Swedish secondary school language teachers’ reflections on principal leadership behaviours

University essay from Lunds universitet/Pedagogik

Abstract: Teachers’ experiences of school leadership behaviour and the social contexts in which these have taken place interest me. I aim to identify and understand what Swedish secondary school language teachers’ reflections are on what they require in terms of leadership from their principals in different contexts in order to gain personal job satisfaction. The objective is that this research can then function to inform school leaders about what their language teaching staffs’ leadership needs and views are. This qualitative study uses semi-structured interviews to access teachers’ experiences. Four teachers were interviewed in this study. All are qualified to teach languages at secondary school level and they come from a selection of schools across Sweden. This study reveals 5 main areas of teachers’ work where they identify leadership behaviours that could enhance job satisfaction. These were classroom teaching, relationships with colleagues, relationships with school leaders, access to competence development and relationships with stakeholders. Concluding reflections are that the role of the teacher and the school principal are similar because they are continuously evolving and they both have a complex set of requirements that need to be met with. More could be done at both national and local levels to help both teachers and school leaders develop the skills to deal with the complexities that their new roles require. More should also be done to recruit school leaders who have teaching experience and knowledge about pedagogical processes, as this is what teachers need the most guidance on. Future research can focus on how school leaders see their roles this can be compared to the results of this study.

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