Leading learning: Creating high-achieving learning environments

by Robyn Collins

Overview

This brief Australian article begins with the story of a private school facing charges for ‘failing to teach a student to read’. While this is an unlikely event in the New Zealand state school system, there does need to be an increasing engagement with teacher professional learning that leads to improvement of student outcomes.

The article identifies some of the factors which lead to greater success in terms of students’ learning in all schools. These include the development of school-wide learning communities, which communicate with students and their families about effective teaching and learning strategies. There is a growing interest in working with families to make more effective links between what happens at home and what happens at school.

While this is not a ‘hands-on’ article providing specific evidence and advice on how to proceed, it does raise some aspects for critical reflection in a leadership team, or with the whole staff, about what strategies are needed in order to lift the quality of professional performance. It also asks us to be able to show more clearly the link between what teachers do and what learning outcomes result for students.

Reflective questions

These reflective questions might guide you in your reading of this article:

  • What are some of the external, community pressures that affect your school and how do they impact on teaching and learning?
  • What discussions and plans are you and your leadership team having about the development of professional learning opportunities for your staff? What are your priorities for the next two years, and what outcomes do you want to see as a result?

Further reading

Earl, L., & Katz, S. (2005). What makes a network a learning network? (PDF, 347KB) Bedfordshire, UK: National College for School Leadership.

References

Collins, R. (2006). Leading learning: Creating high-achieving learning environments. Curriculum Leadership, 4(37).

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