Browsing by Subject "distributed leadership"

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  • Lahtero, Tapio Juhani; Ahtiainen, Raisa; Vainikainen, Mari-Pauliina (2020)
    This paper discusses distributed leadership (DL) as educational leadership structure and its relation to school outcomes in compulsory schools. School outcomes are defined as students’ learning to learn abilities. This study tests two hypotheses. H1: DL is perceived as a continuum consisting of two ends (as delegation and as situation-based interaction between leaders and subordinates). H2: conceptualization of DL as situation-based interaction positively affects the outcomes of the school. The data are leadership inquiry and students’ longitudinal learning to learn follow-up data from grades 3 to 6 or grades 6 to 9. The results indicate that DL does not appear as a unidimensional continuum. Educational leadership is formed from multiple dimensions, and DL is one part of the whole; thus, H1 was incorrect. The conceptualization of DL as situation-based interaction is not statistically satisfactorily related to outcomes of the school; therefore, H2 was also incorrect. The paper concludes that results of this study point to the meaning of local education policy as a means of steering the distribution of students between schools in order to maintain the small between-school differences in student outcomes.
  • Lahtero, Tapio Juhani; Ahtiainen, Raisa; Lång, Niina (2019)
    This study looks at the views of Finnish comprehensive school principals on distributed leadership and presents discussion on the leadership training required by principals and looks at it in relation to the views of principals. In Finland the qualification requirements for principals are based on their experience as teachers, and studies in educational administration. In general, studies in leadership are not mandatory. In terms of distributed leadership, one relevant question is the way distribution happens. Is it based on delegation of tasks or does it happen in interaction between teachers and principal? The data were principals’ responses to an electronic survey (n=71). The respondents represented 71 schools around Finland. The results showed that principals viewed distributed leadership differently depending on the type of question. In the Likert-scale questions they (n=71) emphasised distributed leadership as an interaction between principal and teachers and their situations, whereas in open-ended answers (n=44) the delegation had a bigger role. In terms of training background, the results indicate that principals (n=13) having university studies in educational leadership and administration emphasised more distributed leadership as an interaction than principals having other types of training. This paper poses questions concerning the content and structure of educational leadership training. Further, this study implies that there is a growing need to examine educational leadership in terms of training, and views concerning leadership structures and practices in schools.
  • Halinen, Taina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2017)
    The theoretical context of this qualitative study are the leadership in early childhood education and the organizational change. The leadership and the change of leadership are studied generally and then the distributed leadership and the distributed organization are studied specifically. This study examines how teachers and leaders view the distributed leadership and what kind of skills the leaders and the workers need in the organization of distributed leadership and how they view the organizational change. This is qualitative phenomenology research. The material of the study was collected at half structured interviews which were taken part in six teachers and two leaders from the city of Hamina during November and December 2017. The interviews were recorded and transcribed for analysis. The analysis was done with the methods of content analysis. This study shows that the leadership in early childhood education is in change and the leadership meets new challenges. Distributed leadership challenges both the leaders and the workers. The results of the study show that the interviewed teachers and leaders see distributed leadership as teamwork and interactional work custom. The distributed leadership was difficult to execute, because teachers worked as leaders without the status of the leader. The interviewed viewed that the difficulties of distributed organization are indefinite structures and work tasks of leadership and too large entireties of leadership. The interviewed viewed that the organizational change was unsuccessful. The interviewed teachers and the leader felt that they didn't have an opportunity to influence the change and the given reasons for doing the organizational change were incoherent and the results of the change were not estimated. They would like to increase the number of leaders and clear the determinations of work roles and responsibilities. This study suggests that the city of Hamina should increase the competence of the leaders and the personnel. In practice distributed leadership means investing the knowhow of leadership and working community skills. The human resource management and the motivating of the personnel are the main challenges in the future. Qualitative early childhood education is possible only with the motivated workers.
  • Ahtiainen, Raisa; Lahtero, Tapio; Lång, Niina (Helsingin yliopisto, 2019)
    Helsinki Studies in Education
  • Antinluoma, Markku; Ilomäki, Liisa; Toom, Auli (2021)
    Building professional learning communities (PLC) has become a widely recognized strategy for school development and for student achievement. Four Finnish comprehensive schools were identified as being ready to be PLCs in a previous quantitative study, and the purpose of this study was to investigate practices of PLCs in these schools. In this paper, we used data from qualitative multiple-case study, which investigated practices of leadership, culture, teacher collaboration, professional learning, and development. The results showed that the principals had played the main role in the progression of schools as PLCs. Principals were described as visionary leaders who had started positive progression, shared the leadership, and created commitment to common goals. The results indicated also that a change of leaders can have a positive effect. Decision-making processes were participative, inclusive, democratic, and collaborative, aiming for a satisfactory level of consensus. Relationships among staff were reported as being based on mutual trust and openness, and members were encouraged to express their opinions. Common responsibility of students, peer support, encouragement, and co-teaching were practiced. Co-teaching practices were identified as an effective form of collaborative work-embedded professional learning which is related to the core principles of professional learning communities. Structural conditions were reported as barriers to schools' development as PLCs.
  • Antinluoma, Markku; Ilomäki, Liisa; Lahti-Nuuttila, Pekka; Toom, Auli (2018)
    The main objectives in building professional learning communities are to improve teachers’ professionalism and well-being, and create positive impacts on student learning. It is a question of changing the school culture. The main objective of this quantitative study was to investigate the maturity level of thirteen Finnish schools as professional learning communities from the perspectives of school culture, leadership, teaching, and professional development. The participants’ perceptions indicated a culture of collegiality, trust and commitment as common strengths at all schools. The school cultures supported professional collaboration, and the teachers had the knowledge, skills and dispositions to engage in professional collaboration. The challenges were related to structural conditions, especially the lack of collaboration time. Three school profiles were identified in the cluster analysis from the viewpoint of maturity as professional learning communities. Statistically significant differences between the three clusters were found in organizational and operational characteristics.