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Deliberative acts : a theory of school leadership : enhancing the classroom teaching and learning culture through contemporary learning pedagogy that has a positive influence on student achievement : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree Masters in Education at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand
This thesis explores primary school leadership in a contemporary learning context to
examine the influence that leadership has on teaching and learning and the raising of student
achievement. Four models of leadership will be examined – Appreciative, Authentic,
Instructional, and Pedagogal Leadership. In addition, school culture, community
engagement, and leadership dispositions are discussed in order to understand how particular
models of leadership can effect positive change.
Case studies from the United Kingdom and Aotearoa New Zealand provide a context for
discussion. Both case studies are situated in low socio-economic schools and involve
schools that had been identified as under-performing. In both cases new school leaders were
appointed. In a short period of time these schools under went significant positive change
that resulted in a change of school culture, pedagogical growth for teachers, and raised
Through the examination of the deliberative acts of leadership, key qualities and
dispositions of these successful leaders are identified. Commonalities and similarities across
the case studies also identify that of the four models of leadership, the school leaders in this
thesis identified most closely with Pedagogical Leadership. Contiguous with Pedagogical
Leadership, it was found that high relational trust and community engagement were
necessary in bringing about the genuine, sustainable change that resulted in raised student
Sitting alongside the deliberative acts of leadership are the social and political drivers that
effect school life both here in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. It is important to
find a solution for not only improving educational outcomes for children but also for the
pervasive inequities that exist within and beyond the school gate. One solution worth
consideration is Sahlberg’s work on how Finland is able to provide comprehensive,
equitable ‘holistic education’.
Finally, with the very recent change in government, the possible changes that might occur in
education and what these changes will mean for leadership and education in Aotearoa New
Zealand are explored in a tentative way.