THE TRAINING OF PRINCIPALS SCHOOL. LESSONS LEARNED

P. Silva, J. Gairin

Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (SPAIN)
People who are or wish to be part of school administration need a specific academic training. This training prepares people to deal with the task in a professional way. It is a work that requires knowledge, abilities and skills that can only be acquired through experience. This document presents the basic knowledge and the experiences that come from the implementation of some of the training recommendations. These training recommendations are geared for the school manager and they have been developed with the collaboration of Ministers of Education of several Latin American countries and two Spanish universities. Among the results, we can underline the importance of contributing in the development of the skills for a better professional performance. Apart from that, we have to point out that training policy should be improved by implementing the IT system in class, as well as adding resources and tools related to knowledge based e-learning and b-learning. The aim of this is to strengthen the ability and the knowledge updating of this group of workers. Another aim is that the Government helps school managers.

Development:
Nowadays, it is a given fact that the quality of education depends on the leadership practices in the schools. Many academic contributions (Bredeson, 1996), have highlighted the management roles (Wagner and others, 2006); specific investigations about the training of school management in the Spanish and Latin American area and some other evidences indicate that the management function is substantial and decisive element in the correct working and in the progress of the institutions and school systems.

The headmasters, as agents of innovation and education change in the heart of the organization, form a professional group who are worth of a consideration taking into account their important impact on educational institutions. If we accept that those who manage a school are agents in the quality of the system, their training is a central variable for achieving success. Nevertheless, despite the clear impact in the quality of education there are still few specific grade training programs for improving management function. These programs are semi-presential based. Moreover, on many occasions, people are promoted to management position based on teaching practices, or simply by the number of years working. This wrong by assumes that this is a sufficient merit and reliable indication of future skills in managing. We need to include their training for tasks to be carried out in the organization.

In Latin American, which is the reference for this document, it’s very common for training programs to be designed considering the management to be something bureaucratic and administrative, instead of a group of people dealing with curriculum innovation. Besides, it is common to find training programs for managers where purpose is more theoretical instead of more practical approach action that will impact their daily work.
The headmasters of some schools have participated in some training programs. The results have given elements that could be incorporated in the design bases, implementation and evaluation of training models for people in charge of management functions system of e-learning and b-learning.

References:
[1] BREDESON, P.V. (1996). New Directions in the Preparation of Educationals Leaders. En K.
[2] WAGNER, T. (2006). Change Leadership. A Practical Guide to Transforming Our Schools. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.