Principal Professional Learning in New Zealand: How does it happen? Understanding the value of profound professional learning for experienced principals
Graham, A. R. (2010). Principal Professional Learning in New Zealand: How does it happen? Understanding the value of profound professional learning for experienced principals (Thesis, Master of Educational Leadership (MEdLeadership)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4284
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/4284
Profound professional learning for principals makes a difference to student achievement. While indirect, the impact of effective principal practice has a ripple effect throughout the community of learners of a school. The principal is, and should be, the lead learner of the school. Authenticity in this action brings credibility. This credibility establishes the principal as a significant role model. This qualitative research provides some insight to the understanding and practices of experienced effective principals and their professional learning in a New Zealand context. The findings suggest that there are measures of effectiveness for New Zealand principals, however ascertaining what to measure is somewhat difficult. Knowledge of tools to support the identification of learning needs is limited and therefore not significant in the practice of these principals. Drivers and barriers to professional learning are identifiable. Work/life balance is highlighted as both a measure of effectiveness and a filter for professional learning. This is one of many filters explored. Recognition is given to the positioning of New Zealand principalship in a post-modern paradigm and the conflict that arises when measures of neo-liberal accountabilities are employed. The significance of school context and culture are highlighted as conditions for profound professional learning. The culture of traditional learning through principal clusters is challenged. Recommendations and considerations are offered to both principal colleagues and the Ministry of Education as a result of these findings. These include the need for principal mentoring and secondment to external, national bodies as part of professional learning for all principals. The value of professional learning is highlighted. More significantly principals are challenged to embrace and develop an authentic culture of professional learning.
The University of Waikato
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