Learning Principalship: Becominga Principal in a Swedish Context

Education and learning

Stina Jerdborg, Department of Education and Special Education is defending her thesis with the title Learning Principalship: Becoming a Principal in a Swedish Context. A study of Principals in Education and Practice.

20 May 2022
All Day
Kjell Härnqvistsalen, Pedagogen, Göteborgs universitet, Västra Hamngatan 25

A study of Principals in Education and Practice

Novice principals are expected to acquire professional skills when participating in education. This thesis explores novice principals’ learning and their understanding of principalship in a Swedish context as principals  of compulsory school who participate in their third year in the mandatory Swedish National Principal Training Programme are socialised into the role through education and practice. A practice perspective is adopted, interviewing and observing principals situated in their educational and workplace practice. Wenger’s social theory of learning constitutes the theoretical frame.

The findings show different understandings of leadership at play, closely related to identity. Principals’ orientation toward work has an influence on both their participation in the programme and their experience of practice. Based on programme participation, principals become external reviewers. Intertwined processes of engagement in training and practice affect schools, leading to development as well as conflicts and ruptures.
The importance of leading ‘from within’ and acting as broker–thus gaining legitimacy–is revealed. Leadership knowledge develops in relation to previous areas of experience and expertise. When deprived of this competence, novices lack the ability to engage in pedagogical leadership.

Date: 20 May 2022
Time: 13:00
Location: Kjell Härnqvistsalen, Pedagogen, University of Gothenburg, Västra Hamngatan 25
The event will also be streamed as a Zoom webinar (Link to the webinar will be published May 19)
The public defence will be held in Swedish.

Faculty Opponent: Docent Ulf Leo, Umeå University
Principal Supervisor: Professor Ulf Blossing, University of Gothenburg 
Assistant Supervisor: Docent Mette Liljenberg, University of Gothenburg 

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