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Principals in relationship: Work, roles and positioning

Principalship is complex relational work. Interactions with a long list of individuals, groups and organisations are features of a principals’ work activity. These interactions vary from one time contact to every day for just in time advice or ongoing mentoring to an infrequent media comment or supervision of a beginning teacher, from acquaintance to lasting relationships. Relationships feature in leadership frameworks and expectations of effective and successful school principals. Current educational leadership literature gives attention to personal characteristics understood to make and build connections, and sustain relationships. In this talk I will set this scene and then, using research stories of primary school principals’ interactions with community members, explore what attention to principals in relationship can tell us about principals’ work, roles, and positioning. By unpacking principalship into these three aspects (instead of, for example, administration, leadership and management), positioning theory can be used to shed some light on how principals’ success is ‘community’ dependent. I argue that consideration of work activity, work roles and the significance of positioning could help those in relational, or helping, professions such as principals and teachers, make sense of and develop partnerships with individuals and groups in their work place and community
Conference Contribution
Type of thesis
Earl Rinehart, (Suzanne) K. (2017). Principals in relationship: Work, roles and positioning. Presented at the NZARE Conference 2017, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.