Melbourne Graduate School of Education - Theses

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    The preparation and development of middle leaders in Victorian secondary schools
    Cooper, 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.
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    The role of school principals in implementing data led professional learning teams in Department of Education and Early Childhood Development schools, Victoria.
    Quan, Patricia Anne ( 2013)
    This investigation uses a case study of a Prep-12 college and its attempt to set up professional learning teams. The school is a Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) school based in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. The school in question had been part of a Regional initiative called the ‘Achievement Improvement Zones’ and also participated in the Assessment Learning Partnerships program between the University of Melbourne’s Assessment Research Centre and DEECD. The research was conducted by a participant observer employed by DEECD as a teaching and learning coach at the school. Twenty staff members were interviewed and their data was analysed thematically and compared with reports developed from school visits to professional learning teams in 2009. The role of the leadership team (mainly the principal) was the main focus in examining how the school developed professional learning teams. This was measured against the leadership domains developed by Thomas Sergiovanni (2004). The research concurred with his findings about the domains of leadership in suggesting that three domains (educational, technical and human) are the most important when setting up Professional Learning Teams. In the case of the school under study, the human leadership domain appeared to be the most important.