Governance, Management and Leadership

 

Download article (.pdf) | By Ron Glatter, Bill Mulford, and Dale Shuttleworth | Published in Networks of Innovation, OECD/CERI, 2003

 

During the past decade, many teachers and principals have felt devalued and confused by their changing role, and stress levels have risen as self-esteem has fallen. Many young people hesitate before or reject a career in education, while many practising teachers no longer aspire to a career path that leads to the stress of the principal’s office. All this when thousands of new recruits are needed just to fill vacancies as the “baby-boom” teaching generation retires, and expectations about education’s importance are higher than ever. Strong inspirational, yet empathetic, school leaders and management teams are needed to help forge the way to better education. Although there is no one model of leadership that is best for all circumstances, in this article Glatter presents four ideal-type models of educational governance:

  • Competitive Market (CM),
  • School Empowerment (SE),
  • Local Empowerment (LE), and
  • Quality Control (QC).

He examines their implications in reference to international research for key factors of governance and management: autonomy; accountability, intermediate authority and functions, and school leadership.

 

Next in this article, Mulford presents key findings from the Leadership for Organisational Learning and Student Outcomes (LOLSO) Research Project in Australia, relating these to broader international research. The leadership that makes a difference in secondary schools operates indirectly, not directly, to influence student outcomes via organisational learning (OL) that creates a collective teacher efficacy. Rejecting “the great man or woman” theory of leadership, he identifies the features of the ideal principal.  A “transformational principal” creates the following:

  • Individual Support of staff, including taking account of their opinions.
  • A Culture of caring, trust, and willingness to change.
  • A Structure that promotes participative decision-making.
  • Vision and Goals with consensus, communication, and purpose.
  • Performance Expectations that are high for students and teachers.
  • Opportunities for Intellectual Stimulation of staff and self in order to improve practice.

 

Unfortunately, the professional development of educational leaders has been a badly neglected aspect of the school reform agenda, especially in terms of preparing them to cope with the growing demands with which they are faced.  In the last section of this article, Shuttleworth presents key findings from an OECD/CERI “What Works” study published in 2000 that analysed innovation in school management in nine countries. It discusses the tension between “top-down” reforms and “bottom up” renewal through knowledge leadership.

 

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