26 SES 08 A, School Culture and School Development
The purpose of the text is to highlight and discuss various aspects of “the role of the principal in school development projects” in order to increase knowledge on this phenomena. I study how school leaders lead the leadership process, and how the role of the principals is experienced both by principals and teachers. My research question is: What kinds of experiences have school leaders and teachers with the role of the principal in school development? The basis of the paper is my point of departure, that development work aims to improve teaching and learning in the school.
The theoretical framework is related to leadership of the leadership process(Johnsen, 2005. The framework of analysis on which this paper is based defines leadership as a type of influence that can be embedded within different tasks or situations and disseminated to many individuals. This means that the term leadership includes influence of people with leadership positions exercised both formally and informally (Johnsen 2002). The framework also includes the theory of leadership dimension related to student learning (Robinsson,2011).
Johnsen(2002)claims that leadership behavior is practiced when one participates in a simultaneous goal-setting, problem-solving, and language-creating interaction with relevant others (p. 12). He developed the model called: “The ideal leadership process”, and to “Lead the leadership process” implies that leadership behavior is attached both to the actions of formal leaders, as well as to general human behavioral patterns. He points out that the essence of leadership is the “leadership behavior” of the individual. Those in formal leadership positions perform tasks in cooperation with others, which requires both the mutual exchange of information as well as an open dialogue regarding the goals to be set and the necessary steps involved in achieving them. One formal leader, the school principal, is empowered to delegate authority that fulfils a more specified function.
Robinson (2011) point at leadership dimensions, which are of importance in working with improvement of practice in schools. The five dimensions are about Establishing Goals and Expectations, Resourcing Strategically, Ensuring Quality Teaching, Leading Teacher Learning and Development and Ensuring an Orderly and Safe Environment. Her conclusion is: The more leaders focus their relationships, their work and their learning on the core business of teaching and learning the greater their influence on student outcomes.
Due to the principal as the formal leader of the leadership process of the development projects, and the aim of the development projects – increasing teaching and learning, this framework forms the theoretical framework of this paper.
. Elmore, R. (2000). Building a new structure for school leadership. American Educator, 23(4), 6–13. Fullan, M. (2001). Leading in a culture of change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Johnsen, E. (1993). Strategisk analyse og syntese. En kvalitativ metode. Copenhaven: Handelshøjskolens forlag. Johnsen, E. (2002). Managing the managerial process: A participative approach. Copenhagen: DJØF Publ. Johnsen, E., Vanebo, J. O., & Busch, T. (1995). Ledelse av ledelsesprosessen. Oslo: TANO. Robinson, V. M. J. (2007). School leadership and student outcomes: Identifying what works and why. The University of Auckland Centre for Educational Leadership: Monograph & Resource Pack (available from www.education.auckland.ac.nz/uacel) Robinson, V. M. J. & Timperley, H. S. (2007). The leadership of the improvement of teaching and learning: Lessons from initiatives with positive outcomes for students. Australian Journal of Education, 51 (3), 247-26. Robinson, Viviane (2011). Student-centered leadership. San Francisco: Jossey BassStake, R. E. (1995). The art of case study research. Thousand Oaks: Sage. Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. M. (1998). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Thousand Oaks: Sage.
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