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Leading professional development: a case study

Liam Heaney

Introduction
This article describes the development and implementation of a curriculum innovation in a primary school setting. The innovation was linked to the New Opportunities Fund (NOF) ICT training for teachers in schools, a relatively recent government initiative to promote the use of ICT in schools and to develop teacher skills and expertise in using ICT to support teaching and learning. The article explores key elements in the process of leading professional development in education. In so doing, it aims to make clear the links between learning, leadership and professional development. It discusses some of the key models and methods of professional learning and it considers the role of leadership styles. It looks at the factors associated with building a team and the importance of developing interpersonal skills. The relevance of establishing learning styles is also addressed, followed by a consideration of the change process and the need for developing specific knowledge and skills to meet the demands of change. The article endeavours to make relevant links between theory and practice, and to justify the use of particular approaches or strategies. The case study that follows probes the process of leading professional development in a specific educational setting, namely, a primary school, and offers a critical analysis of the process over an eight to ten-month period. It is very much based on practice within a specific context but it is hoped that the approaches used and the lessons learned will have relevance to the wider field of educational research and practice.

The author Liam Heaney is Associate Director, The Open University, Belfast, UK. Keywords Keywords Continuing professional development, Case studies, United Kingdom Abstract Presents a case study that probes the process of leading professional development in a specific educational setting, namely, a primary school, and offers a critical analysis of the process over an eight- to ten-month period. Hopes that the approaches used and the lessons learned will have a relevance to the wider field of educational research and practice. Electronic access The Emerald Research Register for this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/researchregister The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/0951-354X.htm

Setting the scene


The study focused on a small rural primary school which had started work on NOF/ICT training for teachers. One of the main providers of the training was the Learning Schools Programme (LSP). The key to the successful implementation of this programme lay in the partnerships developed between the Open University, RM Computers and the local education authorities (LEAs), or the Education 37

The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . pp. 37-48 # Emerald Group Publishing Limited . ISSN 0951-354X DOI 10.1108/09513540410512136

Leading professional development: a case study

Liam Heaney

The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . 37-48

and Library Boards (ELBs) in Northern Ireland. The programme focused on each teacher completing 18 core tasks, producing a portfolio of work and devising an action plan for the further development of ICT. The tasks encouraged teachers to reflect upon how they could more effectively use ICT to enhance teaching and learning. At the time of the study the school participating had a staff complement of eight full-time teachers and catered for approximately 175 pupils. It was clear from the outset that the school had many strengths, not least, its interest and commitment to developing ICT to support teaching and learning within the classroom. The leadership of the principal and the ICT co-ordinator (who was also the vice-principal), and the diligence and commitment of the teachers themselves, were crucial elements in the success of the programme within the school. The school planned to focus on how best to use ICT to support teaching and learning in the area of literacy. Although, literacy was identified as an area of focus within the programme, the principal, the school organiser (ICT co-ordinator) and the teachers, having attended courses on the Northern Ireland Literacy Strategy, sought to develop pupils' skills in reading, writing and talking and listening. They considered it important to integrate more fully these skills in literacy into the work they were doing in other subjects, including, science, history and geography. They held the view that the LSP would assist them to achieve these goals. Many would agree that ``literacy'' is a broad term with a wide range of definitions. Perhaps the one which is most useful and most simply stated is that defined by the Southern Education and Library Board's (1998) policy on literacy, namely:
. . . a set of skills which enable the individual to listen, talk, read and write.

pairs at a computer. Additionally, the school, over the years, had acquired some software to support its work in various areas of the curriculum. However, the principal and ICT co-ordinator were also aware of the range of software that would accompany the installation of the computer managed system (Classroom 2000/C2K) within the coming year. Thus, it was decided that purchasing additional software for teachers undertaking the LSP was not a priority.

The role of the school adviser


As the school adviser for the LSP, in this particular school, the overall aim was to ensure that the school successfully completed the programme. Thus, it involved: . assisting with the planning and launch of the programme within the school; . supporting the school organiser throughout the programme; . monitoring the school's progress through the programme; . keeping in regular contact with the school by phone and by e-mail; . confirming that the school had completed the programme; and . establishing links with the teacher adviser and other support staff to monitor progress. The central aim of the LSP was about professional development. In this respect, the school adviser sought to: . lead and support the school through the LSP by establishing and maintaining regular contact with the school organiser and the teachers as they progressed through the programme; . monitor regularly the school's progress as it followed the programme, through contact with the principal, school organiser and the teacher adviser; and . make effective use of ICT to communicate with all of the teachers within the school, specifically the school organiser, to communicate with the teacher adviser supporting the school and to advise and update, as required, the ELB's LSP Steering Group. 38

Many would agree that literacy has a central and pivotal role to play in pupils' ability to use ICT effectively to support their learning. From the outset of the programme, the school had a well-resourced computer suite which was timetabled for use by all of the teachers. Throughout each week, pupils had opportunities to work individually and/or in

Leading professional development: a case study

Liam Heaney

The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . 37-48

By way of information, the Steering Group met on a regular basis to monitor each school's progress through the programme and to deal with specific issues as they arose. It was chaired by a senior adviser who had an overview of wider developments within the field of ICT and who liaised with those who were leading the initiative across the UK. Evaluating the influence of change Educational institutions, as well as the broader business sector, place much emphasis on the monitoring and on the evaluation of procedures and practices in order to effect improvement. However, it is fair to say that for many institutions, the implementation of effective procedures for monitoring and evaluation, is at an early stage. In Northern Ireland, the recent launch of Together Towards Improvement : A Process for Self-Evaluation (ETI, 2003) by the Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI), underscores the importance of and the need for evaluation in schools. In brief, Together Towards Improvement is a resource file aimed at guiding schools through the process of self-evaluation. In simple terms, monitoring is about observing and overseeing procedures and practices. It involves gathering and selecting appropriate evidence (The Open University, 2001, p. 9). Evaluation refers to a variety of activities, but essentially, it is about making judgements and using the evidence gathered to assess or to decide how effectively procedures and practices are working. Moreover, it is argued that ``evaluation is a key element in the professional development process'' (The Open University, 2001, p. 9). Evaluating practices and procedures implies that there is a core set of values against which a project is set. In this study, the focus was on how the LSP influenced teaching and learning in the selected school. In this regard, it is useful to pose two questions: (1) Was the support in terms of leading professional development successful? (2) Did the LSP influence teaching and learning? It is possible to answer each of these questions in turn based on evidence gathered from the school setting. Thus: (1) Was the support in terms of leading professional development successful? It is clear that all of 39

the teachers in the school were involved in a process of professional development. Moreover, all teachers completed the programme successfully, producing evidence of their work and achievements in the form of a portfolio. This portfolio demonstrated that each of the tasks, set down by NOF, had been addressed. However, it is also fair to say that teachers will continue to need support as they further explore the benefits of using ICT to support learning and teaching. The completion of LSP is undoubtedly an achievement for the teachers, but it is one of a number of milestones in the on-going process of professional development. This process applies equally to those leading and supporting professional development. (2) Did the LSP influence teaching and learning? This question is perhaps a little more difficult to answer in that it implies a longer-term assessment of ICT use in the classroom. Nonetheless, there is little doubt that teachers produced work that demonstrated that they had used ICT in their teaching and many indicated quite clearly in their action plans that they would further develop aspects of ICT to support teaching and learning. However, it could be argued that useless ``mind sets'' are changed, the impact of LSP will be short-lived. ICT needs to be integrated fully into planning, not simply as ``an add-on''. Consequently, in order to maintain the ``high profile'' of ICT within the school resulting from the LSP and from evaluating the considerable progress made by teachers, the school in this study decided to continue to develop ICT for a further year. This would assist teachers consolidate their learning and further develop their ICT skills and expertise. It is suggested that evaluation is always likely to have implications for the professional interests of teachers and other practitioners (Alkin, 2000). This has been the case in this particular school. Moreover, evaluation seeks to discover
the facts of a case and to make possible a judgement of value on which a decision about policy may be made'' (The Open University, 2001, p. 10).

Leading professional development: a case study

Liam Heaney

The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . 37-48

In this instance, the link between theory and practice is highlighted. As teachers came to the end of completing the programme there was a need to seek feedback on three key issues. The questions posed were: (1) How has the LSP helped you to use ICT more effectively in your teaching? (2) What benefits have there been to pupils' learning as a result of using more ICT? (3) How has ICT supported your work in literacy? These questions will be addressed in the following discussion. The subsequent sections consider the implementation of the programme, the gathering of evidence, the achievements gained and areas suggested for further development.

by the school adviser to a class of Primary 6/7 pupils in the school; the school support plan drawn up by the principal, school organiser and school adviser; and examples of feedback received from teachers as they completed the programme.

The evidence gathered as part of the project enabled judgements to be made about the success of the programme. It enabled an evaluation of the programme to take place. In this regard, evaluation can be considered as
a name for a variety of activities which are conducted for a number of different and distinctive purposes (The Open University, 2001, p. 10).

The process of planning and the implementation of the programme


The school began the LSP following two initial planning meetings between the principal, school organiser, school adviser and the teacher adviser. A school support plan was discussed and agreed and the roles of each of the participants were made clear. This ensured that teachers received support as they progressed through the 18 core tasks set down as part of the programme. The Support Plan identified key dates or milestones for communication and contact between teachers and ELB support officers. It was evident that the school organiser/ ICT co-ordinator had a key role in the whole process of taking the programme forward within the school.

The evidence gathered was intended to demonstrate that communication, at many levels, was key to the success of the programme within the school. It also aimed to show that appropriate communication networks for supporting the school were put in place. The evidence gathered further illustrates that all the teachers engaged fully in the programme in order to complete it within a given timescale and that it was of benefit to the teachers as they supported children in their learning. Collecting and analysing evidence As part of the ELB's strategic planning and implementation of the LSP an activity Web site was created. All contacts with schools undertaking the programme were recorded on this site. These contacts included details of phone calls, e-mails and school visits. E-mailing was also encouraged between teachers and support officers through the LSP Web site (a list of useful Web site addresses can be found in the Appendix). This was considered not only as a means of communication, but also as a way of promoting and developing the use of ICT. It was a form of support and a way of monitoring progress. The feedback received from teachers at the end of the programme shows that the programme overall was of use to them. One teacher said that it was ``of great benefit in making me think of other ways to deliver the curriculum''. Another teacher suggested that it ``offered opportunities to access Web sites that provided useful resources for teaching''. These comments represent part of the evidence gathered, but also represent the teacher's own 40

Gathering evidence
Much evidence was gathered as this project/ study developed and unfolded. Evidence collected included: . e-mails received from teachers and sent to teachers; . examples of activity reports completed after contacts were made with the principal and/or school organiser; . an example of a lesson plan which was used to teach a lesson on the topic of dinosaurs

Leading professional development: a case study

Liam Heaney

The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . 37-48

evaluation of the LSP itself. This further highlights the link between learning and professional development discussed in the literature (Craft, 1996; Glaser, 1999; Greeno et al., 1999; Barth, 2000). What has been achieved by the teachers? In brief, a number of things were achieved by the teachers. These can be summarized as follows: . the 18 core tasks were successfully completed; . NOF expected outcomes were achieved; . an action plan was drawn up by each teacher identifying an aspect of ICT for further development; . teachers are more aware of the potential use of ICT to support learning and teaching What still needs to be done? Although teachers are using the Internet to support teaching, the school organiser (ICT co-ordinator) indicated that this aspect of the school's work needed to be further developed across Key Stages 1 and 2. . Furthermore, although teachers are integrating ICT more fully into their individual lesson plans, there is a need for further training in this area. . Linked to the point above, it was suggested that there was a need for teachers to become more familiar with appropriate software to support the topics being taught at each year group level teachers are very much aware that there is an extensive range of software available, from the Internet and on CD-ROM, that would assist with learning thus, there is a need to review and evaluate key pieces of software to ensure that they are used appropriately and effectively. . In order to develop ICT further, the school has decided to take a further year to consolidate the skills and expertise acquired during the programme. The school's development plan reflects this approach.
.

Leading professional development some key issues


Leadership in education has been described as being about professional learning (The Open 41

University, 2001, pp. 8-9). West-Burnham (2000a) describes leadership and learning as a ``symbiotic process''. What then, are the links between these theoretical perspectives and the practice ``at the chalk face'', so to speak? Well, in the context of this study, learning took place both at ELB level and at school level. It was necessary, not only for advisers to learn the details of the LSP, but also to acquire the necessary skills in order to communicate this knowledge and understanding to the school organiser and to the teachers in the school. Thus, the learning process and the role as a leader worked in parallel with one another. Moreover, it required teamwork at both ELB level and at school level. There was a need for regular communication to take place at all levels to ensure that the programme was successfully completed. In this respect, leadership can be seen as the professional development of individuals and teams. Learning was involved at all levels. However, not only does leadership entail the leader being involved in a learning process, it also requires reflection on practice and it necessitates gathering relevant evidence to confirm that professional development has taken place. The importance of gathering evidence was discussed above. Such an approach also charges the leader with establishing that specific outcomes have been achieved. This was done in association with the school organiser (ICT co-ordinator). From a broader perspective and one which had a strategic dimension, there was a need to reflect upon what had been achieved and what still needed to be done. Linked to this was the desire to improve and to develop practice so that the programme could be implemented and developed more effectively in other schools. Thus, leadership can be conceived as a learning continuum. It is about ``being able to learn from experience and to deploy that learning to others'' (The Open University, 2001, p. 13). Moreover, the process of analysing practice and gathering evidence to show that professional development had taken place gave the work a sharper focus. It is useful to make reference to two pieces of evidence, in particular, that took some time to produce and to gather, but nonetheless demonstrated how the school was moving forward. This evidence

Leading professional development: a case study

Liam Heaney

The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . 37-48

included the comments from teachers about the LSP and the lesson plan that was used to teach a Primary 6 and 7 class within the school. The latter confirmed the openness of the school to allow another teacher to work with the children using ICT and in so doing received an informal evaluation of the standards that the children had achieved in ICT. In terms of the former, the positive comments from the teachers indicated not only the usefulness of the LSP, but also the benefits that were gained for teaching and learning in the classroom. This is at the core of the work that teachers do. It is also the main focus of the Curriculum and Advisory Support Service (CASS). Learning can be defined as a process of acquiring and developing new skills, new understandings and new perspectives on what we do. It requires reflection on our practice or as West-Burnham (2000a) suggests a ``re-engineering of mindsets''. From the viewpoint of learning and cognition, Barth (2000) argues that ``helping teachers acquire a conceptual understanding of what understanding is, as well as to be good thinkers themselves, promises to produce a qualitative change in the way we teach''. These ideas, along with others, influenced the proposed style of leadership adopted in this instance. Professional development individuals and teams It could be argued that quality professional development is about engaging learners in learning. The central focus of the LSP was to engage teachers in a process of self-evaluation. Teachers were encouraged to evaluate their use of ICT to support learning and teaching. The 18 core tasks set within the programme sought to develop this reflective approach to practice. The importance of teamwork in the implementation of the LSP was evident throughout this study. Teams were identified at board level (strategic planning) and at school level (LSP support team and the staff of the school working as a team). West-Burnham (2000b) stresses that:
no team can operate effectively unless it is working in a context where the values are clear and agreed and translated into a mission.

In other words, values are explicit and shared. This feature is at the centre of West-Burnham's (2000b, p. 145) discussion which highlights the interrelated nature of the components of effective team work. Another characteristic of an effective team is the role of situational leadership. This refers to the ability of the designated leader to permit others to take control depending on the needs of particular situations. Pride in the team is characterised by high morale and high loyalty, while evidence of a clear task implies that the team has specific outcomes, realistic targets, information and resources, performance indicators, reinforcement and a time scale for the work that has to be done. These were key features of the work that CASS advanced when undertaking LSP. The school organiser became the leader within the school. He/she was supported by the school adviser and the teacher adviser who had an overview of what needed to be done. Both the school adviser and the teacher adviser communicated with the school organiser and with the teachers on a regular basis. Throughout the programme, time was set aside to enable feedback from members of the LSP Steering Group. Progress was regularly reviewed at LSP Steering Group meetings. These meetings afforded team members opportunities to learn more about the programme and to assess how it was operating in a range of schools. As a consequence of these meetings, adjustments and modifications in practice were discussed and an agreed way forward determined. Throughout the implementation of LSP, team members supported one another. Moreover, communication featured strongly in the process. There was lateral communication, that is, team members communicated with each other without reference to the team leader or to other members of the team. There was collaborative decision making, which took place at LSP Steering Group meetings. This enabled ``a best fit'' response to an issue and was based on the knowledge and skills of the team members. For example, at one of our meetings a decision was taken to simplify the materials available to teachers in order to make the tasks more easily understood. This required additional collaboration between members of 42

Leading professional development: a case study

Liam Heaney

The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . 37-48

the ICT team to produce this resource, a ``booklet'' setting out clearly and simply what needed to be done to complete each task. This resource proved to be extremely valuable to school organisers and to teachers in schools. As implementation of LSP progressed it was clear that the ICT team had emphasised action. Over time, there was a clearer understanding by each member of the CASS support team about what had to be done, by whom and when and ``quality was delivered in terms of product and process'' (West-Burnham, 2000b, p. 147). Much learning took place throughout the duration of the programme and as a consequence, following West-Burnham's proposal, professional development also occurred. High quality professional development requires that relationships within teams are characterised by a spirit of mutual understanding and support. The teachers supported on LSP were encouraged to work together on specific tasks in order to strengthen the ``school team'' and to promote support for one another through the programme. Lave and Wenger's (1991) concept of learning together in ``communities of practice'' is relevant in this context. According to this perspective, there is a need for colleagues to share their practice and experiences and to support one another as specific issues arose. The school organiser was readily able to address these issues. Overall, the process of working together was a strong feature in leading professional development in this study, both at board level and at school level. Reflections on leadership theories the professional development of others Theories of learning and leadership are useful if they can be readily applied to practice. In this section, some important theories of leadership are discussed and then related to practice, more specifically, to the work carried out in this study. Three main style theories or models of leadership are proposed in the literature. These include, autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire styles. An autocratic style is characterised by a leader who determines what is to be done and how it is to be done. A democratic style is one which enables decisions to be made following group discussion. A laissez-faire style of leadership involves the members of the group 43

working on their own and the leader keeping participation to a minimum. The democratic style of leadership was the one most closely aligned with the work associated with this study. The work in this programme involved both a management role and a leadership role. Fullan (1991) distinguishes between management and leadership. He considers management as having a supportive role to leadership. In more precise terms, management involves utilising planning systems to enable the ideas which emerge out of the leadership role to be harnessed. Leadership involves formulating and problem-solving, in addition to strategic planning, which looks beyond the present to bring about change and new practices. It involves being proactive and forward thinking. These qualities or attributes further extend the concept or notion of leadership and of a leader. The leadership style adopted for this study was a transformational style of leadership. In the context of the work detailed above, it was felt that a transformational leadership style was most appropriate. This style is about ``strategic path-making''. It is about ``coping with and creating a change process'' (The Open University, 2001, p. 11). It is characterised by a motivational, supportive style of leadership and one which values the importance of teamwork, thus, the emphasis on communication by phone, e-mail and face-to-face sessions. Devine (1988) identified listening, independent decision-making, team building, knowing how to retain competent people and being surrounded by the right top people, as being crucial leadership characteristics. In the context of the work in the school selected, the emphasis was very much on listening to the concerns of teachers undertaking the programme and trying to address those concerns, and as has been stressed above, generating a team approach both at school level and at board level. It involved encouraging teachers to develop their competencies through discussion and by regular e-mailing. A transformational leadership style also implies a commitment to auditing needs, skilling to meet these needs and contributing leader capacities to a leadership team at any level within an organisation. It recognises that ``no one leader can do all that needs to be done''

Leading professional development: a case study

Liam Heaney

The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . 37-48

(The Open University, 2001, p. 11). The latter is of considerable importance, in that it recognises the need for delegation and the diverse range of skills within a team that can be utilised to bring a project to a successful conclusion. An evaluation of the evidence As the programme was implemented, there was a need to discuss, with the principal and the school organiser, how the LSP had influenced the professional development of the teachers within the school. It was clearly stated that progress had been made. But it was also suggested that more time was needed for teachers to consolidate their learning and to further develop their use of ICT to support learning and teaching. Evidence gathered from the principal, the school organiser, the teachers and the teacher adviser indicated that teaching and learning have been influenced by the LSP. In this respect, as suggested in the literature, evidence can come from a variety of sources and ``opinion, research and other people's choices all interrelate'' (The Open University, 2001, p. 17). Moreover, it is the variety of evidence gathered that enables the process of evaluation to be more effective. Influence on teaching and learning In the literature, it is suggested that for professional development to have an explicit effect on teaching and learning there is a need for positive interventions, empathetic skills, appraisal processes and opportunities to raise teachers' self-esteem and achievement (Blandford, 2000; Putnam and Borko, 2000; West-Burnham, 2000a, b). In addition, high-quality professional development and effective leadership depends on the ability to listen. It also depends on providing opportunities for independent decision-making and for team building. All of these represent aspects of good practice. As cited above, this study has encouraged reflection upon leadership roles within the context of LSP. Teachers in the school have also developed their knowledge, skills and understanding of ICT from completing the programme and this in turn has had an influence on teaching and learning in the classroom. 44

Impact of the change process Leading professional development inevitably involves change, change for individuals and for institutions. From the outset of LSP, it was necessary for the ELBs, particularly CASS, to organise a network of teams, comprising school advisers and teacher advisers, to support schools through the programme. There was some uncertainty in the initial stages of ``running'' the programme because individuals were unsure of their roles. This is almost always the case with the introduction of new initiatives. Fullan (1991) recognises that there are difficulties with educational change. He also suggests that planners can sometimes make unrealistic assumptions about the process of change and warns against ``over zealous advocacy''. The main point underlying his discussion is that promoters of change are able to establish for themselves a sound and logical rationale, whereas recipients of change are rarely in a position to construct a similar framework. Thus, there is a need for promoters of change not only to be committed to the change process but also to prepare themselves and others for change. It is fair to say, that in the initial stages the teachers being supported within the school had concerns about their ability to complete the LSP. Some underestimated their abilities and their facility with ICT. Fullan (1991) identifies interpersonal relations as a key skill for those introducing change. Thus, he sees the ability to communicate, to listen, to motivate and to gain trust as central to the task of implementation. However, as indicated above, this does not mean that conflict will not arise. Change can sometimes be difficult and this inevitably leads to individuals or groups disagreeing with proposed changes. For example, if an individual feels uncomfortable with using ICT in the classroom, if he/she lacks basic ICT skills, then that person may make every effort to resist taking part in a programme that seeks to ensure that ICT is used in teaching. This is a natural response and one which needs to be recognised and addressed. Following on from this, if an individual is trained in the basic skills of using a computer and knows a little bit more about how a computer and appropriate software might be used to help children learn more effectively,

Leading professional development: a case study

Liam Heaney

The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . 37-48

then that person may well be prepared to begin the proposed programme. Thus, the school organiser initiated a basic skills training session for all teachers in the school, before the programme started, in order to increase teacher confidence and familiarity with various aspects of ICT. As cited above, Fullan (1991) indicates that change involves conflict. However, the conflict, discord and differences in opinion that will inevitably arise when change is required, can often be used as a means to an end. Individuals can be encouraged to voice their concerns, to question what is being asked of them and to challenge assumptions about learning made by the Government, Department of Education for Northern Ireland, LEAs, ELBs and others. This not only helps to reduce the stress, anxiety and uncertainty associated with change, but it also gives the promoter of change an opportunity to address the issues that will make change more readily acceptable. In short, some of the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed change can be discussed and addressed. The schools supported so far through LSP have been uniquely different with respect to support needs, in terms of carrying through the programme and in relation to their expectations of the programme itself. The school that was the focus for this study, progressed well through the programme, ostensibly due to the commitment of the principal. Moreover, the expertise of the school organiser, and his drive to keep the teachers motivated, were crucial in the overall success of the programme. Clearly, structures vary from one institution to another, and therefore if change is to be brought about, it needs to be considered in the context of the particular institution. As suggested above, each school undertaking LSP was uniquely different in terms of its needs and the ICT resources it had available. This implies that there is a need for flexibility in relation to the nature of the support given to schools. Arguably, this flexibility applies to the implementation of all initiatives. It is not a question of one theory, one perspective or one approach fitting all cases or all circumstances. A measured assessment of each school's needs is the most effective way of addressing change. However, from a practical point of view, it not possible do this for every school. In this respect, 45

the process of bringing about change for improvement rests with each school. Of course, the advice of an objective observer can be of considerable assistance in this process. Nonetheless, it is the school itself that is best placed to assess its own strengths and identify areas for improvement. This is at the heart of self-evaluation. Moreover, if the process of self-evaluation is to be effective, team work and leadership must be to the fore and an agreed approach to planning for any proposed development or change needs to be made clear to all involved. In short, everyone needs to be ``on board''.

Conclusions
This study centred on leadership roles within the context of the LSP. A small rural primary school was the focus of the study. At the time of writing the school had successfully completed the programme. This implies that the teachers have achieved the expected outcomes set down by the NOF/ICT training initiative for teachers. More specifically, the teachers have used ICT to support their learning and teaching in a range of subject areas, but particularly within the context of literacy. As indicated by the teachers themselves, there is still much work to be done, ``it is still early days and Internet use is in its infancy in school''. In other words, LSP has raised awareness of how ICT can be used to support teaching and learning but there is still some way to go before teachers and pupils will feel more at ease with the new technologies. The Education Technology Strategy Management Group in Northern Ireland recognises the contribution of NOF/ICT training and in its draft document, ``A strategy for learning, teaching and leadership transformed through educational and technological change'', the Strategy Management Group proposes a way forward, post-NOF, setting out ``some possible milestones for the short and medium term'' (ETSMG, Northern Ireland, 2003). The group acknowledges that the document is a work in progress, as views from an extensive range of individuals and institutions, are sought. Clearly, technology, in all its different forms, continues to advance at a rapid pace. New and

Leading professional development: a case study

Liam Heaney

The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . 37-48

more sophisticated developments in hardware and software occur almost on a yearly basis. Some developments are even more frequent than this. Consequently, teachers, along with many others involved in education, have had to update their knowledge, understanding and skills to keep up with the many changes and advances in ICT (Marx et al., 2000). Some would argue that such changes and developments are so rapid that it is impossible for educators to keep abreast of them all. There is much to support this argument. However, the implications are that all those involved in education, both learners and teachers alike ,will have to reassess how the advances are managed so that what we do is more effective. The advances in e-learning have the potential to transform approaches to teaching and learning at all levels within education. Moreover, e-learning has implications for the resources we use, for teacher-learner relationships and for challenging our perceptions of learning itself. Such technological advances will have consequences for personal development and for leadership. In this regard, learning can be conceived as a process which is on-going and continuous. It is perceived as a life-long endeavour. Also, if we support the view, proposed by West-Burnham, that leadership is essentially about professional learning, that leadership and learning can be conceived as a ``symbiotic process'', then leadership is also an on-going process that requires life-long effort and enterprise. Doubtless, leadership roles will continue to evolve in response to changing circumstances and to an ever-changing social, economic and technological society. Furthermore, professional development will remain a priority for teachers, leaders and trainers alike within education as they reflect upon and evaluate practice. The outcomes of such endeavours will help to ensure that further improvements in learning and teaching can be realised and achieved. Southworth and Conner (1999) propose that:
the case for an evidence-based approach to school management, leadership and improvement relies on school self-evaluation.

those involved in leadership, management and in teaching and learning. However, the process is one which requires much time, commitment and effort. The challenge beckons for us all.

References
Alkin, M.C. (2000), ``Evaluation: who needs it? Who cares?'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, London, Routledge-Falmer in association with The Open University, pp. 173-86. Barth, B.-M. (2000), ``The teachers' construction of knowledge'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 189-99. Blandford, S. (2000), Managing Professional Development in Schools, Routledge, London. Craft, A. (1996), ``Teachers, pupils, and school effectiveness'', in Continuing Professional Development: A Practical Guide for Teachers and Schools, Routledge, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 50-7. Devine, M. (1988), ``Time to create Euromanagers'', The Sunday Times, 20 November. Education and Training Inspectorate (ETI) (2003), Together Towards Improvement: A Process for Self-Evaluation, Department of Education for Northern Ireland (DENI). Education Technology Strategy Management Group (ETSMG), Northern Ireland (2003), ``A strategy for learning, teaching and leadership transformed through educational and technological change'', Online Forum, available at: www.elearningfutures.com Fullan, M.G (1991), The New Meaning of Educational Change, 2nd ed., Cassell, London. Glaser, R. (1999), ``Expert knowledge and processes of thinking'', in McCormick, R. and Paechter, C. (Eds), Learning and Knowledge, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 88-102. Greeno, J.G., Pearson, P.D. and Schoenfeld, A.H. (1999), ``Achievement and theories of knowing and learning'', in McCormick, R. and Paechter, C. (Eds), Learning and Knowledge, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 136-53. Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1991), Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. Marx, R.W., Blumenfeld, P.C., Krajcik, J.S. and Soloway, E. (2000), ``New technologies for teacher professional development'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, London, Routledge-Falmer in association with The Open University, pp. 281-93. (The) Open University (2001), Leading Professional Development in Education, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, course study guide. Putnam, R.T. and Borko, H. (2000), ``What do new views of knowledge and thinking have to say about research on teacher learning?'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and

In this respect, the process of self-evaluation has the potential to be of considerable benefit to all 46

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Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 11-29. Southern Education and Library Board (1998), Literacy Policy, SELB, Armagh. Southworth, G. and Conner, C. (1999), Managing Improving Primary Schools: Using Evidence-based Management and Leadership, Falmer Press, London. West-Burnham, J. (2000a), ``Leadership for learning: re-engineering `mind sets''', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 68-82. West-Burnham, J. (2000b), ``Teams'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 141-57.

Further reading
Ainscow, M., Beresford, J., Harris, A., Hopkins, D, Southworth, G. and West, M. (2000), Creating the Conditions for School Improvement: A Handbook of Staff Development Activities, David Fulton, London. Banks, F., Leach, J. and Moon, B.(1999), ``New understandings of teachers' pedagogic knowledge'', in Leach, J. and Moon, B. (Eds), Learners and Pedagogy, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 89-110. Benett, Y. (1999), ``The validity and reliability of assessments and self-assessments of work-based learning'', in Murphy, P. (Ed.), Learners, Learning and Assessment, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 277-89. Billett, S. and Rose, J. (1999), ``Securing conceptual development in workplaces'', in Murphy, P. (Ed.), Learners, Learning and Assessment, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 329-44. Bird, E. (2000), ``Accessing the evidence: towards the research-informed age'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 265-78. Brighouse, T. and Woods, D. (1999), How to Improve Your School, Routledge-Falmer, London. Bruner, J. (1999), ``Folk pedagogies'', in Leach, J. and Moon, B. (Eds), Learners and Pedagogy, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 4-20. Bush, T. (1986), Theories of Educational Management, Harper & Row, London. Busher, H. and Harris, A. (2000), ``Leadership of school subject areas: tensions and dimensions of managing in the middle'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 83-93. Butcher, J. (2000), ``Mentoring in professional development: the English and Welsh experience'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 97-106.

Davies, P. (2000), ``What is evidence-based education?'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 253-64. Day, C., Hall, C. and Whitaker, P. (1998), Developing Leadership in Primary Schools, Paul Chapman, London. Day, A., Race, P. and Peters, J. (1999), 500 Tips for Developing a Learning Organisation, Stylus Publishing, London and New York, NY. Earley, P. and Evans, J. (2002), Leadership Provision School Leadership Development in LEAs: A Practical Guide, 2002, National College for School Leadership, Nottingham. Elmore, R.F. (2000), ``Getting to scale with good educational practice'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 30-51. Fidler, B. (2000), ``School leadership: some key ideas'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 55-67. Gruber, H., Law, L-C., Mandl, H. and Renkl, A. (1999), ``Situated learning and transfer: implications for teaching'', in Murphy, P. (Ed.), Learners, Learning and Assessment, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 214-30. Hargreaves, D.H (2000a), ``Teaching as a research-based profession: possibilities and prospects'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 200-10. Hargreaves, D.H. (2000b), ``The knowledge creating school'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 234-40. Harris, A., Jamieson, I. and Russ, J. (1996), School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Pitman London. Heaney, L. (1991), ``Staff and curriculum development'', International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 5 No. 6, pp. 21-4. Heaney, L. (1992), ``Children using language: can computers help?'', Gifted Education International Journal, Vol. 8 No. 3, pp. 148-50. Heaney, L. (2001), ``A question of management: conflict, pressure and time'', International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 15 No. 4/5, pp. 197-203. Heaney, L. (2003), ``Facing the challenges using information and communications technology to support teaching and learning'', Gifted Education International Journal, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 59-72. Honey, P. and Mumford, A. (1992), The Manual of Learning Styles, Peter Honey Publications, Maidenhead. Howe, M.J.A. (1984), A Teachers'' Guide to the Psychology of Learning, Basil Blackwell, Oxford.

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The International Journal of Educational Management Volume 18 . Number 1 . 2004 . 37-48

Johnson, R. (2000), ``Ascent of woman'', People Management, 6 January. Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1999a), ``Legitimate peripheral participation in communities of practice'', in McCormick, R. and Paechter, C. (Eds), Learning and Knowledge, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 21-35. Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1999b), ``Legitimate peripheral participation'', in Murphy, P. (Ed.), Learners, Learning and Assessment, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 83-9. Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1999c), ``Learning and pedagogy in communities of practice'', in Leach, J. and Moon, B. (Eds), Learners and Pedagogy, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 21-33. Leach, J. and Moon, B. (1999), ``Recreating pedagogy'', in Leach, J. and Moon, B. (Eds), Learners and Pedagogy, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 265-76. McCormick, R. (1999), ``Curriculum development and new information technology'', in Moon, B. and Murphy, P. (Eds), Curriculum in Context, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 212-29. Messick, S. (1999), ``Meaning and values in test validation: the science and ethics of assessment'', in McCormick, R. and Paechter, C. (Eds), Learning and Knowledge, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 154-69. Moon, B. (2000), ``The changing agenda for professional development in education'', in Moon, B., Butcher, J. and Bird, E. (Eds), Leading Professional Development in Education, Routledge-Falmer, London, in association with The Open University, pp. 3-8. Palmer, B., Walls, M., Burgess, Z. and Stough, C. (2001), ``Emotional intelligence and effective leadership'', The International Journal of Educational Management, Vol. 22 No. 1, pp. 5-10. Pollard, P. and Bourne, J. (Eds) (1994), Teaching and Learning in the Primary School, Routledge-Falmer, London and New York, NY, in association with The Open University. Rogoff, B. (1999), ``Cognitive development through social interaction: Vygotsky and Piaget'', Lave, J. and Wenger, E. (1999), ``Legitimate peripheral participation in communities of practice'', in Murphy, P. (Ed.), Learners, Learning and Assessment, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 69-82. Scribner, S. (1999), ``Knowledge at work'', in McCormick, R. and Paechter, C. (Eds), Learning and Knowledge, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 103-11. Shulman, L.S. (1999), ``Knowledge and teaching: foundations of the new reform'', in Leach, J. and Moon, B. (Eds), Learners and Pedagogy, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 61-77. West-Burnham, J., Bush, T., O'Neill, J. and Glover, D. (1996), Leadership and Strategic Management, Pitman, London. Wiske, M.S. (1999), ``What is teaching for understanding?'' in Leach, J. and Moon, B. (Eds), Learners and Pedagogy, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 230-46.

Woods, P. (Ed.) (1996), Contemporary Issues in Teaching and Learning, Routledge-Falmer, London and New York, NY, in association with The Open University. Young, M. (1999), ``The curriculum as socially organised knowledge'', in McCormick, R. and Paechter, C. (Eds), Learning and Knowledge, Paul Chapman, London, pp. 56-70.

Appendix. Web site addresses


The following represents a list of some Web sites that readers may find useful in their search for information, resources, ideas and support materials on leadership, learning and the curriculum: . www.avp.co.uk . www.bbc.co.uk . www.c2kni.org/ET_Review . www.ccl.org . www.cetis.ac.uk . www.cio.com/forums/knowledge . www.deni.gov.uk . www.edhelper.com . www.elearningfutures.com . www.emergingleader.com . www.enchantedlearning.com . www.incentiveplus.co.uk . www.jisc.ac.uk . www.LDAlearning.com . www.mcb.co.uk . www.myskillsprofile.com . www.naturegrid.org.uk . www.ncsl.org.uk . www.nelsonthornes.com/primary/ict . www.networkpress.co.uk . www.niimle.ac.uk . www.ofsted.gov.uk . www.ou.ac.uk . www.pfp-publishing.com . www.primaryresources.co.uk . www.qnet.qub.ac.uk . www.questia.com . www.recordingachievement.org . www.rsc-ni.ac.uk . www.scholastic.co.uk . www.standards.dfee.gov.uk/schemes . www.supanet.com/education6.1 . www.teachingideas.co.uk . www.welltown.gov.uk

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