Distributed Leadership to Enhance Participation in School Processes and Practices to Improve Learning: A Northern Irish Faith Secondary School CaseStudy

Samuel J. McGuinness, Alison Taysum

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Abstract

School leadership has two moral imperatives in Northern Irish schools.
Firstly, there is the imperative to provide all students with equal access to a
relevant pedagogical experience to achieve identified learning outcomes that
link to full economic, cultural and political engagement in society. Secondly,
there is an imperative to build community in the school and locale. A three-stage action-research project focusing on participation in school processes and
practices was carried out in a Northern Irish Secondary School to address these
imperatives. This paper reports stage one of the action research carried out by
a School Leadership and Management Team (SLMT), in partnership with an
Higher Education Institution research team. Evidence revealed students were
positive about their overall school experiences whilst teachers were committed
to a values-based approach to curriculum delivery. However, students would
like to participate more and map their learning to their strategies to achieve
their aspirations for future life styles in terms of economic, cultural and political
societal engagement. The research found characteristics of good participation
were relationships built on trust, respect, optimism, and the recognition of
diversity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)140-163
Number of pages23
JournalItalian Journal of Sociology of Education
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Distributed leadership, classroom practice, building school community, values education
  • Building school community
  • Values education
  • Distributed leadership
  • Classroom practice

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