Professional Development of School Principals in the Pilot Program of ‘Pedagogical Flexibility’: The Israeli Case

Abstract

The past decade constitutes a significant turning point in the orientation of policy makers in the Israeli educational system. This period is characterized by comprehensive structural and pedagogical reforms intended for the promotion of the system’s achievements. ‘Pedagogical Flexibility’, a reform in the professional development of teaching staff implemented in 2015, constitutes a significant breakthrough in the perception of development and learning in Israel. The school principals play a main role in leading the reform and in the development of a new organizational culture in the staff as well. This led to the creation of focused learning frameworks for school principals who sought to improve their knowledge and skill in the leadership of the reform. The article presents the main points of the first pilot program implemented in the North District for the training of 20 school principals in the reform and the main findings from the evaluation of the program, data from a questionnaire, and a focus group. In addition, the article proposes a critical look at the program effectiveness and indicates further focuses for future learning. The article presents a view of the role of the school principal in the leadership of the professional development in Israel and reviews theoretical aspects that arise from the research regarding this issue.

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