About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 9107-9111
Publication year: 2018
ISBN: 978-84-09-05948-5
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2018.0686

Conference name: 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 12-14 November, 2018
Location: Seville, Spain

SCHOOL LEADERS FACING CONTRADICTORY DEMANDS FROM EXTERNAL FORCES

D. Eden

Western Galilee College (ISRAEL)
Introduction:
Principals are required to exert leadership by initiating innovation. However, they are also subject to the pressures of the school environment. Thus, they face conflicting demands, having to comply but, at the same time, to use discretion in their decisions.
The aim of this study is to explore changes in leader-environment relations over a period of eighteen years in one school in Israel.

Theoretical framework:
The New Institutional theory suggests that organizations are structured and shaped by the need to get legitimacy from the institutional environment. Although it seems that organizations are passive, they have five response strategies of resistance. These are: acquiescence; compromise and negotiation; avoidance; challenging and attacking beliefs; and manipulation.

As the environment is fragmented, it generates contradictory demands on schools. Two such contradictions are the focus of this study:
1. Regulaton vs granting autonomy and discretion to principals.
2. State Jewish-Zionist ideology, granting full citizens’ rights only to Jews (and Arabs) vs. State democratic princples, granting full education rights to all.

This is the situation of one State school located in a poor neighborhood where undocumented migrant workers settled as a result of globalization; later asylum seekers and refugees joined them, all being considered temporary populations.

Methodology:
This qualitative study includes interviews; reading of school documents, newspapers, the Internet, and protocols of meetings of Israeli parliamentary committees.

Findings:
The school went through two stages in its relations with the environment.
Challenging the environment
Background: the children of migrant workers (CMW) were not registered with the Ministry of Education (MoE) or with the municipality and therefore were not financed, as their parents were undocumented. However, according to the law, the children were obliged to attend school. The principal attempted to have MoE recognize and finance them.
Mobilization of the community: First, the principal made an agreement with the local precinct not to arrest parents who brought their children to school. Second, she addressed politicians through the Parents' Association as she was not allowed to do so directly as a State employee. Third, she mobilized the media to raise the issue on the public agenda.

Negotiating with the environment:
Background: Two changes in the global level occurred independently: one was the international de-legitimation of the State of Israel and calls to boycott it; the other was the crisis of the influx of refugees in Europe. The State saw the school as an opportunity to show the tolerant side of Israel; the school saw it as an opportunity for fundraising "We [the school] are the public relations of the State (interviewees).
mobilization of the environment: government agencies bring teachers from Europe, world politicians visiting the country, world community-leaders. Simultaneously, the school cooperated with filmmakers from abroad, and formed a Friends of the School Association abroad for fundraising.

Conclusions:
Studies on school-environment relations focus on how principals manage opposing elements of the environment. However, principals have the opportunity to extend the boundaries of their environment to the global level beyond State regulations and increase their autonomy to counter existing pressures.
@InProceedings{EDEN2018SCH,
author = {Eden, D.},
title = {SCHOOL LEADERS FACING CONTRADICTORY DEMANDS FROM EXTERNAL FORCES},
series = {11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2018 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-09-05948-5},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2018.0686},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2018.0686},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {12-14 November, 2018},
year = {2018},
pages = {9107-9111}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Eden
TI - SCHOOL LEADERS FACING CONTRADICTORY DEMANDS FROM EXTERNAL FORCES
SN - 978-84-09-05948-5/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2018.0686
PY - 2018
Y1 - 12-14 November, 2018
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 11th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2018 Proceedings
SP - 9107
EP - 9111
ER -
D. Eden (2018) SCHOOL LEADERS FACING CONTRADICTORY DEMANDS FROM EXTERNAL FORCES, ICERI2018 Proceedings, pp. 9107-9111.
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