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Distributed Leadership

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Connie Farrell

on 18 July 2011

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Transcript of Distributed Leadership

D is TRI but ED Leadership -Best understood as “practice distributed over leaders, followers and their situation and incorporates the activities of multiple groups of individuals”.
-A web of leadership. Chapter 6 – Distributed Leadership in Context-

During the last decade, educational reform in many countries has been characterized by centrally driven, top-down strategies and an over-emphasis on accountability.

Distributed Leadership and networks will undoubtably be formed within a system led for schools by schools. However, it will need to:
o cross structural, cultural and political barriers
o build capacity within schools, communities and systems
o generate social capital
o sustain performance through system self-renewal Chapter 7 – Distributed Leadership Practice – Within Schools

The basic premise of distributed leadership centers on the principle that there must be a change in the structure of how a school is run as well as an adjustment of school culture. For this to occur, there should be multiple leaders, which may come from within schools, between schools, and outside schools. This is a definite shift from traditional school frameworks and it allows for new leadership roles for individuals within the school.

In this chapter there are a number of school-based case studies of how distributed leadership has been implemented across a broad spectrum of schools. Regardless of the particular school setting, a number of common threads become evident about distributed leadership.

-it is broad based leadership
-decision making is done by multiple levels
-its focus is on improvement in teaching and classroom practice
-involves formal and informal leaders
-utilizes traditional hierarchical leadership along with lateral leadership structures
-is flexible and fluid in relation to working groups
-fundamentally it is concerned with improving current leadership practices as a means to affecting teaching and learning Chapter 10: Future Leadership

A new paradigm is emerging
•a holistic worldview
•this necessitates new organizational forms structured upon collaboration Schools of the future will
•need flexibility to accommodate technological advances
•need to promote innovation and creativity
•not need permanent factory like quarters Future leaders will have the following features

•Collective rather than individualistic
-Ensures it is sensitive and responsive to change
•Inclusive, flexible and self-renewing
-Dependant on organizational need
•Responsive to internal demands
-Highly sensitive to changes within the organization
•Driven by learning before results
-Concerned with maximizing synergies and connectivity across different parts of the learning network
•Multi-layered and networked
-Lateral and fluctuating
•Leadership capabilities rather than roles
-Maximizing leadership capacity
•Seeks out new leadership spaces
-Where knowledge can be formulated and new practices can be developed
•“Best fit” rather than “will fit”
-Fits the needs of the organization now
•Puts innovations at the centre
-To maximize learning
•Is outward facing, forward looking and distributed
-Watch for changing trends to respond decisively and quickly Chapter 9 – Distributed Leadership and Knowledge Creation-

- Quality of leadership practice will matter more than leadership roles or positions.
- Important question is not that leadership is distributed but how it is distributed.
- Leadership structures in the most effective schools were becoming “fatter” rather than “flatter” and the relationship between vertical and horizontal leadership was porous and interchangeable.
- Giving others responsibility and developing others is the best possible way of the school moving forward.
- The sources of authority for leadership are embedded in shared ideas, not in power of position.
- Shared space needs to be established in order to allow opportunities for knowledge creation
- Knowledge creation will likely occur when staff feel they have a forum to express their voice, they are involved in decision making, they play a role in innovation and change, take a collaborative approach, and are provided the opportunity for capacity building. - Needs to be the “organizational circuitry”
- There is no guarantee that leadership restructuring will work. Alongside restructuring has to be the process of re-culturing, where collaboration, trust and responsibility are nurtured, tested, reinforced and deeply embedded. OTHER RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:

http://www.youtube.com/user/schooloftomorrow?blend=21&ob=5 Chapter 8: Distributed leadership practice between and outside schools

In the past schools have worked as separate entities, with very little collaboration between institutions as a means to addressing learning. This no longer is a viable option and school districts must implement networks between schools and educators as a means to addressing the realties of today’s education system. If such networking is to be successful, then schools must be willing to share; resources and expertise and begin to foster leadership through coaching, mentoring and advising.

Harris provides “Eight Characteristics of Distributed Leadership”(pgs. 112 – 113).
1. A clearly defined vision, shared by all staff.
2. Leadership roles are delegated in relation to needs of the school and a persons expertise in a particular area.
3. Collaborative teams are created for a specific purpose and such teams are ever changing.
4. While membership and purpose may change within the collaborative teams, individuals still connect and network when needs arise.
5. Everyone has a vested interest and common vision and all members may take on a leadership role within the groups.
6. As a means to achieving the shared vision, particular tasks may be allocated to teams best suited to accomplishing the task.
7. Roles and tasks may take place at anytime in the process, dependent on circumstances that may arise.
8. “The ultimate goal of distributed leadership is knowledge creation and organizational improvement” (Harris 2008), so team members must strive to grow through enquiry. By:
Connie, Steve, Meredith, Terry, James, Ruth and Todd Chapter Summaries What leadership looked like... Take a look at what distributed leadership looks like... Learning Fairs Collaboration within Schools Using technology to connect globally with other leaders Developing skills (in-service, coaching, and mentoring) Professional Readings and Research among colleagues One person making all of the decisions...
it's a lonely place. Stuck behind desks...alone in an office Collaboration within District http://ema.sagepub.com.ezproxy.lib.ucalgary.ca/content/35/1/111.full.pdf+html KNOWLEDGE ANIMATION: MAKING CONNECTIONS

• Knowledge animation is used to build capacity

“Capacity is a quality that allows people, individually and collectively, routinely to learn from the world around them and to apply this learning to new situations.” (Stoll & Earl, 2003)

Knowledge animation is a process where practitioners combine what they already know with current research, resulting in new learning.


• “Knowledge animation, therefore, fits well with the concept of professional learning communities , supportive, collegial groups of people who find ways to enquire on their practice and together learn new and better approaches that will enhance all students' learning" (Stoll) BALANCED LEADERSHIP

• “Effective leadership means more than simply knowing what to do – it's knowing when, how, and why to do it.” (Waters, Marzano & McNulty, 2003)

“There is a substantial relationship between leadership and student achievement.” (Waters, et. al.)Two variables determining whether leadership will have a positive or negative impact:

Focus of Change: Can leaders properly identify and focus on improving the practices most likely to have a positive impact on student achievement?

Order of Change: Can leaders understand the magnitude of 'order' of change they are leading and adjust their leadership practices accordingly?

• “Second order changes may confront group identities, change working relationships, challenge expertise and competencies, and throw people into stages of 'conscious incompetence', none of which is conducive to cooperation, cohesion and a sense of well-being.”Editorial note by Ruth: It would seem that applying distributed leadership will, in many instances, be a second order change so PROCEED CAUTIOUSLY.Sources: First order change Second order change 5+7= (cc) image by anemoneprojectors on Flickr Extension of the past
Within existing paradigms
Consistent with prevailing values
Problem & Solution oriented
Implemented by experts Break with the past
Outside existing paradigms
Conflicted with values
Disturbance to every element
Neither problem nor solution or.
Implemented by stakeholders The most important thing going forward is to break the boundaries between people so we can operate as a single intelligence. “How can we expect school leaders to improve their performance throughout their careers and meet the mounting challenges of their jobs if we aren’t gathering, and acting on, the right information about the effectiveness of their behaviors and actions as leaders of learning?”

The Wallace Foundation asserts leadership assessments are generally inconsistent:
In determining which standards should be used
In using a conceptual framework for how leaders improve student learning

New leadership assessment process could support learner-centered leadership if they:

1)Focus squarely on the most important ‘driver’ behaviors that improve instruction
2)Are anchored in accepted leader standards
3)Promote necessary school change rather than reinforce the status quo
4)Feature reliable and tested instruments
5)Are flexible enough to take different purposes and contexts into account
6)Lead to appropriate professional development Assessing the Effectiveness of School Leaders
The Wallace Foundation Australian Education Review
The Leadership Challenge: Improving Learning in Schools
Bill Mulford

Advances in science and technology, and changes in demography and nature of work has increased the need for school reform.

Constant change is the trend. We need to broaden what counts in schools to include the non-cognitive outcomes of schooling.

Changing the culture of schools has been challenging, hoever, it is vital that schools grow, develop and take charge of change so that they can control their own futures.

Dimensions of Distributed Leadership:
dynamic leadership requires interpersonal relationships rather than individual action
need for trust and openess
letting go by 'senior staff'
creating a team culture throughout school
not mandating leadership but growing it
recognizing expertise rather than seniority
leadership as fluid with blurred lines between 'leaders' and 'followers'
Bennet, Wise and Woods

Distributed leadership
needs to be supported by principal
focus on students, learning and teaching
create conditions for teacher-leaders' success (facilitate opportunities)

Effective school leaders put more influence into the hands of people with expertise. They adopt an explicit active approach to their responsibility to develop leadership capacity in their staff. They can create the environment, the time and the opportunities for leadership to arise. needs to change leaders sometimes fear change something different...learn to lead differently So...what is distributed leadership? But what did the additional readings say... can be different...leaders can learn to lead differently Leaders can... Harris, A. (2008). Distributed School Leadership: Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders. New York, NY: Routledge.

Mulford, B. (2008). The leadership challenge : Improving learning in schools. Australian Education Review. Retrieved August 15, 2009 from http://research.acer.edu.au/aer/2

Stoll, L. (2009). Knowledge animation in policy and practice: Making connections. Retrieved August 15, 2009 from http://www.oise.utoronto.ca/rspe/UserFiles/File/Publications%20Presentations/AERA%2009%20knowledge%20animation%20paper%20Stoll.pdf

Wallace Foundation. (2009). Assessing the effectiveness of school leaders: New directions and new processes. New York, NY: Wallace Foundation. Retrieved August 15, 2009 from http://www.wallacefoundation.org/KnowledgeCenter/KnowledgeTopics/CurrentAreasofFocus/EducationLeadership/Documents/Assessing-the-Effectiveness-of-School-Leaders.pdf

Waters, T., Marzano, R. & McNulty, B. (2003). Balanced leadership: What 30 years of research tells us about the effect of leadership on student achievement. McRel. Retrieved August 15, 2009 from http://www.mcrel.org/PDF/LeadershipOrganizationDevelopment/5031RR_BalancedLeadership.pdf
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