PLD funding from the MOE is enabling staff in the Hillcrest Kahui Ako and the Kahui Ako Tokoroa to grow their relational understandings and practice at both an individual and organisational level. After providing Hillcrest Kahui Ako leaders with a tiered programme of PLD for three years, participants are expressing their desire to continue with further PLD within this tiered programme. From Term 3 of this year, the interest and demand has led to the commencement of the programme for leaders of the Kahui Ako Tokoroa.
The PLD is initially orientated towards ‘middle school leaders’ in their role and contribution. The tiered process designed for middle school leaders moves towards the implications of relational thinking for their practice amid the realities of schooling today. The Middle school leaders conclude their engagement with a presentation of their learning to their colleagues and Principals.
Examples of the dialogue and activity involved in the tiers:
- Sharing experiential accounts of being in leadership
- Relational Leadership and Sensibilities
- Educational Leadership
- Perspectives of, and responding to educational change
- Professional and organisational formation.
The recommended text for the PLD is ‘Relational Leadership in Education: A Phenomenon of Inquiry and Practice’ (Giles, D.L., 2019, Routlege).
Critical to the success of the PLD experience is the one-on-one mentoring sessions that take place every two to three weeks. These mentoring sessions enable deeper discussion related to the leader’s local context. In subsequent tiers, the focus turns to Emergent leaders, Senior Leaders, and Senior Leadership Teams.
Some examples of Principals deepening their understanding of relational leadership are as follows:
- the construction of strengths-based strategic planning
- the use of Appreciative Inquiries for school-wide decision-making
- the adoption of life-centric practices for mentoring and leading SLT.
The Facilitator for the PLD is Professor David Giles, Emeritis Professor of Educational Leadership from Flinders University (South Australia), formerly Dean of Education (Flinders).