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Title: The role of the teaching principal in a sample of 'disadvantaged' primary schools in twenty-first century Ireland : strengths, challenges and leadership
Author: Frawley, Susanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2718 9181
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2010
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This thesis is a study of the role of the teaching principal in a sample of 'disadvantaged' primary schools in Ireland under the headings strengths, challenges and leadership. The literature review examines the historical context of the role, five theoretical styles of leadership and the challenges and strengths within this role. My research is located within a phenomenological framework. I interviewed five teaching principals, two teachers, two chairpersons and two groups of parents paying attention to their lived experiences. From my research data five strengths and seven challenges were identified. The strengths were teaching, transformation, relationships and communication, scale of school and flexibility. The challenges that emerged for my participants were administration, time, hidden role, relationships and communication, changing society, principal as class teacher and 'delivering equality of opportunity in schools'. Leadership was also central to my research and my participants discussed it at length. I critically reflected on five leadership theories in the light of my own research and arrived at a loose theory of leadership, which I named 'Participatory Leadership'. My thesis examined the leadership experience of five teaching principals. From this I concluded that theorising leadership is extremely difficult because school leadership is about a very contextualised experience. You can draw generalisations across certain fields of leadership such as administrative principals in schools or teaching principals in schools but my examples are unique and contextualised - they are about teaching principals in some 'disadvantaged' schools in Ireland. Finally, my research concluded that the teaching principal's role is a rewarding experience but teaching principals do not have the much-needed supports in their schools to carry out their role. It is therefore the remit of policy makers and teaching principals to engage in dialogue on how to sustain the teaching principal's role.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available