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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Stephen Dinham and Frank Crowther

This paper aims to serve as an introduction to and overview of this special issue of the Journal of Educational Administration entitled “Building organisational capacity…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to serve as an introduction to and overview of this special issue of the Journal of Educational Administration entitled “Building organisational capacity in school education”. The co‐editors have solicited contributions from authors in Wales, Australia, Canada, the USA, England, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews past and contemporary approaches to the issue of capacity building in education and in particular, sustainable capacity building. As well as reviewing key researchers and writers in this field, including their own work, the authors foreshadow and synthesise the other seven papers that make up this special issue.

Findings

The paper contends that building capacity in schools and schooling, while no means easy, can be both understood and accomplished. However, caution needs to be exercised because hard‐fought gains in capacity building and sustainability can be quickly eroded under the influence of poor leadership or extraneous changes.

Practical implications

The paper serves as a framework both for the seven papers that follow and more generally for understanding and conceptualising sustainable school capacity building.

Originality/value

The paper performs the function of framing current debates and pressures around sustainable school capacity‐building in an international theoretical and practical context.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Emeritus Professor Frank Crowther

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404

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Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 50 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2002

Dorothy Andrews and Frank Crowther

The concept of parallel leadership that is introduced in this article derives from a five‐year research project that was first reported in IJEM in 1997. Parallel…

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3071

Abstract

The concept of parallel leadership that is introduced in this article derives from a five‐year research project that was first reported in IJEM in 1997. Parallel leadership represents a relationship between teacher leaders and principals that is grounded in the values of mutual trust, shared directionality and allowance for individual expression. It appears to provide a leadership foundation upon which successful school reform can be built. Thus, the lid of what Hallinger and Heck have called the “black box” of school reform may have been prised open.

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International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 16 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Alan Bain, Allan Walker and Anissa Chan

The paper aims to describe the application of theoretical principles derived from a study of self‐organisation and complex systems theory and their application to…

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4125

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to describe the application of theoretical principles derived from a study of self‐organisation and complex systems theory and their application to school‐based capacity building to support planned change.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employs a case example in a Hong Kong School to illustrate the application of the principles and discuss their potential to sustain the effect of capacity building in schools.. The descriptive case study is used to illustrate six theoretical propositions of self‐organization. The case is then unpacked using each of the propositions to illustrate the application of the theory to capacity building in a secondary school setting.

Findings

The case illustrates the way each of the principles are reflected in a design process undertaken by the school's principal and its leadership team to create a self‐organizing approach to capacity building.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is threefold. First it shows the way in which capacity building can be theorized for practical benefit in school settings. Second, the theoretical approach described in the case study addresses the longstanding and largely unresolved issue of the sustainability of capacity building efforts in school settings. The case analysis links theory to practical strategy that can be used by school leaders to design their own capacity building efforts that disperse control to the community, are sustainable, and self‐organizing within the school.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1997

Frank Crowther

Uses the outcomes of case study research in socio‐economically disadvantaged education contexts to examine the work of educators who have had a noticeable effect on the…

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665

Abstract

Uses the outcomes of case study research in socio‐economically disadvantaged education contexts to examine the work of educators who have had a noticeable effect on the quality of life in their communities. Concludes that the work of highly successful classroom practitioners can in part be understood through reference to prominent theories of educational leadership. Questions historical and current approaches to educational administration which associate leadership with positional authority. Proposes an alternative definition of “teacher leadership”.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

Alma Harris

The purpose of this paper is to outline how collective capacity building is supporting system‐wide reform in one country. It seeks to outline the way in which professional…

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2452

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to outline how collective capacity building is supporting system‐wide reform in one country. It seeks to outline the way in which professional learning communities within, between and across schools are creating an infrastructure for improving professional practice and raising standards.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is both descriptive and analytical. It draws on the international literature pertaining to system‐wide reform and the empirical evidence concerning professional learning.

Findings

The paper highlights some of the challenges in building the collective capacity for change throughout an entire system and reflects on progress to date. The paper concludes by arguing that despite the compelling case for collective capacity building, the real test is to make it happen.

Research limitations/implications

The professional learning communities (PLC) programme in Wales is gathering evidence about impact but as the programme is just completing its first year of implementation these findings are not yet available.

Originality/value

This paper adds to prior analyses and discussion of collective capacity building by providing a system‐wide perspective.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1997

Frank Crowther

Based on a study of the leadership approaches of highly successful teachers and paraprofessionals who work in socioeconomically disadvantaged school communities, presents…

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2330

Abstract

Based on a study of the leadership approaches of highly successful teachers and paraprofessionals who work in socioeconomically disadvantaged school communities, presents a preliminary framework for teacher leadership in which aspects of transformational and educative approaches to leadership are evident, with strategic approaches less so. Concludes that the work of highly successful teachers is not sufficiently recognized in the development of most theories of educational leadership. This may be particularly the case with theories that originate in corporate and managerial systems, raising serious doubts about the potential of much existing theory to meet the needs of the education profession in emerging educational contexts.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1994

Frank Crowther and Michael Gaffney

Describes Australian teachers′ perceptions of their professionaldevelopment needs if they are to be successful in implementing emergingnational priorities. Also describes…

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539

Abstract

Describes Australian teachers′ perceptions of their professional development needs if they are to be successful in implementing emerging national priorities. Also describes some of the outcomes of a nationwide research project that was conducted with representatives of professional teacher associations in May 1993. Discusses key questions such as: what are Australian teachers′ immediate needs in relation to effective implementation of emerging national priorities in school education? What are teachers′ perceptions of “best practices” in professional development? Concludes that Australia′s teachers will support the further development and implementation of national priorities provided that a range of professional needs can be met. Announcement of the $60 million National Professional Development Program (NPDP) suggests cause for optimism in this respect.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

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Article
Publication date: 30 January 2009

Frank Crowther

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306

Abstract

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 47 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

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Article
Publication date: 27 September 2011

M. Bruce King and Kate Bouchard

Reformers, policymakers, and researchers have given considerable attention to organizational capacity in schools, especially in those schools that perpetuate or exacerbate…

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2665

Abstract

Purpose

Reformers, policymakers, and researchers have given considerable attention to organizational capacity in schools, especially in those schools that perpetuate or exacerbate achievement gaps among diverse student groups and reproduce social inequalities. There is an emerging consensus about key dimensions of school capacity and how they can help promote both equity and excellence in student learning. However, it is still not very clear how capacity building itself can be enhanced. This paper aims to address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper addresses this critical disjuncture in the school reform literature through two main purposes: summarizing the key dimensions of school organizational capacity, and synthesizing the recent conceptual and empirical work on the important mechanisms of policies and programs to influence and support a school's organizational development. The authors' recent research and practice related to one such intervention, leadership coaching for school improvement, are critically discussed. The paper explores a hybrid approach to building capacity in schools where elements of both the bureaucracy and the learning community are present.

Findings

Different schools clearly need different kinds of support for teacher development and building their capacity. Policies need to be flexible enough to fit particular school contexts, and to allow for organizations to change in ways that support teacher development for improved practices that impact student learning. The work in the middle involves some sort of fluid hybrid of administrative control (instructional improvement must be the focus) and active, broad participation (in a learning community that advances the changes in instructional practices).

Originality/value

This paper addresses the lack of clear knowledge on how capacity building itself can be enhanced, by summarizing the key dimensions of school organizational capacity, and synthesizing the recent conceptual and empirical work on the important mechanisms of policies and programs to influence and support a school's organizational development. The paper provides an overview of the dimensions of school organizational capacity, discusses barriers to building capacity in schools, and argues for hybrid models that combine elements of both learning communities and bureaucracies.

Details

Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 49 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-8234

Keywords

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