Oplatka, Izhar. “Israel: Research on School Principals in Israel, Varied Topics and Limited Scope.” In A Decade of Research on School Principals. Cases from 24 Countries (ed. Helene Arlestig, Christopher Day, and Olof Johansson; Cham: Springer, 2016): 403-20.
This paper reviews the research on principalship in the Israeli educational system conducted by Israeli researchers since 2000 till 2013 (53 works) and sheds light on varied aspects of this managerial career. The major conclusion arising from this review refers to the varied, inchoate, diverse, and fragmented nature of the research on principalship in Israel, stemming, at least in part, from the very small number of researchers in the field of educational administration in this country. Thus, the research into principalship in Israel involves activities in a loosely connected array of sites of inquiry rather than a single or even coherent field of study along the lines of problem foci and clear scholarly directions that continue to exist for a long time. In fact, the research covers a multitude of ideas and area (e.g., the principal’s career and leadership style, the impact of reforms upon principal’s role, the skills of principals, the gender and management) representing considerable different views among various groups of researchers within the profession. In other words, this research lacks a unified, cumulative knowledge base, leaving us with only partial understanding of principalship in Israel. The practical contribution of this research is, therefore, limited. Methodologically, the ratio of quantitative and qualitative methodologies used by the Israeli researchers is almost equal, with very few works using triangulated research design. Finally, new Arab researchers in Israel have begun to explore the particular lives and career of Arab male and female principals in the Arab educational system in Israel and exposed interesting viewpoints about educational leadership in traditional societies.