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Successful school leadership in Cyprus Kakia Angelidou University of Nottingham.

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Presentation on theme: "Successful school leadership in Cyprus Kakia Angelidou University of Nottingham."— Presentation transcript:

1 Successful school leadership in Cyprus Kakia Angelidou University of Nottingham

2 Summary Purpose of the study Research design Data analysis Findings Conclusions

3 Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the qualities, skills, practices and values of successful headteachers in Cyprus primary schools of varying size, with differences in socioeconomic conditions and in a range of headship experience.

4 Research design Qualitative research methods – Ethnography Sample: heads should provide successful leadership in primary schools of Cyprus Lack of reliable data Inspectors suggestions Ten case studies of successful heads

5 Research design The main tools used to collect data in the case studies were:  Observation: two working days for shadowing each head  Interviews : (a) individual interviews (b) group interviews Emphasis was given on the multiperspective approach  Study documents: minutes of staff meetings, circulars

6 Data analysis A synthesis of strategies in analyzing the cases The process of data analysis was undertaken according to three phases: First, an analysis of data during the fieldwork, Second a within case analysis according to which, the ‘cases’ were analyzed separately and Third, a cross case analysis (Miles and Huberman, 1994).

7 Findings  Similarities of successful headteachers: Values, beliefs and vision Emotional understanding Learning-centred leadership Democratic leadership

8 Values beliefs and vision Headeachers communicated successfully personal and professional values in an atmosphere of a ‘democratic spirit’ Achieved to build healthy interpersonal relationships in order to build shared purpose and commitment. These practices were organized around a repertoire of personal values: integrity, enthusiasm, kindness, honesty, compassion, tolerance  Teachers, students and parents had a shared purpose for their school.  Established loyalty and commitment for school purposes

9 Values beliefs and vision ‘ The same values and beliefs that I tried to transmit to my own children have influenced my behaviour as a teacher and as a head. I believe that those values and beliefs can influence my teachers and my students …’ (Head, School 9) ‘From now on we have similar goals. It is not any more our head’s vision, it is our vision and for sure our and her ambitions are common. Consequently, I do every activity because I want to do it and not because she wants it to be done’ (Teacher 2, School 1)

10 Emotional understanding Moral support (praising-in private and public, offering positive reinforcement, appreciating their work) Caring (love, friendship, understanding people needs, well being of people, inclusive) People-centred approaches  Increased loyalty and commitment to school goals  Established healthy relationships with people

11 Emotional understanding ‘My aim is to be humane with my colleagues; I try to see them as human beings. I want them to feel that they come in a pleasure environment; a creative environment that allows them to work honestly. I want them to feel that I am close to them and I care about them’ (Head, School 1) ‘She is a very emotional kind of person, she shows understanding to our problems, and she is interested in what make us happy or miserable’. (Teacher, School 9)

12 Democratic leadership A range of approaches in order to establish democratic processes Democratic practices were related to their personal value system Participatory approaches in decision making (related to teachers) Emphasized equality and justice among staff Created communication networks with everybody Gave space to their teachers in order to be creative, No pressure

13 Democratic leadership Headteachers were leading democratically: is defined as the promotion of the active participation of teaching staff in decision- making and especially on issues that are directly or indirectly related to them. This is based on the provision of a clear set of the democratic values of equality and respect. In addition to that they shared some of their power by delegating responsibilities.

14 Democratic leadership ‘I follow the participative model … I give opportunities to all my teachers and I try to be decentralized…The decisions that are taken are democratic, collective... I only intervene in decision making when values and virtues are in danger’ (Head, School 10) ‘She informs us about whatever happens in the school. I think, as soon as we have an initiative, she lets us free to act. I like this way of working … I work even harder every time I suggest an initiative and is taken into account either for my class or for the school’ (Teacher 2, School 6)

15 Learning-centred leadership Successful heads cared about: Students learning Teachers learning Leadership learning

16 Learning-centred leadership Students learning: developed practices like monitoring, know students needs, make themselves available to students, protect teaching time, buffer create a learning environment

17 Learning-centred leadership Teachers learning informal strategies for teachers professional growth – e.g. Modeling, monitoring and mentoring, capacity building, risk taking, peer coaching Leadership learning They are life-long learners

18 Learning-centred leadership I accept diversity, I accept other people as they are and utilize their talents. I encourage my teachers, my students and parents. I give them motives and I try to improve their self-image (Head, School 2) She gives us opportunities to show our talents. She turns to school benefit the special abilities and talents of each of the staff. For example, a teacher who is specialized in maths has the opportunity to teach and the rest of the teachers to observe him/her. I think that she is good to find our strong spot (Teacher 2, School 1)

19 Conclusion Heads developed moral connections among people, increased loyalty, commitment and trust in schools- based on healthy interrelationships Despite the system difficulties they achieved change in their schools Successful heads were very committed person with passion for their work Made things complex, they created chaos

20 Thank you for your attention kakiag@globalsoftmail.com This project was partly financed by KOED


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