Leadership for 21st Century Learning

image of Leadership for 21st Century Learning

This is the latest of the influential series of OECD reports on Innovative Learning Environments. “Learning leadership” is fundamental because it is about setting direction, taking responsibility for putting learning at the centre and keeping it there. This becomes increasingly complex in 21st century settings, calling for innovation and going beyond the heroics of individual leaders. Many need to be involved, bringing in diverse partners at different levels.

This is all explored in this volume. It clarifies the concepts and the dimensions of learning leadership, relating it to extensive international research and identifying promising strategies to promote it. Specific examples are drawn from Austria, Australia, Canada, Israel, Norway, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. There is an extensive overview that addresses the “why, what, how, who, where, and when” of learning leadership. Among the international experts contributing to this volume are James Spillane, John MacBeath, Louise Stoll, and Clive Dimmock.

This report will prove to be a valuable resource for all those interested in schooling. It will be of particular interest to teachers and teacher educators, advisors and researchers, the voluntary sector and teacher associations, and, first and foremost, education leaders themselves.



Leading learning in a world of change

Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

This chapter by John MacBeath examines the character of leadership in both a descriptive and ethical sense. Leading learning entails the constant endeavour to stimulate the desire to learn and sustain teachers’ engagement, and requires quality of insight and “connoisseurship”. Five principles for learning leadership are presented: 1) a focus on learning; 2) creating conditions favourable to learning; 3) dialogue; 4) sharing leadership through structures and procedures supporting participation; and 5) a shared sense of accountability. There is discussion about the leadership challenges of creating communities of learning, self-evaluation and inducting new teachers. The final section turns to learning leadership in non-formal settings and hybrids of formal and non-formal. These forms of learning environment are very promising for the future and have, par excellence, given more leadership to young people. But they represent significant challenges to professional practice and its understanding, dominated in the literature by “the place called school”.


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error