Preparation and training of Hungarian school directors
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Our fast-paced and seemingly ever-changing world is reflected in the transformations that are occurring in our school systems. Meeting the dynamic needs of all stakeholders in a school building’s ecosystem falls on the shoulders of the school principals. Employing capable leaders in this role is vital yet many countries do not require candidates for the position to have special qualifications. In addition, training programs that do exist have been subject to much criticism. Recently, suggestions for reform have been implemented and this study explored a newly mandated school leader training program to assess its perceived effectiveness. This qualitative research study contributes a missing link to current research into educational leadership training programs world-wide which tends to focus on educational reforms in Canada, the United States and Australia. Twelve Hungarian school principals, or directors as they are termed in their native land, were interviewed for this research and asked to share their personal formal and informal pre-service preparation and training experiences. The directors were also asked to provide their opinions regarding the relative value of different components of their compulsory School Leaders’ Training program. Findings support the theories presented in existing literature regarding effective school leader training programs using methods specifically targeted toward adult learners and add to the call for mandatory school administrator training and preparation.