JELPP – Volume 33, Issue 2 (Dec 2018)
What do teachers and leaders have to say about co-teaching in flexible learning spaces?
Julie Mackey, Neill O’Reilly, Jo Fletcher, Chris Jansen
Schools in New Zealand and parts of Australia are rapidly transitioning from traditional classrooms to coteaching in flexible learning spaces provisioned for 50 to 180 children and two to six teachers in a single space. In New Zealand, this transition is driven by the Ministry of Education who have specific guidelines for designing new schools and re-builds. School leaders and teachers must reconceptualise teaching and learning from private autonomous learning environments to co-teaching in shared learning spaces.
This mixed methods study examined the views of 40 practitioners and leaders, experienced in coteaching contexts in New Zealand and Australian schools, to develop a greater understanding of the factors that contribute to effective co-teaching implementation. Not surprisingly, educators highlighted that shared beliefs about student centred pedagogy were pivotal to their co-teaching relationships. Beyond this central element, participants also identified a range of systems, tools, strategies and skills that enabled co-teaching to focus on and support student learning. The study provides insights of value to school leaders who are faced with the challenges of implementing flexible learning spaces, and leading school change in this area.
Flexible learning spaces, co-teachingteacher collaboration
Indigenous knowledge and early childhood care and education in Ethiopia
Hawani Negussie1 and Charles L. Slater2
1Brandman University, Irvine, CA; 2California State University, Long Beach, CA, USA
The purpose of this research study was to explore the integration of indigenous knowledge and cultural practices in Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) programmes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Vygotsky's (1986) sociocultural theory in combination with Yosso's (2005) community cultural wealth theory served as the conceptual as well as the methodological framework advising the components of this research. This qualitative case study invited perspectives from local parents, teachers, directors, a university faculty member, and administrative personnel from the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia. Major findings uncovered that language, the Ethiopian alphabet (fidel), traditions and cultural practices passed down from generation to generation, were seen as part of Ethiopia’s larger indigenous knowledge system. The value of using indigenous knowledge, including the extent of integration of cultural practices as measured through use of native language, curriculum and educational philosophy, revealed distinct language preferences (Amharic or English) based on school, personal wants and population demographics.
Early Childhood Care and Education; indigenous education; multilingual education; Ethiopia; community cultural wealth
Culturally sustaining instructional leadership: Perspectives from Native American public school principals in Montana and Wyoming
William T. Holmes and Suzanne Young
University of Wyoming, USA
The purpose of this quantitative study was to gain a deeper understanding of principal beliefs of an emergent framework called Culturally Sustaining Instructional Leadership (CSIL) developed from a review of literature designed to support the implementation of Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy (CSP). Through a detailed review of literature, six instructional elements and five cultural elements were developed to guide principals in the removal of barriers and in support of teacher implementation of CSP. Principals of public schools located on Native American reservations in Montana and Wyoming (USA) were surveyed regarding their beliefs about CSIL practices and if their beliefs differed between instructional elements and cultural elements. Through a reporting of means and paired samples t-testing, the results of this study indicated principals demonstrated a significant preference for working in instructional versus cultural elements. The lowest CSIL element was student empowerment signifying that the voices of Native American students were not being heard. The principals of this study did not have a clear definition of the Democratic Project of Schooling congruent with Paris (2012). The implications of this study are the need for training and awareness in CSP and CSIL to preservice administrators in training and in-service administrators in the field.
Culturally sustaining pedagogy (CSP); culturally sustaining instructional leadership (CSIL); democratic project of schooling; educational leadership; instructional leadership
Middle-level leaders as direct instructional leaders in New Zealand schools: A study of role expectations and performance confidence
Carol Cardno1, Joanne Robson2, Arun Deo1, Martin Bassett1 and Jo Howse1
1UNITEC Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand; 2Leading Learning Ltd, Auckland, New Zealand
The literature on instructional leadership consistently assigns this role to school principals whilst indicating that it can be spread amongst others. Recently the spotlight has moved to middle leadership involving a focus on classrooms through direct instructional leadership. The purpose of this study was to add to a small but growing body of literature that centres on middle-level leadership in schools. The research aims were to conceptualise the nature of the direct form of instructional leadership that has been devolved to the middle leadership level; investigate perceptions of expectations held of middle leaders in schools; and investigate their perceived confidence in performing the role. An on-line survey of 185 primary and secondary school middle-level leaders confirmed strong agreement with the role expectations described in terms of a conceptual framework of direct instructional leadership. The results indicated that whilst overall confidence in performing these tasks was high, gaps existed between role expectations and performance confidence, with the function of “having difficult conversations” being the largest gap for both primary and secondary school middle-level leaders.
Middle leadership; instructional leadership; quantitative study; primary and secondary schools; New Zealand
Leading schooling in Aotearoa New Zealand: Understanding and supporting the weight of culture for Māori teachers
Toni Torepe, Angus Hikairo Macfarlane, Sonja Macfarlane, Jo Fletcher and Richard Manning
University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Leading schools in Aotearoa New Zealand is a critical role. In a bicultural country, a key aspect of this role is developing a school ethos where culturally responsive practices are strongly embedded. Frequently, this is considered in light of the tamariki and rangatahi and their whānau within the wider school community. However, an area where there is a dearth of research is the experiences of Māori teachers working in mainstream schooling. This article focuses on the lived realities of six Māori teachers who completed a graduate qualification in immersion and bilingual teaching in Māori, and returned to their respective schools. The research consisted of the collection and analysis of a detailed written questionnaire and semi-structured interviews with the Māori teachers. The research found that the additional professional and cultural tasks and responsibilities that this group of Māori teachers undertook often went unrecognised financially or otherwise by their employers and fellow colleagues. These Māori teachers felt they were “culturally obliged” to tautoko the students they serve and to support their schools’ respective Māori communities.
Māori teachers; leadership; principals; culturally responsive practices; schooling in Aotearoa New Zealand; school ethos
Transitioning to a meaningful appraisal process: One principal’s journey
Bilinda Offen and Susan Sandretto
University of Otago, College of Education, Dunedin, New Zealand
This paper focuses on the role of the principal in establishing a meaningful appraisal process. The journey of one urban primary school is explored from the perspective of the principal as the teaching staff transition from an ineffective system to a process that has teacher growth and learners’ achievement at the centre. We acknowledge that the leadership team and teachers played an important role in implementing any changes, however, the key focus of this paper is the principal’s actions. Audio-recorded interviews with the principal and five teachers, followed by three years of participant observations of regular meetings and conversations recorded in field notes, chart the principal’s journey. We argue the principal’s leadership strategies developed a community of practice supporting teacher professional development, which in turn paved the way to shift teachers’ perceptions and produce a meaningful appraisal process. This shift is evidenced in surveys taken at the beginning and end of the three-year period which show a marked change in teachers’ attitudes, beliefs and perceptions of the appraisal purpose. We conclude with implications for school leaders interested in revising their appraisal process.
School principal; appraisal, leadership; community of practice
Core professional values for school leaders and teachers: Piloting an online tool
University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Evidence of the extent to which school leaders and teachers embrace core professional values may, through dialogue, open up new avenues for school improvement. With this in mind, the focus of this article is the piloting of an online survey tool designed to identify how widely four such values are held in New Zealand schools. The pilot was commissioned by the Te Ariki Trust with the support of the New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI), the New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) and the University of Canterbury. The tool is based on items which together, define four values underpinning the mission of the Te Ariki Trust, namely “Professional Discretion”, “Collegial Obligation”, “Reflective Inquiry and Discourse” and “Evidence based Professional Practice”. An analysis of one school’s responses to such a survey tool is one way to gauge evidence of collective commitment, the strength of collegial relationships and trust, with the realisation that knowing how to collect and reflect on data matters if important decisions are to be well informed. The article draws upon research and scholarly writing to explain the four values, describe the development of the tool and its pilot study and suggest what the results might offer for dialogue using the findings from a sample school whose staff members completed the instrument. Suggested changes to the instrument and its use conclude the article.
Professional values; leadership as activity; leadership values; leadership partnerships; disciplined dialogue; decision making
Leading schools that make a difference to bullying behaviour
Sally Boyd and Elliot Lawes
New Zealand Centre for Educational Research, Wellington, New Zealand
Student bullying behaviour is a long-standing concern in New Zealand schools. International studies consistently show high rates of student reports of this behaviour. Research suggests that bullying behaviour is a socioecological and systemic phenomenon that is best addressed via systems-based and multifaceted approaches implemented using collaborative processes. Less is known about the most effective components of these multifaceted approaches. This article analyses New Zealand Wellbeing@School survey data to suggest ways forward for schools. A multilevel model was used to associate two student and two teacher measures from the same schools. The findings indicate that a mix of school-wide actions were associated with lower levels of student aggressive and bullying behaviour. Five sub-groups of actions are discussed in the light of recent New Zealand and international research. The article concludes with a call to locate anti-bullying approaches within a multifaceted and holistic framework which has the overall aim of promoting wellbeing and healthy social relationships. A holistic approach enables schools to foster protective factors such as belonging, and address risk factors that influence bullying behaviour, as well as a range of desirable education and health outcomes for young people.
Bullying behaviour; wellbeing; school systems; collaborative leadership; behaviour management