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School effectiveness and the subject leader's influence space: an exploration of the influence of secondary school subject leaders on the professional practice of the members of their departments.

Jarvis, Adrian Paul (2011)
Ph.D. thesis, University of Birmingham.

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Abstract

This project explores how far subject leaders in British secondary schools are able to promote “leadership for learning” by influencing the professional practice of department members. This area has excited much discussion in the literature in recent years, but little work seems to have looked into departmental inter relationships and their implications for leadership and followership. Using a case study methodology, I investigated over 160 subject leaders and department members from a wide range of schools. Firstly, I distributed questionnaires which probed participants’ approaches while identifying themes for a second stage based around semi-structured interviews. I found that subject leaders are limited in their impact because the organisational structure of schools and the individual nature of teaching restrict the power resources available to them. Although much advocated, collegiality was less evident than informality. This project recommends that the subject leader role be re-calibrated to give its holders access to a broader range of power resources in order to create the conditions in which true collegiality can flourish; such an environment would allow subject leaders to impact positively on the practice of department members to engender effective “leadership for learning”. In arriving at this conclusion, I exploited the gaps in extant literature around the point of intersection between what subject leaders do and how department members respond to it.

Type of Work:Ph.D. thesis.
Supervisor(s):Rhodes, Christopher
School/Faculty:Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
Department:School of Education
Subjects:LC Special aspects of education
BF Psychology
L Education (General)
Institution:University of Birmingham
ID Code:1391
This unpublished thesis/dissertation is copyright of the author and/or third parties. The intellectual property rights of the author or third parties in respect of this work are as defined by The Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 or as modified by any successor legislation. Any use made of information contained in this thesis/dissertation must be in accordance with that legislation and must be properly acknowledged. Further distribution or reproduction in any format is prohibited without the permission of the copyright holder.
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