01 SES 06 B, Leadership for learning
This study is one of a series of studies on the design, development and practical evaluation of a set of tools for use in teacher training in schools, local authorities and graduate teacher training programs etc. The aim in using such tools is to improve schools' educational performance by developing and supporting professional capital (Hargreaves & Fullan 2012).
Some related research has already been conducted. This includes “Improving schools' educational performance”, “Ways of mentoring new and young teachers” and “Developing and supporting PLCs in schools” (Darling-Hammond.and Lieberman 2012, Harris 2014). It is however evident, from an examination of real practices in schools and local authorities (as reflected in planned in-school training programs, contents of current in-school training and the results of middle leader interviews), that three issues described below need to be resolved (Moir, Barlin, Gless, and Miles 2009).
The first of these issues is as follows. Previous research shed light on the role of teaching staff responsible as middle leaders for in-school training and research and proposed, for example, effective ways of supporting beginning teachers. However, schools' support systems for these middle leaders themselves are inadequate. Teaching staff who are acting as mentors for beginning teachers and conducting in-school research frequently report that they know what is expected of them and how to do it, but they themselves would like support too. This implies that middle leaders wish for support from school leader, and that they would like to see the development of tools that school leader could use to support them.
The second of these issues is that, as is now clearly apparent, middle leaders desire more skills and knowledge of methodology so that they can feel confident about their professional abilities when leading research projects with the aim of raising their school's educational performance, defining priorities, deciding the specific order of steps to take in implementing an initiative, pursuing evidence-driven reforms or effecting systemic change and so on. The reason for middle leaders' lack of confidence in their professional ability is that in-school research projects are often conducted from the outset with third parties as training instructors or advisors. However, middle leaders are not always able to take ownership of these projects. Comments from middle leaders such as "In fact I understood the workshop method, but when it came to analyzing results from it or creating models, then I wondered what the right words to use were or how to fit the results that we obtained together by this method into a single whole" and "We were able to have discussions during the in-school training, but I feel that we always talked about the same thing" reveal that it is difficult for middle leaders to feel confident about their professional abilities or put their skills and knowledge of methodology into words for the sake of transmitting these to others. Although they have been shown how to do in-school research, the training provided has not improved middle leaders' professional knowledge, so, clearly, there is no definite proof that this training is pedagogically effective.
The third and last of these issues is as follows. Teaching staff who are responsible for in-school training and research expressed a desire for tools that would allow them easily and at any time to assess to what extent they possessed the skills and knowledge expected of them in this role at the outset, how far they improved their competences while performing their duties, what other competences were required of them and so on.
This study focus on the first of the above issues, the role of school leader in supporting middle leaders.
(1) Cochran-Smith,M. and Fries,M.(2005). Researching teacher education in changing times: politics and paradims. In M. Cochran-Smith, and K.Zeichner (Eds.), Studying teacher education: The report of the AERA panel on research and teacher education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers. (2) Darby,A.(2008).Teacher’s emotions in the reconstruction of professional self-understanding. Teaching and Teacher Education 24, pp.1160-1172. (3) Darling-Hammond,L.and Lieberman,A. (ed.)(2012). Teacher Education around the World. Changing Policies and Practices. NY: Routledge. (4) Day,C. & Chi-Kin Lee,J. (ed.) (2011). New Understandings of Teacher’s Work. Emotions and Educational Change. NY: Springer. (5) Day,C. & Gu, Q.(2014). Resilient Teachers, Resilient Schools. Building and sustaining quality in testing times. NY: Routledge. (6) Hargreaves, A.,(1998). The Emotional Practice of Teaching. Teaching and Teacher Education, Vol. 14, No. 8, pp. 835-854. (7) Hargreaves & Fullan(2012). Professional Capital : Transformng Teaching in Every School. NY:Routledge. (8) Harris, A. (2014). Distributed Leadership Matters. Perspectives, Practicalities, and Potential.CA:Corwin Publishing (9) Moir,E., Barlin,D., Gless,J. and Miles,J. New Teacher Mentoring. Hopes and Premise For Improving Teacher Effectiveness.MA: Harvard Education Press.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
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Network 10. Teacher Education Research
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Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
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Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
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Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
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