عنوان مقاله [English]
In school management, strategic thinking has become a necessity. Undoubtedly, the strategic thinking of school principals empowers principals, provides them with the right training, and provides the necessary framework for expanding their insights and increasing their knowledge level. The purpose of this research was to study the strategic thinking of school principals and constructing and validating the scale for measuring it. The research method was mixed and carried out by exploratory (tool development plan) with sequential approach. In the qualitative section, a methodology based on grounded theory is used. In the quantitative part, the research method was descriptive-survey. The statistical population in qualitative section consisted of faculty members and PhD students of the department of educational management who were selected by non-probability and purposeful sampling method and in the quantitative section were school principals in Songhor in the academic year 1396-97. In this section, the whole census sampling method was used. Data were collected using qualitative part of semi-structured and in-depth interviews and quantitative part of researcher-made scale of 41 items. The validity and reliability of the instrument were evaluated in the qualitative section with the criterion of acceptability and capability. In the quantitative section, the content validity was confirmed by faculty members' opinion. The validity of the researcher-made scale construct was assessed by factor analysis and the internal consistency coefficient of the instrument was verified by Cronbach's alpha method before and after implementation. The data analysis method in qualitative section was the grounded theory method based on a forward-looking approach. The approach to the future took place in three steps of open coding, axial coding, and selective coding. The steps and process were categorized and analyzed with the help of Maxqda software. The data analysis method in quantitative part was exploratory factor analysis. In this section, Kaiser, Meyer and Alekin sampling adequacy index, Bartlett test, and principal component analysis by varimax method, Scree Chart and Pearson correlation coefficient were used in SPSS software. In the qualitative section, after analyzing the interviews, 178 open source codes were extracted. The open source codes were grouped together and reduced to 24 codes in the form of secondary codes and then 7 axial codes were compiled. Codes saturated in the twelfth interview and theoretical adequacy was obtained. The seven main themes of school principals' strategic thinking are: creative thinking with four concepts: intellectual independence, mental flexibility, challenging previous assumptions and continuous search for innovative ways; intelligent opportunity with three concepts: human resources improvement, finding new opportunities, giving importance and attention to ideas; futurism with six concepts: having an ideal vision, understanding the challenges and threats, visualizing the future impacts of technology, identifying future-appropriate needs, identifying recurring patterns, and subjective and practical flexibility to face future uncertainty; environmental Intelligence with three concepts: conversation with successful schools stakeholder analysis and attention to competitor performance; technological thinking with three concepts: understanding the need for multimedia; creating and strengthening a management information system and providing context for strengthening the research spirit; systematic thinking with three concepts: seeing the positive dimensions of different positions; understanding of learning and education relationships and understanding of all parts of the school in relation to each other; intuitive thinking with two concepts: understanding the mission of the educational institution and understanding the relationships between phenomena. After identifying the main categories of school principals' strategic thinking in the qualitative section, a number of items were considered for each of these categories and a 41-item scale was formulated and adjusted. The scale was set within the Likert spectrum and consisted of five options ranging from very high to very low, and was distributed and collected among school principals and entered the factor analysis phase. The findings showed that the Kieser-Meier-Alkin indices and the Bartlett test confirmed the prerequisites for exploratory factor analysis. The initial share table showed that all 41 items had variance above 0.5. Seven factors had a value greater than one and totaled 41 items representing 7 factors. The first factor had the highest share (19.57% with a specific value of 19.22). In total, all 7 factors with eigenvalues greater than 1 were able to account for about 68% of the variance in item-related items. The varimax-rotated factor matrix showed that the six items had the highest correlation with the third factor, the thirteen items had the highest correlation with the first factor, the five items had the highest correlation with the second factor, the five items had the highest correlation with the fourth factor, The four items had the highest correlation with the fifth factor, the four items had the highest correlation with the sixth factor, and the four items had the highest correlation with the seventh factor, considering the concept and direction of the items with creative thinking, foresight, technological thinking, system thinking, environmental intelligence, intelligent opportunity, and intuitive thinking were named. Each of the scale items had a correlation of more than 0.50 with a factor in which they were located and a correlation of less than 0.50 with the other factors, and none of the items had a high correlation with more than one factor. It was of divergent validity of the scale. The results of Pearson correlation coefficient showed that all the components of the scale have a positive and significant relationship with each other. Also, each of the components with the whole scale has a positive and significant correlation. This result indicated the convergence of factors with the total score of the questionnaire. Internal consistency coefficients of the items and scale factors using Cronbach's alpha indicated that the calculated reliability coefficients were at satisfactory level (above 0.70) and Cronbach's alpha coefficient for the whole scale was also 0.94 that Indicates appropriate scale reliability. Given the lack of a scale for school principals 'strategic thinking, it can be argued that with the designed components as an acceptable standard and criterion for measuring school principals' strategic thinking can be measured and at certain intervals based on these components, assessed the status of school principals’ strategic thinking and compared and analyzed the gap between the current and desired situation in schools.