Document Type



Edith Cowan University

Place of Publication

Perth, Western Australia


Measurement, Assessment and Evaluation Laboratory


Harvey, M., & Sheridan, B. (1993). Towards the measurement of the perception of the responsibilities of the primary school deputy principal. Perth, Australia: Edith Cowan University.


The deputy principalship remains one of the least understood roles in the schools of contemporary education systems. Research which contributes to theory building about the deputy principalship has been hampered by the lack of survey instruments with known psychometric properties. This paper reports an exploratory study which uses latent trait theory to construct a variable which describes and conceptualises practitioner perspectives of the deputy principalship in the self managing school. The logic of constructing the variable is explained in terms of the requirements of the measurement model employed. A sample of 403 deputy principals, 179 principals and 138 teachers in government primary schools in Western Australia provided data for analysing the actual and ideal perceptions of these practitioners in terms of the variable as conceptualised. In this way, the variable provided the knowledge base for describing the 'professional horizon' of school practitioners with respect to the traditional and emergent facets of the deputy principalship. The outcomes of the analysis are considered for further research about mapping the responsibilities of the deputy principal in a changing environment.

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