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Learning About School Leadership in Australia


Mulford, WR, Learning About School Leadership in Australia, Leadership for Learning: International Perspectives, Sense Publishers, Macbeath, J. & Cheng, Y.C. (ed), The Netherlands, pp. 153-172. ISBN 978-90-8790-388-6 (2008) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2008 Sense Publishers

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Previous chapters have highlighted the diversity of school governance arrangements and the breadth of tasks and responsibilities facing school leaders wherever they are working. This chapter focuses on the role of school leadership in enhancing student learning and other schooling outcomes. It draws on Australian research to examine the policies and conditions under which school leaders are likely to be able to exercise this role most effectively.

There are formidable conceptual and empirical challenges in establishing the links between school leadership and school outcomes. A wide range of different factors including resource levels, teachers' knowledge and curriculum structure and student background are potentially important in shaping student outcomes. School leadership influences these factors and is influenced by them in ways that are difficult to conceptualise measure. Nevertheless, an extensive research base supports the view that leadership is of critical importance in effective schooling. This chapter draws on, and is limited by, a recent review of Australian research literature (Mulford, 2007) in the areal in reaching this conclusion.

In what follows, the review of recent Australian literature starts where it matters most in schools, that is, with evidence on student outcomes and the differences among different groups of students. Aspects of school leaders' work that shape the extent to which they are able to enhance student learning are then discussed. Following this discussion, a summary is presented of research on the impact of school leadership on student learning. Building on these discussions, the chapter concludes by examining the research on interactions between school leadership and other influences on student learning. It is in these last multi-dimensional approaches, which reflect the complexity of schools, that we find the strongest grounds for informing policy and practice.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:school leadership, student learning, policy and practice, influences
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Specialist studies in education
Research Field:Educational administration, management and leadership
Objective Division:Education and Training
Objective Group:Schools and learning environments
Objective Field:Management, resources and leadership
UTAS Author:Mulford, WR (Professor Bill Mulford)
ID Code:53215
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2008-11-11
Last Modified:2012-11-01
Downloads:12 View Download Statistics

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