The central goals of the school leadership study in the German-speaking countries, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are to show what school leaders like to do from the spectrum of activities and what stresses them in their school leadership activities. Secondly, types of activities are to be developed (typology formation) on the basis of activity preferences and specific burdens in school leadership activities. Third, the analysis of work diaries will show what school leaders actually do and how the relationships are between what one likes to do, what stresses one and what one actually does. Fourth, connections between job satisfaction, stress experience, and emotional exhaustion with individual factors (including professional biographical aspects, attitudes/positions) and institutional factors (the school work context or situation) will be identified. Fifth, a contrasting in-depth study will identify differences between very high stress and very low stress school principals. About 5400 school principals participated in this study.
The main goals of the study are firstly to show what school leaders like to do from the spectrum of activities and what burdens them in their school leadership activities. Secondly, types of activities are to be developed (typology formation) on the basis of activity preferences and specific stresses in school leadership activities. Third, the analysis of work diaries will show what school leaders actually do and how the connections are between what one likes to do, what burdens one and what one actually does. Fourth, connections between job satisfaction, stress experience, and emotional exhaustion with individual factors (including professional biographical aspects, attitudes/positions) and institutional factors (the school work context or situation) will be identified. Fifth, a contrasting in-depth study will identify differences between very highly stressed and very low stressed school principals.
The school leadership study is divided into several phases:
An exploratory study with 20 individual interviews with principals from all types of schools served to identify relevant factors to be asked about in the written surveys.
For the second phase, the implementation of an extensive quantitative study, school principals were recruited to accompany the development of the questionnaire. The survey was conducted between fall 2010 and January 2012. The subjects included professional biography, school work context, and general and specific stress situations.
In the third phase, an electronic diary was used to record the daily activities of school principals over three work weeks.
In a fourth phase, interviews were conducted with very highly stressed and very low stressed school principals on the one hand about areas of tension in school leadership activities that can lead to severe stress, and on the other hand about the interrelationships of stress constellations.
In a further phase, requirement analyses were carried out to determine what is expected of school principals by the state.
Huber, S.G. (2013). Forschung zu Belastung und Beanspruchung von Schulleitung (S. 222-240). In S.G. Huber (Hrsg.), Jahrbuch Schulleitung 2013. Köln: CarlLink/Wolters Kluwer.
Huber, S.G., Wolfgramm, C. & Kilic, S. (2013). Vorlieben und Belastungen im Schulleitungshandeln: Ausgewählte Ergebnisse aus der Schulleitungsstudie 2011/2012 in Deutschland, Österreich, Liechtenstein und der Schweiz (S. 259-271). In S.G. Huber (Hrsg.), Jahrbuch Schulleitung 2013. Köln: CarlLink/Wolters Kluwer.
Huber, S.G., Wolfgramm, C. & Kilic, S. (2013). Schulleitungsstudie 2011/2012 in Deutschland, Österreich, Liechtenstein und der Schweiz: Vorlieben und Belastungen im Schulleitungshandeln. Projektbericht. Zug: Institut für Bildungsmanagement und Bildungsökonomie.
Huber, S.G., Wolfgramm, C. & Kilic, S. (2013). Schulleitungshandeln: Belastungen und Vorlieben im Tätigkeitsspektrum. In A. Bartz, M. Dammann, S.G. Huber, T. Klieme, C. Kloft, M. Schreiner (Hrsg.), PraxisWissen Schulleitung (11.17). München, Deutschland: Wolters Kluwer. Praxiswissen Schulleitung
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Baeriswyl, S., Wolfgramm, C., Krause, A. & Huber, S. G. (2013). Das Kollegium als soziale Ressource- Anerkennung und Unterstützung pflegen. b:sl, 03, 7.
Huber, S. G. & Schwander, M. (2013). Arbeitstagebuch: Wie verteilt sich die Arbeit von Schulleitungen? b:sl, 03, 8–9
Huber, S. G., Wolfgramm, C. & Kilic, S. (2013). Vorlieben und Belastungen im Tätigkeitsspektrum. Was tun Schulleiterinnen und Schulleiter gern und was belastet sie? b:sl, 03, 10-11.
Baeriswyl, S., Krause, A. & Huber, S. G. & Wolfgramm, C. (2013). „Zeitfresser“ für Schulleiterinnen und Schulleiter. Die fülle administrativer Tätigkeiten. b:sl, 03, 12-13.
Huber, S. G., Schneider, N., Pohl, C. & Sassenscheidt, H. (2013). Zeit für Schulleitung. Faktoren, die die Leitungszeit bestimmen (sollten). b:sl, 03, 14-15.
Huber, S. G. & Wolfgramm, Krause, A. & C., Baeriswyl, S. (2013). Arbeitszeit – Leitungszeit. Wenn der Tag zu wenig Stunden hat … b:sl, 03, 16.
Huber, S. G. & Wolfgramm, C. (2013). Was bedingt Unzufriedenheit und hohe Belastung? Belastungsempfinden von Schulleitungen. b:sl, 03, 17.
Stricker, T., Iberer, U. & Huber, S. G. (2013). Interviewstudie. Belastung als komplexes Gefüge. b:sl, 03, 18-19.
Huber, S.G. (2014). Wirksamkeit von Schulleitung – 12 Thesen zu guter Schulleitung. Schulblatt Thurgau, 1, 4-7
Huber, S.G., Wolfgramm, C. & Kilic, S. (2014). Was tun Schulleiterinnen und Schulleiter gern? Schulblatt Thurgau, 1, 8-9.
Schulleitungshandeln I: Anforderungen an Schulleitungen – Synopse der Beschreibungen in den deutschen Bundesländern: Was wird von Schulleitungen erwartet?
Schulleitungshandeln II: Vorlieben und Belastungen im Tätigkeitsspektrum – Was tun Schulleiterinnen und Schulleiter gern und was belastet sie?
Schulleitungshandeln III: Wie verteilt sich die Arbeit von Schulleitungen konkret? Ausgewählte Ergebnisse der Analysen von Arbeitstagebüchern
Schulleitungshandeln IV: Qualitative Analyse komplexer Belastungssituationen von Schulleiterinnen und Schulleitern
Schulleitungshandeln V: Was bedingt Beanspruchung & Belastung von Schulleitenden? Ergebnisse aus der Schulleitungsstudie Deutschland, Österreich, Liechtenstein, Schweiz
In Germany, the general survey was conducted in four states, Hesse, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt and Baden-Württemberg. In Austria, data were collected in Vorarlberg, Tyrol and Lower Austria.
In Switzerland, the general survey was conducted in all German-speaking cantons except Appenzell Innerrhoden, as this canton does not yet employ school principals. Thus, school principals in the cantons of Aargau, Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Basel-Landschaft, Basel-Stadt, Bern, Fribourg, Glarus, Graubünden, Lucerne, Nidwalden, Obwalden, Schaffhausen, Schwyz, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Uri, Zurich and Zug were surveyed. In addition, school principals in Liechtenstein were surveyed. A total of around 5400 school principals took part in the general survey.
The starting point of a scientific study of school leadership is the insight into its central importance for the quality of schools and their development. The importance of school leadership for the quality and development of schools and the relevance of professionalizing school leaders are well supported by scientific evidence and are now increasingly emphasized by school leaders themselves, by educational researchers, and also by educational policy makers. For example, the effectiveness and success of improvement efforts depend to a large extent on the performance of school leaders. Extensive empirical efforts of quantitatively oriented school effectiveness research – predominantly in North America, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand, but also in the Netherlands as well as in the Scandinavian countries – revealed that the pedagogical control of schools by school leaders is a central factor for the quality of a school. Recent studies on school development or school improvement also emphasize the relevance of school leadership, especially with regard to the intended continuous improvement process in any school (for a critical overview see, among others, Huber, 1999a). School leadership thus assumes a central role in all phases of the school development process. It is often described as responsible for maintaining a view of the whole school in the targeted improvement processes and for ensuring meaningful coordination of individual activities.
In addition, it is to create intraschool conditions for continuous professional development and increasing professionalization of teachers. It bears responsibility for the development of a cooperative school culture, etc. In the current literature, but also in educational policy and practice, it is also recognized that principals face new and expanded demands in light of current developments, namely, for example, the indicated shift in tasks and competencies. The role and function of school leadership have changed significantly, are currently changing, and will continue to change. In German-language school research, however, there are large research desiderata open, for example, with regard to concrete school leadership actions.
In view of the relevance of school leaders and the changing demands for high competence, their qualification (the quantity and quality of training and continuing education) is also of great importance. Up to now, however, it has often been wrongly assumed that there is an identity of competencies between teachers and school management staff. Not least for this reason, there is a lack in the German-speaking world of both a precise job and requirements profile of school administrators and, in particular, studies on the stress and strain experienced by school administrators.