Distributed leadership for innovative use of ICT in teaching and learning: Empowerment through culture, capacity and collaboration
White, D. A. (2014). Distributed leadership for innovative use of ICT in teaching and learning: Empowerment through culture, capacity and collaboration (Thesis, Master of Educational Leadership (MEdLeadership)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8730
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/8730
The explosion and advancements of information and communication technology (ICT) are shaping the skills and competencies our children will need for their future. School leaders are confronted with the challenge to redesign traditional models of schooling and embrace ICTs in order to create innovative school cultures to support 21st century learner needs. Opportunities that allow students to construct their own learning pathways, connect with each other and the world beyond their classroom, collaborate, reflect, and solve real problems will prepare our students to take an active role in a highly complex and demanding society. School leaders adopting a distributed leadership approach has shown potential to build school capacity to undertake innovation and change. This research adopts the distributed leadership theory to understand how school leaders and teachers can implement innovative ICT pedagogies within New Zealand primary schools. Using a qualitative interpretive methodology two high performing urban schools were case studied. Data was collected through semi-structured interviews with school leaders and teachers and a document analysis of relevant school documentation. Thematic analyses within and between the cases revealed three key themes: developing a supportive culture, building teacher and leadership capacity and providing formal opportunities for collaboration. The findings indicate that school leaders play a crucial role in creating the necessary conditions to foster and sustain innovation and change. This approach involves developing a positive culture, building capacity of individuals, and providing opportunities for collaboration. Teachers indicated that when these conditions were in place they felt empowered to leverage the potential of technology in their teaching and learning practice. The distributed leadership model was valuable for understanding such leadership in action. It highlighted the need for a positive synergy between a supportive school culture, building teacher and leadership capacity and formal opportunities for collaboration. Implications for school leaders interested in adopting a distributed approach to leadership and practice in order to support innovative ICT teaching practice include: understanding the conditions required for effective distributed leadership; how to establish these conditions in their school context; intentionally seeking to be life long learners; appreciating the role technology can play; building leadership capacity throughout the school; and establishing learning communities in their school.
University of Waikato
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