Purpose – This article aims to set the scene for this Special Issue on beginning principals and to inform one's understanding of how new principals manage their work lives to make a difference in their schools. Design/methodology/approach – Based on recent literature on beginning principals, the paper draws together and analyses issues encompassing principals' formal preparation, recruitment, licensure and socialisation. Findings – This article outlines the broader context that frames the lives of beginning principals across societies. It does this through focusing on three fairly general topics: the current expectations of principals and potential principals, which also touches on a shortage of principal candidates in some societies; the life of beginning principals, including strategies suggested by research for “surviving” those hectic first years; and issues related to principals' preparation and learning. These topics encapsulate the focuses of the articles that follow. Originality/value – The paper contributes to the understanding that the quest for beginning principalship cannot be restricted by national or societal borders; it is one that calls for greater international cooperation and insight.
Journal of Educational Administration – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 2006
Keywords: Principals; Expectation
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