Collaborative Pathways to Success: Building Capability

Year: 2019

Author: Moncur-White, Claudine

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

‘Sense-making in school leadership is about giving a meaning to unclear experiences while dealing with ambiguity… Seeking to address this complexity, they [leaders] shift from management by command and control to management by collaboration and teamwork’ (Queensland Department of Education, 2018).

School leaders work in environments that are constantly changing and continuously increasing in complexity. It is generally acknowledged that they face unprecedented challenges – social, economic and environmental – driven by accelerating globalisation and a faster rate of technological innovation and developments.

In the current environment of heightened professional accountability and intense focus on student performance, the role of school leadership has become a key issue in school improvement agendas. While the greatest effect on student achievement is the quality of teaching students receive the leadership of the school, and its capacity to building teacher capability, has become a primary consideration for principals. However, there is evidence that the complexity and accountability pressures are impacting on principal wellbeing and, it can be argued, the role is no longer sustainable by a single leader.

In recent times the importance of leadership teams in addressing the complex nature of schools and lifting performance has been emerging in the literature. Research also supports a new conceptualisation of a school as a learning organisation with a high level of collaboration and shared practice among teachers, and coherent approach to professional learning.

This paper outlines a proposed doctoral study with the research question ‘In what way do effective leadership teams help build principal wellbeing and staff capability in a complex environment?