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Challenges for Novice Principals: Facing 21st-Century Issues in School Administration Liberty University(USE AS GUIDE ONLY)
From the SelectedWorks of Samuel J. Smith
Challenges for Novice Principals: Facing
21st-Century Issues in School Administration
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Available at: http://works.bepress.com/samuel_smith/54
Running head: CHALLENGES FOR NOVICE PRINCIPALS
Challenges for Novice Principals:
Facing 21st-Century Issues in School Administration
CHALLENGES FOR NOVICE PRINCIPALS
Challenges for novice school leaders evolve as information is managed differently and as
societal and regulatory expectations change. This study addresses unique challenges
faced by practicing principals (n=159) during their first three years of the principalship.
It focuses on their perceptions, how perceptions of present novices compare to those of
experienced school leaders, and how pre-service programs can better prepare them for
these challenges. Findings revealed that two themes shared relatively the same
prominence among experienced leaders as they did with novices: navigating politics and
gaining a sense of credibility. Experienced leaders expounded more on specific political
hurdles with school boards, other teachers, and parents, and—regarding these same
populations—experienced leaders voiced that they wished they had been more
successful in their earlier years in developing credibility more quickly with stakeholders.
A theme not occurring at all among present novices but noted by five experienced
leaders was that of adjusting to the culture of a new school as its leader. This
phenomenon may be explained by the value more seasoned leaders have developed for
factors inherent in a campus culture. As they look back on their novice years, seasoned
leaders may realize how more effective they could have been and how much credibility
they could have earned had they become more proficient in understanding the culture of
the school environment they were charged to lead. Further comparison of novices to
experienced leaders demonstrates the following differences. When approaching the
open-ended questions, present novices and experienced leaders alike identified time
management and balance as the most challenging.
Keywords: novice school administrators, principal induction, challenges
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