Using Transformational Leadership for the Development of Middle-level School Leaders

Year: 2016

Author: Fernandes, Venesser

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

While there are many case-studies and examples of transformational leadership in schools, most of them are focused on principals or the executive leadership team and the driving force that is provided through their leadership. This paper highlights how through effective models of transformational leadership practice, the skills and expertise of middle-level school leaders can be developed whilst 'on the job' so that these leaders become one of the main driving forces of the school improvement agenda being practised within the school. In the absence of skilled expertise that matches up with a particular school’s improvement agenda, any initiative is short lived. Through an examination of two case-study schools, this study focuses on the need for these middle-level school leaders to be suitably equipped and empowered within schools so that through their leadership these schools become ‘strategically-oriented learning organisations’ demonstrating the five critical transformations of the SCOPE Improvement Cycle. Also, using the four dimensions of transformational leadership as a framework, the paper will outline how these dimensions were evident in these middle-level leaders and the positive effect it had on the school improvement processes present within the schools. The findings from this study suggest the importance for focused middle-level school leadership development as a part of a school’s improvement agenda, as this approach assists in the transformation of a school into a learning organisation that demonstrates a strong strategic intent and supports the existence of effective professional learning communities that place greater emphasis on relationships, shared ideals and a strong school culture.