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Title: Beliefs shaping the practice of Christian school leadership: Implications for the principalship
Contributor(s): O'Harae, Ian Sinclair (author); Harman, Kay (supervisor); Riley, Daniel (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2008
Copyright Date: 2007
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: This research investigated the extent to which the biblical and theological beliefs of principals associated with the Christian Schools Australia (CSA) group influenced their leadership practices. In many nations worldwide schools are experiencing a series of seismic shifts in terms of the educational, social, economic and political expectations being placed on them. In this process the role of principals has come under greater scrutiny as they seek to effectively lead increasingly complex, sophisticated educational centres of learning and teaching. Researchers have explored the influence that principals have on the dynamics of such diverse areas as school culture, community, values, relationships, stress, academic performance of students, and professional development of staff. However, limited research has taken place to investigate how the personal beliefs of principals influence their school leadership practices. This research project was undertaken within the Christian school sector, which is one of the most rapidly growing areas of Australian education. Its purpose was to determine how and to what extent the biblical and theological beliefs held by principals of the Christian Schools Australia (CSA) group influenced their school leadership practices. The notion of leadership was explored through examining various theories, especially those of transformational and servant leadership. Additionally an inductive method was employed to explore the biblical dimensions of leadership, concluding that the Bible identifies Christ as the paradigm for human leadership, and that leaders are to be seen as God's people in God's place to fulfil God's purposes. Against this theoretical and theological background the research was undertaken in three interconnected phases, adopting a case study methodology which offered a multi-method, triangulated approach.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Rights Statement: Copyright 2007 - Ian Sinclair O'Harae
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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