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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.

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School leadership and the development of a positive learning climate

This chapter addresses the role of educational leadership in shaping a climate conducive to student learning. The first part of the chapter focuses on differences between countries and economies with regard to creating a disciplinary classroom climate and establishing a positive relationship between teachers and students within a school. The second part of the chapter examines the impact of instructional and distributed leadership on the creation of a positive learning climate at a school. In the third section, the effect of school leadership on learning climate is explored by comparing the four different types of school leadership: integrated leadership, inclusive leadership, educational leadership and administrative leadership. In this section also, country and economy leadership types are related to the establishment of a learning climate within a school. The chapter concludes with reflections on the direct influence of the principal in lower secondary schools on classroom climate.

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