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Article
Publication date: 15 January 2020

Andy Hargreaves and Dennis Shirley

The purpose of this paper is to cover a 10-year period in ten of Ontario’s 72 school districts on the nature, origins and importance of “leading from the middle” (LfM) within and…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to cover a 10-year period in ten of Ontario’s 72 school districts on the nature, origins and importance of “leading from the middle” (LfM) within and across the districts.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a self-selected but also representative sample of ten Ontario school districts. It undertook three-day site visits in each of the districts, transcribed all the interviews and compiled an analysis into detailed case studies.

Findings

LfM is defined by a philosophy, structure and culture that promotes collaboration, initiative and responsiveness to the needs of each district along with collective responsibility for all students’ success.

Research limitations/implications

To be sustainable in Ontario, LfM needs support and resourcing from the top. The current environment of economic austerity therefore threatens sustainability. Globally, examples of LfM are emerging in at least three other systems. The analysis does not have identical questions or respondents in phases 1 and 2. Ontario’s version of LfM may differ from others. The collaborative design may downplay criticisms of LfM.

Practical implications

LfM provides a clear design for leading in complex times. Compared to top-down leadership the whole system can address the whole of students’ learning and well-being. LfM is suited to systems and cultures that support local democracy, community responsiveness and professional empowerment and engagement.

Originality/value

LfM is an inclusive, democratic and professionally empowering and responsive process that differs from other middle level strategies which treat the middle merely as a way of connecting the top and bottom to get government policies implemented more efficiently and coherently.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 5 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 October 2016

Dennis Shirley

As a “business capital” model premised upon a financial perspective of educational change spreads itself into school systems around the world, a countervailing view of…

1369

Abstract

Purpose

As a “business capital” model premised upon a financial perspective of educational change spreads itself into school systems around the world, a countervailing view of “professional capital,” as proposed by Hargreaves and Fullan, provides a new framework for transforming teaching and uplifting learning. The purpose of this paper is to advance theory by distinguishing among three forms of professional capital found in three different settings.

Design/methodology/approach

Systemic professional capital is exemplified by the city-state of Singapore, in which schools, higher education, and the Ministry of Education all support one another to optimize student learning. Social movement professional capital is manifested in the Learning Communities Project of rural middle schools in Mexico, where change is driven forward with a model of tutorial relationships that has proven to be sustainable even when funding is cut and political support is withdrawn. Activist professional capital can be identified in a Teacher Solutions Team model in Arizona in the USA, where educators carve out new zones of interaction and support for one another to deepen their knowledge base. This paper examines and discusses the above.

Findings

Systemic, social movement, and activist forms of professional capital are found to share affinities with the three forms of teacher professionalism identified by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development based on findings from the Teaching and Learning International Survey.

Originality/value

These distinctions among various forms of professional capital invite further research and theory building to provide alternatives to the rise of business capital in schools and school systems.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 September 2022

Carol Campbell

This chapter provides an overview of approaches to collaboration in Ontario and then focuses in particular on the experiences of the Norway–Canada (NORCAN) programme involving…

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of approaches to collaboration in Ontario and then focuses in particular on the experiences of the Norway–Canada (NORCAN) programme involving nine schools across Alberta and Ontario (Canada) and Norway from 2014 to 2018. NORCAN was established through collaboration by the teachers’ unions in Alberta (Alberta Teachers’ Association), Norway (Utdanningsforbundet), and Ontario (Ontario Teachers’ Federation) and the Ontario Ministry of Education. A central guiding question was co-developed to inform the work of NORCAN: ‘How can an international network of schools and educators committed to mindful leadership help to identify obstacles to students’ mathematics learning and develop strategies for attaining success?’ With funding support, school teams involving school leaders, teachers, and students had opportunities to collaborate at NORCAN-facilitated events, school visits in each jurisdiction, through an online platform, and ongoing communication. The following important features of NORCAN are identified: the development of collaborative structures, processes, relationships, and trust; student voice, agency, and leadership; professional learning and agency; and sharing knowledge and de-privatizing practices. Four lessons for policy and practice are proposed: 1. school-to-school collaboration benefits from adequate resources of time, funding and a support infrastructure; 2. the intentional cultivation of mutually respectful and trusting relationships is essential; 3. bringing together educators and students as co-learners is powerful and beneficial; and 4. mobilizing knowledge and de-privatizing practices needs to be central to the purpose and operation of collaboration.

Details

School-to-School Collaboration: Learning Across International Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-669-5

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 May 2022

Andy Hargreaves

The purpose of this essay is to honor, position and reflect on key themes related to high school reform within the careerlong scholarship of Karen Seashore Louis. It is presented…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this essay is to honor, position and reflect on key themes related to high school reform within the careerlong scholarship of Karen Seashore Louis. It is presented in relation to my own and others' key studies and book-length arguments regarding educational change, knowledge utilization, professional communities and innovation, over the past 30 years and up to the present time.

Design/methodology/approach

The article examines and interprets major works by Karen Seashore Louis and other educational change theorists that address repeated systemic failures, and episodic outlier efforts, at transformational change in high schools.

Findings

High school change has only failed if it is judged by the overarching criterion of system-wide transformation. Fair assessments of high school change must also examine accumulated incremental innovations. In light of the need for transformational aspirations in schools to mesh with transformational directions in society, the global pandemic and its aftermath may provide five key opportunities for long-awaited transformation.

Originality/value

There are different levels and degrees of innovation. Incremental innovation is as important as wholesale transformation. The growing number of networked outliers of innovation raises questions about the false equation of whole system change with bureaucratic state reform. Although the influential literature on whole system change is rooted in a small number of English-speaking countries, transformational change on a system-wide basis already exists in Northern Europe and parts of the Global South. Last, the pandemic and other major disruptions to the global social order have produced conditions that are highly favorable to transformational change in the future.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 60 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 August 2020

Shaneé Adrienne Washington

This paper describes how an Ontario school board's majority First Nation, Metís and Inuit (FNMI) student population influenced the direction and priorities of the board toward…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper describes how an Ontario school board's majority First Nation, Metís and Inuit (FNMI) student population influenced the direction and priorities of the board toward culturally responsive and well-being focused initiatives. Using culturally sustaining/revitalizing pedagogy (CSRP) as a conceptual framework, it explores the board's efforts to meet the socioemotional and identity needs of its FNMI students (and families) through investments in professional learning communities (PLCs) and targeted programming and technologies.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents findings from one case in a larger multi-year (2015–2017), multiple-case (10 school boards) study by a university research team that included the author. Thematic analysis was used to code interviews and focus groups conducted with over 40 administrators, educators and community partners in the board featured in this paper.

Findings

The board's culturally responsive and well-being focused initiatives, while intended to support FNMI students' socioemotional success and sense of inclusiveness in schools, was inadequate at fostering and sustaining students' (and families') cultural survival and communal well-being.

Practical implications

Findings offer practical ways that schools serving large populations of FNMI students might support students' identity development and self-regulation skills in schools while also serving as a cautionary example of strategies that do not sufficiently address student challenges that are the result of ongoing legacies of colonization.

Originality/value

This study provides a distinctive example of a predominantly FNMI school board that, in recent years, has prioritized student well-being and identity development over achievement. It provides insight into the transformative possibilities and constraints of trying to support FNMI students' socioemotional healing and cultural sustenance in a colonized system.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 16 June 2008

Abstract

Details

Advances in Taxation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-912-8

Article
Publication date: 1 October 2002

Richard L. Wood and Mark R. Warren

Questions whether, in the USA, faith‐based communities can have an important effect on politics. Contends that other areas, where there are poorer communities, are more likely to…

1005

Abstract

Questions whether, in the USA, faith‐based communities can have an important effect on politics. Contends that other areas, where there are poorer communities, are more likely to be influenced politically in civil society although does not preclude other income sectors from being similarly affected just that deprived areas are more likely to listen to faith‐based organizers.

Details

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 22 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 October 2007

Linda Skrla, Kathryn Bell McKenzie and James Joseph Scheurich

The purpose of the paper is to reflect on and respond to the papers contained in this Special Issue of Journal of Educational Administration.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to reflect on and respond to the papers contained in this Special Issue of Journal of Educational Administration.

Design/methodology/approach

A commentary is provided for each of the nine articles in the Special Issue.

Findings

The papers in the Special Issue constitute a substantial and important contribution toward incorporating international perspectives into an existing research discourse on educational leadership for social justice. One of the immediate challenges that will need to be addressed is how to systematically work against the hegemony of Western thought and colonialism that infiltrates all our discourses, even those that generate scholarship such as that found in this Special Issue.

Originality/value

The paper reflects on the current Special Issue, and provides directions for future research.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 45 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 12 April 2021

Chris Brown and Ruth Luzmore

Abstract

Details

Educating Tomorrow
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-663-3

Article
Publication date: 26 June 2020

Cecilia Azorín

This article explores social and educational responses to COVID-19 as seen through the lens of the Spanish education, in which professional capital and community is at the…

17308

Abstract

Purpose

This article explores social and educational responses to COVID-19 as seen through the lens of the Spanish education, in which professional capital and community is at the epicenter of the fight against the pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a reflective and forward-thinking piece in which educators are presented as first responders to the crisis. The article is structured in four parts. First, the opportunities and barriers that COVID-19 is encountering in 21st-century education are commented on. Second, there is recognition of the need to be connected more than ever; and the vital role of networks. Third, the article discusses the effort to realize the maxim “not to leave anyone behind.” Fourth, the last section summarizes the key points related to the aspects to which education should devote its efforts in the coming months and years in Spain.

Findings

There is a set of reasons why the Spanish education system is extremely vulnerable to the consequences caused by COVID-19, and these include, among others: the high rates of socioeconomic segregation, of school dropouts and of academic failure; poor culture of networking and collaboration; overcrowded classrooms that hinders quality education; an obsolete curriculum; the consideration of education as a political currency; the need to strengthen bimodal education; and teachers' obligation to update their digital competences.

Originality/value

The article questions whether another education is possible beyond the pandemic and promotes a deep reflection in this particular context for practitioners and policymakers on which topics more attention could be focused during this time of turmoil.

Details

Journal of Professional Capital and Community, vol. 5 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-9548

Keywords

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