School Leadership for Learning

Insights from TALIS 2013

image of School Leadership for Learning

The OECD Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) is the largest international survey of teachers and school leaders. Using the TALIS database, this report looks at different approaches to school leadership and the impact of school leadership on professional learning communities and on the learning climate in individual schools.

It looks at principals’ instructional and distributed leadership across different education systems and levels. Instructional leadership comprises leadership practices that involve the planning, evaluation, co-ordination and improvement of teaching and learning. Distributed leadership in schools explores the degree of involvement of staff, parents or guardians, and students in school decisions.

How are principals’ and schools’ characteristics related to instructional and distributed leadership? What types of leadership are favoured across countries? What impact do they have on the establishment of professional learning communities and positive learning environments? The report notes that teacher collaboration is more common in schools with strong instructional leadership. However, about one in three principals does not actively encourage collaboration among the teaching staff in his or her school. There is room for improvement; and both policy and practice can help achieve it. The report offers a series of policy recommendations to help strengthen school leadership.



Foreword and acknowledgements

It is easy to know effective school leadership when you see it in action, but it is much harder to describe, define and measure it. To make a difference in school and student performance, school leaders need to be able to adapt teaching programmes to local needs, promote teamwork among teachers, and engage in teacher monitoring, evaluation and professional development. They need discretion in setting strategic direction, and the ability to develop school plans and monitor progress towards goals, using data to improve practice. They also need to have a say in who gets hired as teachers to improve the match between candidates and their school’s needs. Last, but not least, they need to help build and participate in networks of schools to stimulate and spread innovation.


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