Leading sustainable schools: exploring the role of primary school principals

Kadji-Beltran, Chrysanthi , Zachariou, Aravella, and Stevenson, Robert B. (2013) Leading sustainable schools: exploring the role of primary school principals. Environmental Education Research, 19 (3). pp. 303-323.

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Abstract

The purpose of the paper is to identify the kinds of leadership that are likely to support implementing and sustaining education for sustainable development (ESD) effectively in a primary school. The paper identifies links between ESD and principal leadership literature and constructs a conceptual model of the leadership practices needed for reorienting a school to ESD/education for sustainability. Aspects of the model are explored through Cypriot principals' views on leadership and reported leadership practices. Data were obtained by a nationally administered questionnaire and semi-structured interviews. Outcomes indicated some enabling factors for ESD implementation such as encouraging teachers to engage in ESD programmes, collaborate with others and other ways of support which nevertheless reflect what is generally expected of school administrators without seeking deep change. Constraining factors included principals' reported lack of confidence in administrative skills for sustainable schools, limited willingness to challenge the status quo, limited engagement in actions important for supporting ESD activities and features of the national educational policy. Constraining factors pointed towards principals' limited commitment to ESD. The practical significance of the findings is that they identify specific areas of needed professional development for principals such as empowering staff, encouraging critique of current approaches and exploring alternative possibilities for curriculum, pedagogy and policy.

Item ID: 25016
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1469-5871
Keywords: education for sustainable development; leadership; professional development; school
Date Deposited: 04 Apr 2013 05:38
FoR Codes: 13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130212 Science, Technology and Engineering Curriculum and Pedagogy @ 20%
13 EDUCATION > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership @ 80%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930202 Teacher and Instructor Development @ 20%
93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9304 School/Institution > 930401 Management and Leadership of Schools/Institutions @ 80%
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