Promoting professionalism, and accountability in educational leadership through the application of electronic portfolios

Year: 2007

Author: Dixon, Robert, Dixon, Kathryn

Type of paper: Refereed paper

This paper is the consequence of an investigation of the capacity of an electronic portfolio to promote reflection on educational leadership. A cohort of volunteer aspirant and current school leaders participated in the trial of an innovative software package designed to facilitate the creation of an electronic portfolio. The study followed the development of volunteers as they underwent the process of constructing an e-folio, in an effort to understand the efficacy of an electronic portfolio as a tool for demonstrating self-reflection and analysis of personal leadership. The trial members wrote reflections regarding their experiences as leaders into their portfolios using the parameters of the “Leadership Framework” as the conceptual guide. This part of the study reports on the results of a content analysis conducted on individual reflections, which found seven key thematic concerns of modern educational leaders, including their relationship with staff, pedagogy and learning, students, the performance of staff, students and the school, the need for collaboration, an emphasis on the importance of planning, and the need to develop a vision. Several smaller but significant sub themes such as management of the educational institution, improving skills and knowledge of both staff and students, and the tasks and activities of everyday management also emerged.