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Authors

William Rodger

Keywords

Dariusleut Hutterite; Teacher-principal; Colony school; One-room classroom; Cultural competence; Cross-cultural educational leadership

Abstract

Hutterite colony teacher-principals’ roles in their classrooms and schools were examined in this qualitative multiple-site case study. Four teacher-principals’ perceptions of how their teaching and administrative responsibilities impacted their work/life and how the relationship contributed to tension between the two roles were studied. Pre-interviews, interviews (formal and informal), and classroom participation and observation occurred over four months. Three themes emerged from the study: (1) dealing with and balancing multiple roles on a daily basis; (2) the teachers’ beliefs in the primacy of teaching; and (3) the daily impact of school division and provincial relationships. Rising educational expectations on the colonies, the impact of technology, growing school district and provincial accountability, and the diversity of students’ needs have commanded an increasing proportion of the teachers’ time, without the provision of additional supports. Two policy recommendations are made to the colony schools: (1) recruit teacher-principals who exhibit cultural and relational competence; and (2) integrate teacher-principals into the district / administrative processes to provide the best support for colony schools.

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