Journeys to Leadership
Insights from Research and Practice
The need to encourage early and mid-career teachers to participate in leadership activities in the school is well documented in the literature. So too is the need to suitably prepare teachers to undertake formal school leadership roles, especially as principals. Similarly documented is the general concern about the lack of suitable applicants willing to consider leadership roles.
This session draws on a collection of recent research undertaken specifically in New South Wales by practitioners and academics into the career trajectories of teachers from the classroom to the principalship. Using this research base as a framework, couched as it is within the broader international literature, together with AITSL professional standards frameworks for teachers and principals, the session invites participants to reflect on their own leadership journey to date. In so doing there is the opportunity to reflect on what is now required to prepare for, and sustain oneself, in informal and formal leadership roles in schools.
Speaker: Dr Norman McCulla
Dr Norman McCulla joined Macquarie University in 2006 after an extensive career as a teacher and senior educational administrator in the NSW Department of Education and Training. As a teacher, Norman taught in primary, central and secondary schools in rural New South Wales and metropolitan Sydney as well as the RAAF School in Penang, Malaysia. As an educational administrator, he specialised in teacher professional development, curriculum development and educational change.
Norman has worked with all education sectors in NSW and nationally through his involvement with professional associations and national projects. He is a former Chair of the NSW Chapter of the Australian College of Educators and member of the College's National Council. He was made a Fellow of the College for his services to education nationally in the areas of curriculum and teacher professional development. Norman has also held the positions of President of the NSW Institute of Senior Educational Administrators and Vice-president of the Primary English Teaching Association.
Norman chaired the Steering Committee for the NSW Quality Teaching Award, an award for teaching excellence offered by the Australian College of Educators, NSW Branch in association with the NSW Minister for Education. The award encompassed all sectors of education; pre-school to university.
In 2012 Norman was the recipient of the College's Sir Harold Wyndham Medal which recognises "an outstanding contribution by an individual to the education of young people in New South Wales".
Norman is the Co-ordinator of the Postgraduate Educational Leadership Program at Macquarie. He teaches courses in Curriculum Studies, Human Resource Management in Education, and Leading the Development of New Teachers. He also teaches in the undergraduate Teacher Education Program in areas related to education policy and practice and is Chair of the School of Education's Learning and Teaching Committee.
Further Reading for Teacher Identified Professional Learning
Below you will find seven readings that Dr Norman McCulla has identified as further reading. These readings will give you further insight into the content of the evening and will be valuable to inform your thinking.
1. De Nobile, J. (December, 2018). The ‘state of the art’ of research into middle leadership in schools. Paper presented at the Annual International Conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education, Sydney.
2. De Nobile, J. (2018). Towards a theoretical model of middle leadership in schools. School Leadership & Management. Vol. 38:4, pp. 395-416. DOI: 10.1080/13632434.2017.1411902
3. Furner, C. & McCulla, N. (2019). An exploration of the influence of school context, ethos and culture on teacher career-stage professional learning. Professional Development in Education. Vol. 45:3, pp. 505-519, DOI: 10.1080/19415257.2018.1427134
4. Marks, W. (2012). Tapping the Resource of Late-career Principals. Leading & Managing. Vol. 18, No. 1, pp. 31-49.
5. Marks, W. (2013). Leadership Succession and Retention: It’s time to get serious about a principal retention policy. Leading & Managing. Vol. 19, No. 2, pp. 1-14.
6. McCulla, N. & Degenhardt, L. (2016). Journeys to school leadership: How action learning identified what participants valued in a year-long Australian leadership development program centered on principles of good practice. EMAL Educational Management Administration & Leadership. Vol. 44(4), pp. 558–577, DOI: 10.1177/1741143214558574
7. McCulla, N., Dinham, S., Brock, P., & Scott, C. (2015). Identifying, Validating and Celebrating Quality Teaching. Australian College of Educators NSW Branch.
Dr McCulla also referred to a number of Theses in his presentation. These are listed below.
1. Lazenby, S.M. (2018). The Professional Development Needs and Experiences of Mid and Late-career Principals. Macquarie University: Sydney, Australia.
2. Leechman, G.D. (2017). School Governance, School Leadership and School Effectiveness. Macquarie University: Sydney, Australia.
3. Wratten, K.A. (2016). An Exploratory Study of the Implementation of a Performance and Development Framework in NSW Government Secondary Schools. Macquarie University: Sydney, Australia.
Journeys to Leadership is a four-hour, online course that is designed for educators working at Proficient level. This course draws on a collection of recent research undertaken specifically in New South Wales by practitioners and academics into the career trajectories of teachers from the classroom to the principalship. Using this research base as a framework, couched as it is within the broader international literature, together with AITSL professional standards frameworks for teachers and principals, the course invites participants to reflect on their own leadership journey to date. In so doing there is the opportunity to reflect on what is now required to prepare for, and sustain oneself, in informal and formal leadership roles in schools.
Upcoming Course Dates and Registration
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