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A survey of the positions of the principal and vice-principal in British Columbia schools. O'Brien, Patrick Barney

Abstract

This study was undertaken as an attempt to provide an empirical evaluation of the positions of the principal and vice-principal in order to provide some basis for recommendations as to necessary changes in the duties of the positions, and suggestions as to factors to be considered in promotions to these administrative positions. So that the data would not be biased by limited samples, all principals and vice-principals in all B.C. school were surveyed, with the exception of those in schools having an enrolment of less than 150 pupils. Thus, it is thought that the 500 principals and 242 vice-principals included in this study, may be considered to represent the actual administrative population of B.C. schools. In order to facilitate the collection of data, a questionnaire was used, consisting of 60 items selected in part from previous studies and with other items specially devised to seek information pertinent to the present day educational system of British Columbia. The final analysis of the data involved comparisons between the gross groupings of elementary and secondary school. These were in turn subdivided into 3 school sizes based on number of classrooms, and 4 sizes of community based on the general population. From these comparisons it was possible to isolate the major trends concerning the different characteristics of the positions of the principal and vice-principal. Several trends were noted from the analysis of the data, and a number of expectations were confirmed. Differences were noted between the principals and vice-principals with respect to their ages, experience, training and duties. Also, differences were noted between the administrators of the secondary and elementary schools, and between the administrators of the larger schools and communities also with respect to their ages, training and experience. It was also noted that principals and vice-principals are experiencing difficulty in devoting their time to the more important duties because of overcrowding in the schools, and because of lack of clerical assistance. Suggestions have been made regarding certain specific problems which would seem to require further investigation.

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