Curriculum Leadership: Reforming and Reshaping Successful Practice in Remote and Regional Indigenous Education


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The importance of leadership in changing schools and building quality programs is the focus of this paper. While leadership is often seen as a management aspect of school life, the role of leadership in curriculum change may be quite different from that of school leadership vis-a-vis the principal. In the context of small remote schools where there are many factors impacting on school reform, this paper explores curriculum leadership where the schools successfully performed against numeracy benchmarks. Features of curriculum leadership are drawn from these cases to develop a framework for considering effective leadership in remote Indigenous contexts.

Leadership in schools extends beyond formal leadership roles, such as those of principals, to include the roles of others in school management structures. The principalship is often perceived to be a position synonymous with school leadership. The role is integral in leading and managing schools and may provide vision for the school. While many managerial tasks are part of the principal’s overall accountability for the school, there are some aspects of leadership that may be taken by other members of the school community. When this is the case, leadership comes in many forms and through a range of roles both formal and informal. Curriculum leadership may fall under the ambit of the principal but may also be part of a devolved or distributed model of leadership where a key teacher may assume a role in leading curriculum innovation. As such, curriculum leadership may be an amorphous role within the structure of the school and fall to a person or group of people who assume responsibility for curriculum as a whole, or for a particular curriculum area such as mathematics/numeracy. This chapter explores the ways in which curriculum leadership was enacted across a number of schools in remote areas of Australia. The overall study that is the basis of the paper examined the practices at schools that had been successful in literacy and numeracy in the national testing scheme. The chapter draws on a study of numeracy practices and curriculum leadership in these schools.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLeadership in Diverse Learning Contexts
EditorsGreer Johnson, Neil Dempster
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9783319283029
ISBN (Print)9783319283005
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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