Exploring School Principals’ Perspectives on Emotional Intelligence
Ontario school principals’ professional development currently includes leadership training that encompasses emotional intelligence. This study sought to augment the limited research in the Canadian educational context on school leaders’ understanding of emotional intelligence and its relevancy to their work. The study utilized semi-structured interviews with 6 Ontario school principals representing disparate school contexts based on socioeconomic levels, urban and rural settings, and degree of ethnic diversity. Additionally, the 4 male and 2 female participants are elementary and secondary school principals in different public school boards and represent a diverse range of age and experience. The study utilized a grounded theory approach to data analysis and identified by 5 main themes: Self-Awareness, Relationship, Support, Pressure, and Emotional Filtering and Compartmentalization. Recommendations are made to further explore the emotional support systems available to school leaders in Ontario schools.