26 SES 03 B, Leadership Preperation Programs
The school debate of today puts a major focus on student results and the importance of the teacher in achieving them. This also includes the role of the head teacher and how to create an environment where learning and development are some of the basic fundamentals.
To prepare head teachers in office for managing this task, Sweden has been engaged in various forms of head teacher training since the mid 70's The education of head teachers is considered to be an important contribution to achieving a higher goal attainment.
For the training to have effect on a daily basis it is important that participants are provided with theoretical knowledge as well as the possibility of putting this knowledge into practice.
Since 2009, head teacher training in Sweden is conducted under the name of "Rektorsprogrammet” and includes three fields of knowledge, 30 ECTS at an advanced level:
Each field is subject to a final examination. The training is compulsory for newly appointed head teachers and is also offered to deputy heads and preschool heads. The Swedish National Agency for Education is commissioned to formulate goals and procure the training programme which is conducted at six universities. The programme takes three years of part time studies (appr. 20 %) for the participants and has about 1000 applicants per year.
When the National Agency for Education assumed responsibility for the Head Teacher Programme a strategy was formulated for how the activity should be monitored and evaluated.
The overall aim of this paper is to describe how the participants perceive their training and to capture how the programme has affected their leadership. Furthermore, for those who have completed the programme, we aim to capture the importance it has had for them as leaders and how the programme might have affected the way they lead their schools.
In today's discussions the link between school leadership and school effectiveness is often cited (see, eg, Austin & Reynolds, 1990, Portinscale & Shen 1998). An important aspect is the relationship between school effectiveness and the social relationships between the leader and the employees. The leadership and the interaction between head teacher and employees may in turn take various forms such as ”Manager" (Goldring 1990), “Educational leaders” (Fullan 1991), and “Agent of Change” (Leithwood, 1994). In the National Head Teacher Leadership Programme the pedagogical leadership is an important feature.
In order to ensure that the training is also reflected in every day practice it requires more than theoretical knowledge. In his book "Managing" (Mintzberg, 2009) the author advocates that leadership is neither a science nor a profession but a practice that is learned through experience and rooted in the context in which leadership is carried out. Leadership as a practice, according to the author, therefor becomes a question about how science, crafts and art work together.
Is it possible to see acquired theory expressed in daily practice in the participants' answers to the open questions in the surveys? Another question that arises is whether it is possible to see if the answers indicate that the participants take “credit for” a cooperative climate as a sign or that they consider themselves to be good pedagogical role models and believe they contribute to development of knowledge. Or, are their responses expressions of the fact that the teachers have been given sufficient autonomy to be able to drive development themselves? Do they somehow express Mintzberg's theory of the key elements in how they constitute their leadership?
Austin, G. and Reynolds, D. (1990). Managing for Improved School Effectiveness: An International survey. School Organisation Bush, T. & Glover, D. (2003). School leadership: Concepts and evidence. Reading: National College for School Leadership. Fullan, M. (1991). The New Meaning of Educational Change 2nd ed., London: Cassell Goldring, (1990). Assessing the status of information on classroom organizational frameworks for gifted students. The Journal of Educational Research, 83 Hattie, John (2012): Synligt lärande för lärare. Stockholm, Natur och kultur. Johansson, Olof. & Svedberg, Lars. (red)(2013): Att leda mot skolans mål. Falkenberg: Glerups förlag. Leithwood, K. (1994). Leadership for School Restructuring. Educational Administration Quarterly . Mintzberg, H. (2009). Managing. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers. NIFU (Nordisk institutt for studier av innovasjon, forskning og utdanning): Ledet til lederutvikling. (2012, 2013): Delrapport 1, 2 och 3 fra Evaluering av den nasjonale rektorutdanningen. Rapport skriven på uppdrag av Norska utdanningsdirektoratet, Oslo. Robinson, V., Hohepa, M. & Lloyd, C. (2009) School leadership and student outcomes: Identifying what works and why (Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration). Auckland: University of Auckland. Skolinspektionen Rapport 2010:15: Rektors ledarskap Skolinspektionen Rapport 2012:1: Rektors ledarskap med ansvar för den pedagogiska verksamheten. Skolverket 2001: Rektor – demokratisk, utmanande ledare. Skolverket Rapport 1999:160: Rektor som styrfunktion i en decentraliserad skolorganisation (Skolverket: Nationella kvalitetsgranskningar 1998) SOU 2004:116: Skolans ledningsstruktur. Timperley, Helen 2013: Det professionella lärandets inneboende kraft. Lund, Studentlitteratur
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