Growing Leaders: How senior secondary school leaders grow the leadership capacity of curriculum middle leaders

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dc.contributor.advisor Robinson, V en
dc.contributor.advisor Highfield, C en Stimson, Karen en 2016-07-10T21:22:05Z en 2016 en
dc.identifier.citation 2016 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Curriculum middle leaders in secondary schools lead teams of teachers in their department and are therefore vital to addressing the variation of student academic performance that is reported as occurring both across and within secondary schools, as they have the authority to influence the pedagogical practices and content knowledge of teachers within their departments. These education professionals are important players in closing gaps in student performance because of their ability to influence the instructional practices of teachers that report to them. Their leadership development within the school context is therefore an important area of research. The literature that informed this research revealed that curriculum middle leaders are not receiving consistently targeted, cohesive professional development and instead often face an ‘ad hoc’ or ‘one size fits all’ approach. As awareness grows of the importance of strategically building the leadership capacity of curriculum middle leaders, there is a need for a focus on the extent to which senior school leaders are able to dedicate sufficient time to the practices needed to increase the curriculum middle leaders’ capacity to influence teaching and learning improvement in their schools. The challenge, therefore, is how senior leaders set about to deliberately develop the leadership capacity of the curriculum middle leaders for whom they are directly responsible. This research project set out to investigate the practices of five senior leaders in a secondary school context who are focussed on building the leadership capacity of curriculum middle leaders who report to them and for whom they are directly responsible for their development and performance. The research questions sought to reveal the strategies these senior leaders use to increase the leadership capacity of curriculum middle leaders with the purpose of improving student outcomes. Participants (included senior leaders and six selected curriculum middle leaders who reported to them) explained the use of these strategies and their impact in increasing the leadership capacity of curriculum middle leaders. The extent to which these strategies led to improved outcomes in leadership practice, which in turn influenced improved teacher practice and student outcomes, was also explored. This qualitative case study approach involved interviewing eleven participants in three Auckland secondary schools. Information was gathered through semi-structured interviews with senior leaders and curriculum middle leaders who reported to them at each participant school. Department level documentation outlining the goals and achievements of teachers and students in 2014 were analysed and compared with the data about instructional practices reported in the interviews. NVivo was used to manage the rich text-based information to enable deep levels of analysis. The thematic findings emphasised the need for senior leaders to identify the leadership learning needs of the curriculum middle leaders, explicitly address those needs and jointly select strategies with the curriculum middle leader for developing their practice. Whilst senior leaders seek to establish relational trust with their curriculum middle leaders, in some instances they appear to misunderstand how to do so, and avoid directly addressing areas of improvement they perceive to be required, instead seeking to maintain or enhance collegiality. This study also highlights the dilemma that senior leaders face in prioritising their time between ‘daily operations’ at a school level and their responsibilities as instructional leaders of the curriculum middle leaders. The study also highlights the need for further structured opportunities for educational senior leaders to develop their coaching and mentoring skills to enhance and sustain curriculum middle leadership in New Zealand secondary schools. en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof Masters Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99264865414102091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
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dc.title Growing Leaders: How senior secondary school leaders grow the leadership capacity of curriculum middle leaders en
dc.type Thesis en Education en The University of Auckland en Masters en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The Author en
pubs.elements-id 535373 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2016-07-11 en

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