26 SES 04 B, Quality, Context and Leadership
Effective leadership is a crucial element in implementing innovations (Spillane et al., 2011) and the vehicle for school reform at all levels of the education system (Fullan, 2005). Indeed, at Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools, opened in 2008, the implementation of trilingual education policy has placed growing attention on the role of school leaders. At NIS the trilingual education supports the acquisition of Kazakh, Russian and English as language subjects and, also, the use of these three languages to teach other subjects to promote both language learning and content learning. Successful implementation of this policy sets high expectations for school administration, as they are responsible for creating an appropriate language environment to ensure the development of trilingual education, involving students in extra-curricular activities in the three languages. Moreover, there are special requirements for the linguistic competences of NIS leaders. ‘School principals, vice-principals and department heads are expected to use all the languages of instruction. If they speak only one or two of the languages of instruction (Kazakh, Russian or English), they need to be in the process of actively learning and using the language(s) they do not know well or at all’ (Trilingual Education Implementation Guidelines for schools, 2013:8).
Literature also recognises an essential role of school leadership in bilingual education implementation. Scholars (Howard et al., 2007; Lindholm-Leary, 2001) stress supportive and knowledgeable leadership as one of the attributes of effective bilingual education. Lindholm-Leary (2001) suggests that effective leadership includes support from school principals and other administrators to teachers and learners in the realization of the bilingual education. The first Cambridge Educational Leadership Seminar 'Implementing Bilingual Education: Pedagogy and Management' also pointed to the importance of good management in establishing bilingual program (Cambridge Assessment, 2013). Villarreal and Solís (1998) argue that administrators of bilingual education should be the pro-active make bilingualism a reality. Moreover, they suggest that the lack of good leadership might result in the bilingual program failure.
Indeed, another research by Safty (1992) indicated that French immersion bilingual program in Canada was administered by unilingual or ‘theoretically’ bilingual administration and resulted in ambiguity and the low integration of French into the school culture. As was mentioned, linguistic competences of school leaders are also central to the successful implementation of bilingual education.
As may be seen, school leadership plays a special role in trilingual education policy. Thus the purpose of this case study is to find out to what extent and in what ways the trilingual programme is being implemented in NIS.
The study will attempt to answer the following research questions:
To what extent and in what ways do senior leaders in NIS understand the basic principles of trilingual education?
What do senior leaders in NIS view as major obstacles or challenges to implementing trilingual education?
What are the current needs of senior leaders for support and professional development in implementing trilingual education policy?
The rationale for the interest in the topic is twofold. First, the effectiveness of the trilingual education program partly depends on quality of leadership provided by school administration. Therefore, the way leadership teams are coping with the trilingual policy implementation, their experiences, challenges they face and competences they actually have need to be thoroughly examined to inform the whole system management policy and professional development. Second, the empirical studies on leadership in bilingual, particularly on trilingual education are very scarce. Thus, this research will make a contribution to both international and Kazakhstani research body of trilingual education implementation.
References Basit, T. (2010) Conducting Research in Educational Contexts. New York : Continuum. Briggs, A., Coleman, M., and Morrison, M. (eds.) Research Methods in Educational Leadership and Management (3rd edn). London: Sage. pp. 75-89. Bush, T. (2012) ‘Authenticity in research: reliability, validity and triangulation’, in Briggs, A., Coleman, M., and Morrison, M. (eds.) Research Methods in Educational Leadership and Management (3rd edn). London: Sage. pp. 75-89. Cohen, L., Manion, L., and Morrison, K. (2000) Research Methods in Education. (5th edn). Abingdon:RoutledgeFalmer. Coleman, M. (2012) ‘Interviews’, in Briggs, A., Coleman, M., and Morrison, M.(eds.) Research Methods in Educational Leadership and Management(3rd edn). London: Sage. pp. 250-265. Creswell, J. (2012) Educational Research: Planning, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research (4th edn). Essex:Pearson. Denscombe, M. (2010) The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects, New York: Open University Press. [electronic resource] Fullan, M. (2005). Leadership and sustainability. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press; Toronto: Ontario Principal’s Council. Howard, E., Sugarman, J., Christian, D., Lindholm-Leary, K., and Rogers, D. (2007). Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education.Washington, DC: Center for Applied Linguistics. Available online at: www.cal.org/twi/guiding_principles.pdf Implementing Bilingual Education: Pedagogy and Management. Available at http://www.cambridgeassessment.org.uk/ [Accessed on January 25, 2014] Johnson R., Onwuegbuzie, A. and Turner, L. (2007) ‘Toward a definition of mixed methods research’. Journal of Mixed Methods Research 1(2): 112-133. Lindholm-Leary, K. J. (2001). Dual Language Education. Avon, UK: Multilingual Matters. Muijs, D. (2012) ‘Surveys and sampling’, in Briggs, A., Coleman, M., and Morrison, M.(eds) Research Methods in Educational Leadership and Management.(3rd edn) London: Sage. pp. 140-154. Safty, A. (1992) ‘French Immersion: Bilingual Education and Unilingual Administration’. Interchange 23 (4 ):389-405. Scott, D. (2007) ‘Resolving the quantitative-qualitative dilemma: a critical result approach’. International Journal of Research and Method in Education 30(1):3-17. Scott, D. and Morrison, M. (2007) Key Ideas in Educational Research. London:Continuum. Spillane, J., Healey, K., Parise, L., and Kenney, A. (2011) ‘A distributed perspective on learning leadership’, in Robertson J. and Timperley, H. Leadership and Learning. London: Sage. Trilingual Education Implementation Guidelines for schools, 2013.[NIS document] Villarreal, A. and Solís, A. (1998) Effective implementation of bilingual programs: reflections from the field. IDRA. Newsletter. San Antonio, TX: Intercultural Development Research association. Wellington, J. (2000) Educational Research: Contemporary Issues and Practical Approaches. London: Continuum.
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