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Leadership for Outstanding Educational Outcomes

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Presentation on theme: "Leadership for Outstanding Educational Outcomes"— Presentation transcript:

1 Leadership for Outstanding Educational Outcomes
Professor Stephen Dinham Australian Centre for Education Leadership (UoW) Association of Independent Schools Executive Conference 15th May 2007

2 What is Leadership?

3 OVERVIEW Changing Thinking on Leadership School Effectiveness Studies
Increased focus on teaching and student achievement in Education: The Teacher Actions and attributes of highly effective educational leaders: AESOP Case Study Discussion Implications

4 Changing Thinking on Leadership
‘Great’ leaders Formal Leadership Administration Management Leadership styles, typologies Leader to Leadership Leader to leaders Educational Administration to Educational Management to Educational Leadership Leading Learning Communities

5 School Effectiveness Studies
Until the mid-1960’s, the common view was that schools made no difference to children’s development. Input-Output Studies (mid-1960s to early 1970s) - the impact of human and physical resources on outcomes. Effective Schools Studies (early to late 1970s) - addition of process variables, wider range of school outcomes. School Improvement Studies (late 1970s to mid-1980s) - incorporating school effectiveness correlates into schools through various programmes. Context Variables introduced coupled with more sophisticated methodologies (late 1980s to present). (Reynolds, et al, 2000)

6 Increased Focus on Teaching, Learning
In the last decade attention has increasingly been focused on student (and school) outcomes/achievement The key role played by the individual teacher in student achievement has been recognised and much greater attention paid to quality teaching/pedagogy Recent research has confirmed the importance of leadership in creating and supporting a culture of success and a central focus on teaching and learning in the school

7 The Individual Teacher
Many empirical studies have confirmed that the individual classroom teacher is the major in-school influence on student achievement. (see Hattie, Rowe, Mulford) Accounting for Variance: Student 50% Homes % School % Peers % Teacher 30% Major focus on Quality Teaching from late 1980s

8 AESOP: An Exceptional Schooling Outcomes Project (NSW DET, UNE, UWS)
Processes and practices producing outstanding educational outcomes Years 7-10 Faculties (80%) Cross-school programs (20%) Adelaide Goals that schools should: “develop fully the talents of all students” attain “high standards of knowledge, skills and understanding through a comprehensive and balanced curriculum” be “socially just” Semi-representative sample across NSW 50 sites in 38 schools

9 METHOD Teams of four researchers for four days in each ‘site’
Academic Leader (UWS or UNE) Academic from the field (UWS or UNE) Head Teacher (Dep’t Head) from another school in District Chief Education Officer (School Improvement) from District Protocols: Interviews, lesson observations, general observations, focus groups, documents, artifacts, school performance records Triangulation, validation

10 DATA ANALYSIS Report data from reports entered into NUD*IST
Open, axial, selective coding (Grounded Theory) Theory building for subject areas, programs, leadership, other themes Reports in 2005: English, Maths, Science, Cross-school Programs, Student-welfare Special Ed, others Leadership Principal Head Teacher (Dep’t Head)/Program Head Other Executive Teachers (distributed leadership)

11 FINDINGS Common attributes, approaches and actions of principals where outstanding educational outcomes are occurring See: Dinham, S. (2005). ‘Principal Leadership for Outstanding Educational Outcomes’, Journal of Educational Administration, 43(4), pp Dinham, S. (2007). ‘Head of Department Leadership for Exceptional Educational Outcomes’, Journal of Educational Administration, 45(1), pp

12 1. External Awareness and Engagement
Openness to Change and Opportunity Outward rather than inward looking Opportunities rather than threats Action rather than inaction, reaction Benefits in mandated change Identify, seek out, obtain resources to assist with change Develop Productive External Links Seek out, foster mutually beneficial external alliances inside/outside the system Entrepreneurial Utilise community/external support

13 2. A Bias Towards Innovation and Action
Using Discretion, Bending Rules, Procedures Use discretion, push boundaries, constraints Often ground breakers, “ahead of the game” Gained credibility with system officials, “blind eye” Move resources around creatively “It is easier to gain forgiveness than permission” Bias to Experimentation, Risk Taking Prepared to experiment, even when things appear to be going well Support for others proposing initiatives Prepared to risk time, money, possible failure Empower others: “Let’s give it a go”

14 3. Personal Qualities and Relationships
Leaders have positive attitudes which are contagious Act to motivate others through example Positive thinking keeps school moving, improving Negativity can be self-handicapping Intellectual Capacity The “X-factor” High degree of intellectual capacity, imagination Good judges of individuals, astute Balance “big picture” with finer detail Deal with many issues concurrently Know when to consult, be decisive, courageous

15 3. Personal Qualities and Relationships
“Moral”, “Authentic” Leadership Exhibit the characteristics expected of others Honesty, commitment, reliability, hard work, trustworthiness, professionalism, integrity - “good example” “Social justice” agenda Putting students, education first Education for social change Assist, Feedback, Listen to Staff Good communicators, listeners, available Prompt feedback of “good” and “bad” news “Roll sleeves up” when necessary

16 3. Personal Qualities and Relationships
Provide professional, pleasant environment Treat staff, others professionally Expect high standard of professionalism in return Model professionalism Others don’t want to “let the boss down”

17 3. Personal Qualities and Relationships
Other Personal Qualities High level interpersonal skills Generally liked, respected, trusted Knows, use names, shows personal interest Demonstrates empathy, humour, compassion Available at short notice when needed Epitomises the “servant leader”, yet unmistakeably in control Works for school , students, staff, education, rather than for themself.

18 4. Vision, Expectations and a Culture of Success
“Expect a lot, give a lot” Clear, agreed, high standards Recognition of student, staff Achievement Take every opportunity to provide recognition of achievement, “talk up school” Find ways for all students to be successful Recognition seen as authentic, warranted, well received Creates a culture, expectation of success Continuous improvement Culture of “doing best”, success

19 4. Vision, Expectations and a Culture of Success
Maintain Clean, Pleasant Environment High priority on school cleanliness Deal promptly with graffiti, mess Gardens, seating, shade, offices Displays of work, achievements School identification, pride, reputation

20 5. Teacher Learning, Responsibility and Trust
Investment in Teacher Learning Place high value on teacher learning Prepared to fund professional development inside and outside the school Find ways to release staff, bring others to school Model teacher learning All Teachers are Leaders Foster, acknowledge leadership of others Identify talent, encourage, “coach” and support Responsibility recognition, empowerment, staff development Trust an aspect of mutual respect

21 6. Student Support, Common Purpose and Collaboration
Centrality of Student Welfare Student welfare policies, procedures central Every teacher’s responsibility “Getting students into learning”, not “warm fuzzies”, “self-concept” Support by leaders essential Students understand and support student welfare as something done for, not to them Improvement in behaviour, discipline over time Underpins academic success

22 6. Student Support, Common Purpose and Collaboration
Leaders Find Common Purpose Identify and utilise a central focus e.g., ICT, assessment, literacy, pedagogy, student welfare Resources diverted to priority area Often, a “champion” or team Serves to bring school, staff together Pockets of like-minded staff, collaboration Pragmatic realists - can’t move all staff simultaneously Concentrate on talented, committed (faculties, teams, individuals ) and provide them with encouragement, time, resources, PD opportunities “contagion” effects, but some danger of resentment, obstruction, “playing favourites”, leaving some staff “behind”

23 7. Focus on Students, Learning and Teaching
Focus on students as people (personal, academic, social) Teaching and learning prime focus of school Cross-school approaches to pedagogy, assessment, reporting, tracking Data-driven decision making Focus on Year 6-7 transition Creative use of positions Creates and environment where teaching and learning can occur

24 7. Focus on Students, Learning and Teaching
Leadership Takes Time Long term agenda, vision (6-7 years?) Turning the school around de facto selective status? Leaders Build on What is There Identify, nurture seeds for change, improvement Use what has been achieved, don’t “start from scratch” Release latent “organisational energy”

25 7. Focus on Students, Learning and Teaching
Consistency, Yet Flexibility in Policy Simple, standard things done well “Zero tolerance”? Clear guidelines, good communication Consistent application of policy, procedures Everyone knows where he/she “stands” Not rigidity - flexibility, compassion where needed

26 A Model of Leadership for Outstanding Educational Outcomes

27 Discussion Attributes, qualities, approaches neither idealistic nor prescriptive. Leaders are learners and change over time. Not ‘quick fixes’ or recipes for success, but framework for reflection and action. Context, history important. More direct influence of leadership on outstanding outcomes confirmed. Principals and other leaders help create conditions, climate, where success can occur. C

28 Discussion Characteristics both product (output) and process (input) variables leading to upward cycle of success. While the teacher makes the major difference, the fact that these leaders had turned schools around and taken these to a higher level confirms the important role of leadership in developing the learning community and promoting student achievement.

29 References Aubusson, P.; Brady, L., & Dinham, S. (2005). Action Learning: What Works? A research report prepared for the New South Wales Department of Education and Training. Sydney: University of Technology Sydney. Ayres, P.; Dinham, S. & Sawyer, W. (2004). ‘Effective Teaching in the Context of a Grade 12 High Stakes External Examination in New South Wales, Australia’, British Educational Research Journal, 30 (1), pp Ayres, P.; Dinham, S. & Sawyer, W. (2000). ‘Successful Senior Secondary Teaching’, Quality Teaching Series, No 1, Australian College of Education, September, pp Ayres, P.; Dinham, S. & Sawyer, W. (1999). ‘What makes a good HSC teacher?’, The Education Network, 16, pp Ayres, P.; Dinham, S. & Sawyer, W. (1999). Successful Teaching in the NSW Higher School Certificate. Sydney: NSW Department of Education and Training. Dinham, S. (2007). ‘The Secondary Head of Department and the Achievement of Exceptional Student Outcomes’, Journal of Educational Administration, 45(1), pp

30 References Cont’d Dinham, S. (2007). ‘The Dynamics of Creating and Sustaining Learning Communities’, keynote address, 6th International Conference on Educational Leadership, Australian Centre for Educational Leadership, University of Wollongong, February. Dinham, S. (2005). ‘Principal Leadership for Outstanding Educational Outcomes’, Journal of Educational Administration, 43(4), pp Dinham, S.; Brennan, K.; Collier, J.; Deece, A., & Mulford, D. (2000). ‘The Secondary Head of Department: Key Link in the Quality Teaching and Learning Chain’, Quality Teaching Series, No 2, Australian College of Education, September, pp Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (2003). ‘Benefits To Teachers Of The Professional Learning Portfolio: A Case Study’, Teacher Development, 7(3), pp Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (2002). ‘Pressure points: School executive and educational change’, Journal of Educational Enquiry, 3(2), pp Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (2000). ‘Moving Into The Third, Outer Domain Of Teacher Satisfaction’, Journal of Educational Administration, 38(4), pp Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (2003). ‘Outcomes of Awards for Exemplary Teaching’, Unicorn Online Refereed Article, No. 24, pp. 1-25,

31 Contact Details Professor Stephen Dinham
Australian Centre for Educational Leadership Faculty of Education University of Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia Direct telephone: ACEL Office: Fax: Note: From July 2007 Research Director, Teaching and Leadership Australian Council for Educational Research Private Bag 55 Camberwell Victoria 3124


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