26 SES 02 A, Interests, Motivations And Preparation For Becoming A School Leader
Attracting and retaining effective school leaders continues to be a priority across schools internationally (Chapman, 2005; OECD,2005, 2008, 2012). However, increasing government regulation, accountability, social reform and the marketisation of schools has made this task more difficult (Walker & Qian, 2006). As the responsibilities of school leaders are compounded, so are the challenges associated with developing programs to best prepare them for 21st century schools. It has been argued that certain aspects of leadership training ought to commence from the very beginning of teacher preparation (Xu & Patmor, 2012; Campbell-Evans, Stampoulis & Maloney, 2014). Research suggests that Initial teacher education programs should not only focus on making sure graduate teachers are ready to teach but also prepare them for the prospect of leadership roles in schools and educational settings. Conceptualisations of leadership at the pre-career stage are said to be vastly different to traditional models of leadership development for practicing teachers aspiring to leadership (Xu & Patmor, 2012). It is unclear, however, which leadership skills and qualities are required, how they should be best fostered and how widespread this practice of incorporating leadership studies within teacher training programs actually is.
This paper explores a growing trend amongst initial teacher preparation programs to focus on the development of leadership qualities amongst it’s pre-service teachers. Within the context of major international policy reforms impacting on the structure and delivery of initial teacher education programs (TEMAG, 2014; Furlong, 2015) and a growing rise in teacher leadership research (Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy, 1986; Lieberman, 1992; Lieberman, Saxl, and Miles, 1988), this paper:
- presents a review of existing research exploring the inclusion of leadership studies within initial teacher education programs over the last decade.
- presents the findings of an analysis of 50 leading International initial teacher education providers to ascertain the prevalence of leadership studies offered within their teacher preparation degrees.
A review of literature in this area has never been completed to date, nor has a review of the inclusion of leadership studies across international initial teacher education programs to date, and as such, this work will serve as a significant piece of research. This paper adds a significant body of research to existing research around leadership preparation and the role of initial teacher education providers in preparing the next generation of leaders.
Utilising a qualitative research design, this paper presents an analysis of existing literature exploring the inclusion of leadership studies within teacher preparation programs, the prevalence of leadership studies across initial teacher education programs, and the structure and focus of leadership studies offered. The data upon which this paper is based was collected in two stages: Stage 1: A literature review of existing research exploring leadership themes within initial teacher educations programs over the last decade. Stage 2: A web based review of the inclusion of leadership studies across 50 top ranking Initial teacher education courses was conducted. A review of each program website included a search through Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary Initial Teacher education programs and the curriculum offerings within each course. A search for the terms leadership, leading, leader, lead was conducted followed by a deeper review of the subject content. University programs were selected using the QS World University Rankings by Subject in 2018: Education
The research project that this paper draws upon is ongoing, and as such the findings presented here are provisional in nature. Existing research presents a case for institutions to consider offering leadership studies within their pre-service programs however the paucity of research is insufficient in determining whether graduates have benefited from exposure to such studies in their pre-service training. Hence an opportunity exists for further research tracking the career trajectories of those graduates exposed to leadership studies within their pre-service training. The research to date suggests that fostering leadership skills in pre-service teachers assists them in shaping their beliefs about education and the leadership of schools. Existing research most notably refers to teacher leadership (ASCD, 2014), where teachers take on some form of leadership in a school in addition to classroom teaching as opposed to school leadership which is focused purely on the leadership and management of the whole school. Research suggests that exposure to leadership studies improves initial teacher perspectives and introduces them to the nature of leadership. Research also suggests that the early introduction of leadership studies is important in the creation of a supportive school structure, that is, developing teachers with an awareness of the opportunities and challenges of leadership, can promote greater understanding amongst school staff. The review of initial teacher programs at this stage indicates a prevalence of the term leadership within subjects offered most often within elective subjects. The terms leading, and leadership were commonly used in subject titles such as Leading Literacy, Leading Mathematics, Leadership in Educational Settings and the content of subjects related to leadership within specific content areas or in some cases explicitly to leadership development. Along with the prevalence of the terms teacher leadership, instructional leadership which were also evident across pre-service programs.
ASCD. (2015). Teacher Leadership: The What, Why, and How of Teachers as Leaders. A Report on the Fall 2014 ASCD. Whole Child Symposium, USA. Chapman, J. (2005). Recruitment, retention, and development of school principals, Education policy booklet series, International Academy of Education (IAE) and the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP), UNESCO, Paris. Campbell-Evans, G., Stamopoulos, E.,& Maloney, C. (2014). Building Leadership Capacity in Early Childhood Pre-Service Teachers. Australian Journal of Teacher Education, 39(5). http://dx.doi.org/10.14221/ajte.2014v39n5.3 Carnegie Forum on Education and the Economy. (1986). A nation prepared: Teachers for the twenty-first century: The report of the Carnegie Forum on Education and The Economy's Task Force on Teaching as a Profession. Washington, DC: The Forum. Furlon, J. (2015). Teaching tomorrow’s teachers: Options for the future of initial teacher education in Wales. University of Oxford. Lieberman, A. (1992). Teacher leadership: What are we learning? In C. Livingston (Ed.), Teachers as leaders: Evolving roles. NEA School Restructuring Series. Washington, DC: National Education Association. Lieberman, A., Saxl, E. R., & Miles, M. B. (1988). Teacher leadership: Ideology and practice. In A. Lieberman (Ed.), Building a professional culture in schools. New York: Teachers College Press. OECD. (2005). Teachers Matter: Attracting, Developing and Retaining Effective Teachers. Paris: OECD. OECD. (2008). Improving school leadership. Paris: OECD. OECD. (2012). Preparing Teachers and developing school leaders for the 21st Century. Paris: OECD. Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group. (2014). Action now: Classroom ready teachers. Canberra, Australia: Australian Government Department of Education & Training. Retrieved from http://docs.education.gov.au/system/files/doc/other/action_now_classroom_ready_teachers_accessible.pdf Walker, A & Qian, H. (2006) Beginning Principals: Balancing at the Top of the Greasy Pole. Journal of Educational Administration, v44 n4 p297-309 2006 Xu, Y & Patmor, G. (2012). Fostering Leadership Skills in Pre-Service Teachers. International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, v24 n2 p252-256
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