Principals' processes of professional learning

Doctorate other than PhD

Clarke, Jennifer Ann. 2004. Principals' processes of professional learning. Doctorate other than PhD Doctor of Education. University of Southern Queensland.

Principals' processes of professional learning

TypeDoctorate other than PhD
AuthorClarke, Jennifer Ann
SupervisorCrowther, Frank
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Education
Number of Pages200

When a school community decides to implement innovative curricula, the responsibility for leadership of the associated professional learning processes lies with the principal. The onus is on principals to be leader learners. They adapt their leadership style to the context of the school. They encourage learning as a future-oriented, organisation-wide process. They encourage deep learning, and double-loop learning, and they nurture a culture of collaborative learning. They provide practical support for teacher leadership and teacher learning, and they understand that teachers have differing needs for support during a period of significant curriculum change. The research methodology used for this study involved a multiple case study design. Principals and staff from three Queensland state schools who participated in the trial of innovative curricula provided the data for the three case studies. The data collection at three schools related to the processes of professional learning at each site. Interviews conducted with the participants at each school, and observation of meetings and school documentation, provided the researcher with the data to develop a framework for principals who are interested in creating a professional learning community. Data collected from the schools generally supported the findings of the theorists. However, analysis of the data provided more detailed information than is currently available in the literature to inform the establishment of professional learning processes. Analysis of the data indicated that professional learning can be classified according to four themes: personal learning, leadership-related learning, learning related to innovation, and learning related to processes that support a collaborative culture. The findings from the literature review and the findings from the case studies were used to construct a framework for professional learning for principals who wish to create a learning organisation. The framework provides a foundation for professional learning programs for principals, and could be used by a range of people or groups, including district office personnel, professional associations, and networks of principals and aspiring leaders.

Keywordsprincipal, professional learning, curriculum, research methods
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390307. Teacher education and professional development of educators
390403. Educational administration, management and leadership
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