26 SES 10 C, Pedagogical Leadership
The purpose of the study is to identify, analyse and discuss professional norms regarding school development with a special emphasis on school principals’ pedagogical leadership. Pedagogical leadership is a concept used in Australia and the Nordic countries. In this study pedagogical leadership is elaborated through principals’ norms, what actions they refer to when they use the concept on their own leadership practise.
The study uses a sociology of law perspective, a norm perspective, to identify possible links between legal norms, professional norms and actions (c.f. Leo & Wickenberg 2013). Norms are action instructions, which is the essence of norms. One question is designed to find out what school leaders would like to give priority to as pedagogical leaders the coming year. This gives a picture, a pattern, of what school principals consider as desirable actions. The pattern of actions indicates existing norms.
The action instructions must be communicated and disseminated in a professional environment to establish professional norms. The professional norms of teachers are reproduced in teacher training programmes, in texts for teachers, in meetings with other teachers and so on. Principals norms are generated in a similar way, through their training, mentoring and in discussions with other principals (Leo & Wickenberg 2013). Another question is designed to find out who school leaders communicate with in matters concerning their pedagogical leadership.
Social pressure plays a major role in norm-setting; for example, collective expectations influence individuals to engage in correct or culturally desirable behaviour (Durkheim 1982 ; Rommetveit 1955). According to the theory of planned behaviour the strength of norms can be measured by studying perceived social pressure that an individual experiences (Ajzen and Fischbein 1980; Ajzen 1991). A third question is about finding where the external expectations derive from.
In addition to theory of norms, a school leadership perspective is used to analyse and understand the material. Successful school principals use a mix of transformational and instructional leadership (Leithwood and Day 2008). According to Törnsén and Ärlestig (2014) pedagogical leadership has links both to transformational leadership (Leithwood 2002) and instructional leadership (Hallinger 2005). According to Day “almost all school leaders draw upon the same repertoire of basic practices (building vision and setting directions; understanding and developing people; redesigning and re-culturing the organization; and managing the instructional program)” (Day 2007, p 16). The study uses these basic practices as support to identify action instructions, and patterns of actions among the principals’ answers.
Accountability has become a central issue of educational reform in many countries (Elmore 2005; Møller 2009) and this leads to questions about what influence legal norms play in school development and the establishment of professional norms. In Sweden a new education act was introduced in 2011 followed by a new curriculum for the compulsory and for the upper secondary school. In the new education act and the curricula we find a number of legal norms regulating the task and the responsibilities of the school principal. One way to implement new national policy was the introduction of a mandatory training of all new school principals in the country. According to the Swedish Education act (2010:800, Ch 2, § 12), the training should begin as soon as possible after the principal has taken up the position and be completed within four years. This study target the school principals enrolled in the national training in the academic year 2012/2013.
Ajzen, Icek., & Fishbein, Martin. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Ajzen, Icek. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 50, 179–211. Day, Christopher. (2007) What Beeing a Successful Principal Really Means. Educational Leadership and Administration. Volume 19 Durkheim, Emile. (1982). The rules of sociological method and selected texts on sociology and its method. New York: Free Press [original,1895. Les règles de la méthode sociologique]. Education Act (Swedish Code of Statutes 2010:800). Elmore, Richard. (2005). Accountable Leadership, The Educational Forum, 69:2, 134-142 Hallinger, Philip (2005) Instructional Leadership and the School Principal: A Passing Fancy that Refuses to Fade Away. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 4:3, 221-239 Møller, Jorunn. (2009) School leadership in an age of accountability: Tensions between managerial and professional accountability. Journal of Educational Change 10:37–46. DOI 10.1007/s10833-008-9078-6 Leithwood, Kenneth & Jantzi, Doris & Steinbach, Rosanne (2002). Changing Leadership for Changing Times. Buckingham: Open University Press. Leithwood Kenneth., & Day Christopher. (2008). The impact of school leadership on pupil outcomes, school leadership and management. Formerly School Organisation, 28(1), 1–4. Leo, Ulf & Wickenberg, Per (2013). Professional norms in school leadership: Change efforts in implementation of education for sustainable development. Journal of Educational Change. Vol 14, Nr. 4 Rommetveit, Ragnar. (1955). Social Norms and roles: explorations in the psychology of ending social pressures. Oslo, Norway: Universitetsforlaget. Törnsen, Monika., & Ärlestig, Helene. (2014). Pedagogiskt ledarskap – en modell för styrning och ledning av vardagens processer i relation till mål och resultat. In Höög, Jonas och Johansson, Olof (Red.) (2014) Struktur Kultur Ledarskap. Fortsatta studier av framgångsrika skolor. Lund: Studentlitteratur
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