Hope and educational leadership: A case study of Senior L/earning reform in Queensland

Year: 2009

Author: Chen, Xiafang, Singh, Michael, Harreveld, Bobby

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The purpose of this paper is to identify leadership qualities involved in reform of Senior L-earning through the introduction of vocational education and training in schools (VETiS). This research is situated in relation to the current literature theorising hope and its relationship with leadership. A case study methodology is used. The data analysis begins with an examination of the five leadership capabilities identified in Queensland's Leadership Matters which are interpreted in terms of the theoretical dimensions of hope. Further, given that this Senior L/earning reform is multi-layered and cross-sectoral, interviews have been conducted with educational and training leaders at the school, regional and State levels, along with officials in registered training organisations and technical colleges. Data from interviews with 40 leaders in Queensland have been analysed with the aid of NVivo and explored for what they reveal about the concept of hope as a defining attribute of leadership, especially in times of significant cultural change. The data analysis focuses its theorisation on the issues leaders meet, the solutions they pursue, the qualities they display in the process of reform Senior L/earning through VETiS. This paper concludes with a discussion of the value of theorising educational leadership from the perspective of hope, rather than just mentioning it as is often the case.

Key Phrase: Educational Policy, Leadership and Management