SYMPOSIUM 1: Theorising curriculum leadership for effective learning and teaching: Reporting progress in an ARC collaborative research project

The symposium is based on a collaborative research project which focuses on curriculum leadership for effective learning and teaching. Partners in the project include members of the Research Concentration in Curriculum Decision-making at Queensland University of Technology and the Effective Learning and Teaching Unit of the Queensland Department of Education. The collaboration began in 1993 and 1994; it continued in 1995; and it is now proceeding as an ARC-funded collaborative research project in 1996 and 1997. The chief investigators listed in the ARC application are Bob Elliott, Stephen Kemmis and Ian Macpherson, while the chief collaborator for the industry is Greg Thurlow. The project has the full support of the Director-General of Education. Members of the Research Concentration now involved in the project include Tania Aspland, Ross Brooker and Christine Proudford; members of the Effective Learning and Teaching Unit now involved include Joan Jenkins, Leonie Shaw and Chris Woods. The Senior Research Assistant for the project in Adrian McInman.

The project defines curriculum leadership as a phenomenon which involves everyone who facilitates learning. It is enabled by certain qualities within a school curriculum environment; and there are a number of mediating factors which work on the individual psychologies of teachers which give them a predisposition to engage in curriculum leadership practices.

The four papers in this Symposium recount the story of the research. How we began and how we have continues to theorise curriculum leadership for effective learning and teaching within an action research approach is the focus of the first paper. A feature of the methodology within an overall action research approach is the emphasis on multi methods; and so the second and third papers report on the quantitative and qualitative methodologies respectively. The fourth paper reflects on the work done in 1996 as a platform for further research and action in 1997.

The authors of each paper acknowledge that the ideas emanating from the project and reported in the papers are jointly owned by all members of the research team, as listed above.