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Leadership

School leaders who initiate and sustain an intensive focus on the teaching-learning relationship and promote collective responsibility and accountability for Pasifika students’ achievement and well-being can make a difference to the outcomes their Pasifika students achieve.

 

Key content

School leaders can make a difference to student achievement and well-being. The closer educational leaders get to the core business of teaching and learning and create environments that are conducive to success, the more likely they are to have a positive impact on Pasifika students. A strong academic focus can help Pasifika students to lift their achievement when it is based on a continuous cycle of in-depth collaborative exploration and analysis of the relationship between how and what teachers teach and how and what students learn.

“To engage in open-to-learning conversations, leaders need the skills and values that will make it possible for them to respectfully give and receive the tough messages that are an inevitable part of the process of improving teaching and learning.” 
School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Identifying What Works and Why: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration, page 47

Acknowledgment:

Thanks to the principals, staff and students of Aorere College, McAuley High School, Mangere Bridge School, Sylvia Park School, Mary MacKillop School and Wymondley Road Primary School for their contribution.

Things to think about

  • What’s the vision for Pasifika students in your school? Who leads it? Does everyone in your school share this vision? If not, is this an issue that needs addressing?
  • “There is also evidence that suggests that the level of staff consensus on school goals is a significant discriminator between otherwise similar high- and low-performing schools”. 
    School Leadership and Student Outcomes: Identifying What Works and Why: Best Evidence Synthesis Iteration, page 40
    How would you describe the level of staff consensus in your school in relation to Pasifika students and their learning? Are there any changes you would want to make? Describe these
  • How does your school go about deliberately improving the teaching and learning of Pasifika students? How do you know this is working? Would you want to make any improvements? What would these be, and why?
  • Would you describe the culture of your school as a ‘culture of learning’? What about your classroom? What are the features of such a culture? How important are these features to you as a teacher in relation to raising the achievement of your Pasifika students?

Transcript

We have teachers who have been here for long time and the culture of the school is a culture of learning and the culture of learning sits with the teachers as well as with the children.

Jan Bills – Deputy Principal
I think the leadership that you need is a leadership that allows people to explore things and gives them the time to do it. I think it’s very important to have a risk-taking environment where you can take a risk within safe boundaries. I think what happens here is teachers are allowed to think about things and have a go, and if you don’t succeed it’s not the end of the earth it’s about thinking. And that is key competency and it’s about telling the children that they can think and it’s about letting teachers do that themselves. I think that leaders need to be open to other people’s ideas, it’s a joint thinking process, that everybody brings something to the table and everybody works with that.


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