26 SES 13 A, Looking Leadership To Support Teaching
Paper Session/Ignite Talk
The purpose is to provide a roadmap for school leaders to ensure teacher quality. The paper argues that a major leadership challenge for school leaders is to attract, develop and maintain the quality, commitment and engagement of teachers over their career, and that leaders need to take a strategic approach over long term.
Quality teachers and quality teaching have been a core concern of educational systems and schools around the world (OECD 2001, 2005, 2008). Current evidence-based research has shown that the ‘good’ (effective/inspiring) teacher is a significant factor in improving student outcomes (OECD, 2005; Stronge, 2007). Research shows that teachers are the most significant in-school factor influencing student learning. Estimates of the percentage contribution of teachers to student outcomes varies from 30% (Hattie 2003) to 59% (Alton-Lee 2003; Rowe 2003). With the pressure to improve student outcomes and the significance of teacher quality, it is incumbent on school leaders to ensure that they acquire, develop and retain quality teachers.
School systems now recognise the changing role of school leaders, with increased trend towards devolution and greater accountability. School leaders will increasingly be involved in attracting, developing and retaining quality teachers as well as the leader’s traditional role of teacher deployment. They will need take on roles such as talent scout, developer and retainer. An additional consequence of the focus on quality teachers is the attention on underperforming teachers. Teachers are often seen as part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Instead of being praised for their efforts in helping student achievement, they are being blamed for their failures (Darling-Hammond). In many educational systems school leaders are expected to manage teacher performance and underperforming teachers (Duignan 2006). For example, within the Australian context, teacher appraisals do not appear to be sufficient for underperformance (Jensen, 2011). A dilemma for principals is that they are often caught in the cross fire between the calls to sack or to develop underperforming teacher (Day, et al 1999).
Within this context we present a conceptual framework that we label a ‘roadmap for teacher quality’. It is based on a human resource management framework that integrates several key functions that help leaders identify and acquire the very best prospects and potential for the teaching profession and then support them in their journey. The roadmap outlines the key stages of a teacher’s journey: the aspiration to teach, their preparation and recruitment into the system, and their early experiences with the teaching profession. It follows them in their development, learning and adjustment to new ideas and technology. School leaders can play an important part in at each stage: identifying, acquiring and developing teachers though what we have identified ‘touchpoints. Touch points are key stages in a teacher’s career that can support and encourage them to be the very best they can. Alternatively, teachers can be turned away from the profession through negative experiences. We argue that leaders need to understand the whole journey and intervene to help teachers reach their potential and help them to maintain it over their career. We have identified the touch points as recruitment, selection, induction, professional learning, performance management, remuneration, exit. While these are key stages, we recognise that there are spaces in-between the touch points. In this sense it is the whole journey that leaders need to be cognisant. This is what Day (2017) calls the lives of teachers – their needs, aspirations, challenges, opportunities and threats. The roadmap provides a comprehensive and integrated perspective of the whole journey and how school leaders can influence and impact to ensure teacher quality over the long term.
This paper is largely conceptual although it is based on sound theory and research. We present a road map for leading teacher quality that is based on a strategic human resource management framework (Mercer, Barker, Bird, 2010). The authors draw on the Human Resource Management literature and the emerging literature on HRM in education to support the road map. The objective of Human Resource Management (HRM) is to make the most effective and best possible use of people within the accepted social, economic and ethical framework and standards of the existing the culture or society. Human Resource Management (HRM) is a multi-disciplinary approach which draws its theories and practices from many sources. It aims to help people to work more effectively, improve performance, provide a productive and supportive environment, improve managing and leading people, improve managing and leading people, establish appropriate principles, policies and practices, and provide competitive advantage (Stone, 2017; Nieto, 2014). The key operative functions include: job design & evaluation; manpower planning; recruitment and selection; induction & socialisation; training & development; performance management; working conditions; employee relations; remuneration & benefits; retirement & redundancy (Ogunyomi, Shadare & Chidi, 2011; Mondy & Martocchio, 2015; Youssef, 2012; Dessler, 2011; Hendry, 2011). The intended outcome is to unsure the competence of an organization’s workforce to perform, compete, and innovate (Lawler, Mohrman & Ledford, 1998). Over the past two decades the principles of human resource management have been applied to schools. Educational writers such as Runhaar (2016); Odden (2011), Kimball (2011), have championed HRM as a disciplined approach compared with the ad hoc approach that is common in schools. In addition, we source the literature that explores teachers’ lives and the internal and external factors that impact on their performance and careers (Day 2012, 2017; Ball & Goodson, 1985; Day, Sammons, Stobart, Kington & Gu,2007). We integrate the research into a road map for leaders. The road map includes six touch points where leaders can make an impact: career aspirations; teacher preparation; acquiring talent; induction; professional learning; performance management. Each touch point is supported by the literature. We are also considered what we call ‘the spaces in-between’ where the leaders work to maintain commitment and engagement over the time by meeting the needs of teachers and understanding their lives and their work. Leaders underpin the touch points with developing and maintaining good working conditions, building a productive culture and providing motivation for teachers.
We present a road map for leadership for quality teachers and teacher quality. The map (framework) is based on the key operational functions from the HRM literature. We identity six domains that we name as ‘touchpoints. The touch points are: career aspirations; teacher preparation; sourcing talent; induction; professional learning; performance management. We highlight the key areas and activities that leaders can focus on, for example, in the touch point ‘induction’, activities might include: work orientation, building expectations, mentoring, socialisation, role clarity, retention strategies. We also outline what we call the ‘spaces in-between’ where leaders focus on the needs in both the short and long term to build and maintain teacher commitment and engagement. Here we recognise the internal and external factors that influence teacher quality and impact on teachers’ lives and work. These include: the complex nature of teaching; increased work load; use of digital technology; pressure to enhance knowledge and classroom competence; the neo-liberal agenda and government policy (result driven and increased accountability); working conditions; community status- recognition; globalisation and increased competition; deprivatisation of teachers work (Day 2017). In the spaces in-between leaders address individual and team needs, build individual and profession capacity, support and resource teaching and learning, maintain sound and healthy working conditions, develop a productive culture, help teacher build resilience, and provide opportunities for motivation. We accept that in different systems, in different countries there will be varying levels of devolved responsibility, leader autonomy and accountability. Leaders may have greater opportunities to impact on touch points in some systems, for example, recruitment and selection, where this function may remain central controlled. However, we believe that leadership for teacher quality requires a roadmap that highlights the touch points and the spaces between. Leaders need to pay attention to a whole journey of teachers in their career.
Ball, S.J., & Goodson, I. (1985). Teachers’ lives and careers. Lewes,UK: Falmer Press. Day, C. (2012). New Lives of Teachers. Teacher Education Quarterly, 39(1), 7-26. Day, Christopher, (2017) Teachers’ Worlds and Work: Understanding Complexity, Building Quality, Routledge , NY. Dessler, G. (2011). Human resource management. Boston, Mass.: Pearson. Hattie, J. (2003). Teachers make a difference: What is the research evidence? Paper presented at ACER Research Conference, October 19-21, in Melbourne. Jensen, B. (2011). Better teacher appraisal and feedback: Improving performance. Melbourne: Grattan Institute. Kimball, S. M. (2011) Principals, Human Capital Managers at Every School, Phi Delta Kappan 92(7) 13-18. Lawler, E. E., Mohrman, S. A. and Ledford, G. E. (1998). Strategies for High Performance Organizations – the CEO Report. San Francisco: Jossey – Bass Publishers. Mercer, J, Barker, B., Bird, R. (2010) Human Resource Management in Education [electronic resource] Contexts, Themes and Impact, Hoboken: Taylor and Francis Nieto, M. L. (2014). Human resource management. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. Odden, A. R. (2011) Strategic Management of Human Capital in Education. New York: Routledge, 2011 Runhaar, Piety. (2016). How can schools and teachers benefit from human resources management?. Educational Management Administration & Leadership. 45(10). Ogunyomi, O.P. & Shadare, A.O. & Chidi, O.C.(2011). Current trends and future directions of human resource management practices: European Journal of Economics, Finance and Administrative Sciences. 19-25. Article How can schools and teachers benefit from human resources management? Conceptualising HRM from content and process perspectives Article How can schools and teachers benefit from human resources management? Conceptualising HRM from content and process perspectives Article How can schools and teachers benefit from human resources management? Conceptualising HRM from content and process perspectives Article How can schools and teachers benefit from human resources management? Conceptualising HRM from content and process perspectives OECD (2001). Teachers for tomorrow’s schools: Analysis of the world education indicators. Paris: OECD and UNESCO Institute for Statistics. OECD (2005). Teachers matter: Attracting, developing and retaining effective teachers. Paris: Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. OECD (2008). Measuring improvements in learning outcomes: Best practices to assess the value-added of schools. Paris: OECD. Rowe, K. (2003). The importance of teacher quality as a key determinant of students’ experiences and outcomes of schooling. In Building teacher quality: Research conference 2003: 15-23. Melbourne: ACER. Stronge, J. H. (2007). Qualities of effective teachers (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: ASCD. Youssef, C. M. (2012). Human resource management. San Diego, CA : Bridgepoint Education.
Search the ECER Programme
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.