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

Thomson, Pat, Blackmore, Jill, Sachs, Judyth and Tregenza, Karen 2002, High stakes principalship - sleepless nights, heart attacks and sudden death accountabilities: reading media representations of the US principal shortage, in AARE 2002 : Problematic futures : educational research in an era of uncertainty ; AARE 2002 conference papers, Australian Association for Research in Education, Coldstream, Vic., pp. 1-24.


Title High stakes principalship - sleepless nights, heart attacks and sudden death accountabilities: reading media representations of the US principal shortage
Author(s) Thomson, Pat
Blackmore, Jill
Sachs, Judyth
Tregenza, Karen
Conference name Australian Association for Research in Education. Conference (2002 : Brisbane, Queensland)
Conference location Brisbane, Queensland
Conference dates 1 - 5 December 2002
Title of proceedings AARE 2002 : Problematic futures : educational research in an era of uncertainty ; AARE 2002 conference papers
Editor(s) Jeffrey, Peter L.
Publication date 2002
Start page 1
End page 24
Publisher Australian Association for Research in Education
Place of publication Coldstream, Vic.
Summary The possible shortage of applicants for principal positions is news in both Australia and abroad. We subject a corpus of predominantly US news article to deconstructive narrative analysis and find that the dominant media representation of principals' work is one of long hours, low 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. This picture is also curiously at odds with research that reports high job satisfaction among principals. We suggest that there is a dominant binary of victim and saviour principal in both media and policy which prevents some strategic re-thinking about how the principalship might be different.
ISSN 1324-9320
Language eng
Field of Research 139999 Education not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category E2 Full written paper - non-refereed / Abstract reviewed
Copyright notice ©2002, AARE
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30013859

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Education
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