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Leadership for Outstanding Educational Outcomes Professor Stephen Dinham Australian Centre for Education Leadership (UoW) Association of Independent Schools.

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Presentation on theme: "Leadership for Outstanding Educational Outcomes Professor Stephen Dinham Australian Centre for Education Leadership (UoW) Association of Independent Schools."— 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 2 What is Leadership?

3 3 OVERVIEW 1.Changing Thinking on Leadership 2.School Effectiveness Studies 3.Increased focus on teaching and student achievement in Education: The Teacher 4.Actions and attributes of highly effective educational leaders: AESOP Case Study 5.Discussion 6.Implications

4 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 5 School Effectiveness Studies Until the mid-1960’s, the common view was that schools made no difference to children’s development. 1.Input-Output Studies (mid-1960s to early 1970s) - the impact of human and physical resources on outcomes. 2.Effective Schools Studies (early to late 1970s) - addition of process variables, wider range of school outcomes. 3.School Improvement Studies (late 1970s to mid-1980s) - incorporating school effectiveness correlates into schools through various programmes. 4.Context Variables introduced coupled with more sophisticated methodologies (late 1980s to present). (Reynolds, et al, 2000)

6 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 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 5-10% School 5-10% Peers 5-10% Teacher30% Major focus on Quality Teaching from late 1980s

8 8  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 2002-2004. AESOP: An Exceptional Schooling Outcomes Project (NSW DET, UNE, UWS)

9 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 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 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. 338-356.  Dinham, S. (2007). ‘Head of Department Leadership for Exceptional Educational Outcomes’, Journal of Educational Administration, 45(1), pp. 62-79.

12 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 26 A Model of Leadership for Outstanding Educational Outcomes

27 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.

28 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 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. 141-165. Ayres, P.; Dinham, S. & Sawyer, W. (2000). ‘Successful Senior Secondary Teaching’, Quality Teaching Series, No 1, Australian College of Education, September, pp. 1-20. Ayres, P.; Dinham, S. & Sawyer, W. (1999). ‘What makes a good HSC teacher?’, The Education Network, 16, pp. 8-15. 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. 62-79.

30 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, 15-16 February. Dinham, S. (2005). ‘Principal Leadership for Outstanding Educational Outcomes’, Journal of Educational Administration, 43(4), pp. 338-356. 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. 1-35. Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (2003). ‘Benefits To Teachers Of The Professional Learning Portfolio: A Case Study’, Teacher Development, 7(3), pp. 187-202. Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (2002). ‘Pressure points: School executive and educational change’, Journal of Educational Enquiry, 3(2), pp. 35-52. Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (2000). ‘Moving Into The Third, Outer Domain Of Teacher Satisfaction’, Journal of Educational Administration, 38(4), pp. 379-396. Dinham, S. & Scott, C. (2003). ‘Outcomes of Awards for Exemplary Teaching’, Unicorn Online Refereed Article, No. 24, pp. 1-25,

31 31 Contact Details Professor Stephen Dinham Australian Centre for Educational Leadership Faculty of Education University of Wollongong NSW 2522 Australia Direct telephone:+61 2 4221 5626 ACEL Office: +61 2 4221 4967 Fax: +61 2 4221 4657 Email: Note: From July 2007 Research Director, Teaching and Leadership Australian Council for Educational Research Private Bag 55 Camberwell Victoria 3124

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