An investigation into the longer-term impacts and outcomes of an evidence- based Principal Preparation Program, on the leaders themselves, their leadership activities and their career path trajectories
The need to investigate the long-term impact and outcomes of professional development programs has continued to be a priority in the literature on teacher professional learning. This is especially so in the transition of classroom teachers to principal roles. This study tracked three cohorts of senior leaders in schools who participated in an evidence based, multi-phased, eleven-month program for aspirant principals - The Flagship Program of the AIS Leadership Centre within the Association of Independent Schools in the State of New South Wales, Australia. Informed by a mixed-method research design centred on open-ended interview questions and questionnaires, successive cohorts undertaking the AIS Leadership Centre Flagship Program were tracked for up to three years after their participation in the program. The rich data that was gathered provided insights not only for each cohort but also provided a means of comparing and contrasting the experiences of different cohorts at similar post program time stages. Given that the AIS Leadership Centre Flagship Program was founded on internationally recognised principles of good practice in principal preparation available at the program outset and given also the need for succession planning for entry to the principalship, the study provided insights into the impacts and outcomes of the program over time and identified what is of value and enduring in this key area of professional learning.