Premises for Minority School Leadership in Sweden, Finland and Spain


This article focuses on the role of principals in minority schools. It attempts, through a case study conducted in three different countries, to determine the conditions that constitute the framework of principal’s mission and work. Furthermore it aims to explore what characterizes being a leader of a bicultural and multilingual school. The study is based on interviews with leaders in seven different schools: two in Finland, two in Spain and three in Sweden. One of the main findings indicates that the principal role was directed towards being a “champion”, fighting and arguing for the schools uncertain existence. The headmaster had to prioritize promoting the school to various stakeholders as well as establishing it as an institution in the surrounding society. The second finding concerns principals’ leadership. Working in a multicultural and multilingual school provides conditions for development of intercultural leadership skills. The principals of these schools have much to contribute to the development of knowledge on management in diversity. Another feature that emerges in the interviews is the principal’s high commitment and ability to interact with parents and other stakeholders.

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Lahdenperä, P. (2014) Premises for Minority School Leadership in Sweden, Finland and Spain. Open Journal of Leadership, 3, 67-75. doi: 10.4236/ojl.2014.33007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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