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Leading Professional Learning

Building the capacity for professional learning  A key component of the knowledge of effective school leaders in the Twenty-first Century. This paper researches how a school leadership team can build in their schools a capacity for professional learning as a major tool in improving pedagogic practice.  A key aspect focus is on the role of ‘middle level leaders of professional learning’. The research was supported by an International Research Associateship provided by the National College for School Leadership, Nottingham, UK in May – June, 2004.

School leaders need to be knowledge savvy but what do they need to know? (Munro J., 2009). It is widely acknowledged that school leaders need to be leaders of learning.  As well, the effectiveness of a school leader is increasingly measured in terms of the knowledge their students display on assessment tasks.   In order to fill these roles,  leaders need to know what knowledge and learning ‘look like’.   Without this awareness,  it is difficult to target either knowledge or learning.

What is usually not acknowledged is what leaders need to know about learning or knowledge.   This article provides school leaders  with a framework for developing this understanding.  It describes a model for looking at learning from a knowledge enhancement perspective.  It does this by illustrating how students’ knowledge of a topic gradually changes. In this way it is school- and teaching- friendly as it describes the ‘learning journey’.   Its conception of knowledge and learning are firmly anchored in a Twenty-first Century context.

Leading the learning edge (Munro, J., 2002). This paper was presented as an invited Keynote Address to the 2002 Annual Conference of the  Australian College of Educational Administrators in Adelaide, October.

Building a professional learning capacity in a school : A key component of the knowledge of effective school leaders in the Twenty-first Century (Munro, 2005). This paper describes a model for building a professional learning capacity in an organisation such as a school. It is based on an explicit professional learning framework.

Leading literacy learning: Some key questions to guide the leadership (Munro, 2003). This paper provides school leaders with a set of questions that they can use to review the quality of literacy teaching in their schools. It includes several templates schools can use to develop their action plans for professional learning.

Coaching -A learning based approach (Munro, 2000). This paper describes an approach to coaching that is based on an explicit model of learning. The approach is used to facilitate professional learning.

Professional Coaching - A case study (Munro, 2000). This paper describes how the explicit learning based approach to coaching was used to facilitate school improvement.

A blueprint for guiding professional learning (Munro, 2003). This paper provides a learning based rubric for planning and implementing professional learning. It applies the explicit model of learning to guide learning activities at the school leadership level, the classroom practitioner level, the professional learning team level and the work of the middle leader of professional learning.

Pedagogic capital and practice   The strength of a school is indicated in its capacity to facilitate learning,  that is, its  'teaching power' or 'pedagogic capital'.   This article develops the concept of 'pedagogic capital',  the factors that affect it,  and how a school can build its teaching strength in particular areas.

Leading professional learning.    A key aspect of effective school leadership is leading a school to learn to modify its pedagogic practice.  This paper examines a 'learning based' approach to this.    A version of this paper formed part of an invitational  Keynote presentation at Kent Leadership and Innovation Centre  UK  on Monday 20 June 2005.

Learning internationally in a future context.   A key focus of contemporary educational provision is learning that is relevant internationally.  This paper presents an explicit model of learning  that is referenced on knowledge enhancement and that is referenced in international learning contexts.  The model identified a number of key learning actions.  It shows how cultures differ in their approaches to learning and knowledge  enhancement.

Learning more about learning improves teacher effectiveness.   This article reports a research study that examined how an understanding of learning by teachers and school leaders improved students' learning outcomes.  A version of this article was published in  School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 10(2), 151-171

A strategy for leading  literacy in secondary schools. School leadership teams are increasingly being required to lead their school to improve literacy outcomes. This article describes the topics covered in a professional development activity that equip school leaders to do this.


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