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korero 14 principals taking an active role in their school's strategic planning

Started by Kristan Mouat 17 Nov 2013 1:42pm () Replies (9)

Lots of interesting comments in this korero.  I think principals have to take a leadership role in planning and vision for PD.  Our principal was part of our 3 year ICT-PD leadership team, attending Ulearn conferences and setting the PD agenda each year.  Her commitment to using technology as part of effective teaching and learning programmes meant it was part of everyone's inquiry, blog and appraisal.  If principals take an active role in leading change in this area, it means you get meaningful change in pedagogy and practice. 

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  • Sally (View all users posts) 09 Oct 2014 10:50am ()

    I agree Kristan. I believe that for any professional learning to be sustained, valued and embedded in a school, the Principal must be supportive and involved in this. I guess one of the biggest challenges for any leader is how to ensure that they do not get spread too thinly, if a school has more than one strategic focus at any one time. We are very aware that we currently have too many priorities on the go - all very valid and interesting, but also we are finding a real tension among staff and ourselves as to which area (PB4L, LWDT, Developing our Apprasial for Learning system via PLGs, Improving student achievement in writing - working with a SAF, PMP), is the most important area to concentrate on at any one time. Also, how, as leaders do we encourage/foster a culture where teachers 'own' and drive their own professional learning, and contribute to the strategic direction of the school, whilst ensuring that their is cohesiveness and alignment throughout the school?

  • Alison Menary (View all users posts) 10 Oct 2014 2:21pm ()

    I also agree with you Sally. When the Principal is fully supportive and directly involved in professional learning in a school it is more likely to be effective and become embedded within the school's culture. The Principal needs to be seen to be participating and learning alongside staff while ensuring as many staff as possible are on board with this professional learning. However there is always the problem of what to do when there is a reluctant staff member who declines to change....

  • Matthew Cooke (View all users posts) 09 Oct 2014 12:27pm ()

    My thoughts around your Q:  How do we as leaders encourage...teachers 'own' and drive their own professional learning, and contribute to the strategic direction of the school, whilst ensuring that their is cohesiveness and alignment throughout the school?


    Sounds like you are doing that through your appraisal process.  Do you have an inquiry based element to your T appraisals?  You can laigny your T's inquiry against strat. plan/school charter as well.  T's are then driving their own analysis into their practice - 'why are we doing what we are doing?'   Check out RTC on NZTC. - Matthew

  • Matthew Cooke (View all users posts) 09 Oct 2014 12:27pm ()

    My thoughts around your Q:  How do we as leaders encourage...teachers 'own' and drive their own professional learning, and contribute to the strategic direction of the school, whilst ensuring that their is cohesiveness and alignment throughout the school?


    Sounds like you are doing that through your appraisal process.  Do you have an inquiry based element to your T appraisals?  You can laigny your T's inquiry against strat. plan/school charter as well.  T's are then driving their own analysis into their practice - 'why are we doing what we are doing?'   Check out RTC on NZTC. - Matthew

  • Sally (View all users posts) 10 Oct 2014 1:09pm ()

    Thanks for your reply Matthew. Yes, all teachers are expected to understand and use the Teacher Inquiry process, however as you can imagine, this has varying degrees of uptake/engagment. We have found that as a leadership team, we perhaps have not provided staff with a common language and/or enough tools to really utilise research and student achievement data, to complete their Teacher Inquiries at an in-depth level. We are certainly aiming to work on this next year and are looking at using the work of Joan Dalton as a stating point for this.

  • Howard Pinder (View all users posts) 24 Oct 2014 12:48pm ()

    Senior Leaders tend to be less inclined to be at the forefront of PD. They can be too busy running the school. However if as a school we are serious about implementing change, the Senior Leaders must roll model and at least be a part of the change rather than an observer.

    Less experienced staff need guidance and having Senior Leaders take a leadership role in the planning and vision for PD sends a clear message that this particular strategy is important and valued.

  • Wendy Keating (View all users posts) 12 Nov 2016 6:27am ()

    I agree, that the principal is key in defining and supporting professional learning.

     

    We are in the process of reviewing and redefining our “big picture” goals and school direction against our Charter Goals, and in planning the PLD to support this.  Our principal has been both leading and working alongside our wider leadership team as we move through this process.  As this progresses and the PLD begins, principal involvement models a ‘learner’ mindset which sets this as a culture for all of the team, no matter how experienced or far up the chain one is.   It’s important that the principal can have informed conversations with our teachers about how the PLD is impacting on students, because he has been directly involved.  I like how Howard phrased this, as being “part of the change, rather than an observer”.

  • Yvonne Catherwood (View all users posts) 24 Jan 2017 4:43pm ()

    Of course in a small school where the principal is a teaching principal, this is not an issue as the principal is also in the classroom. This is a reason why a lot of small schools have a cutting edge curriculum, because we generally don't have to spend a  lot of time getting teachers "on-board". Professional learning is often undertaken by everyone at the same time and then incorporated into the classroom programme with support from everyone.  

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

Exploring leadership for change, vision, policy and strategy that integrates ICTs into learning.