Research Methodology School Leadership & Development

Research Methodology School Leadership & Development

With one school of interest, a single embedded case study was adopted for this research to look at a number of potential respondents in different data collection categories from middle to senior management and subject classroom teachers. The choice of a single case study was to solely look at the school, incorporating a structured approach to data collection which has helped with the consistency of results rather than a grounded theory that uses an observation approach. Conducting semi structured interviews with teachers (Appendices 2: Teacher interview questions) using standardised questions goes some way to help answer the research question of teacher development and how it impacts on student development and learning. Established aim and research questions along with the methodology provide the framework for the collection, analysis and display of data.

The research methodology is centred on (Saunders et al., 2006; cited by Saunders et al., 2007) research “Onion” in terms of research philosophies, approaches, strategies, choices, time horizon and the way and how data was collected.

Methodology Choice
Data Collection Time Choices Research Research Philosophies
Methods Horizon Strategies Approaches
Figure: 2 Methodology Choice Diagram
(Source: Adapted from Saunders et al., (2007, p.132)

Initial investigation into previous research in leadership, learning & development in schools has shown studies with contrasting research methodology methods in educational settings were used to analyse and evaluate findings. Studies of human behaviour and people centred are prominent in educational philosophies using interpretive and objectivist view points. Kelliher (2005) study indicates that interpretive research is known for providing contextual depth, although research results often receive criticism in relation to being valid and reliable.

Walker (2009) conducted research focusing on priorities, strategies and challenges into effective leadership in multi ethnic school’s using qualitative research methods to conduct predominantly semi-structured interviews. In support of the research in depth analysis of school documentation and relevant statistical data relating to the ethnic composition of the school were used. Stake (1995) details that, Validity: In terms of validation, qualitative research depends on the presentation of solid descriptive data, so that the researcher leads the reader to an understanding of the meaning of the experience under study. Angen (2000) backs up this idea with a comparable study stating validation is an interpretive understanding of truth. The choice of using semi-structured interviews coupled with other relevant quality secondary data internal and external to the school was seen as a success factor to the research.

Formal structures and procedures in schools are vital to the success of the school as a whole, development of teachers and development of students in a holistic nature in curricular and in extra curricular learning. The school has plans in place to build upon the partial success of their extra curricular activities and procedures they have adopted in light of the changing nature of school education in Qatar. Rand-Qatar Policy Institute (2007) conducted a study on private schools and their key findings included: New organisational structures, independent schools based on the principals of autonomy, accountability and choice, better trained teachers in accordance with international benchmark standards all required to be followed be individual schools in Qatar. An investigation into the school’s teacher development, training and leadership are seen as vital for not only to provide evidence of the effectiveness of the school, but for the future progress and direction the school must follow to meet educational standards. Although it is not exactly known what mandatory changes the education department in Qatar will implement, keeping up to date with curriculum standards and changes while providing teachers with training opportunities could help towards an effective school.

An Inductive research approach for data gathering included interviewing middle and senior management and classroom teachers to help explain why use certain management strategies and the strategic model for the school. The inductive approach also helps to answers how learning is taking place and to what extent.

An embedded single case study strategy looks at the success factors of the school, management and for student learning & development. Barr et al., (1995) claims that to foster learning there should be a creation of environments to enhance experiences enabling students to discover and build knowledge on their own initiative, make decisions and solve problems themselves. In support of Barr et al., (1995) view Healey (2005, p.191) explains that “Active learning is more likely to encourage students to adopt a deep approach to learning than is the transmission model”. In effect using a mixed methods approach for collecting qualitative data strengthens the research and gives rise for the use of triangulation and the collection of data including interview question responses.

The research approach was based on qualitative primary and secondary data gathering to help reinforce the research findings and give a basis for stronger qualitative analysis. The aim of the research was to obtain a broad overview of the school in relation to learning & development and leadership, through an in depth study. Choosing to combine a case study and conducting interviews through a mixed methods research approach helps provide a platform of wide knowledge in the findings.

A snap shot of the leadership, learning & development of the school was formulated over a period of time from March 2009 to November 2009.

Data Collection Methods

Initial collection of secondary research data was added as with primary data up to the interim submission date 13th November 2009 to enable an up to date inclusion of literature which forms some of the latest reviews and contrasting thinking in the educational area of leadership, learning and development. Secondary data used in the research was exclusively English language from internal school documentation and other data sources external to school.

Interviews

A total of 98 semi-structured interviews were extensively conducted at the school for each member of middle and senior management team (Appendicies 3: Head of secondary, Appendicies 4: Head of primary/kindergarden) and separately for each classroom teacher at the school. In effect all questions were prepared separately, although participants were given the opportunity to add their own thoughts at the end of the questions. The principal, head of primary and head of secondary were given hand delivered questions by the researcher to answer during the twenty minute individual interview. Questions set were similar, although specific questions asked to each of the managers at the school were specific to each manager’s functional area and role. Similarly, middle managers and classroom teachers were given hand delivered questions in advance with the same questions to answers during a 20 minute interview. Each interviewee emailed the researcher an interview slot that was available on a calendar with proposed timings. Ninety five teachers including middle management were asked to take part in an interview and all agreed. The principal and the other two senior managers at the school also agreed to be interviewed, which made a total of 98 individual 20 minute interviews were conducted over an 8 week period while the research was conducted on site at the school. All 98 individual interviews were recorded during the 20 minute interview slot to enable the researcher to revisit the answers to each question asked.

Interview sampling was directed at all teachers in management positions and positions of responsibility initially, such as the curriculum area leader for Business & ICT at the school firstly asking them if they would answer prepared questions face to face. As mentioned set questions were hand delivered before the actual interview to all participants that agreed to take part in the interview process. All questions asked were structured, the same for each middle manager, and classroom teacher interviewed to avoid any bias of data to be collected except for the three senior managers. Interviews lasting 20 minutes were conducted keeping the conversation fairly short in an attempt to gain a high participant response to take part in an interview.

All management and classroom teachers in the kindergarden, primary and secondary departments along with the principal at the school that agreed to be interviewed were given an assurance of data and confidentiality protection and were told that the details will not be passed beyond the research supervisor, second marker and the researcher should they wish and also names not to be used and information shared to another party.

Research Limitations

A full investigation would be useful for a more complete analysis, although there were limitations in respect to child and data protection, limited time available, and no access to parents for their input and opinions. In addition not all student year groups were at the school during the primary research collection process and a proposed student questionnaire did not go ahead due to potential bias. Opinions from students with respect to their progress academically and socially were not possible and the impact on the schools core values was not researched from a student point of view. Few studies have been conducted in relation to leadership, learning and development in schools in Qatar which provided a limitation on available previous literature, although as the school follows the national curriculum for England and Wales, a number of British studies were used that were appropriate.

Written by: Education Tay

Ray Blanchett

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School Research Senior Leadership Quesions

Research questions as part of leadership in school education. The question were asked to each senior leadership team member from the principal, head’s of department and other senior leadership teachers.

Principal Semi-Structured Interview Questions

1. What is the vision of the school and what are you trying to achieve in the next 2 years?

2. What are the school’s core values and how do they impact on learning and development?

3. What success factors at the school are critical to achieving quality learning and development of students and teachers?

4. What is the management, learning and development structure at the school in relation to who is responsible for learning and development? Why these posts, and what impact is the school trying to create from having these key posts?

5. How does the extra circular activates program offered impact on learning and development of students?

6. How would you describe your leadership style and attributes you use in your position at the school?

7. Communication between senior management, middle management, teachers and other key personnel at the school? How does this process operate, such as department meetings, parent/contact and correspondence of information and instructions?

8. Is the school meeting the expectations of parents, students and the owner’s expectations of leadership, and especially learning and development of teachers and students alike?

9. Does the school have a high or low retention rate that return each year and this question extends to the retention of key personnel such as teachers, guidance councillors?

10. Policy on recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers and management?

……………………………………………………………………

Head of Secondary/Curriculum Coordinator
Semi Structured Interview Questions

1. In relation to the secondary department what is the vision and how does it relate to the overall vision of the school in the next 2 years?

2. What are the department’s core values and how do they impact on learning and development? Is responsibility devolved to other members of the department to record, check and monitor core values are being implemented and followed with the opportunity to contribute their view point/suggestions?

3. What are the critical success factors of the department to help achieve development & learning for learners at the mid stage, and at the stage of sitting examinations?

4. Support network for management, teachers in place such as teaching assistants and councillors?

5. What training and development for teachers and other key personnel is in place?

6. Management, learning and development structure in the secondary department in relation to who is responsible for learning and development in the department? Which posts, why, and what impact is the school trying to create from having these key posts?

7. Challenges the department faces to provide quality learning to students, what are the four most challenging the department faces?

8. How does the extra circular activates program offered impact on learning and development of young learners?

9. How would you describe your leadership style and attributes you use in your position at the school?

10. Communication between senior management, middle management, teachers and other key personnel in the department? How does this process operate, such as department meetings, parent/contact and correspondence of information and instructions?

11. Is the secondary school meeting the expectations of parents, students and the owner’s expectations of leadership, and especially learning and development of teachers and learners alike?

12. Does the department have a high or low retention rate of learners that return each year and this question extends to the retention of key personnel such as teachers, guidance councillors?

13. Policy on recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers and management? What type of people do you try and attract and why?

————————————————————

Head of Primary/Kindergarden Semi Structured Interview Questions

1. In relation to the kindergarden and the primary department what is the vision and how does it relate to the overall vision of the school in the next 2 years?

2. What are the department’s core values and how do they impact on learning and development? Is responsibility devolved to other members of the department to record, check and monitor core values are being implemented and followed with the opportunity to contribute their view point/suggestions?

3. What are the critical success factors of the department to help achieve development & learning for learners at an early age?

4. Support network for management, teachers in place such as teaching assistants and councillors?

5. What training and development for teachers and other key personnel is in place?

6. Management, learning and development structure in the department in relation to who is responsible for learning and development in the department? Which posts, why, and what impact is the school trying to create from having these key posts?

6. Challenges the department faces to provide quality learning to young students, what are the four most challenging the department faces?

7. How does the extra circular activates program offered impact on learning and development of young learners?

8. How would you describe your leadership style and attributes you use in your position at the school?

9. Communication between senior management, middle management, teachers and other key personnel in the department? How does this process operate, such as department meetings, parent/contact and correspondence of information and instructions?

10. Is the department meeting the expectations of parents, students and the owner’s expectations of leadership, and especially learning and development of teachers and learners alike?

11. Does the department have a high or low retention rate of learners that return each year and this question extends to the retention of key personnel such as teachers, guidance councillors?

12. What is the policy on recruitment and retention of highly qualified teachers and management? and type of people do you try and attract and why?

Written by: Education Tay

Ray Blanchett

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State Australia University Listings

List of state Australia university choices for a full range of courses.

Canberra

Australian Canberra University

Australian National University

University of Canberra

New South Wales Universities

Charles Sturt University

Macquarie University

Southern Cross University

University of New England

University of New South Wales

University of Newcastle

University of Notre Dame Australia

University of Sydney

University of Technology

University of Western Sydney, Penrith South

University of Wollongong

Darwin

Northern Territory University

Queensland

Australian Catholic University

Bond University

Central Queensland University

Griffith University

James Cook University

Queensland University of Technology

TAFE

University of Queensland

University of Southern Queensland

University Of Southern Queensland Online

University of the Sunshine Coast

South Australia

Flinders University

University of Adelaide

University of South Australia

Tasmania

University of Tasmania

Victoria

Deakin University

La Trobe University

Monash University

RMIT University

Swinburne University of Technology

University of Ballarat

University of Melbourne

Victoria University

Western Australia

Curtin University of Technology

Edith Cowan University

Murdoch University

University of Western Australia

Written by: Education Tay

Ray Blanchett

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Local Education Authority Districts

Teaching, learning and specific regulation change from each local education authority with Scotland especially have an education authority in each area that is distinctively different to English councils as Scotland has its own education system.

Looking for anything at school age in relation to education these education councils below is a good place to start.

Register as a teacher for a council

Education and teaching jobs: Click on jobs

Apply for a school place: Schools or teaching & learning

Scotland

Aberdeen City Council
Aberdeenshire Aberdeenshire
Angus Angus Council
Argyll and Bute Council
Clackmannanshire Council
Dumfries and Galloway Council
Dundee City Council
East Ayrshire Council
East Dunbartonshire Council
East Lothian District
East Renfrewshire District
Edinburgh City Council
Falkirk Council
Fife Education
Glasgow City Council
Highland Education Council
Inverclyde
Midlothian
Moray Council
North Ayrshire Council
North Lanarkshire Council
Orkney Islands Council
Perth and Kinross Council
Renfrewshire Council
SCIS
Scottish Borders Council
Shetland Islands Council
South Ayrshire Council
South Lanarkshire Council
Stirling Council
West Dunbartonshire Council
West Lothian Council
Western Isles Council

N Ireland

Belfast Co. Down Council
South Eastern ELB Council
Southern ELB Council
Southern ELB Council
Western ELB Council

Wales

Anglesey
Blaenau Gwent
Bridgend
Caerphilly
Cardiff
Carmarthenshire
Ceredigion
Conwy County
Denbighshire
Flintshire
Glamorgan
Gwynedd
Merthyr Tydfil
Monmouthshire
Neath
Newport
Pembrokeshire
Powys
Rhondda
Swansea
Torfaen
Wrexham

England

Barking London
Barnet London
Barnsley
Bath and NE Somerset Somerset
Bedfordshire Bedfordshire
Bexley Kent
BFPO
Birmingham West Midlands
Blackburn Lancs
Blackpool Lancs
Bolton Lancs
Bournemouth Dorset
Bracknell Forest London
Bradford Yorks
Brent London
Brighton and Hove
Bristol Gloucs
Bromley Kent
Buckinghamshire Buckinghamshire
Bury

Calderdale
Cambridgeshire
Camden London
Cheshire Cheshire
City of London London
Cornwall Cornwall
Coventry West Midlands
Croydon Surrey
Cumbria Cumbria

Darlington
Derby City Derbyshire
Derbyshire Derbyshire
Devon Devon
Doncaster
Dorset Dorset
Dudley West Midlands
Durham

Ealing London
East Riding of Yorks
East Sussex
Enfield London
Essex Essex

Gateshead
Gloucestershire
Greenwich London
Guernsey

Hackney London
Halton
Hammersmith and Fulham London
Hampshire
Haringey London
Harrow Middlesex
Hartlepool
Havering
Herefordshire
Hertfordshire
Hillingdon
Hounslow Middx

Isle of Man
Isle of Wight
Isles of Scilly
Islington London

Jersey

Kensington and Chelsea London
Kent
Kingston upon Hull
Kingston upon Thames Surrey
Kirklees
Knowsley

Lambeth London
Lancashire
Leeds
Leicester City
Leicestershire
Lewisham London
Lincolnshire
Liverpool
Luton

Manchester
Medway Towns
Merton
Middlesbrough
Milton Keynes
Newcastle upon Tyne

Newham
Norfolk
North East Lincolnshire
North Lincolnshire
North Somerset
North Tyneside
North Yorkshire
Northamptonshire
Northumberland
Nottingham City
Nottinghamshire

Oldham
Oxfordshire

Peterborough
Plymouth Devon
Poole Dorset
Portsmouth

Reading
Redbridge
Redcar and Cleveland
Richmond-upon-Thames London
Rochdale
Rotherham
Rutland

Salford
Sandwell
Sefton
Sheffield City
Shropshire
Slough
Solihull
Somerset
South Gloucestershire
South Tyneside
Southampton
Southend-on-Sea
Southwark
St Helens
Staffordshire
Stockport Cheshire
Stockton-on-Tees
Stoke on Trent Staffordshire
Suffolk
Sunderland
Surrey
Sutton Syrrey
Swindon

Tameside
Telford and Wrekin
Thurrock
Torbay Devon
Tower Hamlets London
Trafford

Wakefield Yorkshire
Walsall
Waltham Forest Essex
Wandsworth London
Warrington
Warwickshire
West Berkshire
West Sussex
Westminster London
Wigan
Wiltshire
Windsor and Maidenhead
Wirral
Wokingham
Wolverhampton
Worcestershire

York City

Total for : 216

England: 154, Scotland: 33 Wales: 22, N. Ireland: 5

Written by: Education Tay

Ray Blanchett

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Belgium University Listings

Académie des Beaux-Arts de Tournai Academy of Fine Arts in Tournai, Tournai

Académie royale des Beaux-Arts de la ville de Bruxelles – École supérieure des Arts Royal Academy of Fine Arts City of Brussels Brussels

Arteveldehogeschool, University College Arteveldehogeschool Ghent
Brussels School of International Studies University of Kent’s Brussels School of International Studies (BSIS) Brussels

Carolus Magnus University Brussels

Conservatoire royal de Bruxelles Royal Conservatory of Brussels Brussels

Conservatoire royal de Liège Royal Conservatory of Liège Liege

Conservatoire royal de Mons Royal Conservatory of Mons Mons

Continental Theological Seminary Sint-Pieters-Leeuw

ECAM – Institut Superieur Industriel ECAM-Institut Superieur Industriel – Brussels

École nationale supérieure des Arts visuels de La Cambre National High School of Visual Arts Brussels

École supérieure des Arts – École de recherche graphique School of Visual Research Brussels

École supérieure des Arts de la ville de Liège Royal Academy de Liège Beaux-Arts Liege

École supérieure des Arts plastiques et visuels de la Communauté française École supérieure des Arts plastiques et visuels de la Communauté française (ESAPV) Mons

École supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc de Bruxelles École supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc de Bruxelles (ESA) Brussels

École supérieure des Arts Saint-Luc de Liège — Saint Luc Liege – Liege

Erasmushogeschool Brussel Erasmus Hogeschool – Brussels

European Open University Hasselt

Evangelische Theologische Faculteit, Leuven Evangelical Theological Faculty – Leuven

Facultés Universitaires Catholiques de Mons Mons

Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix University of Namur

Facultés universitaires Saint-Louis Brussels

Gembloux Agricultural University Gembloux

Groep T – Leuven Hogeschool Groep T-Leuven Hogeschool, Leuven

Haute Ecole Blaise Pascal Blaise Pascal Haute Ecole, Arlon

Haute Ecole Charlemagne Charlemagne High School, Liege

Listings of Belgium university Choices.

Haute Ecole Charleroi-Europe Charleroi-Europe High School, Loverval

Haute Ecole de Bruxelles Brussels

Haute Ecole de la Communauté française du Luxembourg ‘Schuman’, Haute Ecole Robert Schuman, Arlon

Haute Ecole de la Communauté française en Hainaut Mons

Haute Ecole de la Communauté française Paul-Henri Spaak Haute Ecole Paul-Henri Spaak, Brussels

Haute Ecole de la Province de Liège Higher Education Institution of the Province of Liège, Jemeppe

Haute École de Namur Haute Ecole de Namur,Namur

Haute Ecole Francisco Ferrer Brussels

Haute Ecole Galilée Brussels

Haute Ecole Léonard de Vinci Brussels

Haute Ecole libre de Bruxelles Ilya Prigogine Haute Ecole libre de Bruxelles – Brussels

Haute Ecole Libre Mosane Haute Ecole Libre Mosane (HELMO) – Liege

Haute Ecole Lucia de Brouckère Brussels

Haute Ecole provinciale de Charleroi – Université du Travail Haute Ecole Provinciale de Charleroi University Labor – Charleroi

Haute Ecole provinciale du Hainaut Occidental Haute Ecole provinciale du Hainaut Occidental (HEPHO) – Tournai

Haute Ecole Roi Baudouin Haute Ecole Roi Baudouin (HERB) – Mons

Hogeschool ‘Sint-Lukas’ Brussel Brussels

Hogeschool Antwerpen Antwerp

Hogeschool voor Wetenschap & Kunst School of Science and Art – Brussels

Hogeschool West-Vlaanderen Kortrijk

Institut des Arts de Diffusion Institute of Broadcasting Arts – Louvain-La-Neuve

Institut national supérieur des Arts du Spectacle et des Techniques de Diffusion Graduate School of Arts (INSAS) – Brussels

Institut Saint-Luc de Tournai Higher Institute of Architecture Saint-Luc de Wallonie – Ramegnies Chin

Institut supérieur d’Architecture de la Communauté française La Cambre Higher Institute of Architecture of the
French Community La Cambre – Brussels

Institut supérieur d’Architecture Intercommunal Higher Institute of Architecture Lambert Lombard – Liege

Institut supérieur d’Architecture Saint-Luc de Bruxelles Institut Supérieur d’Architecture Saint-Luc – Saint-Gilles

Institut supérieur d’Architecture Saint-Luc de Wallonie – Site de Liège Higher Institute of Architecture Saint-Luc
Wallonie – Liege

Institut supérieur d’Architecture Saint-Luc de Wallonie – Site de Tournai Institut supérieur d’Architecture Saint-Luc de Wallonie – Tournai

Institut supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie Institut supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie (IMEP) – Namur

Karel de Grote-Hogeschool Katholieke Hogeschool Antwerpen Karel de Grote-Hogeschool (KdG) – Antwerp

Katholieke Hogeschool ‘Sint-Lieven’, Gent Sint-Lieven Hogeschool – Ghent

Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge-Oostende Katholieke Hogeschool Brugge-Oostende (KHBO) – Brugge

Katholieke Hogeschool Kempen Geel

Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg -Katholieke Hogeschool Limburg (KHLim) – Diepenbeek

Katholieke Hogeschool Mechelen Katholieke Hogeschool Mechelen (KHM) – Mechelen

Katholieke Universiteit Brussel Catholic University of Brussels – Brussels

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven Catholic University of Leuven – Leuven

Limburgs Universitair Centrum Hasslet University – Diepenbeek

Operastudio Vlaanderen Flanders Opera Studio – Antwerp

Plantijn Hogeschool Antwerp

Prins Leopold Instituut voor Tropische Geneeskunde Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine – Antwerp

Université catholique de Louvain Catholic University of Louvain

Université de Liège University of Liege

Université de Mons-Hainaut University of Mons-Hainaut

Université du Travail University Labor – Charleroi

Université Libre de Bruxelles Free University of Brussel

Universiteit Antwerpen University of Antwerpen

Universiteit Antwerpen Management School University of Antwerp Management School – Antwerp

Universiteit Gent University of Ghent

Universiteit Hasselt Hasselt

University of Liege Campus d’Arlon Arlon

Vrije Universiteit Brussel Free University of Brussel – Brussels

Written by: Education Tay

Ray Blanchett

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