Principals’ perceptions of school identity: logo, vision and practice

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Author
Iftach, G.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explore the meaning of the concept “school identity” as reflected in principals’ perceptions of their school logo, vision and practice.

Design/methodology/approach – In-depth interviews were conducted with 24 principals from Israeli elementary, junior high and high schools. The content analysis of principals’ interviews, including open, axial and selective coding and confirmatory qualitative analysis was used to examine the principals’ perceptions regarding the school’s logo, vision and practice.

Findings – The principals’ perceptions of the logo, vision and practice comprised five main features: academic, traditional, national, organizational and social-ethical. Different types of relationships were found between these features: correspondence by appearance, correspondence by non-appearance and incongruence.

Research limitations/implications – The study suggests a new theoretical model for generating the concept of school identity. The study demonstrates that incongruent findings may be viewed as complementary rather than conflicting when establishing a school’s identity.

Practical implications – The findings can promote an understanding of the function of school logos and vision statements in school practice, and help develop and maintain school identity. All these may affect the surroundings that come in contact with the school principal, such as parental decision on school choice and governmental activities.

Originality/value – To date, no study has investigated the meaning of school identity based on the principals’ perceptions regarding the school logo, vision and practice. The findings can facilitate the development of an ecological approach, which can help in understanding the meaning of school identity and its effect on students, staff, parents, wider community and national policy. 

Iftach, G., & Shapira-Lishchinsky, O. (2019)

Principals’ perceptions of school identity: logo, vision and practice. International Journal of Educational Management, 33 (6), 1170-1184. DOI 10.1108/IJEM-11-2018-0365