This page will focus on supporting you to achieve your cluster leadership goal.

Forces for Leaders of Change

Fullen, Cuttress and Kilcher (2005)
This article outlines the 8 drivers that are keys to creating effective and sustainable change. It aims to develop your knowledge of the change process and argues that the more you understand this process, the more likely it will be successful and have lasting impact. One of the drivers identified is used particularly strongly in this project - developing cultures for learning. This involves strategies designed so that people are able to learn from each other, become collectively committed to the improvements aimed for. They say that one of the most powerful drivers for change involves learning from peers, especially those further along the pathway of implementation. "Turning information into actionable knowledge is a social process. Thus, developing learning cultures is crucial." (p56). Ringing a bell for anyone?
There are several 'power principles' (in the grey boxes) that really must be understood to increase the chances of your changes being successful and sustainable. Think about some recent PLD that you or your school has been involved in and run these power principles over the process. Can you see how some of these were laced through the pld? If they weren't overtly clear in your head, would it have made a difference if they were?
It's a short, easy read, and I think you'll find it quite enlightening. Whatever size school or department you are leading, this could be a helpful insight into making a difference to the long term change you are aiming for.

What's the focus of your leadership inquiry?

Nick Rate from Core provides a great thought provoking blog that debates many current themes in education. A recent post discusses a term that challenges our Teaching as Inquiry model - turns it on it's head. He discusses the idea of Appreciative Inquiry which according to Wikipedia, instead of asking “what’s the problem?”, which has a basis of deficiency, appreciative Inquiry starts with the belief that every organisation, and every person in that organisation, has positive aspects that can be built upon. It asks questions like “What’s working well?”, “What’s good about what you are currently doing?
If you're interested in finding out more about this topic, here's a Delicious search link
Here's a video by John Hayes who has nothing to do with education but his ideas are worth engaging with. Watch this, then ask yourself whether this could be an opportunity to challenge your leadership style within your schools.

Something to think about ...
"Leadership cannot be taught. It has to be learnt. The most powerful means of developing leadership is to create an organisational culture, which values the sorts of learning most likely to enhance the capacity of individuals to lead." (J. West-Burnham. 2004, in B. Hincho, 2011).
From a recent upload onto Ed Leaders - Brian's Sabbatical report is worth reading.

Leadership Blog

Bill Martin blogs on leadership. His most recent blog relates to dealing with resistance which I think is something most of us face regularly in our work. he describes some good strategies that you could employ.
Bill's Blog

Tū Rangatira
Tū Rangatira is a really useful document that has some real leadership depth to it. Drawing parallels between this document and Kiwi Leadership would be a good exercise for all clusters to engage in. Click the image to go to the Education Leaders site that allows you to download it if you don't have a copy.


Leadership goals & the self review tool

As I've been digging into the action plans recently, I have been reminded of the self review tool that went alongside the introduction of the national standards last year. Many of you had conversations using this tool which will have helped you to focus on your roles as school leaders. To help you think about your leadership goal, you could perhaps revisit these and do some self-assessment.
Take the rubric that discusses the Engagement in Professional Learning.
If you overlook the reference to national standards it reads like this: How do we as leaders engage in professional learning (...) that makes a difference to student outcomes?
The indicators of a high level of integration are that school leaders:
  • use professional learning to determine how they need to change their leadership practices (with regard to the effective use of ... as reference points) for supporting students’ progress and achievement
  • critique and challenge their own and teachers’ beliefs about teaching and learning in order to establish leadership and teaching practices that are known to impact positively on student outcomes
  • understand how to develop effective systems, processes, and practices that help students to self-regulate their learning and that support students’ cultural identities.
Although any of these bullet points could make a really worthwhile leadership goal, possibly the second one would be most appropriate for many of you. What do you think?

Ladder of Inference

The Ladder of Inference is something you will most likely have heard referred to as a structure for challenging your assumptions. It was first put forward by organizational psychologist Chris Argyris and used by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.
This concept identifies how we tend to generate beliefs that are based on our observations and past experiences, but are largely untested. Without challenging these beliefs we can find it hard to achieve the results we aim for.
You can Google this term, but here are some websites with brief explanations of this process
Mind tools
Society for Organisational Learning

Viviane Robinson

Viviane's powerpoint about Open to Learning Conversations utilises the ladder strongly. I have uploaded it above and strongly encourage you to download it and dig into the concepts discussed. Lots of diagrams to make things easy to access :)

Mind ToolsThis diagram shows how we build our beliefs and then the assumptions we make can feed back into what we think next time, affirming our stance.
Viviane RobinsonViviane has done a lot of work in this area and the images below are hers.
Viviane Robinson
The way to interrupt this reflexive loop is to ask yourself and others some questions along the way.
The Mind Tools site has the following questions to refocus your thinking:

Use the Ladder of Inference at any of stage of your thinking process. If you're asking any of the following questions, the model may prove a useful aid:
  • Is this the "right" conclusion?
  • Why am I making these assumptions?
  • Why do I think this is the "right" thing to do?
  • Is this really based on all the facts?
  • Why does he believe that?
Viviane Robinson has the following questions to refocus your thinking