This thesis focuses on the application of the model of instructional leadership at high-performing secondary schools in England and Greece. This helped the researcher to develop a model of instructional leadership in a centralised context. A qualitative multiple case design allowed detailed data to be collected on four high performing secondary schools, using the interpretivist paradigm. The enquiry was conducted using mixed methods, including semi-structured interviews with various data sets (stakeholders) within and outside the school, observation of leadership practice and meetings, and scrutiny of relevant macro and micro policy documents. The three-layer comparative framework designed to identify the similarities and differences in leadership variables within and across the countries, shed light on the cross-case analysis of the case studies within a centralised (Greece) and a partially decentralised (England) education context. The empirical lessons from this study show that instructional leadership is implemented in different ways in diverse contexts. The findings from the two Greek case study schools are interwoven with the official multi-dimensional role of Greek headteachers, which leaves little space for undertaking instructional leadership dimensions. In the absence of such official instructional leadership 'actors', teachers' leadership has been expanding, and the research identifies aspects of informal collaborative leadership practices in Greece. In contrast, the decentralization of school activities creates the platform for the emergence of shared and distributed leadership within the English context, while various school actors have direct and indirect involvement in pedagogical leadership for school improvement. This cross-country comparative study provides new evidence about how instructional leadership is contextually bounded and inevitably influenced by the extent and nature of centralisation or decentralisation in the education system.
|University of Warwick
|Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
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