leadership role for staff development

Numerous scholars have paid attention to the role of leadership in staff development. To start with, Blackmore et al (2008) focus on the leadership behaviors that promote staff development in schools. According to Blackmore et al (2008), school principals should encourage teachers’ discussions about good teaching practices and should involve them in the development and evaluation of yearly staff objectives. Further, the principals should exhibit knowledge of learning theory, research and instructional methods. They should make expectations of students, self and teachers high but attainable. According to Blackmore et al (2008), the school principals should also make frequent visits to classrooms and constantly evaluate the performance of teachers. In addition, they should develop programs for recognizing the performance of teachers and rewarding them for excellence. According to Blackmore et al (2008), this kind of intervention can help to improve the performance of teachers and subsequently, improve the performance of students.

Davis and Taylor (2010) argue that the trustworthiness and competence of leadership models to be observed and learned by staff have an influence on the extent and effectiveness of staff development in an organization. According to Davis and Taylor (2010), the extent and effectiveness of the staff development depends on the amount of resources that organizational management dedicates to this process. Davis and Taylor (2010) suggest that management should develop and maintain formal and informal structure and culture of learning supported by practical consequences and shared values that encourage growth for all staff and openness to learning within an organization.

Hall (2007) argues that leadership should always embrace a balanced scorecard or management approach that aligns daily activities to the mission and vision of an organization. To achieve this, leaders should define organizational goals and objectives and communicate them to staff at all levels. To enhance staff development, leaders should develop or engage them in training programs to enable them acquire valuable knowledge and skills in their work. This kind of staff development makes significant contribution to the success of an organization. However, Nesbit (2006) argues that training may not lead to staff development especially when there is lack of effective follow-up to ensure that staff applies learning and inspiration derived from training to their day-to-day operations.  Nesbit (2006) noted that leaders in most organizations do not have effective policies and procedures to ensure staff development. In most organizations, leaders do not make constant evaluations of staff performance. Additionally, staff performance expectations are not clearly set or regularly reviewed except for immediate tasks. Further Nesbit (2006) observed that consequences for staff successes and failures are not consistently implemented. As such, Nesbit (2006) argues that willingness to enhance staff development among organizational leaders is more important than simply developing staff training programs.

Keck and Alper (2006) focus on the benefits of staff development in organizations. According to Keck and Alper (2006), the most appropriate strategy through which leadership can facilitate achievement of organizational goals and objectives is through staff development. Organizational problems and challenges tend to diminish with staff development, in proportion to the number of staff involved and the level of involvement. According to Keck and Alper (2006), the effectiveness of the policies and strategies developed by leadership determines the effectiveness and extent of staff development.  Power (2007) noted that staff development has greater influence on organizational success and survival than any other leadership role. According to Power (2007), staff development has three significant effects, namely, qualitative improvement in the performance of an organization (including development of new revenue streams, launching of new projects, significant improvement in efficiency and effectiveness and reduction in operational and administrative costs), reduction of organizational vulnerability from staff loss (including through burnout, retirement and job change for career advancement) and improvement in staff morale. Power (2007) noted that the high chance for success emanates from the fact that the goal of staff development is not in conflict with other tactical and strategic goals and objectives of any organization.

According to Borova (2012), effective staff development process starts with identification and evaluation of staff training and development needs. This is followed by a plan on how to meet these needs within specific time and budget. Next, an arrangement for actual training and development is carried out, matching the specific needs of individuals and groups within an organization. Finally, an evaluation of the performance of individuals and groups is conducted and the impact that they have in an organization. To achieve success in this process, Borova (2012) suggests that an individual needs to have various leadership and management skills such as strategic planning (to be able to understand the needs of the whole organization), facilitation (to facilitate learning), coaching, emotional intelligence, communication, financial, evaluation, technical and administrative and organizing skills.

However, Bubb and Earley (2009) argue that leadership and management of staff should be distributed at all levels of an organization and should not be left to top leaders only. Bubb and Earley (2009) suggests that in a special school, the head teacher should see him/herself as leading staff development, deputies should lead in the senior and junior sections, the bursar should lead staff development for admin and kitchen staff  while teachers should lead the development of their team. According to Bubb and Earley (2009), such a model will encourage staff to embrace development initiatives and to willingly participate in the development process. This view is also supported by Pakos (2010). In a survey conducted in schools, Pakos (2010) found that involvement of staff made them feel a sense of both responsibility and entitlement to their own development and learning. Staff at all levels were motivated to identify and seize opportunities and felt valued. They showed initiative to continue and some of them went an extra mile. Generally, and Bubb and Earley (2009) and Pakos (2010) found the distribution of leadership and management of staff development to be more effective in enhancing organizational success.

Rationale

New regulatory frameworks require leaders to adhere to various reporting standards and carry out organizational management in ways that are sustainable and contextually relevant. Leaders in institutions engaging in early childhood education are required to embrace the most effective management strategies that would enhance maximum output. Quality area 7 of the National Quality Regulations requires school leaders to implement staff development strategies and encourage useful relationships that will facilitate supportive learning environment for children. The leaders are expected to engage in ethical management by developing effective polices and evaluating them regularly in collaboration with staff members, educators, coordinators and families (Education and Care Services National Regulations). One way of measuring and enhancing the performance of staff is through the use of staff development plan, as indicated in the literature review.

Staff Development Action Plan

This section presents staff development plans for two elementary school teachers, a reflection on group’s goal setting and an action plan

Staff Development Plan 1

Name _____________Tom Franklin_______________________________ Date: May 30, 2013

Objective #1 _____To learn about individual and group behaviour and motivation

Activities Time Needed Resources Needed
Reading knowledge resources and Engaging in training lessons on individual and group behaviour and sources of motivation in order to gain understanding on how learning environment encourages active engagement in learning, positive social integration and self motivation 6 months Books and journals and other materials related to topics such as sociology of classroom, foundations of education, democratic classroom values, classroom management strategies and intrinsic motivation

 

Evaluation: Checking the extent to which the knowledge gained encourages   active engagement in learning, positive social integration and self motivation during and after the learning period

 

Objective #2   __To learn about formal and informal assessment of students_

Activities Time Needed Resources Needed
Engagement in training lessons on formal and informal assessment strategies that enhance continuous physical, social and intellectual development of a learner

 

 

 

4 months

 

Books and journals and other materials related to topics such as strategies action research, reflective practice, professional literature, professional development, professional associations and conferences and collegiality research on teaching

 

Evaluation: Checking the extent to which the knowledge gained is applied in informal and formal assessment of students during and after the learning period

Objective #3   To learn the impact of school and community involvement on student learning

Activities Time Needed Resources Needed
To undertake training lessons on how teachers should foster relationships with parents, school colleagues and the wider community and to gain understanding about how their involvement can support student’s learning 3 months Books and journals and other materials related to topics such as school system structures, student privacy, child protection and laws, community resources, advocacy for students school improvement and professional collaboration

 

Evaluation: Checking the extent to which the knowledge gained is applied fostering relationships with parents, school colleagues and the wider community during and after the learning period

 

Staff Development Plan 2

Name ______________Jane Doe____________________________ Date May 30, 2013

Objective #1 ______To learn about teaching content pedagogy

Activities Time Needed Resources Needed
To engage myself in reading about the tools of enquiry, central concepts and structures of the disciplines that I teach

 

 

 

 

2 months Knowledge resources on unit planning, lesson planning cooperative learning, teaching methods/strategies of inquiry, subject matter content, teaching from multiple perspectives, knowledge/constructivist pedagogy, making real-life connections, integrated and interdisciplinary curriculum and teaching resources and curriculum

 

Evaluation: Checking the extent to which learning experience is applied the tools of enquiry, central concepts and structures of disciplines taught is meaningful to students during and after the learning period

Objective #2   ______To learn more about communication strategies in school setting_

Activities Time Needed Resources Needed
 

Reading library material resources and engaging in training lessons on media, verbal and non-verbal communication strategies

 

 

 

6 months

Knowledge resources containing information related to topics such as language development, non-verbal communication techniques, role of language in learning, verbal communication techniques, responsive listening, culturally responsive communication media and technology communication techniques

 

Evaluation:  Checking the extent to which learning experience gained is applied in fostering supportive interaction, collaboration and active inquiry in class room during and after the learning period

Objective #3   _____To learn how to be a reflective practitioner

Activities Time Needed Resources Needed
 

To undertake training lessons on how to evaluate own actions and actions of other people in the learning community such as teachers, students and parents.

 

4 months Books and journals and other materials related to topics such as action research, professional literature, reflective practice strategies, collegiality research on teaching and  professional development licensure

 

Evaluation:  Checking the extent to which learning experience gained is applied in continuous of the effects of individual choices and actions of others after four months

 

 

 

 

Group Goal Setting 1

Goals Blueprint

Teacher’s name ________ Tom Franklin ___________________________ Date May 30, 2013

Strengths as a teacher

  1. Demonstrates knowledge of students
  2. Selects instructional goals
  3. Manages classroom procedures
  4. Establishes a culture of learning
  5. Creates an environment of respect and rapport
  6. Uses questioning and discussion techniques
  7. Maintains accurate records

Identified growth areas

  1. Behavior and teamwork management
  2. Formal and informal assessment of students
  3. Impact of school and community involvement on student learning

Goal:   To improve the growth areas identified

Objectives

  1. To learn how to be a reflective practitioner
  2. To learn more about communication strategies in school setting
  3. To learn about teaching content pedagogy
Goals Blueprint 2

Teacher’s name ________ Jane Doe ___________________________ Date May 30, 2013

Strengths as a teacher

  1. Demonstrates knowledge of students
  2. Selects instructional goals
  3. Manages classroom procedures
  4. Establishes a culture of learning
  5. Demonstrates knowledge in behavior and teamwork management
  6. Uses assessments for instruction

Identified growth areas

  1. Behavior and teamwork management
  2. Formal and informal assessment of students
  3. Impact of school and community involvement on student learning

Goal:   To improve the growth areas identified

Objectives

  1. To learn how to be a reflective practitioner
  2. To learn more about communication strategies in school setting
  3. To learn about teaching content pedagogy

 

Action Plan

Goal:  To develop and implement ways to enhance and maintain a high level of staff performance

Objectives  

Action Steps

Person Responsible  

Time 

Resources Needed

(people, materials, $$$)

Evaluation

 Checkpoints

 

Identification and analysis of staff development needs

 

 

 

 

 

·         Organizing systems for identifying of staff development needs

·         Identification of individual needs

·         Make a summary of needs identified

 

John Brown (deputy principal) From June 1, 2013  to June 30th, 2013 One person, computer and $500 ·         Level of training among individuals

·         Individual performance

·         school performance

·         Resources invested in staff development

·         Level of involvement of leadership in staff development

 

Planning and implementation of staff development

 

 

 

 

 

 

·         Making the most suitable plan to meet the needs

·         Create staff development plans

 

·         Allocate the required resources to teachers’ training

·         Invite teachers for training based on their needs

·         Support, monitor and assess teachers’ response to training

Maria Kerry

(deputy principal)

From June 10, 2013  to December 30th, 2013 One person, computer and $3000  
Tracking, measuring and evaluating staff learning and performance

 

 

 

 

·         Design and monitor systems for tracking, measuring and evaluating staff learning and performance

·         Evaluation and improvement of school’s training and development

Steve Jakes

(Staff Development group leader)

From July 1, 2013  to December 30th, 2013 One person, computer and $300 Level of staff participation in training

Level of improvement in individual performance

Level of improvement in school performance

 

Evaluation

The above comprehensive staff development and action plan was developed by an elementary school principal, in collaboration with the teaching staff. The plan also demonstrates a high level of experience among the persons involved in identification of teachers’ competencies and needs, developing and implementing a plan for staff development and evaluation of the impact staff development process. If implemented, this plan will lead to a culture of excellence evidenced by improved student learning in this school. This plan has so far helped in the development maintenance of a culture of collaboration within this school. Among other solutions, the plan facilitated team working and has enabled staff to gain behaviour and team management skills.

 

 

References

Blackmore, P., Wilson, A., & Stainton, C. (2008), Leadership in staff development: a role

analysis, Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 10(2), pp. 149 – 164

Borova, T. A. (2012), The higher school teaching staff professional development system creation

on the adaptive management principles, Pedagogics, Psychology, Medical-Biological Problems of Physical Training and Sports. 3, pp. 16 – 20

Braveman, D. (2006), Staff development. (Leadership in Legal Education Symposium III), The

University of Toledo Law Review. 34, (1), p. 27

Bubb, S. & Earley, P. (2009), Leading Staff Development for School Improvement, School

Leadership & Management. 29(1), pp. 23 – 37

Davis, R. C. & Taylor, R. W. (2010), The Caruth Police Institute: a comprehensive approach to

staff and leadership development, The Police Chief. 77(4), p. 42

Education and Care Services National Regulations, (2011). Viewed May 30, 2013.

<http://www.legislation.nsw.gov.au/sessionalview/sessional/sr/2011-653.pdf>

Hall, K. B., (2007), Leadership—Aligning Staff Development with the Balanced Scorecard,        Journal of Radiology Nursing, 24(2), June 2005

Keck, C. & Alper, M. (2006), Staff development: A management task in IVF centres Journal of

Medical Marketing, 6(1), pp. 49 – 56

Nesbit, T. (2006), Learning for Change: Staff Training, Leadership Development, and Union        Transformation, Labor Studies Journal. 28(1), pp. 109 – 132

Pakos, W. (2010), An Evidence-Based Approach To Creating a Staff Development Program for

School-Based Therapists. Early Intervention & School Special Interest Section Quarterly / American Occupational Therapy. 17(4), p. 1

Power, J. (2007), Staff Development, Journal of Access Services, 3(3), pp. 65 – 70


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