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Curriculum & Leadership Journal
An electronic journal for leaders in education
ISSN: 1448-0743
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Breaking the Leadership Rules

Jane Weston
Jane Weston is a Senior Project Manager, Curriculum Corporation

The 2003 Curriculum Corporation conference in Perth contended that the best curriculum in the world, without the best teachers, who are the key to improving student achievement, will not create the best student learning (see conference papers).

The 11th annual Curriculum Corporation conference, Breaking the Leadership Rules, progresses the conversation begun at last year's conference on how effective educational leadership can foster environments that support teachers' continuous improvement, and improve outcomes for students.

Breaking the Leadership Rules, to be held this year in Hobart, Tasmania on Monday 2 and Tuesday 3 August, will assert that good leadership at the system, school and faculty levels is vital to the achievement of a professional and competent teacher workforce and improved student outcomes, but it will argue that we must break the rules of leadership to achieve this.

The conference features a number of dynamic, high profile speakers, and will draw on international and Australian research, and successful practices in high performing schools. It will also offer an engaging 'hypothetical' to explore key conference issues, and case studies from Australia and New Zealand will be used to demonstrate successful leadership models and principles.

Heather Du Quesnay CBE, Chief Executive Officer UK National College for School Leadership, and Dr Vicki Phillips, Secretary of Education for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, United States of America have accepted invitations to lead the conference discussion, working as 'dual keynotes' on each day of the conference. In addition to their own sessions, they will initiate discussion in other conference sessions to guide the flow of the conference.

Leadership models and perspectives from the business sector will further challenge conference delegates to extend their views and understandings of educational leadership. Dr Paul Power, from the Hay Group, and Mr Larry Kamener, from Boston Consulting, will share their research findings and recent work with education systems.

In addition, Dr Gregor Ramsey, recently appointed by the Australian Government as Interim Chair of the National Institute for Quality Teaching and School Leadership, will define the role of that body.

Tony Mackay, Director of the Centre for Strategic Educational Thinking, Executive Director, Incorporated Association of Registered Teachers of Victoria (IARTV), and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Applied Educational Research at the University of Melbourne, will facilitate conference discussion across the two days.
The format of the conference is informed by the notion of a conversation, in that there are no break-out or workshop sessions. The entire delegate body engages with a 2 day conference narrative, and has the opportunity to participate in the discussion through facilitated comment from the floor, both with the speakers and through a conference hypothetical.

On the first day, the conference will contend that school district and system levels of leadership often don't work in harmony. The leadership dilemma will be explored and an international research base analysed, to provide the theoretical underpinnings for addressing leadership in education. Leadership models from business will contribute to the debate, and an engaging 'hypothetical' will test and challenge the arguments.

Examples of transformational approaches, to the dilemma raised and explored on the first day, will be provided on the second day of the conference. Current Federal and State perspectives on leadership will set the scene for international examples demonstrating how transformational leadership results in improved student outcomes. Case studies will highlight Australasian best practice, and future directions for educational leadership will be posed.


Subject Headings

Educational evaluation
Educational planning
Professional development
School principals
Teacher evaluation
Teacher training
Teaching and learning
Teaching profession