32 SES 13 A, Organizational Education Perspectives on Schools Dealing with Inclusion and Diversity Policies
This research aims to investigate the influences principal leadership on the diversified forms of professional learning communities (PLCs) in the school. Based on the three cases of Hong Kong secondary schools, this research attempts to address how do the PLCs in the schools evolve and what are the possible influences of the principal’s leadership on the development of PLCs in the schools? The present study employs qualitative research methods. Data collected from: interviews of principals and teachers; site visits of observation of staff development programs and panel or committee meetings as well as the study of related document at the government and school levels. This study finds that the development of the PLCs of the three secondary schools ranges from the initial stage to the implementation stage respectively. The principals exert more direct and significant influence upon the middle managers, yet the principal’s influence over the ordinary teachers and middle managers varies from school to school. First of all, the idea of "establishing school vision and mission" is the primary key strategy for the overall improvement of teaching of the school. The principal’s strategy of "promoting professional learning and development" is affected by his/her view of student learning and the view of teachers’ professional learning as well as its meaning and implementation model. Secondly, the principal's instructional leadership, combined with other leadership models, shows different impacts on the development of the PLCs. The three school principals combine the strategies of "shared leadership", "transformational leadership" and "contingency model of leadership" respectively, which are significantly different from the "shared values and vision" of the community. Thirdly, the "promotion of professional learning and development" introduced by different principals' leadership models has led the team to learn in "multi-layered", "dotted or linear" and "personalized" manner. Moreover, the "provision of supportive environment" will help train middle schools and operate a culture of mutual trust while they establish their school-based PLCs. In conclusion, the principals' leadership strategy has a crucial role in the construction of PLCs development and team culture. Further discussion will reflect how the research findings of this study can provide insights into issues such as training of principal’s leadership, policies on teachers’ continuous professional development or development of school-based PLCs.
Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York, NY: The Free Press Huffman, J. & Hipp, K. (2010). Diagnostic and planning tolls. In K. K. Hipp & J. B. Huffman (Eds.), Demystifying professional learning communities. School leadership at its best (p.43-56). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Education Huffman, J. B. & Hipp, K. K. (2003). Reculturing schools as professional learning communities. Oxford: Scarecrow Education. Leithwood, K. & Mascall, B. (2008). Collective leadership effects on student achievement. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(4), 529-561. Spillane, J. P. & Diamond, J. B. (2007). Distributed leadership in practice. New York: Teachers College Press. Stoll, L. (2010). Connecting learning communities: capacity building for systemic change, in A. Hargreaves, A. Lieberman, M. Fullan and D. Hopkins (Eds.), Second international handbook of educational change (pp.469-84). Dordrecht: Springer.
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