26 SES 12 A, The Art of the Deal? Coping with the Idea of More Power and Responsibility at the School Level
During the last decades, many school systems have undergone extensive changes in their governance structures and an international trend towards increased school autonomy and control mechanisms can be observed. Following Bush (2013, p. 697) autonomy and accountability act as “twin dimensions of the reform agenda.” The nature of autonomy policies in general includes on more responsibilities for individual schools for curriculum and/or resources. In an era of increased room for maneuvers, school leaders have become key agents facing a broad number of new tasks. Not only do they have to orchestrate operative management issues, they also have to deal with organizational and human resources development (Brauckmann & Schwarz, 2015). In fact, principals challenge a broad variety of complex scenarios and therefore they have to customize their leadership radius (Brauckmann & Pashiardis, 2011). Meta-analysis investigating the impact of educational leadership on student achievement report small effects (e.g., Robinson et al., 2008; Scheerens, 2012). This is no surprise as school leaders unfold their influence on student outcome mostly indirectly. School-level processes and conditions mediate the effects of leadership. Hallinger (2011) explained that a number of context characteristics have to be considered looking at the impact of leadership. In other words, school context and governance structures represent key factors in explaining leadership actions. Recent studies proved that patterns of centralization and decentralization (i.e., the degree of autonomy) are linked to the role and function of school leaders (Brauckmann & Pashiardis, 2011). Based on the above, the main purpose of this paper is to uncover the links between school autonomy and student achievement in a cross-country perspective. First results, published by the OECD (2016), indicate higher student test scores in school systems with more responsibilities for principals. We assume that rights for decisions on school leader level determine school leadership such as curricular and professional development or teacher participation. School leaders can create learning opportunities for students, which in turn have an impact on their performance (Spillane, 2015). Providing effective school and teaching conditions in this sense are the result of self-organization processes. With this approach, we take up the need of examining leadership in context (Hallinger, 2016). The contribution draws on data from the PISA 2015 survey (OECD, 2017) using data from the school and the student questionnaire. At the school level, information on autonomy, leadership and school and classroom conditions are available. The student questionnaire provides data about teaching and learning.
Brauckmann, S. & Pashiardis, P. (2011). A validation study of the leadership styles of a holistic leadership theoretical framework. International Journal of Educational Management, 25(1), 11-32. Brauckmann, S. & Schwarz, J. (2015). No time to manage? The trade-off between relevant tasks and actual priorities of school leaders in Germany. International Journal of Educational Management, 29(6), 749-765. Bush, T. (2013). Autonomy and Accountability: Twin Dimensions of the Reform Agenda. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 41(6), 697-700. Hallinger, P. (2011). Leadership for learning: lessons from 40 years of empirical research. Journal of Educational Administration, 49(2) 125-142. Hallinger, P. (2016). Bringing context out of the shadows of leadership. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 46(1), 5-24. OECD (2017). PISA 2015 Technical Report. Paris: OECD Publishing. OECD (2016). PISA 2015 Results (Volume II): Policies and Practices for Successful Schools. Paris: OECD Publishing. Robinson, V. M. J., Lloyd, C. A. & Rowe, K. J. (2008). The Impact of Leadership on Student Outcomes: An Analysis of the Differential Effects of Leadership Types. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(5), 635-674. Scheerens, J. (2012). School Leadership Effects Revisited. Review and Meta-Analysis of Empirical Studies. Dordrecht: Springer. Spillane, J. (2015). Leadership and Learning: Conceptualizing Relations between School Administrative Practice and Instructional Practice. Societies, 5(2), 277-294,
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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