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Title: The role of the headteacher in creating the cultural conditions for distributed leadership in four primary schools
Author: Archer, Anthony Peter
Awarding Body: Institute of Education, University of London
Current Institution: UCL Institute of Education (IOE)
Date of Award: 2011
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Abstract:
Over the last two decades high quality leadership has increasingly been seen as a key characteristic of an effective school and a necessary factor for successful school improvement. Similarly, the potential for leadership to be distributed across educational organisations is being recognised and promoted by organisations such as the National College for Leadership of Schools and Children's Services. However, there is little consensus within the education community as to the meaning of the term. Furthermore, there have been few empirical studies of distributed leadership in action. Those studies that have been conducted, have resulted in generally positive findings. Issues arising from these considerations are problematised. The study seeks to answer the question: what role does a headteacher play in creating the cultural conditions for distributed leadership? A realist stance is adopted towards the study. Layder's adaptive theory is used to analyse the research data. A series of prior theories concerning distributed leadership are formulated as an explanatory framework. Inductive analysis of the research data is then used to identify emergent theories, which challenge, modify and extend the explanatory framework. Data collection is through twenty semi-structured interviews, eight significant event interviews, a questionnaire and analysis of relevant school documentation. Ethical issues are discussed. The perceptions of twenty members of staff from four primary schools towards the nature of distributed leadership in their schools are examined. It is suggested that various forms of distributed leadership, alongside the more hierarchical leadership of the headteacher, were seen to exist contemporaneously in each school. Distributed leadership is thus deemed polymorphic. The critical role played by the headteachers of the schools in creating the cultural conditions for distributed leadership to emerge is highlighted. It is also suggested that a prospective school culture is the most conducive for the effective distribution of leadership practice. The dissemination of the research findings, possibilities for future research and the implications for the development of local authority practice are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.572907  DOI: Not available
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