The School of Education and the Discipline of Education, Leadership and Management recently hosted international education scholar, Professor Philip Hallinger of Chulalongkorn University in Thailand.
Hallinger was invited to mentor PhD students in Education Leadership and Management, conduct workshops for staff and students and deliver a lecture on scholarship in leadership and learning.
In his lecture, Hallinger provided an overview of 60 years of progress in studying the role of leaders and how they impact on learning in schools.
‘Leadership for Learning integrates educational features grounded in conceptions of instructional leadership with selected features of transformational models such as modeling, individual focus, and capacity development,’ said Hallinger. ‘It can be viewed as a process of mutual influence in which leadership is but one key factor in a process of systemic change.’
Hallinger examined the evolution of conceptual models and research methods used by scholars globally in studying the effects of school leadership. He linked the progress in using more powerful models and methods to accumulate validated knowledge about how school leaders shape the school environment and influence the learning of teachers and students.
‘Both education and school improvement are about the development of human capacity and leadership for learning should be as well. Leaders who possess a single set of tools will find themselves bouncing around from success to failure without understanding why.
‘The capacity to read your context correctly and adapt your leadership to the needs largely determines your success. There is no one best leadership style for fostering learning in schools,’ said Hallinger.
Commenting on the presentation, Dr Inba Naicker of the Discipline of Education Leadership and Management, said: ‘Professor Hallinger left us with sufficient food for thought with regard to how we conceptualise and enact leadership in schools. Moreover, he challenged staff and students to re-think how we research school leadership.’