Towards a comprehensive conceptual framework for understanding principals' personal-professional growth

Avi Assor, Izhar Oplatka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


This paper presents a comprehensive conception of principals' growth that is based on four psychological perspectives: humanistic fulfilment/actualisation, psycho-dynamic, moral/identity development, and adaptive cognitive development. This conception views principals' development as a journey in which principals attempt to master challenges in four distinct, yet related, domains: fulfilling basic needs and actualising potentialities, learning to cope with and moderate extreme, anxiety-based strivings, forming reflection-based individualised moral and educational vision, and constructing adaptation-promoting knowledge and skills. For each perspective, we present its goal of growth, personal qualities reflecting principals' growth and resulting from it, and ways of enhancing principals' growth. It is proposed that a fully-fledged growth process occurs when principals develop along the lines outlined according to all four perspectives. Discussion of the relations among the growth processes highlighted by the four perspectives suggests that it might be particularly difficult for principals to develop in the morality/identity domain. The last part of the paper focuses on determinants of principals' growth that should receive more attention in research and in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-497
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Educational Administration
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Continuing professional development
  • Motivation (psychology)
  • Principals
  • Self actualization
  • Self development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Public Administration


Dive into the research topics of 'Towards a comprehensive conceptual framework for understanding principals' personal-professional growth'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this