Expressed criteria for school principals : a Parsonian analysis

Arthur James Edward Bond
This study addressed the problem of applying a suitable conceptual framework for the classification of criteria statements and the investigation of the nature and variation in parent and staff criteria lists for the principalship. All criteria statements were classified according to the framework of Talcott Parsons which was described and considered useful for the analysis of lists of criteria. The applicability of the framework as a bias for classification was dependent upon the recognition of
more » ... four problematic factors. First, criteria which did not specify the contribution which the principal was to make could not be classified according to Parsons' framework. Statements which lacked specificity were grouped in an unclassified category. The second problematic factor pertained to the degree of specificity of criteria statements. Here, a criterion may imply the subsystem in which a contribution is to occur but it may not indicate whether it is to be designated exclusively as an internal or external contribution. The third problem which prohibited exclusive classification pertained to statements which made reference to contributions in more than one subsystem. The fourth problematic factor concerned classifier inference and Parsons' framework. Parsons recognized that power and influence (goal attainment and integration subsystems) are intertwined and the distinction between these contributions may be confused in criteria statements. In this instance or where a statement lacked specificity classification was dependent upon inferences made by the classifier. Predominant subsystems and patterns and variations in priority lists were examined according to all lists, school district area, authorship and authorship by area. The examination of all lists revealed that integrative criteria represented the greatest proportion of classifications at forty-two percent. Pattern-maintenance criteria represented the second largest group of classifications at twenty-two percent. Adaptation and goal attainment criteria represented th [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0055801 fatcat:xa3zq5kxmrfkvfzlxotwuzz7yi