Research Consortium for Belizean Studies


Analyzing principal perceptions of educational purpose in southern Belize through scholar-practitioner research


Schools have an important role in the development of children (Jakes & DeBord, 2010). This seems obvious, but schools are often asked to extend upon their role as educators. This means that leaders in schools should have a concept of the overriding purpose, often called the mission, of their organization (Hickman, 2009). This is important so that outside influences that are not aligned with the mission can be minimized or eliminated (Collins, 2001).

In addition to understanding the mission of the organization, leaders must be visionary. Surveys suggest that this characteristic is one that others in the organization value (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). A visionary leader has developed a conception of what the organization should be in the future. This vision must be developed and internalized with other stakeholders to increase the likelihood of success (Donaldson, 2001). This vision can be recognized in characteristics of the product as described in the future.

This suggests that a leader‟s perception of the organization‟s mission, as well as recognizing the characteristics that represent success, provides an important lens for leadership. This is true within any type of organization, including schools. The purpose of this research is to analyze the mission and perceptions of the principals‟ vision of student success characteristics within Belizean schools in the Toledo district. This study is embedded within the scholar-practitioner approach to leadership (Jenlink, 2006), as the researchers were directly involved with the workshop classes that provided the data.


National Social Science Journal, 36(1), 61-67

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