University of Tasmania
whole_WicksNormanCraig1999_thesis.pdf (11.53 MB)

Educative leadership in indigenous schools : theories of leadership in use in selected schools in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

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posted on 2023-05-27, 12:16 authored by Wicks, NC
This is a study of the nature of educative leadership in indigenous schools in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Principals, as educative leaders, serve the vital function of developing and maintaining school climates that promote conditions for effective learning. Extensive research has been conducted in teaching, learning, and curriculum development in indigenous schools. There has been, however, little research into the theory or practice of leadership in indigenous schools. Research indicating low success rates of indigenous students suggests that they and the schools they attend have unique needs. It can be argued that student success is a function of school effectiveness in promoting learning. Principals have key roles in this process. Thus, it is important that the nature of educative leadership in indigenous schools is better understood. This study was therefore undertaken to contribute to theory building in this area, inform administrative practice, and influence the preparation of principals for indigenous schools to better serve the learning needs of their students and colleagues. The literature in this area suggested that the contexts of indigenous education share many features. Indigenous world views and the epistemologies conveyed within them are strikingly similar. Stemming from shared epistemological elements are analogous ways of learning, teaching, decision-making, leading, and organising. Comparable relationships between indigenous peoples and Europeans and successions of similar overlapping policy periods were also found. An interpretive research approach was adopted. Qualitative and ethnographic methods were combined with case study analysis to elicit and analyse the perceptions of school leaders. Field research conducted in 1996 involved interviews with principals, participants, and stakeholders during study visits to each of four selected schools in British Columbia, Auckland, and Northern Territory. Constructs and categories emerged from the analysis of field data. Descriptions of events, actions and utterances of educative leaders were analysed to ascertain common themes. Dominant themes and the values that supported them were identified at each site. National and international sites were aggregated for commonalities and the touchstone of educative leadership in indigenous schools identified. A suite of interrelated theories of educative leadership-in-use were then derived from the themes common to all sites. These provisional theories were justified using an eclectic approach influenced by the criteria for generating and evaluating grounded theory, building theory from case-study research, and a coherentistic approach to theory selection and justification. Of the major themes to emerge across all sites, the importance of the local culture was the paramount meta-value. Cultural maintenance and reproduction were primary purposes of each school. Common theories of educative leadership-in-use included respecting the meta-value of the local culture; managing the school as a site of local cultural negotiation and reproduction; incorporating indigenous ways of teaching, orgamsmg, and decision making into the school; and serving as a bridge between cultures.


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Copyright 1999 the Author - The University is continuing to endeavour to trace the copyright owner(s) and in the meantime this item has been reproduced here in good faith. We would be pleased to hear from the copyright owner(s). Thesis (PhD.)--University of Tasmania, 1999. Includes bibliographical references

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