01 SES 11 B, Beginning Teachers and Foothold in Induction
Today, religious schools face many challenges, as the priorities of families move from faith towards a focus on the academic outcomes of children. While some religious institutes may reinforce exclusion between students on the basis of religion, others are moving to embrace the changing demographics of our societies and our schools. In this context, some Catholic education spaces are beginning to recognise their unique positioning within the education realm, as a system that must learn from their history in order to move towards inclusive education practices.
Yet the role of Catholic school leaders continues to shift, een to support the practices of educators, as well as promoting student learning and enable student learning outcomesand understanding what it means to lead learning is essential to establishing the necessary pre-conditions in a school that support learning. However, ittle research has been undertaken into the ways in which Catholic school leaders can develop executive capability in critical areas of management, and this presentation considers the need for a program that addresses executive capability as a vehicle for change in broader schooling systems today.
This paper presents the findings of an evaluation of Leading with Integrity for Excellence (LWIE), a program currently being implemented in Australian Catholic schools (with the view to expand into Europe and the UK). LWIE offers the education space an opportunity to respond to some of the challenges it currently faces, as a means by which to enhance the executive management capabilities of school principals, while responding to the need to create a culture of ethical leadership. Accordingly, this paper will argue for the importance of enhanced, values based leadership in order to assure high-quality schooling delivery and positive outcomes for all involved within the school community, and respond to the challenges facing Catholic education today.
This presentation argues the imperative of school leaders developing leadership strengths and the required capabilities to lead in the contemporary context of education. The presentation will explore and examine approaches and strategies which contribute to efficient and effective school leadership and management, leadership approaches to assure quality teaching and learning and student outcomes, and approaches to developing environments for student achievement and wellbeing. In doing, the presenters will argue for the importance of school leaders developing strategies and approaches that support and enhance the operation of schools and their staff in order to refine approaches to issues that impact upon the quality of education students receive. Finally, in view of the changing demographics and experiences of school students, the paper will consider the role of executive capabilities as a means by which to improve governance practices, and ensure alignment with system policies, directions and accountabilities, while also creating safe and ethical schooling communities.
The paper suggests that while the discourses around leadership in Catholic schools espouse a range of moral aspirations, schools face a number of dilemmas in enacting these aspirations. These dilemmas arise from an attempt to negotiate the competing demands of relational and individualized interpretations of leadership within Catholic education. Reflecting upon Michael Fullan's conceptualisation of moral purpose in underpinning ethical leadership practice, an analysis of these dilemmas points to some of the ways in which schools that face changing student demographics might facilitate and develop morally robust leadership practices.
This paper approaches the area of study using quantitative and qualitative methods, including surveys, interviews and document analysis. Interviews with school leaders and executive leaders, supported by policy, marketing and planning documents, contribute to an understanding of the challenges facing Catholic schools today.
Existing education policy and school leadership research suggests the success of any reform depends on the ability of the educational leader to clearly understand the initiative, shape a reform vision, establish clear goals for their school, and mobilise staff members towards the achievement of set goals (e.g. Fullan 2010; Elmore 2002; Caldwell, Harris & Harris 2008). Thus, if schools are to be effective and develop a culture which aspires to continuous improvement, it is essential that schools employ leaders who are able to build the capacity and effectiveness of educators (Giffing, 2010). This session focuses on the preliminary results of the evaluation of the Leading with Integrity for Excellence program, with a focus on the impact of the program upon school leaders in the Catholic sector in Australia, but there is relevance for the European space. Drawing upon the goals, reflections, insights and perspectives of school leaders, the evaluation demonstrates the challenges facing school leaders around the world, and recognises the significant role educators have to play in responding to changing demographics. Thus, this paper considers the current challenges facing the Catholic education sector in Australia, and demonstrates the importance of LWEI in supporting school leaders to demonstrate capacity for continuous improvement, community building, and the promotion of wellbeing.
Caldwell, B., & Harris, J. (2008). Why not the best schools?. Aust Council for Ed Research. Elmore, R. F. (2002). Bridging the gap between standards and achievement: The imperative for professional development in education. Secondary lenses on learning participant book: Team leadership for mathematics in middle and high schools, 313-344. Fullan, M. (Ed.). (2010). All systems go: The change imperative for whole system reform. Corwin Press. Fullan, M. (2002). Moral purpose writ large. School Administrator, 59(8), 14-17.
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