Browsing by Subject "principals"

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  • Lahtero, Tapio Juhani; Ahtiainen, Raisa; Lång, Niina (2019)
    This study looks at the views of Finnish comprehensive school principals on distributed leadership and presents discussion on the leadership training required by principals and looks at it in relation to the views of principals. In Finland the qualification requirements for principals are based on their experience as teachers, and studies in educational administration. In general, studies in leadership are not mandatory. In terms of distributed leadership, one relevant question is the way distribution happens. Is it based on delegation of tasks or does it happen in interaction between teachers and principal? The data were principals’ responses to an electronic survey (n=71). The respondents represented 71 schools around Finland. The results showed that principals viewed distributed leadership differently depending on the type of question. In the Likert-scale questions they (n=71) emphasised distributed leadership as an interaction between principal and teachers and their situations, whereas in open-ended answers (n=44) the delegation had a bigger role. In terms of training background, the results indicate that principals (n=13) having university studies in educational leadership and administration emphasised more distributed leadership as an interaction than principals having other types of training. This paper poses questions concerning the content and structure of educational leadership training. Further, this study implies that there is a growing need to examine educational leadership in terms of training, and views concerning leadership structures and practices in schools.
  • Ahtiainen, Raisa; Lahtero, Tapio; Lång, Niina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Helsinki Studies in Education
  • Harju, Vilhelmiina; Niemi, Hannele (2020)
    This study investigates principals’ viewpoints on the support needs of newly qualified teachers. As pedagogic leaders, principals play a central role in organizing support activities for new teachers at local level and can offer insights into new teachers’ situation and support needs. On that basis, the authors investigated how Finnish principals (N = 104) prioritized and described the support needs of newly qualified teachers. Data were collected by means of a questionnaire that included both closed and open-ended questions. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and principal component analysis, and responses to open-ended question were analyzed using deductive content analysis. The study revealed that new teachers need particular support in working outside the classroom, cooperating with parents and colleagues and enhancing holistic support for students. The results contribute to knowledge of salient issues in planning and organizing school-based support for new teachers, as well as in initial teacher education.
  • Tikkanen, Lotta; Pyhältö, Kirsi; Soini, Tiina; Pietarinen, Janne (2017)
    Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to gain a better understanding of how national board administrators, more precisely, officials at the Finnish National Board of Education (FNBE) have perceived the primary influencing factors, or "regulators", of the national core curriculum reform and the success of the implementation. The alignment between the identified regulators was also explored. Design/methodology/approach - Altogether, 23 FNBE officials participated in this mixed methods study. Findings - The results showed that the officials perceived the core curriculum reform as a systemic entity: the reform was implemented using a top-down and bottom-up strategy, and several regulators were identified at different levels of the education system. The officials also viewed the implementation as successful, and identified more promoting than hindering factors in it. However, they emphasised regulators at the administrative level, whereas regulators at the district or national levels were less often identified. They also highlighted the importance of orchestrating collaboration in comparison with the other regulators. Practical implications - The results imply that in addition to considering separate determinants of reform success, it is important to pay attention to sufficient alignment between the regulators at different levels of the education system in order to better understand and promote the implementation of a large-scale reform. Originality/value - This study provides new knowledge on national board administrators' perspectives on what regulates the implementation of a large-scale curriculum reform.
  • Pulkkinen, Jonna; Räikkönen, Eija; Pirttimaa, Raija; Jahnukainen, Markku (2019)
    Recently, the large-scale reforms of special education have been carried out in many countries. This study focuses on the latest Finnish reform of special education in compulsory education. As principals lead educational reforms in schools, their role in the implementation of reform is significant. The study explores principals’ views on the changes in support arrangements after the educational reform. We used latent class analysis to identify the subgroups of principals who share similar views. In addition, we examined the relationship between the subgroups and individual, school, and municipal level factors using multinomial logistic regression analysis. Four subgroups were identified: improved pedagogical support (19% of principals), stability of support (54%), increased administrative support (14%), and weakened support (13%). Work experience as a principal, school size, schools’ resources for special education, and region differentiated these subgroups from one another. Despite nationwide reform, the support arrangements and their changes differed among schools in the opinion of principals. We discuss the implications for the planning and implementation of the educational reforms.