JELPP – Volume 31, Issue 1 (Jun 2016)

Self-assessment and coaching in New Zealand aspiring principals’ development

Jan Robertson1 and Susan Lovett2
1University of Waikato, 2University of Canterbury, New Zealand


The research study outlined in this article describes the findings from a self-assessment and coaching leadership pilot in New Zealand as part of the international project “Professional learning through reflection promoted by feedback and coaching” (PROFLEC) (Huber & Hiltmann, 2011). The self-assessment inventory was integrated as part of the National Aspiring Principals’ programme, which included peer and group coaching, professional learning groups and online learning communities. The study involved 41 participants and the methodology included a survey monkey questionnaire and interactive interviewing of every participant and their coaches.

Six major themes emerged from an analysis of the findings: the overall impressions of the CPSM inventory; the context-related issues of the inventory; the emotional engagement with results; the power of the coaching paradigm and experiences; self-awareness and reflective growth; and developing bravery and courage in leadership efficacy. The tool served as a way to observe one’s own perception of practice from a different perspective and was an effective stimulus to discuss issues of educational leadership. It not only highlighted strengths and areas for development but also offered a chance to compare capabilities with others. The results of the self-assessment tool required specific coaching and feedback in the ongoing leader development process.

The continued use of this CPSM tool, with the related feedback and coaching, may ultimately depend on the ways in which the tool can become a more integrated component of the aspiring principal development, and into principalship, to warrant its continued inclusion. It also needs to be viewed alongside alternative, indigenous self-assessment tools and what information is helpful for understanding one’s current leadership strengths and areas for future learning and improvement to meet the long-term policy needs of a unique and bicultural New Zealand education system.


Leadership; learning; coaching; self-assessment; aspiring principals; New Zealand

The critical role of the educative mentor as a leader to support the retention of beginning teachers in Māori-medium schools

Ella Newbold, Tony Trinick and Jenny Robertson
University of Auckland, New Zealand


Educational leadership in schools is multifaceted and variously impacts on the school context and vice versa. One aspect of leadership in the schooling sector is educative mentoring. Drawing on theories of the important place of indigeneity in Māori-medium education, we examine Te Whatu Kura, an induction and mentoring
learning programme. Teacher educative mentoring programmes potentially serve two important purposes: beginning teachers are provided with strong mentoring support at the beginning of their careers, and more experienced teachers receive recognition and support to be more effective mentors. The major aim of Te Whatu
Kura is to address the significant retention issue of beginning teachers in the Māori-medium sector by focusing on supporting educative mentors as leaders to guide their beginning teachers to full teacher certification. Approximately 70% of beginning teachers in Māori-medium schools will leave that workforce in the first three years of their career. This has a long-term negative impact on schools’ ability to deliver quality education. Data so far, shows the programme outcomes are very positive.


Leadership; educative mentoring; Māori-medium

Innovative learning environments and discourses of leadership: Is physical change out of step with pedagogical development?

Jennifer Charteris1, Dianne Smardon1 and Emily Nelson2
1University of New England, Armidale, NSW, Australia, 2Eastern Institute of Technology, New Zealand


School leaders are at the forefront of reform agendas. They are challenged to embrace digital technologies, rethink the roles of students, teachers and school leaders, remodel physical spaces in schools and consider significant shifts to school administration and leadership. In this article a theoretical framework of learning leadership, relational trust and risk-taking is evoked to examine how leaders broker change to implement Innovative Learning Environments. The research reported in this article provides an analysis of pedagogical, instructional and learning leadership discourses drawn from the qualitative data in a survey that involved 165 Aotearoa/New Zealand school practitioners. Findings suggest the value of positive and critical leader engagement with the discursive nexus of education policy and economic rationalism. The research addresses the paucity of research on principal perceptions of ILE and the challenges this policy direction presents for leadership.


Relational trust; innovative learning environments; pedagogical leadership; instructional leadership; learning leadership

Leadership report: Christchurch school drives intervention home

Benita Stiles-Smith, Barbara Kennedy and Dianne Gardner
Massey University, New Zealand


Christchurch schools had the opportunity to participate in disseminating a low-intensity intervention for children in Years 1-4 aimed at helping children to better manage anxiety and stress following the long term environmental disturbances related to earthquakes. A story book constructed as an intervention tool for use in classrooms and another for homes were both distributed. The intervention is reviewed, a focused description of one school’s use of the intervention is given, and qualitative feedback from this school's staff is reported. Additional information regarding other area schools’ experience is also given.


Low-intensity intervention; post-disaster intervention; bibliotherapy; qualitative feedback

A duo-narrative of Pasifika early childhood education: Reconceptualising leadership in the political and social landscape

Jacoba Matapo and Manutai Leaupepe
University of Auckland, New Zealand


This leadership story is presented as a duo-narrative of two Pasifika academics engaged in early childhood teacher education and leadership. Utilising talanoa, tuatua, and tuatua mai (Ravlich, 2016; Smith, 2014; Vaioleti, 2006) we explore the tensions for Pasifika early childhood education in the current political and social climate. The intention for this dialogue engages in problematising key concerns for Pasifika early childhood leaders, particularly issues of marginalisaton and underrepresentation in education. What emerges regarding the future of Pasifika early childhood education is the urgent attention required in leadership to navigate the neoliberal climate that has perpetuated a market driven sector. Our dialogue engages with such tensions: to question and conceptualise the complexities of leadership for Pasifika early childhood programmes, including initial teacher education. The journey of Pasifika early childhood education past and present is explored and drawing from cultural aspirations, insights and experiences we attempt to reconceptualise Pasifika leadership for the future of Pasifika early childhood education in Aotearoa.


Early childhood education; leadership; Pacific culture; Pasifika education; politics of education

Leadership story: Professional learning through immersion in a new culture

Jenny Clark1 and Tracey Carlyon2
1Morrinsville Intermediate School, 2University of Waikato, New Zealand


This article reports on a study which explored how school leaders acquired professional learning through immersion in Chinese language and culture. The study was founded on the 2014 New Zealand Principals’ Delegation to China. A key outcome from the study was that the school leaders’ experiential learning was conceptualised as a form of professional learning and development. This resulted in the leaders being empowered to better equip their students to become more culturally competent and, thus, Asia-aware.


School leaders; empowerment; experiential learning; cultural competence; Chinese language and culture; professional learning and development

Book Review - Wayfinding Leadership: Ground breaking wisdom for developing leaders.

Chellie Spiller, Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr and John Panoho (2015).
Wellington, New Zealand: Huia Publishers.
ISBN 978-1-77550-211-1. 266pp