01 SES 04 B, Leadership development
In the last fifteen years, the Québec education system has gone through numerous changes among which, a new competency-based approach that led to major modifications in students assessment. Two major changes in students’ assessment are worth mentioning. First, the new curriculum approach required teachers to create complex assessment tools to reflect the continuous process of students’ competencies development and put an emphasis on teachers’ judgment in the assessment process. Second, although teachers remained mainly responsible for students’ assessment, school principals now share a bigger part of this responsibility. Indeed, they are accountable for the performance of their school, consequently, the performance of the students enrolled in their school. Partnership agreements, Management and students success agreements, Standards and modalities are embedded in the current accountability era in education and are largely under the responsibility of school principals. But, collaboration amongst school principals and teachers is a key to success for school accountability. Henceforth, there is a need for them to work together towards the enhancement of students’ success, which is largely intertwined, with assessment.
The Ministry of Education provided some training sessions for teachers and school administrators in order to facilitate the transition of curriculum, specifically in regards to students’ assessment. However, despite the effort made by the Ministry, teachers and schools principals are still in need of support, especially in the field of students’ assessment (Fontaine, Savoie-Zajc & Cadieux, 2013). Research shows that learning communities appear to be one successful option to support school staff in the development of competencies in specific field while fostering autonomy and self-reflexive practice (Ardoino, 2000; Boutinet, 2007; Vial, 2007). Leclerc, Philion, Dumouchel and Laflamme (2013) suggest that the role of schools principals is a crucial one for implementing learning communities in school. Guillemette (2004) created learning communities composed of school principals and worked at clarifying their conception of their role within the school. She questioned the ability of school principal to accompany their staff stressing that they are not trained to do so. The development of professional competencies to accompanied teachers has been studied by Lafortune (2008) and Charlier & Biémar (2012). Each author proposes a list of professional competencies to be developed in order to support and accompany changes in education.
In January 2015, we created two learning communities composed of 16 school principals. Our objectives were to 1) identify the needs of school principals in regards to the development of their professional competencies to better accompany teachers in the field of assessment; 2) familiarize school principals with best practices in students’ assessment; 3) provide guidance as to ways of implementing learning communities within their school; and 4) co-develop an action plan to support the assessment process within the school.
For the purpose of this communication, our focus will be on objective one. More specifically, we will present the model of professional competencies we developed from the literature and the tools we used to identify what school principals need to develop to better accompanied their staff.
Ardoino, J. (2000). De l'accompagnement en tant que paradigme. Pratiques de Formation/Analyses (Université Paris 8, Formation Permanente) N°40 , pp. 5-19 Charlier, E & Biémar, S. (sous la direction de) (2012). Accompagner, un agir professionnel. Bruxelles : De Boeck. Boutinet, J. P. (2007). Penser l'accompagnement adulte : ruptures, transitions, rebonds (1re éd. ed.). Paris: Presses universitaires de France. Fontaine S, Savoie-Zajc L, Cadieux A. (2013). L'impact des CAP sur le développement de la compétence des enseignants en évaluation des apprentissages. Éducation et Francophonie. XLI(2):10-34. Guillemette, S. & Simon, L.(2004). L’accompagnement du développement professionnel auprès de la direction d’établissement secondaire, La revue des échanges, vol. 25 (2), p.8-14. Lafortune, L. (2008a). Compétences professionnelles pour l'accompagnement d'un changement un référentiel. Québec [Qué.]: Presses de l'Université du Québec. Lafortune, L. (2008b). Guide pour l'accompagnement professionnel d'un changement. Québec: Presses de l'Université du Québec. Leclerc, Martine, Ruth Philion, Catherine Dumouchel, Dominique Laflamme. La direction d’école comme pilier à l’implantation de la communauté d’apprentissage professionnelle chez les enseignants en adaptation scolaire au secondaire. Éducation et francophonie. 41. 2 (2013) : 125-156. Vial, M. (2007). L'accompagnement professionnel? : méthode à l'usage des praticiens exerçant une fonction éducative (1re éd. ed.). Bruxelles: De Boeck.
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