Leadership is vitally important in developing effective, innovative schools and in facilitating quality teaching and learning. (Dinham, 2007). As stated in the Leadership Capablilities Framework (2006) ‘An effective school will be one that is constantly striving to enhance its education.’ School improvement happens through a process of evaluation and is linked to professional development and most importantly strong leadership.
Throughout the readings for this course so far I have been developing my knowledge and understandings of:
- The role of power within leadership
- Leadership styles
- The distinction between managing and leading.
From my experiences in schools, prior to undertaking this course, I believed that leadership was solely about the school principal and members of the executive managing staff and students, exercising power over people within the school structure. Now I see the importance of being a successful leader is about empowering people, developing a team of enthusiastic followers to jointly lead a school forward in a positive direction. It is about displaying authority through influence rather than power. The Beare, Caldwell and Millikan readings deal with power as being an important element to organisational theory, school effectiveness and school improvement. They emphasise that power sharing is critical for ensuring staff willingness to participate.
Strong leadership definitely starts with developing a shared vision. It develops interest in the school as a professional organisation. Leading a school forward is not just about getting the job done but being made aware of the school’s goals and visions and believing in them. The study by Bezzina (2007) reinforces the importance of shared moral purpose and leadership.
The Marzano reading (2005) helped me to realise I value transformational leadership as a leadership style as I like how it fosters individual teachers’ personal goals and growth and development. It is important to be aware of how personal goals can support team goals to achieve the school’s main goal.
It has been interesting to read about how important creativity can be in the problem solving and decision making process. Good leaders in schools allow freedom, which breeds new ideas and positive directions in schools. (Dyer, 2010) That’s what we need. New and innovative ideas, although we can’t allow ‘the baby to be thrown out with the bathwater’. Rather we need to look for change opportunities and act upon them.
- You don’t have to have the top job to be a leader! and ……………
- No matter ‘what hat we are wearing’ we all have one common goal: to improve our students’ education.
In conclusion, this quote on leadership is one of my favourites…..
‘There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.’ Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin
Bezzina, M. (2007) Moral Purpose and Shared Leadership: The leaders Transforming learning and Learners pilot study.
Beare, Caldwell & Milikan (2003). School Leadership Concepts and Evidence. Retrieved from http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/5119/2/dok217-eng-School_Leadership_Concepts_and_Evidence.pdf
Caldwell (2007). Leadership for Radical Transformation in School Education. http://research.acer.edu.au/research_conference_2007/12
Dinham,J (2007) The Leadership Challenge-Improving Learning in Schools. Retrieved from Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Dyer,J (2010). Learning to Lead Libraries. Connections newsletter, issue 74. Retrieved fromwww.curriculum.edu.au/scis
Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). Some Theories and Theorists on Leadership. School leadership that works: from research to results (pp. 13-27). Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
NSW DET (2006). School Leadership Capability Framework.