New Principals' School Culture Awareness and School Change

New Principals' School Culture Awareness and School Change

Rinnelle Lee-Piggott (University of Nottingham, UK & University of the West Indies – St Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 29
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1700-9.ch003
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Abstract

An influx of new principals having improved base-entry qualifications has raised some concerns about principal-school ‘fit' in Trinidad and Tobago. This chapter encompasses findings on three new principals' professional judgment in relation to their leadership and its impact on their schools, focusing on their school culture awareness. A multi-method case study approach is adopted. Findings suggest that the new principals' school culture awareness is indirectly associated with school change, having informed both what they attended to (their improvement foci) and how they did that (leadership practice and strategies).
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Literature Review

For this study new principals are defined as fitting into stages 1-3 of Weindling’s (1999, 2000) transitional stages of headship model: entry and encounter – stage 1; taking hold – stage 2; or reshaping – stage 3. Therefore, a new principal is one in role for a maximum of approximately two years. School culture is defined as a dominant pattern of behaviors and beliefs held by school members that act as a frame of reference for the way they interact with others and do their work at the school. This conception of school culture does not discount the individual agency of school members or the existence of subcultures in the school (Schoen & Teddlie, 2008).

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