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ItemThe preparation and development of middle leaders in Victorian secondary schoolsCooper, Peter Anthony Hope ( 2021)Middle leaders in schools provide a critical link between senior leadership and teaching staff. Employing a multi-perspective case study methodology, this study looked at the common themes facing middle leaders at three Victorian secondary schools, Catholic, government, and independent, with regard to their preparation for leadership, their professional and personal development in the role, how their role is perceived by those to whom they report and those they lead, and how they determine if they have been successful in their role. At each school, the following staff members were invited to participate in the study: senior leaders, middle leaders, and teachers. The middle leaders involved in this research were actively involved in leading pastoral, academic, and/or co-curricular departments within a Catholic, government, or independent school. Semi-structured interviewing was used for the purpose of collecting their responses. The participants’ responses were analysed, and emergent themes described. A total of 56 themes with 78 sub-themes emerged from the study, covering the dimensions of preparation, development, perception, and success in leadership. Common themes raised by middle leaders were professional learning, the support provided in their role, career progression, their ability to influence school direction, level of autonomy in the role, departmental management, professional relationships, and their support of students’ achievement. The study indicates that middle leaders’ measurement of success in the role was primarily linked to student achievement in academic and social domains. A leadership development model is offered to support aspiring and current middle leaders.
ItemDistributed leadership in successful schoolsNicholas, Darren Matthew ( 2019)The key aims of this research were to investigate distributed leadership in successful schools, to examine the extent to which this contributes to school success, and whether there are any identifiable patterns of distributed leadership within successful schools. This study used a mixed methods research approach through the use of social network analysis and individual interviews to explore distributed leadership in three successful Australian secondary schools. A social network analysis was conducted through a school relationships survey to identify the patterns of connections within each school. Eight questions about work connections were asked of all teaching staff in each school, with achieved survey response rates of 51 per cent, 61 per cent and 63 per cent respectively. From the social network analysis well connected and influential leaders were identified and then invited to participate in semi-structured interviews. Twenty-six individuals were interviewed, including the three principals, four assistant principals, 15 leading teachers, three teachers with responsibility and one teacher. The semi-structured interviews were used to provide information on distributed leadership at the organisational level, the forms that it took, and what factors impacted it. The interviews also contributed to understanding the practice of leaders in a distributed leadership context, and provided insight into the individual characteristics of influential leaders and what factors impacted their influence within schools. Distributed leadership was identified in each of the three schools and was found to be influenced by two aspects of the schools. Firstly, organisational level factors, including leadership structure, the school’s strategic goals and planning, influenced distributed leadership in terms of what was distributed and who it was distributed to. Secondly, leader influence and capacity to distribute leadership was influenced by interpersonal factors including leader expertise, professional relationships, behaviours that are supportive of other people and the development of trust. A Distributed Model of Influence was developed which allows the extent of an individual’s influence to be mapped from knowledge of their positional power and personal connectiveness. The study contributes to knowledge about successful school leadership, distributed leadership and leadership in general.
ItemLeadership in Australian university colleges and halls of residence: a model for the futureNethercote, Robert Giles ( 1988)This study examines Australian university colleges and halls of residence (collegiate residences) at a time of pressure and change and proposes a leadership model for success into the future. In 1995, a survey of members of the Association of Heads of Australian University Colleges and Halls Incorporated indicated that 39% of residences were operating at less than full capacity and since that time two residences have closed and others are contracting which indicates a significant problem exists. Pressures on Australian universities are forcing changes which impact upon collegiate residences. Changes to government funding arrangements, increased demands for accountability and better performance, more direct competition, increasing internationalisation, proliferation of institutions providing tertiary education, a rapidly changing working, teaching and learning environment due to new information technology and methods of communication and increasing expectations of students , academic and general staff are pressures on universities. These, together with further residence specific pressures are requiring universities and collegiate residences to respond with strategies and management practices which uphold their mission and are accountable and responsive to their immediate and wider communities. An analysis of the two relevant strands of literature on collegiate residence and leadership theory led to the adaptation of a conceptual framework which Caldwell and Spinks (1992) had developed to apply to self-managing schools. As university colleges and halls of residence arc both university and privately owned and have leadership needs similar to other educational institutions including schools, the CSER n10dcl of collegiate leadership was proposed as presenting an ideal where that collegiate residence leaders would have understanding and expertise in the four domains of strategic, cultural, educational and responsive leadership. The methodology of a questionnaire surveying heads of residences and case study visits to twelve residences and consultations with university and residence professionals with specific knowledge and expertise led to development of profiles of contemporary collegiate residence and headship together with insight into the research question how future leaders will need to operate to be successful in future. From this, a guide for use in self-eval uation within a collegiate residence was developed. The thesis that future leaders will require expertise in the four domains is tested and the significant finding is that the greatest area of weakness is in strategic leadership and development on this domain will be the greatest need of future leaders, particularly those in residences whose survival is threatened. There will also be a need to develop entrepreneurial abilities together with specific components of responsive leadership. As surmised, the strengths of residences and their heads lay within the cultural and educational domains. The CSER model of collegiate leadership proved to be a sound framework for the study and, together with the findings, provided an important contribution to the literature on university residence and leadership theory and practice.
ItemThe leadership role of principals in selected secondary "Schools of the Future": principal and teacher perspectivesGURR, DAVID ( 1996)Schools of the Future is a major management reform of government (public) schools in Victoria, Australia. When fully implemented all schools will have control of 90% of their operating costs, principals will have the power to select and initiate the removal of staff, and schools will have a school charter that details a three year resource and accountability framework. As principals were viewed by the government as central to the reform, this research focussed on perceptions of the leadership role of principals. Perspectives on principal leadership were gathered from both principals and teachers using a hermeneutic phenomenological methodology without an a priori theoretical framework. Principals and teachers were interviewed at seven schools. In addition, principals only were interviewed at three schools. In total ten principals and thirty teachers from ten schools participated in the research. The perceptions of principals and teachers were found to be similar. The perceived leadership role of principals was found to be complex and multi-dimensional with 17 leadership themes described. In addition, there were 13 themes where change was noted in the leadership role since the introduction of Schools of the Future. Comparing the found leadership description with findings from the leadership literature resulted in a list of 12 recommendations for practice and support for three current conceptions of leadership: 1. Instructional leadership was evident, although there was less direct involvement by principals than suggested by previous research, indicating that the leadership could be better described as indirect instructional leadership. 2. The importance placed in transformational leadership conceptions on culture and symbolic leadership, and on being future orientated was confirmed in this research. 3. Support was also found for Caldwell and Spinks' description of leadership for self-managing schools, highlighting the additional leadership foci of accountability and responsiveness. Based on the research findings and comparison with the leadership literature, a model of leadership was presented that had four leadership areas labelled learning and teaching, symbolic and cultural awareness, future orientation and accountability. The model emphasised the linkages between instructional leadership, transformational leadership and leadership for self-managing schools. The model also emphasised the complexity of the leadership role of principals.