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Rektorsrollen: om skolledarskapets gestaltning
Stockholm University, The Stockholm Institute of Education, Department of Social and Cultural Studies in Education .
Responsible organisation
2000 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Principal's role: a study of the formation of educational leadership (English)
Abstract [en]

The role of principals in public education in Sweden has during the last decade been subjected to a number of reforms and structural changes that is without parallel in modern history. For example, the number of principals has doubled, the turnover is considerable and, while in the past being a principal has been an occupation for men, now women are in the majority. The limited Swedish research that has been carried out indicates that principals have multidimensional tasks that are often contradictory. In addition, principals find themselves in a situation where administration dominates at the cost of a more curriculum-based leadership. A majority of these research studies employ a macro-perspective that tends to marginalise the intentions of the actors and the impact of education as a socially-constructed sensemaking process.

This thesis examines the role of the principal. The theoretical framework employed in this study derives from social psychology. Within this framework the role of the principal is perceived to be constructed in the intersection of the different domains of public education. This role is then related to the notion of a public ethos based on sets of democratic values.

The empirical basis of the investigation is a case study of all principals and their superintendent (director of education) in a smaller Swedish municipality. Data was gathered in a number of interviews that extended over a school-year. The results, in short, suggest that the role of principals is being redefined and can in this process be interpreted with different emphases, that the different domains interpret the role of the principal from different rationalities and that goal-steering and related issues get treated more or less as symbolic rituals. These results are then discussed from the point of different discourses and sensemaking processes in education. It is concluded that the role of the principal is constructed in a discursive intersection. This discussion is then contrasted with a view where principals' emotional labour is highlighted and related to the primary processes of schooling and the societal functions of education.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: HLS Förlag, 2000. , 259 p.
Studies in educational sciences, ISSN 1400-478X ; 26
Keyword [en]
Principal, head teacher, educational management, social psychology, roles, domain theory, leadership, public ethos
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7956ISBN: 91-7656-464-9OAI: diva2:199345
Public defence
2000-04-06, Sal D3, Lärarhögskolan, Rålambsvägen 24, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2000-03-16 Created: 2000-03-16 Last updated: 2014-01-28Bibliographically approved

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