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School development: Some reflections on the role of school leaders
Dalarna University, School of Education and Humanities, Education.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6530-3019
2001 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

High expectations of development and renewal of form and content in schools are now very common. However there seem to be no simple answers how to do. Schools are a complex organisation with many stakeholders involved. The complexity concern for example formal decisions taken on many different levels, state, municipally and in school-units, but perhaps the most important decisions are made informal in the classrooms. Schools as an organisation also seem to be hard to change. Developing processes have a tendency to take long time before there are possible to discover any results. Teachers have continuously lack of time, here and now, as there are so many things to be done. What is the role of the school-leader under these conditions? One of the problems school-leaders have to face is, as there are many expectations, the difficulty to make priorities among their work. The teachers demand the school-leaders to be “visible”. Meetings take so much time those school-leaders can not take active part in the daily work as expected. They are supposed to be “pedagogical-leaders”, at the same time this usually does not seem to work in practise. Politicians and the public are keen to know what the results are. The budget gives restrictions that can not be exceeded. The parents would like to have influence and so on and on. In short, the expectations of the school-leaders are high. In the paper is discussed what possibility school-leaders have to manage school-development. Following questions are raised:

  • What kind of strategically choices do school-leaders meet when they are going to manage school-development?
  • Is it possible to manage school-development in a long-term perspective and what may school-leaders do to make it possible to involve the personnel in an efficient way?

It seems apparent that school development is a field just as complicated as one has reason to believe. It is important to give teachers a possibility to be involved in school-development processes and also the managers’ choice of development strategy seems to be of importance. Managers have to be those who create necessary prerequisites and co-ordinate the activities. The accomplishment is in many aspects possible to hand over to the teachers. There is however a risk to see school-development processes as clearly defined short-term projects. When school-development on the other hand is run in a long-term perspective there seems to be possible to expect more lasting effects as a result. There are of course no simple solutions how to do, but it seems as a necessary prerequisite that school-development must be well prepared and carried out systematically, with high involvement and on the ground of dialogue. The managers have to support these processes especially when difficulties of different kinds occur and, not at least, have faith to the teachers ability.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2001.
National Category
Pedagogy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-10294OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-10294DiVA: diva2:540180
Conference
ATEE 26th Annual Conference. Stockholm, Sverige. 27 augusti - 1 september, 2001.
Available from: 2012-07-08 Created: 2012-07-08 Last updated: 2016-03-21Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
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