The role of the School Principal through the lenses of the dominant strategy for education



During the last decades, in Greece and elsewhere, there has been a sharp shift in educational systems towards privatization. This move is molded within the frame of the general neoliberal policy and its strategic choices. The aim of this paper is to present the most pivotal positions for the role of school principal, as formulated within the context of the dominant political orientation. We focus on general educational changes and on the development of a "new" vision towards a counterhegemonic realization of the educational and administrative organization of the school. This choice has been made from the perspective of a variety of theoretical prerequisites and pedagogical views, leaving the context of school legislation and the role of executives at the margins of the debate. Finally, we look at the possibilities of formulating an alternative proposal for the teacher and the organisational structure of the school. More specifically, we focused on a number of issues pertaining the role of the school principal and the role of the teaching staff, the decision making process, the social interactions within the school environment, the principles of educational planning and the deployment of the education endeavor within the context of neoliberal strategies. The critical aspect we are arguing for is the interconnection of the internal dynamics of an organizational structure with the external forces. The concept of relative autonomy here is intertwined with the concept of 'pedagogical leadership'. We believe this relationship is the key to answering the central question we have posed, since the "new" educational policy is founded on decentralization through school self-administration, on expanding the exercise of leadership of school principals, on increasing the pressure for assessment and accountability and on the transition of managerial duties from management level to demanding, "high" duties. In conclusion, to the functional patterns for school politics and to the role of the leader, we counter propose the need for the formulation of a more comprehensive response to the school social mission alongside with the collective empowerment of teachers.


Neoliberal politics, school principal, school organization, educational leadership, assembly

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Mediterranean Journal of Education | ISSN: 2732-6489 |  Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood EducationUniversity of Patras.

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