The Professional Development of School Principals: A fine balance
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This paper concentrates on the professional development of principals, the kind they get as well as the kind they deserve. It does so in five parts. First, Professor Dempster puts forward a theoretical framework describing four different orientations to professional development in education as a background to the examination of recent research related to principals’ professional development. Second, he describe some of the outcomes of three research projects in which he has been involved in the last ten years to identify what they say about the kind of professional development to which principals have been exposed. This is followed by an examination of a wider research literature, scholarly writing and current practice in principals’ professional development to identify where the emphases lie. These emphases are charted against the theoretical framework to contrast present realities with other possibilities. The paper concludes with a series of questions principals and their employers might ask of themselves if the kind of balance argued for is to be achieved in their professional learning over time.
School of Curriculum, Teaching and Learning
© 2001 Griffith University