This area of research investigates new ways of thinking and enacting school leadership for the future: ways that go beyond the constraints of managerialism and accountability and are forged on the notion of professional responsibility and are consistent with the sentiments of the Melbourne Declaration that quality school leadership enhances quality education for young people which benefits both the individual as well as the wider community. This also raises question as to how best to prepare our future school leaders by exploring the evolving features of Australian schools and identifying the characteristics and capabilities required by leaders of those schools. Appropriate professional on-going learning of these school leaders will be critical in ensuring our schools best equip our young people for a challenging and changing future. The broader context for the research are the enormous challenges schools (and school leaders) face as they respond to significant social, political, economic and technological change. Given this complex operational environment, school leaders require new capabilities and mindsets to prepare them to lead.
The research has both practice and policy orientations and has the potential to forge new directions in the way we think about school leaders and school leadership. The following broad question frames this research. How can we conceptualise school leadership as a purposeful, values driven profession that itself leads and is underpinned by the notion of professional responsibility?
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Authorised by the Dean of Graduate Research
16 July, 2011