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What are school leaders in Italy doing?: An observational study
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Educational Sciences, Department of Education. Univ Malta, Educ Leadership, Msida, Malta;Univ Bologna, Bologna, Italy.
Univ Bologna, Management Control Syst Alma Mater Studiorum, Bologna, Italy;Univ Bologna, Agr Co, Bologna, Italy.
European Union Albania, Tirana, Albania;Univ Tirana, Dept Management, Tirana, Albania;Civil Soc Org TACSO, Lillington, NC USA;IFC World Bank Grp, Washington, DC USA.
2018 (English)In: Educational Management Administration & Leadership, ISSN 1741-1432, E-ISSN 1741-1440, Vol. 46, no 5, p. 841-863Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

It is widely acknowledged that high-quality leadership is one of the main ingredients of successful schools and that leaders have a significant and positive impact on student outcomes. At the same time, little is known about how principals use their time, what they do on a day-to-day basis and how this may vary across schools. A review of the relevant literature shows that few studies have used qualitative methods as their sole form of data collection. The paper draws on data derived from a comprehensive study involving principals, other school leaders and teachers in the Italian northern region of Trento. It focuses on observation studies of eight principals over five consecutive days each. Whilst respecting the best-known ethnographic and observational studies conducted internationally, we have built a new observational classification tool which explored the work of the principals under different categories/activities. This study shows that in spite of working in a highly-centralised and prescribed context, the Italian principals carried out various acts of leadership in the way they engaged with the different categories of their work. The findings provide evidence that expresses similarities across the eight principals and unique ways of how they were leading their schools.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 46, no 5, p. 841-863
Keywords [en]
Principal, leadership, observation, schools, Italy
National Category
Business Administration Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-363104DOI: 10.1177/1741143217694896ISI: 000440951400009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-363104DiVA, id: diva2:1256245
Available from: 2018-10-16 Created: 2018-10-16 Last updated: 2018-10-16Bibliographically approved

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