Department of Educational Administration


Date of this Version



Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, Volume. 1 Issue. 1 (December 2016), pp 29-40. ISSN 2508-5573


ⓒ 2016 Journal of Educational Administration and Policy


Although research has increasingly recognized the importance of principal leadership development for school reform, both the content and delivery system continues to be open to debate. In this paper, we review school principal leadership development and provide a conceptual framework for developing school principal leadership based on adult learning theories. We conceptualize school principals as adult educators and adult learners based on key assumptions of adult learning theories. School principals are understood as both adult educators and adult learners in that they need to develop their leadership as well as support teachers’ learning in the context of professional development. Relying on these assumptions, we draw philosophical foundations and directions for principal leadership development programs. We attest that constructivism, humanism, and critical social theory can philosophically support principal leadership development, and that leadership programs need to promote knowledgeable, practice, and reflexive leadership.