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The What and the How of Student-

Centred Leadership: Implications from


Research Evidence

Viviane Robinson
Academic Director,
University of Auckland Centre for Educational Leadership
with Anne Berit Emstad
Program for lrerutdanning, NTNU






What is Student-Centred Leadership?
leadership that
makes a difference
to the equity and
excellence of
student outcomes

Student-Centred Leadership is more than
Well managed schools
Good relationships with staff and
parents
Innovation
School reputation


The Ruler for Evaluating Leadership
We should judge
leadership primarily
by impact on students
rather than on adults
The How and the What of Student-Centred
Leadership
What do leaders need to
do to have a bigger
impact?
How do they do it?






High quality
teaching and
learning


Building
relational trust


Solving complex
problems


Integrating
educational
knowledge into
practice
Leadership capabilities
Establishing goals and expectations
Resourcing strategically
Ensuring quality teaching
Leading teacher learning and development
Ensuring an orderly and safe environment
L
e
a
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s
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i
p

d
i
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s

0.00
0.05
0.10
0.15
0.20
0.25
0.30
0.35
0.40
0.45
Mean effect size estimate

Transformational Leadership
Pedagogical Leadership
Effect of Leadership Types
Five Dimensions of Student-Centred Leadership
Derived from Quantitative Studies Linking Leadership with Student Outcomes
0,27
0,84
0,42
0,31
0,42
0 0,1 0,2 0,3 0,4 0,5 0,6 0,7 0,8 0,9 1
5. Ensuring an Orderly and Supportive
Environment
4. Leading Teacher Learning and
Development
3. Ensuring Quality Teaching
2. Resourcing Strategically
1. Establishing Goals and Expectations
Effect Size
1. Establishing Goals and Expectations



2. Resourcing Strategically




3. Ensuring Quality Teaching



4. Leading Teacher Learning and
Development



5. Ensuring an Orderly and Safe
Environment
The more leaders focus their relationships, their
work and their learning on the core business of
teaching and learning the greater their influence
on student outcomes.
The Big Message
Source: Sonny Donaldson, superintendent of
Aldine school district in Texas
The main thing is to keep the main
thing the main thing.


EXERCISE 1: REFLECTIONS ON FIVE
DIMENSIONS

1. Were there any surprises in the research evidence
about the effect of the different types of
leadership?

2. Are there aspects of educational leadership that
you think are important that are not included in
the five dimensions or three capabilities?


3. Ensuring Quality Teaching
4. Leading Teacher Learning
and Development
5. Ensuring an Orderly and
Safe Environment
2. Resourcing Strategically
Student-Centred Leadership: Dimension One
1. Establishing Goals and
Expectations


includes:








setting important and measurable
learning goals
communicating clearly to all relevant
audiences
involving staff and others in the
process
clarity and consensus
about goals
1. Establishing Goals and
Expectations
2. Resourcing Strategically
3. Ensuring Quality Teaching
4. Leading Teacher Learning
and Development
5. Ensuring an Orderly and
Safe Environment
Aspects of Goal Setting
How Goal Setting Works
1. Establishing Goals and
Expectations
2. Resourcing Strategically
3. Ensuring Quality Teaching
4. Leading Teacher Learning
and Development
5. Ensuring an Orderly and
Safe Environment
Processes Involved
Goals:
Create a discrepancy between current and desired
action or outcomes
Motivate persistent goal-relevant behaviour
Focus attention and effort
Consequences
Higher performance and learning
Sense of purpose and priority
Increased sense of efficacy
Increased enjoyment of task
Conditions Required
Commitment to goals
Capacity to achieve goals
Specific and unambiguous
1. Establishing Goals
and Expectation
2. Resourcing
Strategically
3. Planning,
Coordinating and
Evaluating Teaching
and the Curriculum
4. Promoting and
Participating in
Teacher Learning and
Development
5. Ensuring an Orderly
& Safe Environment
PEOPLE MONEY TIME
PRIORITY
GOALS
Within-school Expertise
External Expertise
Student-Centred Leadership: Dimension Two

1. Establishing Goals
and Expectation
2. Resourcing
Strategically
3. Planning,
Coordinating and
Evaluating Teaching
and the Curriculum
4. Promoting and
Participating in
Teacher Learning
and Development
5. Ensuring an
Orderly & Safe
Environment
Involves clarity about
what is and is NOT being resourced and why

A focused rather than fragmented
approach to school improvement

Importance of critical thinking skills
in allocating scarce resources
Appraisal Goal
Examples:
Incorporate Habits
of Mind more fully
into the curriculum
school wide
Consolidation of
ABCD Classroom
Management
Student-Centred Leadership: Dimension Two


Focus on
Teaching quality
the biggest source of
school-based
variance in
achievement


Student-Centred Leadership: Dimension Three
1. Establishing Goals and
Expectations
2. Resourcing Strategically
3. Ensuring Quality Teaching
4. Leading Teacher Learning
and Development
5. Ensuring an Orderly and
Safe Environment
Ensuring Quality
Teaching

includes:








Effective
Teaching
1. Establishing Goals and
Expectations
2. Resourcing Strategically
3. Ensuring Quality Teaching
4. Leading Teacher Learning
and Development
5. Ensuring an Orderly and
Safe Environment
Coherent
Programme
A coherent teaching
programme
A defensible theory of
effective teaching
Two Big Ideas
Progressions of age-related learning outcomes
standards are specified in each core subject
Common pedagogical approaches
Common assessments across a year level
Teacher learning needs are based on their students
learning needs
A Coherent Teaching Program involves
Explain why increased coherence promotes better
student learning
Agree priority areas for increased coherence
Explain the tradeoffs between increased coherence,
increased collective responsibility and reduced individual
teacher autonomy
Leadership Strategies for Promoting Coherence


Effective teaching maximises the
time that learners are engaged
with and successful in the
learning of important outcomes
A More Defensible Theory of Effective Teaching














ACADEMIC LEARNING TIME


MISALIGNMENT
LACK OF ENGAGEMENT
LACK OF SUCCESS
Source: Associate Professor Graeme Aitken, Faculty of Education, University of Auckland

1. Establishing
Goals and
Expectation
2. Resourcing
Strategically
3. Planning,
Coordinating and
Evaluating
Teaching and the
Curriculum
4. Promoting and
Participating in
Teacher Learning and
Development
5. Ensuring an
Orderly &
Supportive
Environment


Leadership that not only promotes
but directly participates with
teachers in formal or informal
professional learning
Student-Centred Leadership: Dimension Four
1. Establishing
Goals and
Expectation
2. Resourcing
Strategically
3. Planning,
Coordinating and
Evaluating
Teaching and the
Curriculum
4. Promoting and
Participating in
Teacher Learning and
Development
5. Ensuring an
Orderly &
Supportive
Environment
TPL&D
Focus on the links
between what is
taught and what
students have
learned
Use expertise
external to group
Ensure worthwhile
evidence-based
content
Voluntary or
compulsory?
Student-Centred Leadership: Dimension Four
1. Establishing
Goals and
Expectation
2. Resourcing
Strategically
3. Planning,
Coordinating and
Evaluating
Teaching and the
Curriculum
4. Promoting and
Participating in
Teacher Learning and
Development
5. Ensuring an
Orderly &
Supportive
Environment
Why is this Dimension so Powerful?

Symbolic importance

Increased leadership expertise brings
increased influence

Increased understanding of the conditions
required to achieve improvement goals

Student-Centred Leadership: Dimension Four


1. Establishing
Goals and
Expectation
2. Resourcing
Strategically
3. Planning,
Coordinating and
Evaluating
Teaching and the
Curriculum
4. Promoting and
Participating in
Teacher Learning and
Development
5. Ensuring an
Orderly & Safe
Environment
Student-Centred Leadership: Dimension Five
1. Establishing
Goals and
Expectation
2. Resourcing
Strategically
3. Planning,
Coordinating and
Evaluating
Teaching and the
Curriculum
4. Promoting and
Participating in
Teacher Learning and
Development
5. Ensuring an
Orderly & Safe
Environment
Student-Centred Leadership: Dimension Five




Norms and routines that support
cognitive and behavioural engagement

Relationships of mutual trust
between leaders, staff, parents and students


1. Establishing
Goals and
Expectation
2. Resourcing
Strategically
3. Planning,
Coordinating and
Evaluating
Teaching and the
Curriculum
4. Promoting and
Participating in
Teacher Learning and
Development
5. Ensuring an
Orderly & Safe
Environment
Student-Centred Leadership: Dimension Five

Protecting time for teaching and learning by:


reducing external
pressures and
interruptions

establishing an orderly
and safe
environment both inside
and outside classrooms.

Two Overarching Principles

Build relational trust

You reap what you sow

Two Broad Strategies for Strong Parent-School Ties

Teachers who make
connections with
students lives
Parents who are
strongly involved
in their childrens
schooling
Teachers who Make Connections

Talking with your
students at a
personal level
increases their
sense of
connection to the
school and their
teachers
Knowing student
culture helps
teachers connect
abstract academic
ideas to students
lives
Bryk, A., Sebring, P. B., Allensworth, E., Luppescu, S., & Easton, J. Q. (2009).
Organizing schools for improvement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.



EXERCISE 2: IMPLICATIONS FOR YOUR OWN
WORK

1. To what extent does the system in which you work
support and require student-centered leadership?

2. What are the barriers you see to stronger student-
centered leadership in your schools?

3. How can you contribute to overcoming these
barriers?








High quality
teaching and
learning


Building
relational trust


Solving complex
problems


Integrating
educational
knowledge into
practice
Leadership capabilities
Establishing goals and expectations
Resourcing strategically
Ensuring quality teaching
Leading teacher learning and development
Ensuring an orderly and safe environment
L
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Three Key Capabilities for Student-Centered
Leadership
Viviane Robinson, The University of Auckland
STUDENT-
CENTERED
LEADERSHIP
Relational
trust
Integrate
Knowledge
Problem
solving
Building relational trust
Determinants of
Relational Trust
Consequences of High Relational Trust
for teachers
and schools
for students
Interpersonally
respectful
Personal regard
for others
Competent in role
Personal integrity
Relational
Trust
Positive attitude to
innovation and risk
More
outreach to parents
Enhanced
commitment
Enhanced
professional community
Improving
academic
outcomes in
high trust schools
Higher likelihood
of positive
social outcomes
Viviane Robinson, The University of Auckland
Complex problem
solving involves
discerning relevant
constraints and
modifying and
integrating them in
ways that enable a
solution to be
reached

Viviane Robinson, The University of Auckland
Enables solution
Modify/
integrate
Discern
relevant
constraints
The goal
Complex problem solving
Integrate pedagogical knowledge
Learning goal:
to improve
mathematical
reasoning
and problem
solving
Viviane Robinson, The University of Auckland
Pedagogical
shift required:
from
computational
fluency to
fluency and
mathematical
understanding
Administrative shifts
required to support
pedagogical shift:
?

Emstad, A. B., & Robinson, V. M. J. (2011). The role of leadership
in evaluation utilization: Cases from Norwegian primary
schools. Nordic Studies in Education, 31(4), 245-257.

Robinson, V. M. J. (2007). School leadership and student
outcomes: Identifying what works and why. The University of
Auckland Centre for Educational Leadership: Monograph &
Resource Pack (available from
www.education.auckland.ac.nz/uacel)

Robinson, Viviane (2011). Student-centered leadership. San
Francisco: Jossey Bass.

Suggested Reading
Thank you
for your
participation
today