way of life that is distinguishable from other groups. Several key concepts related to the notion of culture can now be examined in more detail (Hess, and Kelly, 2005).

  • Multi-ethnic and multicultural

This term multi-ethnic is used to describe a school whose student/staff profile is made up of more than one race. The word multicultural school shows a school that is accomplishing some measure of intended purpose in creating a learning environment that conforms to the ultimate standard of multiculturalism. This may include a school community structure that accommodates culturally diverse students, a curriculum that adequately addresses issues of cultural diversity, and learning outcomes that indicate success for students of different cultures.

  • Cross-cultural

This term is used to show contrast across two or more societal cultures. Following developments in international business management and cross-cultural psychology, we believe that culture offers a fruitful basis for undertaking relative study. For example, the leadership of educational institutions in one country compared with that of another institution by adopting a cultural perspective of leadership in the societies (Spiro et al. 2007).

Consequently, globalization is seen as a mental sequence of events driven, mainly, by a collection of political and economical influences”. It touches all our lives, changing our social processes and institutions, even in how we relate to one another. It would seem that globalization, especially its secular and materialistic dimensions, is contributing to a more disengaged mode of existence for many people especially in the developed world.

While acknowledging that ‘’leadership can be determined by culture’’, we need to establish on whether there are leader conducts, qualities, and customary of way operation that are generally accepted and capable of producing intended results across cultures as adding to or subduing great leadership. The following findings indentifies six ‘’global leader behaviors that been supported without doubt through shared knowledge and values (Copland, & Knapp. 2006).

Charismatic/values-based leadership thinks of the future, one who can impart divine influence on mind and soul, willing to give a lot for the organization, is honest, and is firm and can be able to achieve what they set out to do successfully. Principals with this approach might set tactical aims to develop student learning.

  1. Team oriented leadership comprises a leader who can accomplish by bringing a team together, is one who can bring teachers and students of different races and ethnic groups together, is generous in providing help to others, and is capable of managing well. Principals with this style can be able to manage and bring teachers together to set goals or settle conflicts.
  2. Participative leadership is not domineering and is more involved. Principals with these approach form groups of teachers and parents to resolve problems of student behavior and assign power to give orders or make decisions to an assistant principal or teacher leaders.
  3. Humane-oriented this leader is not vain and but gentle and kind. Principals usually give credit for school’s achievements to teachers; they also can stand in for a teacher who falls sick in the middle of a school day.
  4. Autonomous leadership is a leader who stands alone. Principals in this manner might make decisions without consulting others and avoids interacting with teachers.
  5. Self protective leadership is leader who only cares about himself and his needs, is mindful of his/her status, always causing problems instead of solving. Principals with this style might blame teachers or students for school problems, fire assistant principals who are better than they are and lie rather than accept their mistakes.

Need for Improvement in the Programs

Any program that the new principals may undergo would be of great help to them. The programs based on knowledge, skills and applications could prove to be even more significance to the participants. The program must also provide ample time for the participants develop a networking among themselves and learn from it that will lead them to hold such initiatives in the future. The feedback related programs must go a step farther than the basic feels and achievements of the participants, thus enabling them to inspect themselves further to see their abilities and improve upon them.

The significance in Contemporary Education

The above observations with regards to the principal training programs are considered not only as skills that are needed by new administrators, but also skills that are needed for the successful upbringing of one’s profession as an education administrator. The program, somehow, is still a long way away from enabling those people, who have no pre-experiential knowledge of educational leadership, to take up and successfully march forward with the challenges of administration. As a whole, many programs that train principals assume accountability pressures to create a rise in the student achievement as a new role of instructional leadership. However, it should not lead back to a situation where Ripley (1997) stated that today’s principals are “pulled in different directions and some are breaking under the stress” (p 55).

At this juncture, the lesson to keep in mind is the programs are valuable and even crucial as far as some aspects of the challenging accountability ahead are concerned. At the same time one needs to develop a school of thought to employ the skills acquired during the training. The further practise must accompany the thought that “visionary companies are not exactly comfortable places….visionary companies thrive on discontent. They understand that contentment leads to complacency, which inevitably leads to decline” (Collins and Porras 1994 p 186). In short, the leadership in our days of accountability has become more complex, time consuming and more political, nonetheless, the principals are given clarity in their mission to accomplish and a firm moral support from the togetherness of teachers.


From these findings we can safely say that people expect a new principal or leader who is team oriented, and a leadership characterized with more collectivist cultures. The role of the educational leadership expected of the new principal has changed significantly over the past decade. A contemporary and popular term for important and effective school leadership is collaborative leadership, which is characterized by more flexible, problem solving style, built upon personal relationship.

School leadership may come from a variety of individuals functioning in a variety of roles and situations throughout the educational sector.

Educational leadership may be provided at every level of educational sector and may also originate from a variety of positions and roles. Leadership may also be situated at the educational building level and often the building principal is called upon to take responsibilities and many important leadership functions (Weindling, 2004).

However for leadership to produce more benefits, others such as assistant principals, supervisors, social workers, teachers and parents may provide or contribute to the leadership which can prove to be valuable to leader.

The way a school succeeds on an educational level depends on a leader who is dynamic, strong or visionary. He/she should be able to see the big picture, take charge of the situation and get the job done. To put the students needs ahead of the department’s needs, educational leadership must seek goodness of fit between educational leadership and its surroundings.

The revival of learning and culture in Education/Organizational Leadership as required by the new principal is not likely to take place if leaders are not enthusiastic to significantly change the way they lead, design, and operate. The Educational Leadership objective of the new principal must incessantly seek goodness of fit between the organizational Leadership and its environment, as well as internal goodness of fit between the academic staff, non academic staff, and practitioners. For this to come about, decentralized power, authority, autonomy, and accountability for what happens at the point of every service must be accounted. Moreover, power, autonomy, authority, and accountability must be organized into a code or system in a workable participatory management structure. Care processes must be fixed or set securely or deeply with the best available valid and reliable evidence and put the students needs ahead of the department’s needs.


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