Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Developing a Whole-School Culture

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Leadership for Learning and Innovation

DESCRIPTION In this study-unit, course participants will learn about the importance of collaboration as an integral component of school culture. Hence, participants will focus on building and sustaining teamwork while modelling collaborative practices. The whole-school approach towards sustained professional development is treated and encompasses the concept of scaling up professional development as a means to diffuse instructional expertise among teachers and members of the SMT. Together with teachers, SMT members would then play a key role in acting as critical friends to support leadership, improve learning and lead towards whole-school improvement.

Study-Unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to:
- Provide an understanding of continuing professional development as essentially being undertaken as a whole-school approach;
- Offer ways of how individuals may work as teams with professional learning and development undertaken collaboratively;
- Enable participants to appreciate their role as critical friends in supporting leadership and improving learning;
- Identify how leaders in education may model the practices that they wish other to engage in;
- Enable participants in identifying how whole-school approaches may be planned, implemented and evaluated.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Discuss how continuing professional development can be initiated, supported and sustained within a school community;
- Explore how leaders may undertake roles to model, support and cultivate a professional learning mentality between and amongst members of the school community;
- Integrate strategies that facilitate collaboration and teamwork, and hence shape school culture.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Explore professional development opportunities and practices that may be appropriate to initiate collaboration and team effort;
- Select appropriate strategies for undertaking a whole-school approach to continuing professional development;
- Examine aspects that may facilitate community members to come together through collaborative planning, implementation and evaluation of practices;
- Design opportunities to scale up professional development with members of the school community who disseminate practises among others.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

Main Texts:
- Eames, C., Barker, M., Wilson-Hill, F., & Law, B. (2010). Investigating the relationship between whole-school approaches to education for sustainability and student learning: A summary. Wellington: New Zealand Council for Educational Research.
- Lam, S. F., Yim, P. S., & Lam, T. W. H. (2002). Transforming school culture: can true collaboration be initiated?. Educational Research, 44(2), 181-195.
- White, A. J., Wertheim, E. H., Freeman, E., & Trinder, M. (2013). Evaluation of a core team centred professional development programme for building a whole-school cooperative problem solving approach to conflict. Educational Psychology, 33(2), 192-214.

Supplementary Readings:
- Ali, C. P., Brownson, A., Kahlert, R., & Sobel, A. (2002). Shaping school culture. Principal Leadership, 3(4), 38-41.
- Aubusson, P., Ewing, R., & Hoban, G. F. (2009). Action learning in schools: Reframing teachers' professional learning and development. Routledge.
- Kuh, L. P. (2016). Teachers talking about teaching and school: collaboration and reflective practice via Critical Friends Groups. Teachers and Teaching, 22(3), 293-314.
- Sales, A., Traver, J. A., & García, R. (2011). Action research as a school-based strategy in intercultural professional development for teachers. Teaching and Teacher Education, 27(5), 911-919.
- Sun, M., Penuel, W. R., Frank, K. A., Gallagher, H. A., & Youngs, P. (2013). Shaping professional development to promote the diffusion of instructional expertise among teachers. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 35(3), 344-369.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Fieldwork, Ind Online Learn, Ind Study & Lectures

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Reflective Diary Yes 40%
Portfolio Yes 60%

LECTURER/S Christopher G. Bezzina (Co-ord.)
James Calleja
Maria Montebello

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.