In this article, we analyze what it means to be the principal of a dance education institution. The data were obtained from principals of Finnish dance education institutions before the Covid-19 outbreak and during the pandemic in 2019 and 2020: 30 principals participated in a survey, six principals in a focus group interview, and 19 principals were interviewed personally. The data were analyzed using qualitative content analysis. In the data obtained before the pandemic, the principals reported the special nature of their work: being a leader in an art education institution was inspiring, wide-ranging, and necessitated a variety of skills – but it was also a burden the main problems being time management and ability to provide good teaching and learning conditions at the institutions. With the development of Covid-19, their responsibilities increased considerably. Based on the findings, four elements of leadership were categorized: (1) cognitive elements (such as various skills, knowledge, education, and experience); (2) affective elements (such as attitudes, emotions, and experiences); (3) functional elements (such as special premises and practices of dance education); and (4) social elements (such as the work community, organization, networks, and professional collaboration). The research contributes a unique perspective on leadership in art education institutions.
Field of science
- General and teacher education