Global Research on Principal Leadership
- David Gurr, David GurrUniversity of Melbourne
- Lawrie DrysdaleLawrie DrysdaleUniversity of Melbourne
- and Helen GoodeHelen GoodeUniversity of Melbourne
Large, sustained, multinational, and collaborative research networks are becoming more popular because of their power to produce findings that generalize across contexts as well as to provide contextually nuanced views of a phenomenon. In educational leadership, four major projects have been initiated since the beginning of the 21st century: The International Successful School Principalship Project; the International Study of the Preparation of Principals; Leadership for Learning; and the International School Leadership Development. These projects cover from seven to more than 20 countries and have run for 5 or more years. The discussion of these projects provides insight into principal effectiveness research and some guidance to those who seek to collaborate with colleagues nationally and internationally. International projects like these bring the interplay of leadership and context into focus and show that context is important in terms of educational success and how leadership is enacted. Despite the complexity in considering leadership and context, a standout feature of the projects is that across different contexts, there are general findings that emerge, either confirming contemporary understandings or proposing new views through the construction of leadership models, and recommendations emerge that can transcend contexts (such as the need for high-quality but contextually relevant leadership preparation programs). These international comparative projects are important works, as they endeavor to counter the blancmange view of education that comes through the pervasiveness of things like international testing programs and the reliance on meta-analyses.