ENIRDELM_Signe_Neimane

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Developing the Role of Subject
Leaders in Riga Secondary
Schools
Signe Neimane, Daina
Kupca, Agnis Gleizups
Research questions
 What are the ways to become a subject
leader?
 What competences do subject leaders have
and what are needed?
 What are the key areas of subject
leadership?
Data were collected from
 145 subject leaders (questionnaire)
 4 focus groups (interviews)
Subject leaders – who are they?
 ‘Subject leaders provide professional
leadership and management for a subject to
secure high quality teaching, effective use
of resources and improved standard of
learning and achieving for all pupils’
National Standards for Subject Leaders, 1998
Nature and scope of a Subject
leader’s role
 Strategic direction and development of the
subject
 Teaching and learning
 Leading and managing staff
 Efficient and effective deployment of staff
and resources
(TTA, 1998)
Subject leaders:
 Lead a team of particular subject
 Cooperate with school administration
 Organise meetings and discussions about
innovations in teaching and learning
 Work as mentors and peer mentors
 Consult, monitor, evaluate and analyse
 Organise different events for students
From interviews with focus groups
How have teachers become subject
leaders?
Additional money
9%
4%
Instruction of the Head
2% 6%
28%
8%
Offer by school administration
and/or colleagues
Self actualizaton, challenge
43%
Elections
Carreer development
Rotation
Cooperation with subject leaders
from other schools
Experience
exchange
Management of
different events for
students
Consultations via email, phone
14%
4% 3% 1%
32%
17%
Exchange with
teaching materials
and information
Cooperation during
exams
29%
Analyses of
examination and
competition results
Participation in
projects
Strong and weak sides of subject leaders
Management of
different events
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Strong sides
Weak points
Staff
management
and leadership
Information,
innovations and
analyses
Management of
subject groups
in regional level
No problems
Do subject leaders need professional
development?
100%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
no answer
no
yes
1 to 2
3 to 5
6 to 10
more
than 10
experience of work as subject leaders
What kind of knowledge,
competences and skills should
subject leaders have?
22%
Good teacher
Manager and
leader
78%
What kind of professional
development do subject leaders
need?
Management and
leadership
ICT
4%3%
4%
8%
35%
27%
New aspects and methods
in subject teaching
Psychology
Legislation
19%
Foreign languages
Economics and finanses
Departments:
 Evaluate curriculum worked out by teachers
 Discuss year plans of teachers
 Provide link between subjects
 Analyse students’ learning success
 Organise experience exchange
 Evaluate teaching and learning materials
From interviews with focus groups
Influence of departments in school
development
31%
Management
and leadership
Teaching and
learning
69%
Planning school
development,
setting priorities
Speading
information
Management and leadership
8%
5%
Introducing
innovations
8%
14%
65%
Marketing
Conflict
management
Teaching and learning
12%
24%
65%
Role of evaluator
and adviser of
teaching and
learning quality
Role of adviser in
the process of
choosing proper
textbook
Introduce new
teaching/learning
methods
Recommendations
 Standard for subject leaders should be developed
 Guidelines for effective work of subject
departments
 Special professional development programme for
subject leaders, including supervisions and
problem solving seminars
 Reduction of teaching hours for subject leaders:
50% teaching, 50% work of a subject leader
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