M.Sc Thesis


M.Sc StudentDan Benishay
SubjectManagement Style of High School principals with Experience
in the High-tech industry
DepartmentDepartment of Education in Science and Technology
Supervisor Full Professors Hazzan Orit
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

The role of school principal is to improve the education and learning of all students in the school. The range of topics dealt by the principal is wide: from student needs, teachers’ requests, parents’ communication, and onward, to pedagogical and budgetary issues.

This role designs the school culture and the behavior of teachers and students. One of the key measures for school principal is the success in matriculation exams in general, and specifically, the percentage of Matriculation Certificate holders.

School management role was previously questioned while addressing organizational capacity. The purpose of the present research was to examine the management style of high-school principals, who previously worked in the high-tech industry.

The research questions are:

• What are the management characteristics of school principals who worked previously in the high-tech industry?

• Are the knowledge and experience acquired by the principals, while working in the high-tech industry, reflected in their management style? If yes - how?

Although the research focused on the management style of school principals, the research findings can be adapted, partially, also for principals who worked in the past in other, non-high-tech organizations.

The data was collected by:

• Interviews with a wide range of education system personnel, who have working relations with the principals: teachers, school administrators, supervisors, vice-principals, education department managers and managers of education school for principals.

• Observations of principals during various activities in the schools.

• Formal documents specifically related to those principals who participated in the research.

The research focused on five principals of schools of 800-4,000 students and school staff raging between 100 to 400 teachers.

The major finding shows that those principals conduct some projects by applying the “diamond” model which consists of four major aspects: scope, resources, schedule and quality, while scope is the only aspect which can be adjusted during the project life-cycle to maintain quality, resources and schedule. Two kinds of projects using the diamond model, are presented: “pedagogical projects” and “organizational projects”.

The findings are organized in three categories:

Pedagogical section which includes characteristics, like measuring results of extensive learning process versus no-measurement, importance of learning engineering scientific classes, PBL usage, and teaching using technology related equipment.

Organizational section presenting characteristics like leadership, creativity, innovation, teamwork, less focus on pedagogical-projects, and communication with students’ parents.

Transition from the high-tech industry to education: less experience in pedagogy, wrong estimation of bureaucracy, confrontation with teachers, learning process during the first year of school management and the focus on small number of targets.

The research has both theoretical and practical contributions:

Theoretically, it contributes to the understanding of how the professional background of school principals may shape the management style of the school and the achievements of its students. Practically, it can be used for shaping training and professional development programs for school principals.

The research findings could be used by district administrators and inspectors from the Ministry of Education while examining high-tech industry candidates for management positions. Another contribution is for high-tech industry professionals considering their career in the education system.