Teachers’ transfer of training and the principal’s role in this process

2019 edition

Elke Kleinert Altamirano

Preschool Education is the first educational stage and therefore the basis for comprehensive, physical, cognitive, social and emotional development of children between 3 and 6 years old. It is the basis of the educational system in many countries, reason why the quality of higher education and teachers’ trainings received by preschool teachers is essential.

This research is being granted by the Mexican National Council of Culture and Technology (CONACYT) and it is based on a PhD research project that is looking into the attitudes from principals that support the transfer of training made by the educators they work with.

A proper principal’s support can be the engine of a bigger impact in the transfer of new learnings that teachers are making from trainings they study into their classrooms.

Unfortunately, in Preschool Education is a poorly studied topic, which is why the motivation of this study has been the contribution to it, by researching the role of the principal in the transfer of training that preschool educators carry out.

The main results of this study show that in the context of Mexico there is a lack of support due to a highly absence of preschool principals in the kindergartens studied, where the principals administrative work has to be done by a “principal in charge”, defined as a preschool teacher with two functions: the administrative work of a principal and their own group of children. These teachers, however, highly recognize the importance of the principal’s support.

Interestingly, the study found more supporting attitudes in “principals in charge” than in “technical principals”: professional commitment, professional development, empathy and teamwork disposition were the most identified. The fact that they also attend a group could be one of the reasons.

This new position of principal found in the research, opens the possibility to study the consequences of the absence of this role in kindergartens.