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Framing research on school principals’ identities


Gary Crow



© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This paper provides a basis for a tentative framework for guiding future research into principals’ identity construction and development. It is situated in the context of persisting emphases placed by government policies on the need for technocratic competencies in principals as a means of demonstrating success defined largely as compliance with demands for the improvement in student test scores. Often this emphasis is at the expense of forwarding a broader view of the need, alongside these, for clear educational values, beliefs and practices that are associated with these. The framework is informed by the theoretical work of Wenger and Bourdieu as well as recent empirical research on the part played by professional identity and emotions in school leadership. In the paper, we highlight different lines of inquiry and the issues they raise for researchers. We argue that the constructions of school leadership identities are located in time, space and place, and emotions reflect complex leadership identities situated within social hierarchies which are part of wider structures and social relations of power and control.


Crow, G., Day, C., & Møller, J. (2017). Framing research on school principals’ identities. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 20(3), 265-277.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 13, 2015
Online Publication Date Jan 11, 2016
Publication Date May 4, 2017
Deposit Date Jan 12, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 12, 2016
Journal International Journal of Leadership in Education
Print ISSN 1360-3124
Electronic ISSN 1464-5092
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 3
Pages 265-277
Keywords Education, Research, Principals
Public URL
Publisher URL


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