Preparation and development of school leaders is a priority in high achieving educational systems since evidence from research has repeatedly demonstrated the positive effects of effective leadership. This study presents the findings of a research carried out aiming to explore the preparedness for the role of newly appointed school heads in Mexican primary schools. Semi-structured interviews were conducted as the method for data collection with twelve new heads, five teachers seeking headship, and four administrators of the promotion system. This research found that newly appointed Mexican school heads at primary level are assigned to the post with a managerial identity. This identity has been acquired during their time as classroom teachers influenced by the area of knowledge they focus on their professional preparation, the meaningful opportunities or otherwise to engage in the practice of leadership, and the assessment criteria in the established system of promotion to headship. A typology of the new appointed school heads emerged: a Potential Developed Manager, a Practical Manager, a Theoretical Manager, and a Limited Manager. This research also found that the managerial identity is perpetuated during their incumbency in headship since the legal framework dictating the functions and roles of school heads in Mexico prioritises administrative and organisational functions. The study concludes that the managerial identity, the importance given to administrative functions in their incumbency, and the little attention given to offer proper preparation for the post before their appointment do not enable them to progress and develop professionally as pedagogical and instructional leaders.
Manuel Lopez Delgado, Autonomous University of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
Stream: Educational policy
This paper is part of the ECE2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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