Rektorers normer i ledarskapet för skolutveckling

Detta är en avhandling från Sociology of Law, Lund University

Sammanfattning: This thesis puts a focus on school leadership and school development. The local authorities took over responsibility for public education in 1991. At the same time, steerage by rules was abandoned in favour of steerage by goal-setting and result evaluation. The principal is an important link in this chain of steerage.

The question posed by the thesis concerns whether there are common norms for the planning and action of principals, with regard to the development-oriented part of the job. If this is the case, how can these norms be identified, and can they be developed further? The thesis research has been conducted from the standpoint of two main questions: 1) Are there any particular norms, principals' norms, that work as action directives in the professional work of principals with regard to school development? 2) If so, what do these principals' norms look like and where do they appear? Under what circumstances can these norms be developed, changed, and supported?

The empirical material consists mainly of interviews with principals within a Swedish municipality. In my continued analysis I then utilise the analytical tools of the norm model: value/will; knowledge/cognition; and system/possibilities, in order to pursue the deeper structures of the material.

The analysis demonstrates that there is a lack of balance between the three aspects in the norm model. Whenever principals wish to exert influence on teachers with respect to school development, they do not as a rule refer to official documents. The official goals are often used in a more indirect manner, weaned into discussions in such a way suggested changes appear to come from the teaching staff themselves. Generally speaking the principals in this study are hesitant to openly discuss their personal ideas and opinions. Instead they choose strategies that hide their own intentions and visions, preferring instead to encourage initiatives from the staff, and then confirming and supporting them. In managing and developing the educational aspect of school activity, principals greatly rely on and refer to their own experiences from teaching. This close connection between teachers and principals can be interpreted as a confirmation that principals will step over to the teachers' domain when dealing with teaching and curricular activities.

The principals' norms that protrude from the analyses of my study must be made visible and challenged, with a view to be further complemented, in order to enable principals to lead educational development alongside their staff. Principals require a legitimate and lucid arena from which to develop and practice a general leadership competence that is sustainable in dealings with staff. With a specific principal's domain, separate from the administrative and professional domains, the leadership responsibility, expectations, and demands will be made visible, articulated and communicated in order to be developed.