The work of positional leaders in Communities of Learning
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Citation:Fenn, D. (2020). The work of positional leaders in Communities of Learning. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Applied Practice). Unitec Institute of Technology. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4947
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4947
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. What are the expectations of positional leaders with respect to their role in Communities of Learning? 2. How do positional leaders’ practices compare to the National Criteria for Communities of Learning? 3. How do positional leaders perceive their challenges and successes within Communities of Learning? ABSTRACT: Communities of Learning (CoL) form one part of New Zealand’s 2014 educational improvement strategy, ‘Investing in Educational Success’. CoL are a government school reform strategy that aims to employ collective capacity to share resources, increase teacher capability and raise student achievement. The CoL structure is underpinned by a philosophy where excellent leaders adopt collaborative interdependent structures to transform education by influencing their colleagues’ schools. The government established CoL as a system improvement model to share expertise, develop collaborative practice and reduce disparity in minoritised groups. CoL are usually made up of eight to twelve member schools that reflect students’ geographical pathways through the education system. The government believes that if CoL create a basis of collaborative expertise, students will experience streamlined transitions between schools, minority ethnicities will achieve at the same rates as European ethnicities, and that failing schools will improve. Three new CoL leadership tiers have been created for positional leaders to work within their schools and across organisational boundaries to influence their colleagues and effect these changes in schools. This work presents unique challenges and tensions for leaders and the member schools they work in. CoL schools are expected to engage in partnering school communities, establish combined systemic groupings, reorganise their leadership structures and share resourcing. However, due to the relatively recent establishment of CoL, little is known about how positional leaders carry out this work in schools. This research examines the expectations of positional leaders, their work in light of the National Criteria for CoL and leaders’ perceptions of their challenges and successes.