THE CONTRIBUTION OF PEAK EXPERIENCES TO THE EMPOWERMENT OF SCHOOL PRINCIPALS
Bar Ilan University (ISRAEL)
About this paper:
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
The professional empowerment of educators is generally concentrated in pre-job training and in-service courses. The literature shows that intense peak experiences during unusual events that occur as part of daily work also contribute to empowerment. The article examines questions about how peak experiences contribute to the professional empowerment of school principals and in which domains. Do such events occur early in the career or throughout it, in specific areas of work and not in others? Do most school principals undergo such experiences?
15 public high school principals with at least several years of experience participated in semi-structured interviews in which they were asked about the extent of their exposure to peak experiences, and how such experiences affected perceptions of their role as principal and their patterns of work.
All of the principals reported peak experiences during their careers. The most significant effect they had was on how the principals perceived their roles and the emphases to be attended to in their educational and administrative work. Peak administrative experiences occurred mainly during the first years of work whereas educational experiences occurred throughout the career.
Professional learning is a career-long process for principals based in part on self-learning from experience and not necessarily from external sources such as professional literature and in-service courses conducted by external experts. Principals should be encouraged to reflect and constantly examine the validity of the basic assumptions that guide their work and update them as necessary. It is recommended that they share with colleagues the insights they gain from their personal experiences so that other principals can benefit from the insights and implement them in their own schools.
Keywords: Peak Experiences, School Principals.