Transforming retired military officers into school principals in Israel
thesisposted on 14.06.2007, 09:16 by Alex Schneider
Traditionally, school principals are selected from experienced teachers working in the field of education. During the last century, educational systems have gone through major conceptual changes, including changes of role for educational leaders. Modifications of the principal’s role have led to broadened requirements for fulfilling the task. This may lead to a shortage of candidates for headship. In this case the recruitment of additional candidates for leadership roles may become an increasing challenge. One possible solution may be found by integrating personnel from beyond the field of education with the right qualities, abilities and capabilities willing to take this mission upon themselves. Since existing training programmes might not provide responses to their requirements, the purpose of this thesis is to try and present an appropriate way of incorporating candidates and training them to perform their mission successfully. The training concept is based upon providing essential characteristics of principalship. These include leadership qualities, management abilities and pedagogical capabilities, designed for candidates outside the field of education to support the process of incorporating them into principalship. Examination of the training process was conducted for both schoolteachers and for retired ex-military personnel during their transfer from military duties to the field of education. The research identified requirements for pre-service training in the fields of leadership, management and pedagogy. In both courses it compared and assessed similarities and differences between the groups. Evaluation of candidates’ abilities and capabilities in the fields of leadership, management and pedagogical skills established the areas in which they needed support during their transfer to principalship. In this research the main hypothesis was "Aspiring principals can identify tools and skills, required for their training into principal's positions, based upon evaluation of their own abilities and capabilities in the fields of leadership, management and pedagogical skills". The hypothesis proved valid in substantial sections; therefore a conceptual model for recruiting and training suitable candidates for principalship drawn from other professions becomes a viable proposition. This research does not only have relevance for the educational system in Israel; the findings may provide pertinent information for other countries seeking to draw on wider ranges of recruits for teaching and headship.