Researching education: 5 further readings on leadership

Welcome to this month's edition of Researching education: 5 further readings. In this series, we take a look at some further readings available on a particular topic, including open access research papers from various online databases, and Teacher archive content you might not have come across yet.

What leadership styles were important for principals as they navigated the challenges associated with COVID-19? How can school leaders partner with community to bring sustained change? And, why are the roles of middle leaders important for the wider school community? In this edition of Researching education: 5 further readings, we share 5 readings on the topic of leadership from researchers in Australia and overseas, which address these questions.

  1. Highly Accomplished and Lead Teachers – New narratives of possibility: A white paper to promote discussion. In this white paper from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), the authors call for more accessible processes for obtaining and Highly Accomplished or Lead Teacher (HALT) certification, given that the current rates of certifications in the field are relatively low. The paper explores the current HALT context, the barriers and possibilities, and international examples of recognising accomplished teachers.
  2. Agile leadership in times of crisis: What does it take to lead an Independent school through a pandemic? This research report, prepared by Independent Schools Victoria and Monash University, looks at how leaders of independent schools in Victoria worked through the challenges posed by COVID-19. In-depth interviews were conducted with 42 principals between October and December 2020 and some of the findings show that leadership styles generally shifted from an operational to a relational approach during the state’s second lockdown, that leaders with over 4 years’ experience were more likely to discuss school sustainability, teaching pedagogy and wellbeing than newer principals, and that most leaders found that people leadership was key for navigating challenges during the pandemic.
  3. School leadership and Aboriginal Student outcomes: A systematic review. There were 6 themes to emerge from this systematic review into how leadership in both the school and community can contribute to bringing a sustained change in Aboriginal student learning and social outcomes. They are: relationship to and collaboration between principals and community; complexity of principal role; models and styles of leadership; leadership of pedagogy and curriculum; participation and achievement; and impacts of governance, policy, procedures and accountability requirements on leadership and decision-making.
  4. Spotlight: Middle leadership in Australian schools. The latest Spotlight report from the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) focuses on middle leadership. It outlines the common middle leadership positions for Australia’s states and territories and the important role these leaders have. ‘Both inside and outside of the school gates, there is a strong understanding that middle leaders have a significant impact on teaching practices and learning outcomes. Middle leaders and middle leadership practices have become increasingly recognised as significant factors in the success of Australian schools,’ the report reads.
  5. The role and influence of educational leaders in centres rated as providing high quality early childhood educational programs. This paper, published last year in the Australasian Journal of Early Childhood, explores the role and influence of 2 educational leaders in a high-quality rated early childhood education and care (ECEC) service. ‘Findings revealed that these educational leaders’ exercising of distributed and transformational leadership enabled ongoing quality improvement,’ the authors write.

Some of the resources featured in this article can be found through Cunningham Library Catalogue and EdResearch Online. At the links below, you can search for more resources on the topic of leadership in these 2 online databases.

You can also browse other education topics at this page.

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