Fostering teachers' understanding of leadership through a programme of professional learning

Cassidy, Claire and Holmes, Joanna and Ferguson, Erin C and Christie, Donald (2020) Fostering teachers' understanding of leadership through a programme of professional learning. Scottish Educational Review, 52 (2). pp. 71-88. ISSN 0141-9072

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This article examines the implementation of a programme of professional learning, designed to support understanding of school leadership in a school that sought to effect change through teachers’ professional learning. Working with a university-based tutor who adopted a responsive approach, participants shaped the programme over a seven-month period. The evidence is presented from teachers’ reflections on leadership, observations of the sessions, and post-programme interviews. The evidence is presented under six themes, which emerged through an iterative process of content analysis, as follows: the individual versus community; relationships; culture; reflection; emotions; and impact/action. Participants indicated their understanding of leadership had evolved over the course of the programme. This led to a more collegiate and collaborative approach being welcomed, where leadership at all levels was valued. They considered that this was achieved largely through having opportunities to engage in professional dialogue with peers, which was normally seen as difficult given day-to-day priorities.