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ERIC Number: EJ1006084
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 63
ISSN: ISSN-0957-8234
Middle-Level Secondary School Leaders: Potential, Constraints and Implications for Leadership Preparation and Development
Gurr, David; Drysdale, Lawrie
Journal of Educational Administration, v51 n1 p55-71 2013
Purpose: The aim of this paper is to bring together for the first time three studies of middle-level leaders in secondary schools in Victoria, Australia. The studies span more than a decade and allow consideration of the progress in developing middle-level leadership roles. Design/methodology/approach: All studies followed a consistent approach using multiple perspective interviews of middle-level curriculum and subject leadership in government and Catholic secondary schools in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Principals, senior leaders, middle-level leaders and teachers were interviewed to gain their perceptions on middle-level leadership. Interviews were supplemented with school document analysis. Findings: The work of middle-level leaders is heavily dependent on how their roles are constructed and the capacities, abilities and attitudes of the leaders. Some are expected to be leaders that influence teaching and learning, and they may be developed and supported to do so. Too often, however, teachers in these key roles have few expectations or opportunities to exercise leadership. Whilst many have the capacity to be leaders of teaching and learning, others are not sure about their ability to influence teaching and learning. Suggestions are made for how leadership might be structured in schools to emphasise the importance of middle-level leaders, and how these leaders can be better prepared and supported. Research limitations/implications: Observational studies, studies of primary school contexts and cross-country comparisons would extend this research. Practical implications: Middle-level school leaders need to be seen as key personnel in improving teaching and learning, school structures need to reflect this, and developing leadership capacity needs to be prioritised. Originality/value: This paper highlights continuing issues with how the work of middle-level school leaders is conceptualised and supported, and makes suggestions for leadership structure and the preparation and development of school leaders. (Contains 2 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia