Principalship as Stewarding in Selected Diocesan Secondary Schools in Metro Manila

Principalship as Stewarding in Selected Diocesan Secondary Schools in Metro Manila

Perlita R. Antonio, Ph. D.
De La Salle University – Manila, 2019

     The study aimed at gaining a deep understanding on how principals in selected diocesan secondary schools conceptualize and deal with their work functions amid the contemporary challenges they face as educational leaders and managers. It focused on developing a framework on understanding principalship in selected diocesan secondary schools in Metro Manila. This study employed the mixed methods approach to inquiry using the building theory from case studies espoused by Eisenhardt (1989) and survey research. Mixed method of research involves collecting and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative forms of data in a single study. Triangulating data sources is done as a means for seeking convergence across qualitative and quantitative methods (Creswell, 2003). The cases were selected using the typical case method (Merriam, 1998) and Patton’s (1990) description of homogeneous sampling along with stratified purposeful sampling. The homogeneous group was composed of five diocesan secondary school principals representing five secondary schools from different diocesan school systems in Metro Manila. The five schools were chosen based on a set of criteria. After the determination of the cases, the researcher proceeded to the collection of data which involved the use of qualitative data collection methods such as face-to-face interviews, relevant documents such as administrative manuals, employee records, school profile, school website and other literary sources to reinforce the grounding of the emerging theory.  The researcher also administered a survey instrument to gather the perception of selected faculty and middle administrators of the school on the leadership practices of their principal to add to the case study design. Interview data were analyzed using within case, cross case, and open coding techniques to facilitate better theory construction and to strengthen the grounding of the emerging theory. Subsequently, a framework on understanding principalship as stewarding in selected diocesan secondary schools in Metro Manila was generated (see Figure 4).

Based on the findings of the study, the following conclusions were drawn:

    1. The central leadership function of principals in selected diocesan secondary schools in Metro Manila is stewarding.
    2. As practiced in diocesan secondary schools, stewarding is sharing in the ministry of Christ by leading the school community towards realizing the vision of Catholic education which is the integral formation of the youth and the evangelization of the community.
    3. Stewarding is explained by eight (8) major categories namely: (1) leading as sharing in the ministry of Christ, (2) cultivating the Catholic school system, (3) shepherding the flock, (4) nurturing the school’s Catholic spirituality, academic, professional and familial culture, (5) tending the school resources responsibly, and (6) collaborating with co-stewards and stakeholders, and putting into use the principal’s (7) skills and (8) attributes.
    4. In performing the six major categories or dimensions of stewarding, the principal employs his/her skills namely: communication skills, monitoring skills, group process skills, training and mentoring skills, change process and decision-making skills, and interfacing skills with internal and external stakeholders.
    5. Stewarding manifests the principal’s attributes such as: spiritual leader – faith witness, envisioner, servant of the church, lead  educator, change manager-culture builder, and communicator.

Based on the conclusions of the study, the researcher recommends the continuous inquiry and development of knowledge towards a deeper understanding of leadership practices in diocesan schools and non-diocesan school contexts by focusing on the following:

    1. Development of formal career path and succession management programs for principals in archdiocesan/diocesan schools based on the emergent framework of the study.
    2. The development and implementation of a responsive formation program in stewardship among the stakeholders of diocesan schools.
    3. A case study on the leadership practices of diocesan priests as multitasking school-directors and the clustering of archdiocesan/diocesan schools in light of organizational effectiveness.
    4. A research on illuminating the leadership behaviors and practices of effective school principals in challenging private and public school contexts.
    5. A Case study on stewardship as a leadership model among state schools and non-sectarian educational institutions

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