New principals' leadership and school culture: a study of three primary schools facing challenging circumstances in Trinidad and Tobago

Lee-Piggott, Rinnelle (2016) New principals' leadership and school culture: a study of three primary schools facing challenging circumstances in Trinidad and Tobago. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The literature on new principals tends to focus on the challenges of incumbents. However, there is little detailed evidence of the nature of their attempts at reshaping or enhancing school culture, which may be their greatest single professional challenge. A significant number of primary schools in Trinidad and Tobago are currently headed by new principals and concerns have been publicly raised at the national level about these new principals’ fit to schools.

This study was designed to investigate the nature of the interactions between new principals’ leadership and their inherited school cultures in primary schools of different effectiveness states - high, average and low achievement - which face challenging circumstances. It also investigates the impact of these interactions on school processes, new principals’ emotions and professional development and student academic outcomes.

The thesis adopts an explanatory, multiple-case study approach that conceptualizes principal leadership as relational, recognizing that whilst a new principal may wish to re-culture and restructure a school, the existing school’s culture and the new principal’s own professional judgment may combine to influence his/her ability to do so. The main research method used for engaging with this work was a critical incident technique.

Findings reveal the complex nature of the leadership-school culture interplay and the factors which influence: a) the various manifestations of the leadership-school culture interactions and, b) the degree of change observed at the schools. Associated implications and areas for future research are also discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Day, Christopher
Gu, Qing
Keywords: New principals; Traits/attributes; Values; Cultural awareness; School culture; School change; School improvement; Challenging circumstances; Critical incidents; Trinidad and Tobago
Subjects: L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > School of Education
Item ID: 32076
Depositing User: Lee-Piggott, Rinnelle
Date Deposited: 04 Nov 2016 13:00
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2017 08:50

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