The Principalship: Preparation Programs and the Self-Efficacy of Principals Open Access
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In today's society, principals are asked to lead in a new world marked by unprecedented responsibilities. The principal's knowledge and mindset play a critical role in the success of students. Principal shortages and turnover rates are at an all-time high. Faced with this knowledge, it is imperative that principals feel prepared for the roles they must undertake. Principal preparation programs, via universities, have experienceed extreme scrutiny for inadequately preparing principals for their roles. Many principals feel that although they gain a large amount of theoretical background at the university level, they lack the knowledge needed to apply this theory within the roles of the principalship. School divisions are exploring ways to assist principals with transition from the theory learned at the university level to the application of skills needed for the roles of the principalship by developing principal preparation programs. Self-efficacy has been the focus of a plethora of studies that have examined people's beliefs about their capabilities to produce desired levels of performance and to exercise influence over events affecting their lives. A principal's sense of efficacy represents a judgment of his or her own capabilities with regard to structuring a particular course of action to produce desired outcomes in the school led by the principal. Previous empirical studies on the perceived self-efficacy of principals were few; a gap existed in knowledge of the perceived self-efficacy of principals that might highlight the importance of adequately preparing principals for their roles. This study provides research on the perceived self-efficacy of recently appointed principals who attended various principal preparation programs designed by their school division for various tasks within the principalship, as well as the perceived self-efficacy of recently appointed principals who attended no preparation program.