Volume 13 Issue 2 (2024)

Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Make the School Principal Redundant? A Preliminary Discussion and Future Prospects

pp. 7-14  |  Published Online: June 2024  |  DOI: 10.22521/edupij.2024.132.1

Turgut Karakose


Background/purpose. Developments in the world of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is full steam ahead in the wake of the fourth industrial revolution. One of the hot discussions over the exponential advancement of AI has been whether this ability of machines to accomplish tasks that require human intelligence could take over the roles of humans in the workplace and make the human workforce redundant. The field of education was no exception since AI technologies have made significant inroads into the realm of education.

Materials/methods. Although the potential of AI to replace teachers with all the seismic shift it created in the teaching-learning processes has sparked passionate debates, arguments over the potential influence of AI on school principals is scarce. This paper is an attempt to start this debate by construing how recent developments in AI-based systems could impact the process of management in schools, with its outcomes for the role and the status of the school principal.

Practical implications. We argue that, in school management, the integration of AI can facilitate the efficiency of administrative roles such as keeping/analyzing student records, decision-making, planning, budgeting, and communicating with staff or parents while at the same time improving the learning environment. When automated systems support these routine administrative duties of school principals, it will free up valuable time to handle more critical issues that require a “human touch” such as leadership. However, we signify the complementary role of humans and AI, suggesting a more symbiotic relationship in which both human and AI could bring in their own strengths and overcome their limitations.

Conclusion. We suggest that principals will not become redundant but will be even more crucial actors in the creation of human-AI symbiosis by continuously updating their AI literacy, invoking the effective integration of AI into educational and managerial processes, and guiding the other stakeholders’ views and attitudes. However,  principals have to realize that different times require different approaches, and their roles as school managers and leaders need to evolve in line with the changing realities of the new age of AI.

Keywords: School principal, school management, principal leadership, artificial intelligence, AI


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