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School leadership and learning outcomes

Introduction
Welcome to the first week of the Leading Learning module! Before you get started working through the material below, there are three initial steps for you to take:
  1. Read the 'Introduction to the module' page which gives an overview of how each section of this module is structured.
  2. Make sure that you have downloaded the reading for this week which can be found at http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/series/2515/1372
  3. Introduce yourself on the Voicethread that can be found on the 'Getting to know you' page. If you need support in using Voicethread, you can find instructions on the 'Using Web 2.0 tools' page in the Resources section.

Goal for Week One

Leaders will understand what Viviane Robinson’s current research says about how leadership behaviours can impact positively on student learning outcomes.
Outcome. Participants will have reflected on their own practice in relation to the Robinson research and have greater awareness of how their actions can support the ICT PD programme.

Structure for the week
This reading has a number of sections. For each section, there are the following activities:
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Reading for Meaning questions - questions that can act as a study guide as you move through the text and will help to clarify your thinking.


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Reflection questions - questions for you to reflect on within your own context.


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Contribution to the Group - sharing back some of your thinking around the concepts from that section.



The Reading
Dimension one - Establishing Goals and Expectations
Scenario 1: School X is a medium sized school in a large city with a low decile rating. Most staff are unsure of the school vision let alone a clear set of goals and expectations for learning. The school culture needs nurturing as professional conversations are limited to, “how the children behave”. ERO has made several recommendations for many schooling improvements and the newly appointed principal knows the pupils are at risk and is under pressure to make a difference in this school. She is feeling somewhat overwhelmed by what needs to be addressed immediately as a priority.
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A. Reading for Meaning

  1. What is the effect size?
  2. Why is this dimension important?
  3. What are the conditions required and processes involved in how goal setting impacts on learning outcomes?
  4. What are the consequences?

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B. Personal Reflection


Reflect now on your own practice. Do you utilize this dimension of leadership to good effect in your school or cluster? How could you improve practice?
The three conditions of capacity, commitment, and specificity are mentioned in order for goal setting to be a motivating factor in schools or classrooms. How difficult is it to align all three of these conditions in your work place?

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C. Contribution to the Group


Add your thoughts to the Voicethread below in response to the question prompt on the Voicethread. Need help to do this? See the instructions on the 'Using Web 2.0 tools page'.




Dimension two - Strategic resourcing

Scenario 2: Principal A has worked hard over the past three years to clarify the student learning goals and expectations of standards throughout the school. The staff has worked collaboratively to clarify these goals, but things are moving slowly in the school. All of the teacher professional development has been aligned to addressing these goals. There is no shortage of resources and funding addresses resourcing needs as they arise, but the principal is perplexed as to why this does not equate to improved outcomes and goals achieved.
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A. Reading for Meaning

  1. What is the effect size?
  2. What does the word strategic mean in this context?
  3. What does the word resources refer to?
  4. Why can too many resources have detrimental effect?

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B. Personal Reflection


Reflect on your own situation. How strategically do you align resources in your school/cluster?
Are there too many initiatives running to be successful?

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C. Contribution to the Group


Add your thoughts to the Voicethread below in response to the question prompt on the Voicethread. Need help to do this? See the instructions on the 'Using Web 2.0 tools page'.




Dimension three - Planning Co-ordinating and Evaluating Teaching and the Curriculum
Scenario 3: Principal B is the leader of large secondary school and prides himself on his style of flat-level management. Both Deputy Principals lead curriculum development and each department is headed by an experienced teacher. Staff are encouraged to regularly discuss and evaluate the effectiveness of learning goals and student outcomes within their own teams. Heads of department carry out staff appraisals. Very few opportunities are created to reflect on this data as a whole staff. Curriculum delivery continues to remain fragmented and achievement data does not indicate significant improvement over time.
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A. Reading for Meaning

  1. What is the effect size?
  2. How is this leadership dimension described?
  3. What are the contexts for such learning?
  4. What 4 factors are thought to account for the power of this leadership dimension

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B. Personal Reflection


Do you promote teacher learning and development?
Do you participate in learning alongside your teachers?
What role do you take in this learning?
Given the effect size of this dimension, what can you do to improve your practice in this area?

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C. Contribution to the Group


Add your thoughts to the Voicethread below in response to the question prompt on the Voicethread. Need help to do this? See the instructions on the 'Using Web 2.0 tools page'.




Dimension four - Promoting and participating in Teacher Learning and Development
Scenario 4: School Y is a small rural school and has joined the ICT PD contract with it’s neighbouring schools. The teaching principal is aware of the need to ‘get on board’ as a 21st Century school, so staff are encouraged to attend ICT PD related meetings. Budgeting ensures that resources are made available, so ICTs can be utilized more. Due to many other commitments and responsibilities, Principal C is very busy and not able to make most cluster management meetings or professional development opportunities. The principal has ensured that the reliever is kept up-to-speed, so that her students do not miss out. Overall progress has been inconsistent and up-take has been slow.
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A. Reading for Meaning

  1. What is the effect size?
  2. What distinguishes leaders in high performing schools?
  3. What are the three important sub dimensions?
  4. What is the “power of a co ordinated curriculum”?

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B. Personal Reflection


Do you work directly with teachers to plan co ordinate and evaluate teachers and teaching? Who? When? Why?
Do you provide evaluations for teachers that are useful? Who for? How often?
Do you ensure student progress is monitored and that results are used to improve teaching programmes? How do you do this?
Can you improve your practice in this area?

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C. Contribution to the Group


Add your thoughts to the Voicethread below in response to the question prompt on the Voicethread. Need help to do this? See the instructions on the 'Using Web 2.0 tools page'.



Dimension five - Ensuring an Orderly and Supportive Environment
Scenario 5: School Z is a large intermediate school lead by the same principal for the last 14 years. Principal D is autocratic in his management style, but believes whole-heartedly that their school is “all about the students.” Standards and expectations for quality teaching and learning are high and this is implicitly clear both within the school and the wider parent community. Resourcing is not an issue in this decile 9 school. Appraisal is linked closely to strategic planning and student outcomes. Staff discussions about quality teaching and learning are encouraged, but a there is a growing group of quietly dissatisfied and frustrated teachers.
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A. Reading for Meaning

  1. What is the effect size?
  2. What elements are involved in this dimension?
  3. What is relational trust?
  4. What are the four interpersonal qualities required to establish trust and why is each important?

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B. Personal Reflection


How do you rate your performance as a leader in these areas?
Are there things you can do to improve this ?
What are they?

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C. Contribution to the Group


Add your thoughts to the Voicethread below in response to the question prompt on the Voicethread. Need help to do this? See the instructions on the 'Using Web 2.0 tools page'.