The independent school's headmaster: a descriptive study
Nicklas, John M.
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While a significant body of literature exists on the career development of public school administrators, there is little research currently available on their counterparts in independent schools. In order to establish a base of empirical information on these independent school headmasters, this research sought answers to the following general questions: (1) What are their backgrounds?, (2) What career paths have they followed?, and (3) What relationships exist with regard to their mobility, their backgrounds, and types of schools they currently lead? The schools were categorized into three types: Day schools ending at grade 12, day schools ending at other grades, and boarding schools. In order to secure information relating to these research questions, a mail survey of all independent school headmasters belonging to the National Association of Independent Schools was conducted during the Fall of 1981. Questionnaires were distributed to the headmasters of the 780 member schools and a return rate of 76.3 percent was achieved. Three separate statistical analyses were conducted. Chi-square and analysis of variance were employed to determine whether differences in background variables existed when headmasters were categorized by type of school. Goodman's Linear Log Effect Parameters were used to establish the career paths. From the data examined, profiles of the independent school heads, categorized by school type, were developed. A significant relationship was found to exist between some headmaster background variables and the type of school led. In addition, distinctly different career paths were identified for the three categories of independent school headmasters. Mobility was found to have a significant relationship to some headmaster background variables, but no significant relationship was found regarding mobility and the type of school led. It is believed that the focus and results of this study will make a significant contribution to the aspiring independent school headmaster, to the selection committees screening applicants for the headmastership, and to the consultants who advise both the candidates and the schools.
- Doctoral Dissertations