Distributed Leadership and Challenging Behaviour in Specialist Schools: Principals’ Perspectives.
This is a qualitative research study, located in the field of educational leadership, focusing on how Victorian government specialist school principals understand and conceptually frame the distribution of leadership regarding the management and the well-being of students who exhibit challenging behaviours. The article utilises the contemporary discourse of school leadership with respect to specialist school contexts, and seeks to draw linkages between the theory of the research on distributed leadership and the reported policies and practices in schools. A naturalistic inquiry tradition guided by an interactionism world-view is adopted and face-to face interview data were gathered from the principals of ten government specialist schools in Victoria, Australia. The analysis and discussion of these data proceeded within the theory and the research on distributed leadership, intellectual disability and challenging behaviour espoused by reviewed literature. The research findings attest to the importance of distributed leadership regarding the management of students’ challenging behaviours.