Voices from the Swamp

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Title Voices from the Swamp: Identifying the Professional Development Needs of Principals
Author(s) J. Timothy Goddard
Date 1997
Abstract During the mid- to late-1990s, economic downturns, outmigration of residents, and school closures in Nova Scotia contributed to a lack of movement among school administrators and thus a bottleneck of candidates seeking promotion to the principalship. This paper presents findings of a study that identified the professional-development needs of school administrators in Nova Scotia, Canada. A survey mailed to all Nova Scotia principals (n=480) elicited a 40 percent response rate (n=193). Respondents said that needs for professional development existed in the areas of governance, role clarification, personnel, technology and curriculum, and students. Respondents reported that the two most significant issues they faced in the coming year were the introduction of school councils and the ongoing amalgamation of school boards and small schools. Sixty percent said that the new amalgamated boards would affect their professional-development needs. The findings suggest that any attempt to address the professional-development needs of principals should be structured in a way that reflects knowledge of female leadership styles. (Contains 14 references.) (LMI)

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