Teacher journal archive (2008-2011)

Article Title

Learning for leadership


The article comprises two edited extracts from 'Learning for Leadership: building a school of professional practice' written by the authors, and published by ACER Press. Michelle Anderson surveys the research literature pertaining to contemporary conceptions of school leadership. Varieties of school leadership include charismatic leadership; transformational leadership; teacher leadership; distributed leadership; moral leadership; ethical leadership; and situational leadership. One of the distinctions between earlier research and contemporary ideas is that in the past research tended to concentrate on documenting what principals did to make a difference in schools. With collective ideas of leadership has come a focus on teachers as leaders. The author concludes that further research is needed on how theoretical notions of teacher leadership can come to life in different school contexts and circumstances to the benefit of all learners. Christine Cawsey asserts that it is teacher expertise supported by high-quality educational and teacher leadership programs that have the greatest potential to improve student learning and performance. She continues by describing her experience during her first year as a principal. The New South Wales Secondary Principals' Council (NSWSPC) leadership of Secondary Education statement was the result of a project designed to identify the actual daily activities of a secondary school principal. Amongst the highly-specialised skills and understandings required by a principal, are included high-order skills in communication, creating change in complex contexts, culture shifting and, most critically, higher-level educational and professional expertise. [Author abstract, ed]

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