Does research support an instructional leadership approach?
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Dear {tag_recipientfirstname}

Instructional Leadership is a term that has been popular in recent years…but what does that mean and is it really realistic, given the other demands on a school leader’s time. In this edition, Grant O’Sullivan examines instructional leadership and looks at whether the research supports that approach as the most effective way to improve the quality of teaching.

In our Recommended Resources section, we share the second series of our video case study stories. We also share the latest Coaching in Education Podcasts. The range of coaching interventions that are being implemented in different contexts is sure to inspire your own coaching programs.

As usual, we hope you find this a useful read.

Best wishes,
John Campbell
Executive Director



 

Instructional Leadership and a Coaching Approach

By Grant O’Sullivan
WA, SA & NT GCI Co-Director


I would like to challenge the notion that school leaders should be the sole instructional expert in a school. Whilst the Principal and other senior leaders need to know what good teaching practice looks like and what constitutes ‘good enough’, it is not realistic nor is it likely to be the most effective approach for them to be the sole providers of this feedback to teachers. Researchers (Hattie, 2012) suggest that it is more effective to have teachers working collaboratively and for very high effect, using a coaching approach in how they support each other.

This coaching approach is supported by the Australian Professional Standards for Principals and the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers with the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) providing many resources to help. Refer http://www.toolkit.aitsl.edu.au/category/coaching-mentoring.

Leaders play a significant role in leading instruction; however, it is when teachers work collaboratively with peers, incorporating data collected through peer observation and following up with regular and sophisticated collegial coaching conversations, that we see the most impact on teaching practice. This impacts directly on outcomes for students.

There are occasions where the Principal may be the best placed, if not the only person in the school that is qualified to do this. As a Principal of eighteen years myself, I was the only appropriate person available to do this in some schools I led, particularly small rural schools with a staff of very inexperienced teachers.

Read full article on Instructional Leadership and a Coaching Approach.



Recommended Resource
We are delighted to share the second series of Video Case Studies, filmed recently at the 5th National Coaching in Education Conference.


St Philip’s Christian College Cessnock

Darren Cox and Marty Telfer of St Philip’s Christian College Cessnock in NSW explain how a coaching approach is now part of the every-day dialogue of staff across all sections of the school.


Peregian Springs State School

In this short case study interview, we talk to Dr Gwen Sands, foundation Principal of Peregian Springs State School in Queensland. We asked Gwen what drove the implementation of coaching programs in this newly established school?


Blairmount Public School

In this short case study interview, we chat to Greg Turnbull & Melissa Clarke of Blairmount Public School in New South Wales. We caught up with Greg and Melissa after their presentation at the 5th National Coaching in Education Conference and asked why they chose to invest in coaching at Blairmount?


Coaching in Education Podcasts
This month we shared two fantastic podcast interviews with you. They are repeated here for those who might have missed them:

Making Conversations Count in Schools

The fundamental element of any sort of organisation is not necessarily a human being, it's a relationship. It’s conversations that build, grow, and sustain those relationships.

In this interview Jason Pascoe, Director at GCI, explains the importance of each of the interactions within a school’s complex relational environment.

 

Case Study: Hercules Road Primary School

Stephen Auer’s message is one of continued development for everyone - with coaching as a supported and confidential way of doing that.

As Principal, Stephen has implemented coaching not only as a way to build teacher capacity but also as a way to give every child at the school a better chance of improving. This story is sure to inspire.



 


 

 
 
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