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Supporting and transforming school principals’ wellbeing and leadership

Klap, J. (2021) Supporting and transforming school principals’ wellbeing and leadership. In: 36th WAIER Research Forum: Research, Reflect, Redirect, 7th August 2021, University of Notre Dame, Fremantle


Principal illbeing is an increasing concern with widespread reports of stress, burnout and associated negative health outcomes. Many principals are also over worked with little space to truly lead. Limited research has focused on effective ways to address this, and professional learning opportunities for principals still tend to focus on the technical skills of managing a school.

Mindfulness programs have become increasingly accepted in workplaces to support wellbeing and enrich leadership. This longitudinal mixed method study with 30 school principals who attended a mindful leadership training program (10 x 2-hour weekly sessions over a four-month period) that provided three core elements: mind training, mental strategies, and mindful work applications. The impact of the professional learning over the school year, were examined through interviews and questionnaires collected pre- and post-program and then six months later. Increases in participants’ awareness to manage their wellbeing and successfully negotiate work-related stressors were identified and leadership authenticity developed in the six months following the program. The research provides insight into how mindfulness training as PL not only improves school principals’ wellbeing but also transforms their approach to being and leading more authentically.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Education
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