Entry stategies of new principals: Neophyte perceptions of becoming a secondary school principal in Cameroon

2003 2003

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Abstract (summary)

The dissertation inquired into new secondary school principal transition to the principalship in Cameroon and theories that will rationalize the findings. The sample of principals was obtained through snowballing. All principals were given a questionnaire to which they responded in the comfort of their homes. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected. The quantitative data were analyzed for central tendencies and dispersions in the taking-charge process. The qualitative data were coded in order to bring out themes in the taking-charge process. Both data were corroborated to establish commonalities in the entry strategies of new principals.

Three strategies were discovered: First was strategic learning, which is ecological and has to do with finding out where a school is and where it should be. Learning, therefore, focuses on the discrepancy status of the school. This status in a way defines the specific role of the new principal in a school. Learning underscores the self-development of new principals. Learning challenges new principals to have feedback structures, to engage in professional development, and to rethink career advancement. Andragogical theory, an adult learning theory as opposed to pedagogy, explains the kind of learning that new principals should be engaged in.

Change is a second strategy associated with doing the job of the principal. Change includes the planned activities by which a new principal closes the gap between where the school is and where it should be. The advantages of change as a taking-charge strategy are that change reinstates the principalship in its proper place, puts the responsibility of school improvement on the shoulders of principals, and reinforces the stance that school administration is a craft. Change challenges new principals to define their philosophy of education and to deinstitutionalize the responsibility for school change. Change agent role theory is a theory that makes change understandable.

Vision is the third taking-charge strategy and it orients, integrates, and focuses the activities in the learning and change strategies. It is the strategy through which new principals craft the future of their school. It spells out the difference that the new principal wants to make in the school. As a management strategy vision has the advantage of defining the parameters of a new principal's creativity, checking school stagnation, and facilitating decision making. A basic challenge that is inherent in vision is how to align the vision of the new principals with the vision of the school.

Indexing (details)

School administration;
Secondary education
0514: School administration
0533: Secondary education
Identifier / keyword
Education; Cameroon; Entry stategies; Neophyte; New principals; Secondary school principal
Entry stategies of new principals: Neophyte perceptions of becoming a secondary school principal in Cameroon
Kizito, Forbi Stephen
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 64/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Cattaro, Gerald
Fordham University
University location
United States -- New York
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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