THE ‘HOW’, ‘WHY’ AND ‘WHAT FOR’ OF SCHOOL MEMBERS’ RESPONSES TO THEIR NEW PRINCIPALS’ LEADERSHIP
Many conjectures surround the number and nature of education reforms that schools have adopted throughout the years in Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). Such conjectures attempt to explain why some of our schools continue to underperform and fall short of international assessment benchmarks. Speculations have focused on the nature of the changes themselves, the agendas of the promoters and competencies of the implementers. However, while the many change initiatives may be documented at the system and school levels, there is not much written about teachers’, students’ and even parents’ responses or receptiveness to these change initiatives. Such documentation can add to our understanding of what contributes to desirable or even unintended school change. Emerging from a multiple case study research design, the findings reported here, as drawn from a broader study, highlight responses of school members to principal-initiated change in one school. This article reports on three main categories (positive, positive qualified and negative) of school member responses to the leadership of a new principal, and highlights three main reasons for, and five purposes of those responses. These findings have implications for the preparation and practice of school leaders and for future investigations into school effectiveness and improvement.