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Principal selection: homosocialibility, the search for security and the production of normalized principal identities
journal contributionposted on 2006-07-01, 00:00 authored by Jillian BlackmoreJillian Blackmore, P Thomson, Karin Barty
Researchers investigating the decline of potential applicants for principalships have demonstrated that teachers perceive there to be a significant problem in current selection procedures. This article reports an investigation in two Australian states into principal selection. Drawing on a corpus of interviews, two case studies and administrative guidelines, we highlight five key problems in the interview process: (1) the dependence of selection panels on a written application; (2) the dilemma of experience versus potential; (3) the covert rule about the appointment of preferred applicants; (4) the quandary of panel competency; and (5) the evidence of inconsistency of decisions. We argue that the selection process amounts to a reproductive technology which, in the quest for certainty and safety, results in particular kinds of people being successful. This amounts we suggest, whether the selection process is managed by progressive or conservative personnel, to a form of homosociability the tendency to select people just like oneself.