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Improving School Leadership: Contexts and Success

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Improving School Leadership: Contexts and Success For them, conventional wisdom is not convenient truth. Keynote for OECD Workshop Brussels, February 1-2, 2007 – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Improving School Leadership: Contexts and Success


1
Improving School Leadership Contexts and
SuccessFor them, conventional wisdom is not
convenient truth.
Keynote for OECD Workshop Brussels, February 1-2,
2007
2
Key questions in leadership improvement
  • What do we do which is good for the children in
    our schools?
  • What do we do which is good for the society we
    would like to have?


3
Improving school leadership a common objective
  • To align intentions to develop and support
    leaders who combine excellence and equity with
    policies and policy implementation strategies
    which work
  • At present, in many countries, there is a focus
    on policy and systems development but not enough
    attention to the management of implementation
    processes

4
Improving school leadership a common objective
To develop benchmarks/national leadership
standards (functional and personal) which reflect
the realities of policy objectives and leadership
contexts
5
Improving school leadership contexts of change
  • Declining birth rate
  • Greater mix of students, greater range of needs
  • Increased external accountabilities (the new
    institutional paradigm)
  • Alienation of students
  • Increased range and intensity of tasks and
    relationships
  • Results driven
  • Teacher turnover in some schools
  • Problems with teacher morale in many others
  • Fewer career teachers
  • Fewer who wish to become principals
  • Little or no succession planning

6
Reciprocal Accountability
  • Acknowledge that contexts in which many
    principals work mean that achieving success on
    several fronts (personal, social, academic,
    vocational) is becoming a more complex task.
  • Acknowledge that whilst principal preparation is
    important, sustained and targeted support for
    principals in service is crucial.
  • Acknowledge that in many countries where the
    largest cohort of principals is over 50 years
    old, for reasons of life and work change, this is
    likely to be at risk of under-performing and
    needs to be designated as high priority.

7
What we know (from research) about successful
leadership
  • School leadership is second only to classroom
    teaching as an influence on pupil learning
  • Almost all successful leaders draw on the same
    repertoire of basic leadership practices
  • The ways in which leaders apply these basic
    leadership practices not practices themselves
    demonstrate responsiveness to, rather than
    dictation by, the contexts in which they work
  • School leaders improve teaching and learning
    indirectly and most powerfully through their
    influence on staff motivation, commitment and
    working conditions

8
What we know (from research) about successful
leadership
  • School leadership has a greater influence on
    schools and students when it is widely
    distributed
  • Some patterns of distribution are more effective
    than others
  • A small handful of personal traits explains a
    high proportion of the variation in leadership
    effectiveness

9
Managing knowledge creation, dissemination and
use what we know about successful principals in
action
10

What ISSPP tells us about successful principals
at work pedagogical and transformational (1)
  • All have ambitions for both the achievement and
    welfare of staff and students, they promote
    individual and collective efficacy
  • All focus on the functional for the sake of the
    personal
  • All work in contexts of forms of contractual
    accountability but some require more resilience,
    courage and strengths of values than others

11

What ISSPP tells us about successful principals
at work pedagogical and transformational (1)
  • All exercise core sets of qualities, skills,
    strategies which are differentiated according to
    context
  • All have high levels of diagnostic and problem
    solving skills
  • All combine clusters of interpersonal skills and
    organisational strategies to achieve their ends
  • All have clear moral and ethical purposes
  • All manage conflicting expectations

12

What ISSPP tells us about successful principals
at work pedagogical and transformational (2)
  • All are strongly learner focused and their
    schools are data rich
  • All have a strong appreciation of the importance
    of emotional understanding and have high levels
    of self knowledge
  • All manage a number of tensions and dilemmas
  • All have CPD and professional learning at the
    centre of their improvement strategies
  • All prioritize genuine care for all in the
    community
  • All recalibrate contextualised conditions and
    constraints to create conditions for improvement

13

What ISSPP tells us about successful principals
at work pedagogical and transformational (3)
  • All have a strong sense of agency and a lot of
    hope
  • All have a vision of their school as a learning
    organisation and microcosm of a democratic
    society (though democracy has different
    meanings)
  • All are at different stages of their own
    development
  • All work in schools which are in different
    improvement phases
  • All exercise embryonic or advanced forms of
    distributed leadership
  • All are passionate about their work.

14
Policy Implementation Challenges
  • Problems of sustainability, resilience and
    succession building intrinsic motivation
  • Leadership of complexity and ambiguity capacity
    building
  • Embedding organizational commitment and trust
  • Raising standards whilst promoting equity
  • Creating work conditions which support both the
    emotional health/well-being and measurable
    attainments of staff and students
  • A mandate for leading the learning
  • National performance standards for all leaders
    (an holistic perspective)
  • Application of strategies appropriate to local
    need and reflective of centralist effective
    agendas
  • Preparation, training and development for quality
    retention
  • Celebrating success

15
Leadership for learning training and
development (1)
  • Internal core training agendas
  • Pedagogical leadership
  • Personal values (self knowledge)
  • Combining the functional and personal
  • Emotions leadership
  • Combination of skills and strategies (for
    restructuring and re-culturing)
  • Inter and intra personal skills
  • Vision/values in changing contexts
  • Data and belief driven decisions
  • Capacity building distributing authority with
    responsibility
  • Futures training

16
Training and development (2)
  • External core training agendas
  • Systems leadership
  • Knowledge of leadership in different contexts
  • Knowledge of teachers in different professional
  • life phases
  • Knowledge of organizational life phases
  • Knowledge of change processes
  • Knowledge of change leadership

17
Framing the report the issues
  • Key changes in social, economic and policy
    contexts
  • Implications for schools (purposes, working
    conditions, professionalism)
  • The role of leaders excellence with equity
  • Leading for learning and achievement successful
    practices
  • Country case studies
  • Training and development forms and functions
  • Future directions and possibilities
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