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Leading upstream: Professional learning for middle leaders


This chapter targets the learning of middle leaders working in the rapidly expanding international school sector in the Asia-Pacific Region. It draws on three externally commissioned impact studies of Leading Upstream (LU) – a purpose-designed 12-month part-time, leader learning program. The program runs in Hong Kong for middle leaders from 20 primary and secondary schools that make up a semigovernment education system. The main aim of the program was to scale up individual, team, and school capacity through a structured learning network design. Since 2005/2006, the program has completed four cohorts. The authors present an analysis of the impact of a connected series of the same program to draw insights that may inform program development for middle leaders. The heart of the chapter focuses on the authors’ attempts to synthesize the outcomes of the three impact studies. Data patterns from across the studies were analyzed to identify common patterns. Patterns determined were divided into personal, team/school, and system impact. Among the former is ‘increased confidence in self as leader” and the later the fragility of even moderately broad networks when learning hits the realities of school.


Walker, A. and Quong, T. (2010), "Leading upstream: Professional learning for middle leaders", Normore, A.H. (Ed.) Global Perspectives on Educational Leadership Reform: The Development and Preparation of Leaders of Learning and Learners of Leadership (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 357-376.



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