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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 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  Dinham, S. (2007). ‘Head of Department Leadership for Exceptional Educational Outcomes’, Journal of Educational Administration, 45(1), pp

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 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 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 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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