Bush Tracks: Exploring teacher learning in rural leadership

Year: 2005

Author: Graham, Lorraine, Miller, Judy, Bloomfield, Di, Paterson, David, Taylor, Neil

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Due to the crisis in rural school staffing many beginning teachers are being required to take on school leadership roles very early in their careers. These roles relate to a range of tasks including curriculum leadership, leadership in pedagogy, assessment, and school-community relations. Accelerated progressions are changing the nature of school leadership in rural schools. School leadership opportunities in rural schools impact uniquely on pathways from student teacher to beginning teacher and school leader that individuals may follow. Such pathways are frequently different to those available to teachers in large urban centres. What are the implications of these different pathways in terms of pre-service teacher education, beginning teacher support, and the professional development needs of rural school leaders? What challenges do beginning teachers in rural schools experience in relation to the formation and realisation of their identities as teachers, school leaders and community members? What obstacles, opportunities, expectations and supports are there for rural teachers to make the early transition to school leadership roles? This paper draws upon survey and case study data of the lived experiences of teachers in their journeys through rural leadership and contributes knowledge for rural leadership development.