High stakes principalship-sleepless nights, heart attacks and sudden death accountabilities: reading media representations of the United States principal shortage

Thomson, Pat, Blackmore, Jill, Sachs, Judyth and Tregenza, Karen 2003, High stakes principalship-sleepless nights, heart attacks and sudden death accountabilities: reading media representations of the United States principal shortage, Australian journal of education, vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 118-132.

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Title High stakes principalship-sleepless nights, heart attacks and sudden death accountabilities: reading media representations of the United States principal shortage
Author(s) Thomson, Pat
Blackmore, Jill
Sachs, Judyth
Tregenza, Karen
Journal name Australian journal of education
Volume number 47
Issue number 2
Start page 118
End page 132
Publisher Australian Council for Educational Research
Place of publication Hawthorn, Vic.
Publication date 2003-08
ISSN 0004-9441
2050-5884
Summary The possible shortage of applicants for principal positions is news in both Australia and abroad. We subject a corpus of predominantly United states (US) news articles to deconstructive narrative analysis and find that the dominant media representation of principals' work is one of long hours Iow salary high stress and sudden death from high stakes accountabilities. However, reported US policy interventions focus predominantly on professional development for aspirants. We note that this will be insufficient to reverse the lack of applications and suggest that the dominant media picture of completely unattractive principals work, meant to leverage a policy solution, will perhaps paradoxically perpetuate the problem. The dominant media picture is also curiously at odds with research that reports high job satisfaction among principals. We suggest that there is a binary of victim and saviour principal in both media and policy which prevents some strategic re-thinking about how the principalship might be different.
Language eng
Field of Research 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2003
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30006447

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Education
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