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  • 1.
    Aas, Marit
    et al.
    Oslo universitet.
    Törnsen, Monika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Norske og svenske skolelederprogram: en sammenligning2016In: Bedre Skole, ISSN 0802-183X, no 2, p. 56-61Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [no]

    De nasjonale lederprogrammene i Sverige og Norge blir sammenlignet ved hjelp av et forskningsbasert internasjonalt rammeverk for hva som kjennetegner god ledelse. Målet er å undersøke om og i hvilken grad de nordiske programmene er influert av internasjonal forskning om profesjonsutvikling av skoleledere. Noen områder for videreutvikling av de nordiske lederprogrammene blir foreslått.

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  • 2.
    Aas, Marit
    et al.
    Oslo universitet.
    Törnsén, Monika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Examining Norwegian and Swedish Leadership training programs in light of international research2016In: Nordic Studies in Education, ISSN 1891-5914, E-ISSN 1891-5949, Vol. 36, no 2, p. 173-187Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article examines and compares principal training programs in Sweden and Norway, the two Nordic countries with national leadership programs for already active school leaders. To investigate the knowledge base and design of the programs we draw on two research-derived tools about successful professional learning programs for school leaders. Based on the examinations, we suggest that the programs reflect international research both in terms of content and process factors. In addition, we identify topics and issues, such as balancing democratic participation with managerial decision-making, which can be characterized as making up a Nordic profile.

  • 3.
    Aas, Marit
    et al.
    Department of Teacher Education, School Research, University of Oslo, Norway.
    Törnsén, Monika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Nordic studies in education - Special issue: Educational leadership in nordic countries2016In: Nordic Studies in Education, ISSN 1891-5914, E-ISSN 1891-5949, Vol. 36, no 2, p. 81-85Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Ahlström, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Med hänsyn till både tid och rum: systematiskt kvalitetsarbete i fyra dimensioner2018In: Att leda skolor med stöd i forskning: exempel, analyser och utmaningar / [ed] Niclas Rönnström & Olof Johansson, Stockholm: Natur och kultur, 2018, 1, p. 297-322Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Ahlström, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Mobbning i svensk forskning2014In: Framgångsriks skolor: mer om struktur, kultur, ledarskap / [ed] Jonas Höög & Olof Johansson, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2014, p. 217-233Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 6.
    Ahlström, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Rektorers syn på mobbning: eller "Vi är som alla andra"2014In: Framgångsrika skolor: mer om struktur, kultur, ledarskap / [ed] Jonas Höög & Olof Johansson, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2014, p. 197-216Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Ahlström, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Rektors ansvar: Att ta ställning?2014In: Skolledare i mötet mellan nationella mål och lokal policy / [ed] Elisabet Nihlfors & Olof Johansson, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2014, p. 179-191Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Ahlström, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Rektorsyrket i teori och praktik2021In: Att jobba som rektor: om rektorer som professionella yrkesutövare / [ed] Björn Ahlström, Gunnar Berg, Marcia Håkansson Lindqvist, Frank Sundh, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2021, p. 351-361Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Ahlström, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Aas, Marit
    Faculty for education and international studies at Oslo Metropolitan University.
    Leadership in low- and underperforming schools: two contrasting Scandinavian cases2024In: International Journal of Leadership in Education, ISSN 1360-3124, E-ISSN 1464-5092, Vol. 27, no 1, p. 157-178Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we investigate how professional cultures and situated, material and external contexts relate to dynamic low- and underperforming schools in Scandinavia, particularly how the leadership is constructed through the leader, the followers and the situation. The first school studied was a low-performing school in Norway called ‘Toppen’, which has shown improved student outcomes. The other school, Seaside, is a Swedish school that is considered underperforming because student outcomes are lower than expected based on the contextual prerequisites. Our results show that Toppen can be described as a turnaround school and Seaside can be described as a cruising school. Analysis reveals that, at Toppen, the principal has been developing a culture that can be described in terms of community and motivation. At Seaside, on the other hand, the culture can be described in terms of individuality and conservatism. From this analysis, we can detect how different contexts impact two low- and underperforming schools and how they are affected by different prerequisites linked to the situated, material, external and professional contexts. However, the development of a collective professional culture with a shared sense of commitment seems to be an important tool to plan and communicate organizational improvement strategies.

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  • 10.
    Ahlström, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Danell, Mats
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Rolling the dice in a game of trust: Organizational effects on trust, efficacy and motivation when using economic incentives as a driving force for development in Swedish schools2019In: Nordic Journal of Studies in Educational Policy, ISSN 2002-0317, Vol. 5, no 3, p. 139-148Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    For a long time, the Swedish government has tried different reforms to counteract declining student results. One action was to implement a salary-lift for teachers perceived as especially skilled. However, changes within socially complex systems tend to create tensions and resistance among the staff. In this reform, a majority of teachers were excluded from the payroll raise, which led to a renegotiation of roles, rules and commitments within the faculty. In this study, the principals’ perception of the teachers’ initial reactions and responses to the implementation is the focus. The data for this study contain four narratives from principals who implemented the salary lift within their organizations. The analysis shows that the reform challenged the principals as heads of the organizations. They stated that the salary lift created conflicts and insecurities among the teachers related to their motivation, sense of trust and self-efficacy. These conflicts and insecurities seemed to fuel a spiral of mistrust within the schools in the wake of the reform.

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  • 11.
    Ahlström, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Höög, Jonas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Measuring the social and civic objectives of schools2010In: School leadership: international perspectives / [ed] Stephan Huber, Bern: Peter Lang Publishing Group, 2010, p. 19-37Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This study is part of a Swedish project "Structure, Culture, Leadership – prerequisites for successful schools?" The study presents a tool for the analysis of school outcomes. How can social and civic objectives be measured and what differences between schools can be found when it comes to achieving these objectives? The aim is to assess the pupils' development through a questionnaire based on the curriculum in areas like: democratic values, communication, respect for human differences, self-consciousness, responsibility, critical evaluation, creativity. The study is conducted among 2128 pupils in 24 secondary schools in 12 municipalities. Results show that it is possible to develop an instrument based on the Swedish steering documents. It's also obvious that school differences can be assessed with the Social and Civic Objectives Scale (SCOS) Using the SCOS instrument helps us to broaden the definition of a "successful school" by incorporating academic as well as social and civic objectives.

  • 12.
    Ahlström, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Keisu, Britt-Inger
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    Schmauch, Ulrika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
    Normaliserande processer av ojämlika villkor2020In: Att arbeta för lika villkor: ett genus- och maktperspektivpå arbete och organisation / [ed] Britt-Inger Keisu, Lund: Studentlitteratur AB, 2020, 1, p. 213-234Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Ahlström, Björn
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Leo, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Norqvist, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Poromaa Isling, Pär
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS).
    School Leadership as (Un)usual: Insights from Principals in Sweden during a Pandemic2020In: International Studies in Educational Administration, ISSN 1324-1702, E-ISSN 1839-2768, Vol. 48, no 2, p. 35-41Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper offers insights into educational leadership in relation to the example of Sweden exceptionalism that kept most of its schools open during the COVID-19 pandemic. Informed discussions based on reports from conversations with principals, media and a survey highlight three themes identified as challenges for the principals: dealing with pupils, staff members and parents’ anxiety, a constant state of uncertainty and the ones left behind. These themes ignite discussions of implications for educational leadership in which the elements of trust, the formation of stable organizations and equity are leadership strategies in what we consider leadership as (un)usual. 

  • 14.
    Andersson, Anderz
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Law.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Olika aktörers ansvar och befogenheter i skolans styrkedja2020In: Att leda mot skolans mål: vägval och möjligheter / [ed] Olof Johansson; Lars Svedberg, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2020, 3, p. 63-80Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 15.
    Arvidsson, Inger
    et al.
    Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Sweden.
    Leo, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Larsson, Anna
    Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Sweden.
    Håkansson, Carita
    Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Sweden.
    Persson, Roger
    Occupational and Environmental Medicine; and Department of Psychology, Lund University, Sweden; Centre for Medicine and Technology for Working Life and Society (Metalund), Lund, Sweden.
    Björk, Jonas
    Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Sweden.
    Burnout among school teachers: quantitative and qualitative results from a follow-up study in southern Sweden2019In: BMC Public Health, E-ISSN 1471-2458, Vol. 19, article id 655Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Teachers are at high risk of stress-related disorders. This longitudinal study aimed to (a) identify which occupational, sociodemographic and life-style factors and self-efficacy at baseline that were of importance for burnout, (b) explore associations between changes in the studied factors versus changes in burnout, and (c) by interviews increase the understanding of perceived job demands among teachers.

    Methods: A cohort of 310 Swedish teachers in school-years 4–9 responded to a questionnaire of occupational, sociodemographic and life-style factors, self-efficacy and burnout, at baseline and at follow-up (mean 30 months later). A combined measure with four levels of burnout was crafted, based on exhaustion, cynicism and professional efficacy (Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey). Quantitative data were analysed with multiple ordinal regression, and qualitative data were analysed with content analysis of interview responses from a subgroup of the teachers (n = 81).

    Results: The occurrence of high burnout (level 2 and 3 combined) were similar at baseline and follow-up (14% vs. 15%). However, many teachers fluctuated between the levels of burnout (28% increased and 24% decreased). Burnout at baseline was of importance for change of work or being off duty at follow up. In the multi-exposure model, low self-efficacy [OR 0.42; CI 0.26–0.68] and high job demands [OR 1.97; CI 1.02–3.8] were the strongest explanatory variables. Low self-efficacy remained as the strongest explanatory factor after adjustment for burnout at baseline. Increased job demands during follow-up was associated with an increased level of burnout [OR 3.41; CI 1.73–6.69], whereas increased decision latitude was associated with a decreased level of burnout [OR 0.51; CI 0.30–0.87]. Two major categories of demands emerged in the qualitative analysis; i.e. too high workload and a sense of inadequacy.

    Conclusions: A substantial proportion of teachers showed signs of burnout at both occasions. Low self-efficacy and high job demands was of importance for burnout, and changes in burnout was further associated with changes in decision latitude. The results points to the need of actions on individual, organizational and a societal levels.

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  • 16.
    Arvidsson, Inger
    et al.
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Leo, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Oudin, Anna
    Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, Section of Sustainable Health. Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Nilsson, Kerstin
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; Department of Public Health, Kristianstad University, Kristianstad, Sweden.
    Håkansson, Carita
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Österberg, Kai
    Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Persson, Roger
    Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Lund, Sweden; Department of Psychology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Should i stay or should i go? Associations between occupational factors, signs of exhaustion and the intention to change workplace among swedish principals2021In: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, ISSN 1661-7827, E-ISSN 1660-4601, Vol. 18, no 10, article id 5376Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A high turnover among principals may disrupt the continuity of leadership and negatively affect teachers and, by extension, the students. The aim was to investigate to what extent various work environment factors and signs of exhaustion were associated with reported intentions to change workplace among principals working in compulsory schools. A web-based questionnaire was administered twice, in 2018 and in 2019. Part I of the study involved cross-sectional analyses of the associations 2018 (n = 984) and 2019 (n = 884) between occupational factors, signs of exhaustion, and the intention to change workplace, using Generalized Estimating Equations models. Part II involved 631 principals who participated in both surveys. The patterns of intended and actual changes of workplace across two years were described, together with associated changes of occupational factors and signs of exhaustion. Supportive management was associated with an intention to stay, while demanding role conflicts and the feeling of being squeezed between management and co-workers (buffer-function) were associated with the intention to change workplace. The principals who intended to change their workplace reported more signs of exhaustion. To increase retention among principals, systematic efforts are probably needed at the national, municipal, and local level, in order to improve their working conditions.

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  • 17.
    Backlund, Christoffer
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Lärande organisation: Är systematiskt kvalitetsarbete i skolan grunden till en lärande organisation?2016Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
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  • 18. Begley, P.T.
    et al.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    The values of school administation: preferences, ethics, and conflicts2008In: Journal of School Leadership, ISSN 1052-6846, Vol. 18Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 19.
    Benerdal, Malin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Rektor och den vetenskapliga grunden: uppdrag, förmågor och förhållningssätt2024In: Rektors förmågor i centrum: att omsätta kunskap till handling / [ed] Magnus Larsson; Anna Rantala; Helene Ärlestig, Malmö: Gleerups Utbildning AB, 2024, p. 81-94Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 20.
    Benerdal, Malin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Vad vill staten med praktiknära forskning?2022In: Praktikutvecklande forskning mellan skola och akademi: utmaningar och möjligheter vid samverkan / [ed] Inger Eriksson; Ann Öhman Sandberg, Lund: Nordic Academic Press, 2022, p. 23-40Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 21.
    Benerdal, Malin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science. Örebro universitet, Örebro, Sverige.
    Cervantes, Sara
    Luleå tekniska universitet, Luleå, Sverige.
    Westman, Anna-Karin
    Mittuniversitetet, Sundsvall, Sverige.
    Ahlström, Björn
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Utveckling, Lärande, Forskning?: Slutrapport från genomlysningen av försöksverksamheten med ULF-avtal i Umeå-noden2022Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Hösten 2020 påbörjades en genomlysning av Umeå-nodens försöksverksamhet ULF-avtal (Utveckling, Lärande, Forskning). Genomlysningens syfte var att undersöka hur respektive lärosäte skapar förutsättningar för ULF:s försöksverksamhet med utgångspunkt från nodens gemensamma ställningstaganden som uttryck i nodens ULF-plan; samt identifiera övergripande hinder och möjligheter till samverkan mellan lärosäte och skolhuvudmän inom ramen för utgångspunkterna. I föreliggande rapport redogörs för Umeå-nodens försöksverksamhet ULF ur ett generellt perspektiv, där en samlad bild av lärosätenas arbete med ULF och generella hinder och möjligheter för samverkan synliggörs. Rapporten är en av sju rapporter som författats i genomlysningen, övriga rapporter berör respektive lärosätes ULF-verksamhet. Till Umeå-nodenärutöver Umeå universitet, fem lärosäten knutna; Luleå Tekniska Universitet (LTU), Mittuniversitetet (MIUN), Örebro Universitet (ORU), Mälardalens Högskola (MDH) och Högskolan i Dalarna (HDA). Materialinsamlingen har skett via enkäter, intervjuer och gruppintervjuer med lärosätesrepresentanter och dialogforum med skolhuvudmanna-representanter. Analysen av resultatet har utgått från en organisationsteoretisk modell där bland annat aspekter som struktur, kultur och politik lyfts fram. I Umeå-nodens ULF-plan framhålls vikten av; att testa olika samverkansmodeller, utgå från ett symmetriskt komplementärt förhållningssätt, att skolans behov ska vara vägledande, praktiknära forskning av kvalitet och i nära samverkan med verksamhetsutveckling och att lärarutbildningen involveras i försöksverksamheten. Resultatet indikerar att det finns utmaningar och möjligheter relaterade till samtliga områden i ULF-planen. ULF-arbetet i noden genomsyras att ett undersökande förhållningssätt, med låg grad av styrning och hög grad av delaktighet och inflytande. Det finns en ambition och vilja att samverka och föra dialog, där professioner, kompetenser och erfarenheter tas tillvara. Ambitionen angående symmetrisk komplementär samverkan är sympatisk, samtidigt finns det i samverkan inbyggda gränser och asymmetri där olika praktiker har skilda auktoritet. Den struktur, kultur och politiksom genomsyrar lärosätenas och skolhuvudmännens ULF-arbete får betydelse och påverkar konstruktionerna av ULF-verksamheten, samverkansgränserna och de utmaningar och möjligheter som framträder.

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  • 22.
    Benerdal, Malin
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Larsson, Magnus
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Democratic values in evaluation systems – a circle that can be squared?2021In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Administration, ISSN 2001-7405, E-ISSN 2001-7413, Vol. 25, no 3/4, p. 63-83Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is concerned with the interlocking of democratic values and evaluation systems. A central issue in evaluation has been adherence to democratic values by speaking truth to power or taking an inclusive approach to evaluands. In parallel with these democratic endeavours, evaluation design has increasingly moved from ad-hoc evaluations toward evaluation systems. The question we raise in this paper is how compatible the democratic endeavours of evaluation are with the rise of evaluation systems as the modus operandi. We apply this question to the case of the Swedish school system and its built-in evaluation system: systematic quality work (SQW). In order to explore the research question, school principals were asked to articulate how the democratic mission is visible in their SQW. The results indicate that prominent managing logics at different school levels seem to affect how well democratic values are incorporated into the SQW, highlighting the need to address the institutional and governing setting of evaluation systems in combination with the actors’ roles and decisions in accordance with the democratic evaluation literature.

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  • 23.
    Brauckmann, Stefan
    et al.
    Alpen-Adria-Universität Klagenfurt.
    Pashiardis, Petros
    University of Cyprus.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Bringing context and educational leadership together: fostering the professional development of school principals2023In: Professional Development in Education, ISSN 1941-5257, E-ISSN 1941-5265, Vol. 49, no 1, p. 4-15Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Policy makers increasingly acknowledge that problems and challenges arising at the school level should be resolved on site. At the same time, the political expectation to delegate more responsibility to the individual school is rather heavily contrasted with the weak knowledge about how this new public management approach can be translated into successful leadership practices. Thus, considering that there is a close relationship between context and leadership, principal preparation programmes should be guided by a deeper examination of contextual factors. Against this background, we aim to critically examine existing views of practitioners and researchers on the challenge of establishing more context-sensitive school leadership preparation programmes in an era of New Public Management in Education. In doing so, we introduce the Swedish Model of principal preparation as an example for a more context-sensitive leadership preparation program. To that end, we argue that a differentiated perspective about contextual conditions and their role as facilitators or obstacles to effective leadership must be further explored. Moreover, school leaders should be encouraged to consider the relevance of such approaches to their own needs.

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  • 24.
    Brauer-Markgren, Charlotte
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Pedagogiskt ledarskap: En intervjustudie om rektorers tankar kring ett svårfångat begrepp2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 5 credits / 7,5 HE creditsStudent thesis
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    Pedagogiskt ledarskap Charlotte Brauer-Markgren
  • 25.
    Bredeson, Paul V.
    et al.
    University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Norberg, Katarina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ethical School Leadership: Examining the Work of School Principals and Superintendents2005In: The Annual Meeting of American Educational Research Association, Montreal, Canada, 2005Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 26.
    Bredeson, Paul V.
    et al.
    University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Klar, Hans
    Chemson University.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Context-Responsive Leadership: Examining Superintendent Leadership in Context2011In: Education Policy Analysis Archives, E-ISSN 1068-2341, Vol. 19, no 18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is widely acknowledged that context matters, that it affects leadership practices. A large body of descriptive studies documents common elements in the work of school superintendents. What is less well known is how superintendents’ leadership may be expressed very differently given the varying contexts in which they work. The purpose of this cross-national study was to identify the specific variations in context which influence superintendents’ leadership, and to examine how superintendents respond to these variations in context. Structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with 12 superintendents- six from across Sweden and six from Wisconsin, in the United States. The findings illustrate that the work of superintendents is paradoxically similar but different. Superintendents described common primary work priorities, challenges and contextual variations which influenced their practice. Yet, differences in district size, organizational culture, community characteristics, and geographic location significantly influenced their leadership practices. Despite their challenges, all superintendents responded to and shaped the context of their work. The study provides illustrative examples of superintendent leadership in situ, and supports the argument that leadership is both embedded in and influenced by context. The study also furthers the authors’ emerging theory of context-responsive leadership.

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  • 27.
    Bredeson, Paul V.
    et al.
    University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Klar, Hans
    University of Wisconsin-Madison.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Superintendents as collaborative learnes in communities of practice: A socio-cultural perspective on professional learning2009In: Journal of School Public Relations, Vol. 30, no 2, p. 128-149Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This cross-national empirical study examines superintendents' professional learning and leadership in Sweden and the United States. Based on a sociocultural perspective, the study highlights the superintendents' preferences for collaborative forms of learning for enhancing their professional knowledge and for building organizational capacity. Findings from the study underscore the importance of professional work as the primary opportunity to develop professional knowledge and practice, as well as the potential of collaborative forms of learning to create shared meaning and strengthen organizational capacity.

  • 28.
    Bränberg, Agneta
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics. Umeå University, Umeå University Library, Centre for teaching and learning (UPL).
    Holmgren, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics.
    Wester, Maria
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Att undervisa för hållbar utveckling2020 (ed. 1)Book (Other academic)
  • 29.
    Carlbaum, Sara
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Benerdal, Malin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Lindgren, Joakim
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Rönnberg, Linda
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Organizing local preschool markets in sweden: municipalities as key actors2022Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Today, one out of five Swedish children attend a privately operated preschool. Even if there are national policies targeting for instance parental choice and right for private actors to provide pre-primary education, municipalities in Sweden have extensive local autonomy in organizing and governing their ‘local preschool markets’ or, rather, quasi markets. As Brunsson and Jutterström (2018 p. 8) put it; “markets are formed by processes of organization. They are the objects of decisions. There are people and organizations that decide not only on their own actions in markets, but also on the actions of others”. Swedish municipalities are such key organizations that create market infrastructures via market shaping activities (c.f. Flaig et al 2021) including for instance to facilitate, support and police the market actors. 

    The aim of this paper is to explore the different ways in which Swedish municipalities create their local preschool markets to analyse how they act as market organizers in the pre-primary education setting. We do this through analysing documents, websites and interviews with municipal officers from 30 municipalities characterized as having either a large (N=10), medium (N=10) or small (N=10) private pre-primary sector. Theoretically, we turn to literature on organizations, governing and public-private relations.

    Our preliminary findings show that there are large variations on how municipalities act as local preschool market organizers and the paper elaborates three (ideal typical) modes: Endorsers are municipalities that actively promote, support and sponsor market actors. Frontiers denotes municipal territories that are unattractive or not yet fully explored by private preschool actors. Keepers are municipalities that strive to maintain balance or status quo between public and private providers, using various strategies and tools to this end. In sum, this paper seeks to contribute to the discussion on how public actors work to organize, enable or limit, private actor involvement. 

  • 30.
    Day, Christopher
    et al.
    School of Education, University of Nottingham.
    Jacobson, Stephen L.
    University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo, NY, USA.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Leading organizational learning and capacity building2011In: US and cross-national policies, practices, and preparation: implications for successful instructional leadership, organizational learning, and culturally responsive practices / [ed] Rose M Ylimaki & Stephen L Jacobson, Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands, 2011, p. 29-49Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Recently, the building of personal, interpersonal and organisational capacity through the restructuring of schools as learning organisations and professional learning communities have been identified as promising developments in school-based administrative theory (Louis et al. 1996; Senge 2000; Mitchell and Sackney 2000). Yet, capacity-building theories are complex and require administrators to be conversant with new approaches to leadership, change theory, instruction and professional development, whilst maintaining that which is already effective within schools (Silins et al. 2002). The purpose of this chapter is to explore the capacity-building strategies used by principals and headteachers to improve and sustain improvements in student achievement in US, British and Swedish contexts.

  • 31.
    Day, Christopher
    et al.
    University of Nottingham.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Leadership with a difference in schools serving disadvantaged communities: Arenas for success2008In: Educating moral sensibilities in urban schools, Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishers, 2008, p. 19-34Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 32.
    Day, Christopher
    et al.
    School of Education, University of Nottingham.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Møller, Jorunn
    Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo.
    Sustaining Improvements in Student Learning and Achievement: The Importance of Resilience in Leadership2011In: How School Principals Sustain Success over Time: International Perspectives / [ed] Lejf Moos, Olof Johansson and Christopher Day, DORDRECHT: Springer Netherlands, 2011, Vol. 14, p. 167-181Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Over the years, much has been written internationally about leadership purposes, values, practices and effectiveness. More recently, issues of succession planning, capacity building, distributed leadership, sustainability and systems leadership have been the focus of policy and policy-related research. Yet, relatively little research has focused upon how resilience contributes to the success of school leaders, principals in particular, in sustaining their values, motivation, commitment and sense of effectiveness over time in changing personal, social, organisational and policy contexts.

    This chapter aims at exploring leadership resilience for sustainable and improved learning and achievement for students. The strategies successful local school principals chose to foster learning and sustained success at the local schools are analysed through the theoretical framework of leadership for democratic education. It offers a lens to understanding associations between leaders who are driven by a belief in the basic values and rights of each individual; taking the standpoint of others into consideration; deliberation in making decisions; embracing plurality and difference; who promote equity and social justice and have a lasting impact on other people within and beyond the organisation and a capacity for resilience. Resilient leadership for improved learning for children is characterised by a clear sense of moral/ethical purpose related to how to create a learning environment in which all students and staff may not only feel they belong to, but also in which they may be successful. Yet, such leadership requires that leaders are beacons of hope, engage in risk, distribute trust progressively in a wise and timely manner and are able to be resilient and build the capacities of others to be resilient.

  • 33.
    Drysdale, Lawrie
    et al.
    The University of Melbourne.
    Bennett, Jeffrey
    University of Arizona.
    Murakami, Elizabeth T.
    Texas A&M University .
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Gurr, David
    The University of Melbourne.
    Heroic leadership in Australia, Sweden and the United States2014In: International Journal of Educational Management, ISSN 0951-354X, E-ISSN 1758-6518, Vol. 28, no 7, p. 785-797Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to draw from data collected as part of the International Successful School Principalship Project (ISSPP) and present cases of democratic and heroic leadership from three countries, discussing to what extent successful school principals in each of their research sites (Melbourne, Australia; Umeå, Sweden; Arizona and Texas in the USA) carry old and new perspectives of heroism in their leadership. In particular the paper explores two questions: first, how do school principals describe aspects of heroic and post-heroic leadership in their practices? and second, how do these heroic and post-heroic leadership practices meet contemporary demands such as accountability standards and build inclusive and collaborative school communities in challenging contexts?

    Design/methodology/approach: Multiple-perspective case studies involving semi-structured individual and group interviews with principals, teachers, students, parents and school board members were used to understand the contribution of principals and other leadership to school success.

    Findings: The definitions of heroic and post-heroic leadership are inadequate in defining successful principal leadership. The Australian, Swedish and American principals showed characteristics of both heroic and post-heroic leadership. They showed heroic qualities such as: inspiring and motivating others; challenging the status quo; showing integrity in conflicting situations; putting duty before self; taking risks to champion a better way; showing courage to stand up to those in authority; advocating for students in struggling neighbourhoods under the scrutiny of both district and public expectations; and, showing uncommon commitment. Yet our principals showed post-heroic leadership such as involving others in decision making and recognising that school success depended on collective effort, and being sensitive to community needs through a deep respect for the local culture.

    Originality/value: The research shows that we may need to redefine and recast our images of who school principals are today, and what they do to generate academic success for students. Both heroic and post-heroic images of leadership are needed to explain successful school leadership.

     

  • 34.
    Edvardsson, Jenny
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    "Det handlar ju om förutsättningar": En studie om IT-satsningar i svensk skola2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    Background:

    IT development has in recent decades been fast progressing. In Sweden many schools have begun to invest in IT and new technologies. What happens at the schools that are investing in IT equipment and modern technology?

    Purpose:

    The purpose of this study is to elucidate the conditions for and the success factors and barriers that principals and teachers will experience in IT. Principals' experiences are complemented and mirrored against the teachers. The following issues are in focus: 1. What basic conditions are necessary for IT equipment and modern technology to be used in education? 2. What are the success factors and how do the principals create these? 3. What are the difficulties / obstacles and how do the principals overcome these difficulties?

    Result:

    Based on the study, one can see that certain conditions are required in order for IT ventures to succeed. The most important requirement is supporting principals. Conditions such as finance, technology and effective IT support also seem to be important. Another conclusion is that is not only the principals´ responsibility to create all conditions that are needed; municipalities need to centrally decide how to organize their schools, what they want with IT and then sets the stage for it to work.

    Key words:

    IT ventures, school improvement, principals, teachers, conditions, barriers and success factors.

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  • 35.
    Eklund, Niklas
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Repa, Theodore
    Touro College New York, NY.
    School leadership in changing times: the case of Belarus2009In: Leadership and intercultural dynamics / [ed] John Collard & Anthony N. Normore, Charlotte: Information Age Publishing, 2009, p. 259-279Chapter in book (Other academic)
  • 36.
    Ersson, Svante
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Eklund, Niklas
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Kolam, Kerstin
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Uppbyggnad, expansion och utblick: 1980-20002015In: 50 år med Statsvetenskap i Umeå / [ed] Anders Lidström och Gunnel Gustafsson, Umeå: Statsvetenskapliga institutionen, Umeå universitet , 2015, p. 37-52Chapter in book (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 37.
    Fausö, Ulrika
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Att leda det professionella lärandet2019Independent thesis Advanced level (professional degree), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    School leaders of today wrestle with vast challenges in an increasingly complex and changing world. Several research projects have been conducted the past years to identify and explain what is essential and important when it comes to develop and improve professional learning in today's schools. But how do school leaders put this into practice and implement it into their daily lives? Furthermore, what help do they get from first teachers? In this essay, I will immerse myself into what research says about professional learning, and the approaches and experiences four (4) school leaders and four (4) first teachers have had when leading the development of professional learning in their schools.

    It is crucial to have a systematic and investigative approach to how to successfully develop and personalize learning for different contexts and conditions. It is also essential to develop expertise in how to build trust and confidence by understanding each other’s’ perspective and learning processes. As a leader you must understand not only the students learning needs but also the teachers and your own needs. This different perspective seems essential to successfully meet the challenges of tomorrow.

    Research says that there are no simple, nor general, solutions or models to apply, but rather understand and interpret the context you are in and then link it to scientific methods and/or proven experience. This requires a high level of expertise and understanding of those who are set to lead this activity but also a distributed leadership shared by several, rather than just a few. Today’s complex challenges require an interaction and cooperative approach between different professions and, not the least, that we dare to share our educational leadership with the first teachers and other co-workers.

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  • 38.
    Fjellström, Magnus
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Kristmansson, Per
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science.
    Constituting an apprenticeship curriculum2019In: Journal of Curriculum Studies, ISSN 0022-0272, E-ISSN 1366-5839, Vol. 51, no 4, p. 567-581Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Apprenticeships are required for many trades and can take different forms. In Sweden, one form can be viewed as a pathway where students complete a three-year-long vocational education in upper secondary school followed by a post-secondary apprenticeship in a particular trade. Another takes the form of vocational training within the framework of upper secondary school through an apprenticeship. This study analyses how a more clearly defined apprenticeship curriculum can provide sufficient knowledge to identify and understand learning outcomes in apprenticeships. A theoretical framework of an apprenticeship curriculum is used in the analytical work. The findings show that educational goals are often overlooked during apprenticeships, and thus a deliberative education is overridden by deliberative learning that stems from and is closely connected to the individual’s own perception of what to learn. By constituting an apprenticeship curriculum, this article contributes to an enhanced understanding of how to analyse vocational learning, and thus adds important elements to the research field.

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  • 39.
    Fredriksson, Annelie
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Säg det!: En undersökning om hur rektor kan synliggöra lärares undervisningsförmågor likväl som läraren kan synliggöra elevens lärande – en parallellprocess2014Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    -------------------------- 4

    Abstract

    This study is a qualitative case study in order to delineate how visible learning processes in the classroom. The study draws its theory from researcher John Hattie's findings about effective teaching. Data collection is taken from a class in grade 2 in a medium-sized Swedish municipality. The result demonstrates how the communication takes place in the classroom based on the teacher's strategies and planning in relation to pupils' interests and their own initiative. Is there a mutual feedback between teachers and students while teaching? From five perspectives, and the definition of what visible learning is all about, the results shows many good examples of excellent teaching. The students are engaged and interested. They are confirmed by the teacher and the rate of learning is high. However, there is no sign of conversation between the teacher and the student about how the student learns even though the teacher knows how teaching against a specific pupil should be developed.

    As a result, the lack of this conversation prevents the students to receive a degree of self-awareness and insight into their strengths and weaknesses that according to J Hattie's research is so beneficial to their academic performance.

    What also is apparent in the results of this study is that what students learn in class must be verbalized and formulated and also repeated clearly.

    In the analysis and discussion section, useful and concrete strategies are given on how principal can make the teacher's teaching methods visible to improve teaching quality. This process, where the teacher exposes the student's knowledge and abilities, and where the principal makes visible the teacher's teaching abilities, strengths and developable skills, is called the parallel-process.

    To you who work as a Principal, you are hereby granted a tool for practical methods to visualize your teachers' teaching in order to raise student’s achievement and develop their skills.

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    Säg det!
  • 40.
    Goddard, Tim J.
    et al.
    Faculty of Education University of Prince Edward Island Charlottetown, PE C1A 4P3 CANADA.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Norberg, Katarina
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Managing equity: experiences from Canada and Sweden2010In: International Studies in Educational Administration, ISSN 1324-1702, E-ISSN 1839-2768, Vol. 38, no 3, p. 3-17Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Both Canada and Sweden are experiencing major demographic changes that have an impact on the organisation of schools. Here we report on an exploratory study which sought to examine the ways in which principals from each of those two countries manage questions of equity. The findings of this small-scale preliminary investigation suggest that principals actively resist any attempts to recognize diversity and difference. Where diversity and difference were recognised, it was in the sense of a deficit model. Further, we found a consistent superficiality with respect to discussions of values or of alternative pedagogical or organ isational approaches. Rather, respondents gave the impression of being pragmatic and situation-based, using avoidance strategies to minimise differences with the intention of creating equitable access and opportunity for all students. Further and more comprehensive research is required to determine the extent to which these findings may be replicated in other jurisdictions.

  • 41.
    Grimm, Frida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    How do teacher leaders lead in professional learning communities?: Explicit and tacit negotiations2023In: International Studies in Educational Administration, ISSN 1324-1702, E-ISSN 1839-2768, Vol. 51, no 1, p. 34-51Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teacher leaders who lead peers in professional learning communities (PLCs) are an increasing phenomenon in school organisations in several parts of the world today. However, the knowledge of how they lead professional learning is sparse. The purpose of this article is to create deeper understandings of teacher leadership in PLCs. It is based on data acquired through an empirical study with so-called 'first teachers' in three Swedish schools during 2021 and 2022. The article providesin-depth descriptions of explicit and tacit teacher leadership practices in PLCs. According to the results, the first teachers in the study led their peers by securing structure and relevance, building a supportive, sharing, and reflective community, and encouraging the use of new teaching methods. They tacitly negotiated their leadership in relation to previous experiences in teaching, leadership and professional development, explicit and tacit boundaries within teacher communities of practices, and their own understandings of their professional identity. The article contributes with important insights into how these negotiations made them build safe and inspiring learning cultures, but also restrained them to challenge their peers’ current understandings of teaching. The results highlight the need to illuminate and understand both explicit and tacit teacher leadership practices when developing and improving teacher leadership for professional learning in schools.  

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    fulltext
  • 42.
    Grimm, Frida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Ledarskap för lärares lärande: förstelärare som lärarledare2023Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Today, new teacher leader functions are emerging in several parts of the world. Previous research has highlighted the potential of teacher leadership to enhance teacher learning, but also recorded resistance among teachers to being collectively led in efforts to improve teaching and learning. The aim of this thesis is to draw attention to, and contribute knowledge about, local school actors’ explicit and implicit teacher leadership constructions in schools. Three overarching research questions are addressed: 1) How is teacher leadership constructed in schools? 2) How do these constructions enhance and constrain possibilities to lead teacher learning? 3) How can visualising explicit and implicit teacher leadership practices contribute to learning about leadership for teacher learning?

    Spillane’s model of distributed leadership and Wenger’s theories of social learning are used to study, analyse, and create knowledge about teacher leadership constructions. Empirically, the thesis is based on material collected in two qualitative studies conducted in Swedish schools in 2019 and 2021/22. This included interviews (58) with visual material and video-observations (6) designed to capture relevant understandings and practices, both explicit and implicit. 

    The results show that egalitarian and autonomous norms strongly influence teacher leadership constructions, while ‘first teachers’, whose roles are supposed to include leadership, are solely regarded as teachers, not leaders, with unrecognized functions and practices. The mainly acknowledging and facilitative teacher leader practices both enhance and constrain teachers’ learning. On one hand, teachers are encouraged to share ideas and try out alternative teaching methods, while on the other hand, current methods and perspectives on teaching and learning tend to be conserved rather than challenged. Supportive and acknowledging leadership practices therefore need to be combined with challenging of perspectives and a habit of inquiry. By visualising explicit and implicit understandings and teacher leadership practices, local school actors and researchers can gain new insights about ways to develop and improve teacher leadership to promote learning. Four conclusions are drawn: 1) Local school actors’ understandings of teacher leadership need to be nuanced, challenged, and developed. 2) Leaders for learning need to manage learning as both individual and collective, concrete and abstract, acknowledging and challenging. 3) Conscious choices and changes are needed at all organisational levels to utilise teacher leaders’ capacities. 4) Visualisation of, and reflection on, explicit and implicit understandings and practices contribute to more conscious choices and changes in leadership for learning.

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  • 43.
    Grimm, Frida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Teacher leadership for teaching improvement in professional learning communities2023In: Professional Development in Education, ISSN 1941-5257, E-ISSN 1941-5265Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Teacher leaders are increasingly leading learning conversations in professional learning communities (PLCs) in schools in several parts of the world today, but there is little empirical knowledge of teacher leadership in PLC conversations. Thus, this article aims to enhance such knowledge, particularly the development of teacher leadership in PLC conversations. Empirical data were acquired in a study of three Swedish PLCs and consisted of six video observations and 24 interviews with teachers and teacher leaders (hereafter 'first teachers'). The study particularly addressed how professional learning and teaching improvement was encouraged in teacher-led PLC conversations, what tended to be missing, and how the conversations influenced the teaching practices of participating teachers (self-reportedly). The results indicate that the teaching practices did not change in depth if the first teachers focused on acknowledging and sharing PLC conversations about concrete teaching methods. Instead, there seems to be a need for informed teacher leaders who consciously and systematically analyse and support teachers' learning processes, and foster a habit of inquiry among their peers. It is suggested that this should include challenging norms and understandings about what it means to be a learning teacher and requirements to improve teaching practices in the long run.

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  • 44.
    Grimm, Frida
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    The First Teacher as the Elephant in the Room: Forgotten and Hidden Teacher Leadership Perspectives in Swedish Schools2020In: Research in Educational Administration and Leadership, E-ISSN 2564-7261, Vol. 5, no 2, p. 454-483Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    International research has highlighted teacher leadership as a means to improve teaching and learning by distributing instructional (learning-centered) leadership to teacher leaders. Simultaneously, there has been an increase and alteration of teacher leaders in schools. One example is the 'first teacher' position in Sweden implemented in 2013. The article builds on an inductive, empirical study made in four Swedish schools. I conducted 34 semi-structured interviews with teachers, first teachers, assistant principals, and principals to explore how different school actors understand first teacher leadership and how this enables and constrains the construction of teacher leadership for teaching and learning. In the analysis, I concluded that the participants understand first-teacher leadership as horizontal and facilitative. Their understanding, built on egalitarian and autonomous norms, collides with the intensions of a changed role to improve teaching and learning. The result implies a hidden first-teacher function. In the article, I argue teacher leadership, as a concept, has been forgotten in Swedish research literature and schools, even though Sweden has had teacher leaders for decades. Increased exploration of first-teacher leadership in Swedish schools can contribute to a more visualised and nuanced understanding of teacher leadership and its impact on teaching and learning.

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  • 45.
    Grimm, Frida
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Norqvist, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of applied educational science, Interactive Media and Learning (IML). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Katarina, Roos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science.
    Exploring Visual Method in the Field of Educational Leadership: Co-creating Understandings of Educational Leadership and Authority in School Organisations2021Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper is a contribution to the ongoing dialogue on the need for method development within the field of educational leadership. Educational leadership research has a set of conventional qualitative methods that regularly occur, surveys, interviews and observations (Thomson, 2017; Moran Jackson, 2019; Castillo and Hallinger, 2018; Hallinger, 2018; Tian et al., 2016). Though, it remains an overlooked issue to critically examine what this means to our research field (Thomson, 2017). This paper was born in some practical difficulties of interviews with educational leaders, which provoked an expansive take on the interview as an empirical occasion. In the paper we describe a visual method that was developed and added to qualitative face-to-face interviews to capture essential concepts concerning educational leadership, for example power, hierarchies and relations. The purpose of the paper is to examine how the process of data collection and analysis can benefit and constrain from the use of visual material in qualitative semi-structured face-to-face interviews. It also opens up for discussions about alternative ways to present research. In the paper we explore the following research questions:

    • can a visual method imply for the co-creation of understandings about positions, relations and hierarchies within school organisations?
    • What advantages and challenges may arise when new methods are added to qualitative face-to-face interviews within the field of educational leadership?

    A rather limited number of methods and approaches are employed within the field of educational leadership. The most common are surveys and interviews (Thomson, 2017; Moran Jackson, 2019; Castillo and Hallinger, 2018; Hallinger, 2018; Tian et al., 2016). Qualitative methods still dominate, although quantitative approaches are increasing in number (Gumus et al., 2018). Few studies make use of alternative data sources, such as videos, blogs, and photos (Moran Jackson, 2019). In an interdisciplinary and complex research field such as educational leadership, this could imply limited and to some extent defaulted perspectives.

    Our visual method was designed within a larger research project about steering and governing in, and of, Swedish schools. The creation of the method grew from a need to develop the interview technique to explore understandings of the organisations from the informants’ points of view. The most common motive for using visual material in a data collection process is an ambition to access data, as it enables the collection of data other than verbal data alone. Another argument is that visual material facilitates communication between researchers and respondents, particularly when participants are asked to express abstract ideas, and supports verbal communication. Visual methods are also believed to promote reflection, as words and pictures can work in synergy to enhance meaning (Pain, 2012; Pink, 2013). By adding visual material to semi-structured face-to-face interviews, we created a visual method to stimulate the informants’ reflections about complex matters as hierarchies, power and relations. These themes are central phenomena within the field of educational leadership. We wanted to explore what happens to the research process when transforming a traditional method by adding visual material to otherwise traditional qualitative face-to-face interviews. During the conference we evoke further exploration of alternative methods by presenting our findings by using moving pictures.

    Methodology, Methods, Research Instruments or Sources UsedThe 57 informants in our empirical and inductive study were selected and approached in the following way. In the Swedish educational system, municipalities are organisers of compulsory and secondary education, and thus we started off by selecting municipalities. The first selection criteria was that the average results, and the average grades of pupils in the last year of compulsory school, should be comparable between the selected municipalities (Kolada 2019, Siris 2019). Secondly, the average percentage of pupils who perceive themselves to be safe and secure in school, should be in the same range in the selected municipalities. Thirdly the municipalities should be of the same size, in population numbers. Two municipalities were selected (purposive sampling; Cohen et al., 2011). They identified two schools each (convenience sampling; Bryman, 2012), for the study.  Approached from a systems thinking perspective (see Shaked & Schechter, 2017), semi-structured face-to-face interviews were made with politicians (n=4), superintendents (n=2), assistant superintendents (n=4), principals (n=4), teacher leaders (n=14) and teachers (n=29). Individual and group interviews were conducted.

    By accompanying the semi-structured interviews by a paper sheet with sticky notes we created a visual method. A sticky note with the informant´s function was put in the middle of the sheet, which was divided in three levels. Encouraged by the interviewer the informants added sticky notes with functions that they found central for their own function accompanied by semi-structured interview questions. The themes discussed during the interviews concerned key actors on different levels in the school organization, roles and functions, knowledge and competence, loyalty, trust, communication and systematic quality assurance. By adding a visual method, the informants were given a hands-on tool to arrange and to describe the education organization that they are a part of. This made it possible to visualize positions, relations and hierarchies. We video-recorded the sticky-note mapping to enable analysis of movements simultaneously with verbal narratives. At the end of the interview project a total of 43 images had been created during the interviews. In the process of analysis, the visual and auditory material were encapsulated in still pictures. These described more in detail how the interviews developed and certain aspects of the interviews that should be considered in the analysis. The still images were useful for further analysis, for example, to detect patterns in positions and relations within and between organisations, and for presentation of the result.

    Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or FindingsThe co-creation of images during the interviews elicited dialogues about complex subjects such as hierarchies, relations and positions. The method helped us to gain an understanding of how leaders describe their perceptions of authority and power in school organisations. By adding visual material to the interviews, a creative and active interview environment was created. The method made the informants take a stand on complex questions and matters, and to take different perspectives, thus gaining new insights about their own organisations. This provided us as researchers with a rich data material and uncovered our own biases. By making subjective understandings visual, the implicit was made explicit.

    As researchers we were challenged to coordinate the designing and exploration of the method and to ask new questions, which was sometimes challenging. Another challenge was to translate the rich visual material into condensed text to make it fit into the traditional journal format. This made us look for alternative ways to present research within our field. Research conferences that offer alternative ways to present, discuss and share research can be a valuable venue to develop research methods.

    To sum up, by adding a visual method to qualitative face to face interviews, it is possible for researchers to create a creative and active interview environment, and to analyse the data from different angles within a holistic approach (understanding parts vs whole). The method offers a flexible structure which enables longitudinal studies within and between different organisations. Inspired from what we have seen, we suggest that the method can facilitate international studies of educational organisations within different school contexts, European and other international contexts. Adding visual methods to more traditional interviews can make dilemmas in educational leadership visible and is useful when finding strategies to manage and lead various (groups of) actors in educational organisations.

  • 46.
    Grimm, Frida
    et al.
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Education. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Norqvist, Lars
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Katarina, Roos
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Exploring visual method in the field of educational leadership: Co-creating understandings of educational leadership and authority in school organisations2023In: Educational Management Administration & Leadership, ISSN 1741-1432, E-ISSN 1741-1440, Vol. 51, no 5, p. 1219-1238Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper contributes to method development in educational leadership research. The focus is on a visual method and the inclusion of visual material in data collection and analysis. Core concepts in this paper are educational leadership, power and authority. The method was used in face-to-face interviews in a research project that studied the steering and governing in, and of, Swedish schools. The method enhances verbal narratives when informants reason and motivate their understandings of positions, relations and hierarchies within the organisations. We found that using visual material encouraged informants to reason and problematise formalised leader positions, their relations and the hierarchies that appear. The method helps to visualise the informants’ understandings of the power distribution within the organisation depending on whether positions are described as distant or close, horizontal or vertical. The method made the informants take a stand on complex matters, reflect, and gain insights about their organisations. It provided us, as researchers, with rich data material. By making subjective understandings visual, implicit assumptions were made explicit. This could challenge the knowledge on existing leadership and power norms within educational organisations, and most likely in other forms of organisations as well.

    Download full text (pdf)
    fulltext
  • 47. Gross, Steven
    Applying turbulence theory to respond effectively to critical incidents2019In: Applying turbulence theory to educational leadership in challenging times: a case-based approach, London: Routledge, 2019, p. 47-62Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Educational leaders have a background in Turbulence Theory, the stage is set to learn how to use it in practice. This means it's time to make a transition to the steps and mechanics in putting Turbulence Theory to work in real educational contexts. In order to do this, this chapter suggests following this five-step process: reflect deeply on the turbulent incident; determine the role of the three drivers of turbulence: positionality, cascading, and stability; and decide on a general level of turbulence. The steps are including: consider whether to escalate or tone down the turbulence level; and organize constructive advice that responds to the turbulent incident that includes an effective way to share with key individuals and groups. Each of the three drivers has an impact on the turbulent situation at hand: positionality, cascading and stability.

  • 48.
    Gu, Qing
    et al.
    Department of Education, University of Nottingham, Jubilee Campus, Nottingham NG8 1BB, United Kingdom.
    Johansson, Olof
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Sustaining school performance: School contexts matter2013In: International Journal of Leadership in Education, ISSN 1360-3124, E-ISSN 1464-5092, Vol. 16, no 3, p. 301-326Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Drawing upon empirical data from a pan-Europe wide study on successful school leadership in challenging circumstances, the paper discusses an analytical model designed as a framework of analysis to investigate the dynamic relationships between challenges in schools internal and external contexts and how leadership interventions mediate these and transform the nature of their influences on school improvement over time. Illustrative narratives of one English school and one Swedish school are used to show that the nature and intensity of challenges embedded in apparently similar school contexts vary across different school improvement phases. The analytical model connects the interactions between different dimensions of school contexts with the dynamic (and sometimes unstable) change and development of school performance.

  • 49.
    Gunnulfsen, Ann Elisabeth
    et al.
    Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Leo, Ulf
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Principals' Roles in a Nordic Education Context: Shared Responsibility and Pedagogical Engagement2023In: Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice / [ed] Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen, Helene Ärlestig, Merete Storgaard, Cham: Springer, 2023, , p. 18p. 115-132Chapter in book (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this paper is to examine and discuss the role of Nordic school principals in a cross-national context and to highlight the implications for the leadership roles in research and practice. The data builds on the country-wide reports in this book, the findings in the TALIS report (2018), and the perspectives of pedagogical leadership. The ways in which school leadership roles are perceived and dealt with are relatively similar across national school contexts. Nordic school principals seem to experience their practice with shared responsibilities, providing opportunities and educational engagement by acting as pedagogical leaders with a collective approach to their leadership role, even though there are differences in Nordic education policy contexts. Pedagogical leadership in a Nordic context means leadership tasks primarily related to curriculum, teaching activities, and the core values of schooling. Power, trust, control in the form of governance and leadership in the Nordic countries needs high attention.

  • 50.
    Gunnulfsen, Ann Elisabeth
    et al.
    Department of Teacher Education and School Research, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.
    Storgaard, Merete
    Municipality of Svendborg, Svendborg, Denmark.
    Ärlestig, Helene
    Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political Science. Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Principal Development.
    Introduction2023In: Education and Democracy in the Nordic Countries: Making Sense of School Leadership, Policy, and Practice / [ed] Ann Elisabeth Gunnulfsen, Helene Ärlestig, Merete Storgaard, Cham: Springer, 2023, , p. 9p. 1-9Chapter in book (Refereed)
123456 1 - 50 of 297
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