26 SES 10 B, Policy Expectations towards School Leaders: Country perspectives
In a rapidly changing society, education and schools are faced with diverse challenges. Over the past decades, global policy ideas shape national educational policies, school reform, and school improvement in many countries. A recent review on school leadership research in the period of 2007 to 2017 have identified five main thematic strands: 1) school leadership for enhancing students’ academic achievement and teachers’ effectiveness; 2) leadership for educational change, accountability and promoting democratic values; 3) leadership for social justice, equality and equity in education and narrowing achievement gaps; 4) principal’s instructional leadership for school improvement; 5) and distributed leadership and its impact on organisational climate and teachers’ attitudes and stress (Tian & Huber, 2019). In the body of research included in this review, scholars have explored tensions and dilemmas school leaders are facing related to the themes described above, for instance the dynamics between leaders and teachers in leadership work, issues related to distributed leadership and not at least changes in educational governance brought by the global spread of New Public Management ideas and neoliberal educational policies. Such travelling policies are shaped by national contexts and are manifested in systems of monitoring educational quality in terms of tests, reporting, and accountability practices aiming to boost performance of school actors, particularly school leaders and teachers (Verger et al., 2019). Failing to perform on targets will in some countries such as England and the USA, lead to sanctions on schools and in worst case end up in school closure and state taking over school districts, but also strategic behaviours among school actors to avoid such severe consequences (Welsh et al., 2019). In this logic, school leaders and teachers are expected to constantly look for ways to help improve education which has opened up for a market with respect to private companies offering digital systems and tools to synthesize and monitor various types of results and programmes in literacy etc. which aim to improve student outcomes. At the same times, school leaders are faced with challenges to accommodate needs of an increasingly diverse student group and teacher fluctuation.
This symposium aims to provide four country reports on expectations posed on school leaders from various stakeholders, but with a focus on policy expectations. The four countries include Norway, Sweden, Germany and Spain. Additionally, we will present an Asian and an US perspective. Research teams from these countries take part in the European School Leadership Study as part of the World School Leadership Study (WSLS) which is organized as a research consortium comprising more than 60 countries around the world. This international study aims to map aspects and issues around school leadership practices and work situation in countries from all parts of the world. The purpose is to research and monitor the profession of school leadership nationally and internationally. The research focuses on six thematic strands (resources and demands, health-resilience-well-being, values and professional understanding, practice, person-job-organization-system-fit, school quality and its development).
The first phase of this study includes a systematic review of school leadership research and policy expectations posed on school leaders in the respective countries. With these reviews as a basis, a quantitative survey will be developed, adapted to country contexts and distributed among school leaders and further in-depth qualitative interview studies will be conducted. Since research on school leadership published internationally is still dominated by research in Anglo-American countries, these country studies and the international comparative study will contribute to a wider understanding of school leadership.
This symposium contributes in particular to understand various European policy contexts in which school leaders operate and the various expectations which are posed on school leaders.
Tian, M. & Huber, S.G. (2019). Mapping educational leadership, administration and management research 2007–2016: Thematic strands and the changing landscape. Journal of Educational Administration. Published online 19. November. Verger, A., L. Parcerisa, and C. Fontdevila. 2019. “The Growth and Spread of National Assessments and Test-based Accountabilities: A Political Sociology of Global Education Reforms. Educational Review, 71/1, 5–30. Welsh, R., Graham, J. & Williams, S. (2019). Acing the test: an examination of teachers’ perceptions of and responses to the threat of state takeover. Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Accountability, 31(3), 315–347.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
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