rss_2.0Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Journal of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice of Educational Leadership, Policy and Practice Feed responsive policy development: Co-constructing assessment and reporting practices with First Nation educators in Alberta<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Informed by an adaption of the tri-level reform framework, we collaborated with a First Nation district student assessment committee, school principals, and district personnel to develop a student assessment policy. Through a series of workshops and meetings with school administrators and classroom teachers from Tsuut’ina Nation, located in southern Alberta, Canada, we created an assessment, evaluation, and reporting policy aligned to Tsuut’ina fundamental values, provincial priorities, and best practices in student assessment. Teaching practices that are aligned to the three educational pillars of learner outcomes, instruction, and assessment, as well as the Tsuut’ina fundamental values, have the potential to impact the Nation’s student educational success. We discuss implications of this work in relation to collaboration, Indigenous world view, and outcome-based reporting.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue family experiences in higher education: Surfacing, awakening, and transforming developing leader identity<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Storying family experiences provides a means to explore and support leader identity development. The idea of recalling and reflecting on stories about and from families can surface how orientations to lead are learned early on in life. We report on students’ narratives generated during a postgraduate early childhood education leadership course to understand the significance of family storytelling in leader identity development and the awakenings this process encouraged for those involved. Using <xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_jelpp-2023-0002_ref_019">McCain and Matkin’s (2019)</xref> concept of retrospective storytelling, narrative inquiry underpinned our analysis of students’ family-oriented stories and the identification of two themes regarding their orientation to leadership: the influence of families’ hardships, work ethic and selfless actions; and the expectations associated with being the first-born in the family and the assumed responsibilities. Our findings affirm the transformative potential of selecting, telling, and reflecting on family stories to both understand the roots of leadership motivations and develop leader identities. Implications include promoting a narrative-based pedagogy for leadership development that centres on postgraduate students’ retrospective storying of family experiences.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue and challenging dimensions of principal autonomy in South Australia: A lived experience phenomenological analysis of the courage to care<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This paper employs critical policy historiography of South Australian public education as a contextual backdrop that speaks to a hermeneutic phenomenological study of the lived experiences of two former public-school principals, who describe how their ongoing social justice schooling agendas in public education met with considerable departmental resistance. Both resigned at the peak of their public education careers to pursue their schooling vision in the federally funded independent school system which traditionally catered for the wealthy, elite schools and forms the third tier of the complex funding arrangements of education in Australia that has festered for years under the label “the funding wars” (<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_jelpp-2021-0005_ref_001">Ashenden, 2016</xref>). Changes to funding arrangements opened up the system and gave the opportunity for our two principals to pursue a public vision in the independent schooling sector, free from what they described as the “shackles” of bureaucratic command and control. The phenomenological essence of their journeyed leadership narratives reveals the <bold>courage to care</bold>, driving their narrative reflections. They perceived that increasing demands of departmental compliance took them away from being able to pursue a socially just vision with autonomy and freedom. Stepping into the uncertainty of their new independent schooling aspirations, the principals <bold>felt</bold> professional relief and <bold>found</bold> real autonomy. We conclude with an exploration of the phenomenological notion of “the courage to care.”</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue leaders in community secondary schools in rural Tanzania: Challenges and coping strategies<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In Tanzania, many qualified and capable women teachers are not involved in decision making despite the fact that the Tanzania government has affirmed the promotion of women's participation in the decision-making process. Even those few who are in leadership still face obstacles and challenges especially in a rural context. This paper examines the challenges women leaders face and identifies the coping strategies they use to overcome the challenges in Community Secondary Schools (CSSs) in rural Tanzania. The study involved heads of schools, teachers, the Regional Educational Officer (REO) and the District Education Officer (DEO). Data were obtained through interviews and focus group discussions. The findings reveal that women face multi-level challenges with respect to family, society and the education system, most of which arise from early socialisation. Women leaders work in a patriarchal society that does not accept them due to their sex/femininity and there is a lack of trust from their spouses when they execute leadership roles. It was also observed that women leaders face challenges posed by witchcraft and superstition issues in the rural context. In confronting these challenges, women leaders identified cooperation with staff and the community, sharing challenges with experienced leaders, and being creative as useful coping strategies. The study recommends a number of measures for overcoming such challenges at society, organisational and government levels.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue leaders in England transition through change: Insider and outsider perspectives<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Schools in the 21<sup>st</sup> century have grown increasingly complex and government mandates have compounded this complexity as principals have looked beyond their school to embrace stakeholders and authorities who view education from myriad perspectives. This qualitative case study examined the personal perspectives of leaders, reflecting upon their transition from organisational governance change through the formation of a multi-academy trust. Findings revealed that while the creation of a new school system offered school leaders opportunities for interorganisational transfers and promotions, the internal transition experienced was unexpected and often unaddressed. Leaders expressed their difficulty in reconciling their desire to address the needs of the schools and community through consolidation while maintaining their own health as an individual leader. Findings from this study offer lessons in the importance of examining change both within the organisation through a personal lens as well as an external lens.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the mi[d]st of policy enactment: Leading innovative learning environments (ILEs) in New Zealand schools within ILP: A journey of collaborative inquiry<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Innovative Learning Pedagogies (ILPs) have given rise to much focus on the pedagogical changes required to ensure students work collaboratively, apply knowledge, create outcomes and communicate these outcomes effectively. One key element that has had much less focus is how students are assessed when working in an Innovative Learning Environment (ILE) and how this assessment information might be communicated to all stakeholders. As a school, we commenced our collaborative inquiry using action research-based Professional Learning to enable us to assess and track students who might not be in our assigned class and reflect upon whether traditional written reports to parents fitted the new pedagogies.</p> <p>Key findings from collaboration with teachers, students and parents demonstrated the desire for a system of assessment that was online and allowed: <list list-type="bullet"> <list-item><p>Higher levels of student voice and agency</p></list-item> <list-item><p>On-going review so that the most current information about achievement and goals was available</p></list-item> <list-item><p>Parents to share in the richness of their child’s learning journey</p></list-item> <list-item><p>A holistic profile of the students, rather than one which purely focussed on academic achievements.</p></list-item> <list-item><p>We believe that the outcomes of this assessment inquiry will have a significant impact on all teaching and learning in our ILEs.</p></list-item> </list></p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue “state of play” concerning New Zealand’s transition to innovative learning environments: Preliminary results from phase one of the ILETC project<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Driven by international trends and government policy, it is a requirement for all newly built schools in New Zealand to be designed as innovative learning environments (ILEs) with flexible learning spaces. These environments, celebrated by some for the “transformational” educational opportunities they may provide, also raise questions about whether the anticipated pedagogical value of these “non-traditional” spaces is based on idealised visions of teaching and learning rather than empirically derived evidence. Before such complex issues can be efficiently addressed, evidence of the actual “state of play” of ILEs is required. Drawing on New Zealand specific data from a large Australasian research project, this paper triangulates principals’ opinions, teachers’ perspectives, and the literature on some key preliminary issues: what types of learning spaces can be found in New Zealand schools; what teaching styles are evident in these spaces; what pedagogical beliefs are driving ILE teaching practices; and what types of learning activities are occurring in ILEs? The paper provides an evidencebased platform for further discussion about the opportunities and challenges surrounding the use and practice of ILEs in New Zealand.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue justice and curriculum integration in a New Zealand primary school: A foundation principal’s view<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Setting up a brand new primary school is always a challenge but with limited resources this challenge is exacerbated. A model of curriculum, developed by James Beane (1997) and defined as “Integrated Curriculum”, which used a democratic approach, was trialled in the new school. It was co-constructed with students and had not been previously used in a full primary school before in New Zealand. This proved to be yet another challenge. In this reflective narrative, the Foundation Principal shares her experience of the development of the model based on the principles of social justice and democracy and the unexpected results it brings.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue teaching in flexible learning spaces: Capabilities of beginning teachers<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Increasingly, New Zealand primary and intermediate schools are adopting the concept of flexible learning spaces and promoting team teaching approaches. Such open spaces and pedagogy can be challenging for even experienced teachers to adapt to. Is it realistic, therefore, to expect novices to work successfully in these challenging spaces from the onset of their teaching careers? Initial Teacher Education (ITE) programmes in New Zealand equip graduates with the knowledge and skills to plan, teach and evaluate learning for a diverse class of children with individual learning, social and cultural needs. However, while researching their own practice working within new spaces and pedagogy, some experienced Bay of Plenty intermediate and primary teachers articulated additional necessities for beginning teachers starting out in such complex teaching environments. Analysis of their ideas suggests such spaces require teachers to have particular capabilities if they are to work collaboratively in open learning spaces. This paper argues that ITE programmes and leaders need to be proactive and include appropriate theoretical and pragmatic coursework, to assist student teachers to cultivate the capabilities required of collaborative team members, by the time they graduate.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue New Zealand case study: What is happening to lead changes to effective co-teaching in flexible learning spaces?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>De-privatising teaching and working collaboratively with fellow teachers in purposively designed school buildings requires effective leadership. The principal is situated amongst those closely affiliated to their school such as teachers, parents and students, and yet they need to work alongside the wider school community, the school’s governing Board of Trustee members and national educational policy-makers and administrators. This article uses a single case study of a school leadership team who changed the school culture from traditional one teacher per classroom settings to four to five teachers with approximately 105 students in flexible learning spaces. The principal and three members of the governing Board of Trustees of the school were interviewed. The study found that the leadership team had invested considerable time into sustained professional development in ways to effectively develop collaborative teaching communities within flexible learning spaces. The professional development, led by the principal, was underpinned by the principal spending time seeking a clear understanding of research-based practices that supported the change. This explicit knowledge of the principal allowed teachers, Board of Trustee members and parents to have confidence in the changes to teaching strategies in flexible learning spaces.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue have to start somewhere: Designing, tailoring and tinkering. A reflection on leading a change process<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This story of leading change is written by the Principal and Deputy Principal of Thorrington School in Christchurch where the leadership focus has been to shift curriculum design and teaching practices to be more responsive to the needs of learners. The article considers the shift in the practices of twenty teachers over a three-year time frame. The school does not have purpose built Modern Learning Spaces / Environments (referred to as flexible learning spaces in this article) so considerations for moving towards flexible learning had to start with changing mindsets and pedagogy. Initially there was a group of early up takers from amongst the staff who adapted their classrooms, furniture and processes to implement a change in practice. Although other teachers in the school recognised the success of this team the impetus to change practice across the whole school was largely rhetoric. Over time school wide resultant change was an amalgam of purpose, support, and development of new skills and strategies. Various drivers for change were recognised as being helpful for some teachers but not for others. Changes in teachers’ mindsets happened independently of each other and at different times for different people but together they eventually combined to change the attitudes and behaviours of teachers towards flexible learning practices. Although student achievement data is improving in all areas across the school this article does not track the trajectory of student data for consideration nor does this article address the community consultation process that occurred alongside this journey.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue leadership report: How student-led pedagogy in modern learning environments (MLEs) can improve literacy learning<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Our teacher leadership story comes from two schools collaborating on a New Zealand Teacher Led Innovation Fund (TLIF) project exploring the effect of student-led learning practices on literacy achievement within modern learning environments (MLEs). Our rationale is that learning which is individualised for all learners leads to more equitable outcomes for all. It also enables student ownership of learning, which in turn increases success for all learners, measured through improved student engagement, positive shifts in attitude, and improved progress and achievement.</p> <p>We undertook two cycles of participatory action-based inquiry to find out how successful collaboration and student ownership within the MLEs could impact on literacy engagement and achievement. We noted considerable progress in the development of key competencies, influenced by the transfer of ownership from teacher to student through choice, sharing of the curriculum, and engagement with the wider range of resources readily available in an MLE. Giving students a say in their topic and context increased their engagement and led to improved outcomes in literacy achievement. The support provided by our school management for teacher-leadership of the innovations has enabled research-informed student-led pedagogy to be developed at both schools.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the “paradigm of one”: Restructuring structures to integrate learning in a modern learning environment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Curriculum integration in secondary schools appears to be difficult to achieve in schools that are built on traditional models of single classrooms and a compartmentalised curriculum. The relatively insular nature of secondary school classrooms is, however, being upended in the design of new schools in New Zealand, which disrupt the single-cell classroom tradition. One principal of a new school labels this old model as the “paradigm of one”: a shorthand descriptor for the single-classroom, single-teacher, singleclass, single-subject, single assessment arrangements generally prevalent in such contexts. The aim of this principal and this new school is to provide responsive, connected, collaborative, and deep learning.</p> <p>This article outlines efforts of that secondary school to restructure the “structuring structures” usually underpinning secondary schools, and organise learning. To that end, staff have interrogated, pulled apart and reconstituted the national curriculum document to provide an integrated learning structure. In rethinking conventional views of curriculum implementation in a secondary school, the school has created an innovative “logic of practice”.</p> <p>I examine the thinking behind curriculum decision-making in this school and provide a glimpse of how this is played out in the first two years of its existence.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue learning environments: Beginning with the concept<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>There is an observable trend in a number of countries, of schools moving away from the traditional or industrial modes of school organisation and leaning towards what has become known as modern or innovative learning environments (MLEs or ILEs). This has created difficulties for educational leaders who have found the change problematic. This article addresses the need to develop an appropriate and comprehensive conceptual understanding of the ILEs in order to introduce a different learning model and environment. In this model the authors use the notion of architectures to describe the process of “building” the concept. They propose the development of learning, social, thinking, futures, organisational and physical architectures.</p> <p>The article is speculative, yet includes appropriate theorizing. It acknowledges that the notion of ILEs is new, and requires time to be refined and embedded in existing educational systems.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue to leadership, not just merit, but insider knowledge: What do school principals say?<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Whilst extensive research has been undertaken concerning educational leadership and management, there is a paucity of scholarship regarding the merit-selection of school leaders other than principals. This is especially true of principal-led merit selection panels convened to recruit middle-level school leaders, namely deputy principals, assistant principals and head teachers. Meritocratic discourse holds that merit-based selection should, ostensibly be an objective, fair and equitable process enabling applicants to compete on a level playing field via a comparative assessment of their capabilities, talents and attitudes. This paper explores the extent to which government school principals in the state of New South Wales Australia, consider the school-based merit selection process they lead is objective and bias-free. Hence, the findings reported here reveal that despite the New South Wales Department of Education (NSWDE) promulgating the primacy of merit in its school-based selection paradigm, non-merit variables (factors having little to do with merit) exert considerable influence over the appointment decisions made by NSWDE principals when assembling their respective school leadership teams.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue years of leadership in New Zealand education: From the shadows of management to<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>Leadership is now promoted as the sine qua non (essential ingredient) for maintaining and developing effective education in New Zealand. It was not this way in the latter years of the 1980s and through the 1990s, when educational management was the preferred nomenclature. Since the turn of the millennium, management has subsided into the shadows of leadership in New Zealand education as part of a global shift in the education policy lexicon and the Educational Management, Administration and Leadership (EMAL) field. Rather than argue whether leadership should be preferred over management, or vice versa, this article focuses on the rise of leadership in New Zealand education over the last 30 years.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue does it mean to be a principal? A policy researcher’s perspective on the last 30 years in Aotearoa New Zealand<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>In this article I reflect on research relating to school leadership and the use of research to support school leadership over the last 30 years in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Tomorrow’s Schools reforms in 1989 wth its shift to school self-management saw more interest in understanding the size and nature of the principal role. More recently there has been interest among policymakers in using research to support effective school leadership, and revived attention to the place of school leadership in Aotearoa New Zealand’s education system.</p><p>This article is also intended to provide future Aotearoa New Zealand researchers into school leadership with some references they can use to chart how things change if new policy settings and supports for school leadership are introduced as a result of the Tomorrow’s Schools Independent Taskforce’s recommendations.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue in our secondary schools: good people, inadequate systems<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The contexts in which Aotearoa New Zealand leaders learn and work have improved in some respects from 30 years ago and deteriorated in others. The improvements include a significant shift away from heroic, often dictatorial, models of leadership towards a greater focus on the many layers and types of leadership required for secondary schools to be successful. The deterioration in leaders being able to learn together across our state school system is created by high levels of competition among state secondary schools and by the inability of the Ministry of Education to have as much influence as might be hoped for in a state education system on the learning – by adults as well as children – in schools. In many parts of the country non- Māori school leaders now have the ability to know much more about hapu and iwi history relevant to their setting than was the case 30 years ago, including through the work of the Waitangi Tribunal.</p><p>The “balkanisation” of our school system has become more pronounced over the last 30 years, as have the challenges resulting from the growing socio-economic divide between our poorest state schools and our most affluent. The “hands-off” approach from the Ministry of Education and successive governments regarding school zones has damaged the integrity and efficiency of our state school system. Several bitter pay disputes between governments of the day and the secondary teachers’ union, the Post-Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) especially, have meant that shared commitments by teachers’ representatives and the Ministry of Education to plan well for teacher supply for our state secondary schools have been difficult to achieve. Teacher supply challenges have added to the pressures on senior and middle leaders of the state schools serving our lowest socio-economic communities especially.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue evolution in distributed educational leadership: From sole leader to co-principalship<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>This paper traverses changes in perceptions of the school principal’s role, from sole to distributed leadership practices. A brief commentary on selected New Zealand literature is followed by a case study of a secondary co-principalship that identifies adaptive strategies and success factors in this joint role. The potentiality of the national Leadership Strategy (2018) and Educational Leadership Capability Framework (2018) to impact these distributed features will then be explored. The paper concludes with suggestions for future directions for distributed leadership practice in New Zealand.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue