NEW MODEL OF SCHOOL HEADS PREPARATION, INDUCTION AND CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT IN POLAND
During the last few decades there is a growing interest of management issues in the area of education. Educational systems started to require management competencies from school heads and universities all over the world developed different types of courses to train and prepare school heads and school managers from different levels of the system. In the early 1990s, Polish educational system introduced the requirement of at least postgraduate course on educational management as a prerequisite to become a school head. The programmes and content of those postgraduate courses, as well as the whole area of educational management, were and unfortunately still are dominated by managerial perspective of ‘hard’ or ‘technical’ skills and competencies, to say nothing about the fact that they were designed more than twenty years ago and have not changed since then.
It is then clear that the challenges of the contemporary world and a growing complexity of organizational problems in educational context raises the question of adequate management or/and leadership of schools that not only balances ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ skills and competencies but also creates proper conditions for educational processes that are specific and cannot be managed or led using expertise that was developed in other areas.
The paper tries to give a description of the current state of school heads preparation and professional development in Poland using the data from research on existing cycles of educational management training for future school heads. Showing their limitations the authors present a proposal of new complex model of such preparation, induction and continuing professional development of school leaders based on a broad definition of educational management and/or leadership that focuses on learning and development as the main values important for educational organizations.