Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Effective Leadership in Schools

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Education

DESCRIPTION This study-unit will explore learning from an adult learning perspective. it aims to see how the course participants have engaged, engage and will engage with learning from a personal, micro and macro perspective. They will be encouraged to challenge existing notions of learning and how it has influenced their lives over the years, how they currently view learning personally and within the organisation they form part of and finally how their own views and perceptions can influence student learning and the link between adult learning from the individual and collective level will be explored. This should lead to a better understanding of how learning should permeate the schools we form part of.

Within this context the notion of learning and leadership for learning are brought together. Course participants will be given the opportunity to focus on leadership from a number of perspectives with the intent of influencing current practices. They will explore the notion of learning, leadership, and transformational leadership in particular. It is this latter notion that is central to personal and collective growth. Course participants will problematize the notion of transformational leadership and explore the challenges to its implementation in schools and colleges. An engagement with the micro-politics of educational leadership will take place as course participants will grapple with the understanding of governance and governing within the policy making and implementation process. The way we view learning has a direct impact on the way we engage with governance issues in the different levels/ contexts we may be working in.

Study-unit Aims:

This unit aims to assist the student:
1. To review the personal and collective views we have of learning and how these may have changed over time;
2. To engage with learning from a institutional perspective and how this impacts on school development and school improvement;
3. To understand and debate the local policy context and issues surrounding policy making and implementation of education reforms;
4. To review current beliefs and practices in relation to governance and governing;
5. To engage with policy issues and their impact on the governance of educational institutions;
6. To reflect and engage on the impact that the area of governance has on our personal and collective notion of learning.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- articulate a working definition of 'learning' as it is viewed at the personal, collective and organisational level;
- define the term 'governance';
- articulate what policy documents have to say about the issues of governance and governing and the interplay between policy and reality;
- identify, discuss and interpret the main challenges facing leadership in today's complex environment;
- provide a critique of the institution they are working in, in relation to the issues under discussion and provide recommendations that would help their institutions improve;
- identify ways of addressing them within one's own context;
- critique the major concepts of leadership and management discussed during the course.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- reflect personally on how the issues impact on one's role;
- engage in critical discourse with others on the topics discussed;
- undertake a case study in a specific working environment;
- demonstrate how a specific educational institution deals with governance issues and responds to them.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Day, C. & Sammons, P. (2013). Successful leadership: a review of the international literature. CfBT Education Trust, Reading: England.
- Harris, A. et al., (2003) Effective Leadership for School Improvement, London: RoutledgeFalmer. Chapter 9: Successful leadership in the twenty-first century, pp.157-179.

Reading pack containing articles from leading journals (made available on VLE).

- Bezzina, C. & Cutajar, M. (2013).“The Educational Reforms in Malta: The Challenge of Shared Governance”. International Studies in Educational Administration, Vol. 41(1): 3-19.
- Malakolunthu, S., McBeath, J., & Swaffield, S. (2014). "Improving the Quality of Teaching and learning through leadership for learning: Changing scenarios in basic schools of Ghana". Educational Management, Administration & Leadership, Vol 42 ( 5): 701-717.
- Higham, R. & Earley, A. (2013). "School Autonomy and government Control: School Leaders' Views on a Changing policy Landscape in England". Educational Management, Administration & Leadership, Vol 41(6): 701-711.
- Liljenberg, M. (2015). "Distributing leadership to establish developing and learning school organisations in the Swedish context". Educational Management, Administration & Leadership, Vol 43(1): 152-170.
- Woods, P. & Simkins, T. (2014). "Understanding the local: Themes and issues in the experience of structural reform in England". Educational Management, Administration & Leadership, Vol 42(3): 324-340.
- Wells, M. (2014). "Elements of effective and sustainable professional learning". Professional Development in Education, Vol 40(3): 488-504.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Group Learning, Lecture and Seminar

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Seminar Paper Yes 40%
Presentation (20 Minutes) Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Christopher G. Bezzina

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.