An essential aspect of effective school leadership teams is the strong emphasis on teaching and learning. Maintaining a student focus is key, but research suggests that school leaders influence on learning outcomes is best achieved indirectly via supporting teachers’ classroom practice. (Leithwood & Jantzi, 2006). Creating an environment that develops pedagogical expertise is, therefore, a leadership imperative, as this is the most effective way that leaders can, in turn, support their students. Unfortunately, guidance for schools seeking to scale up excellence in teaching and lead successful pedagogical change is rare (Hattie, 2019). However, there are controllable factors that leaders can shape, influence and direct to nurture pedagogical expertise.

The session will explore the significant role of leadership in large scale teaching and learning by discussing the cultural forces that shape teacher practice and development. Key themes the presentation will cover include:


  • What is successful pedagogical change for thinking? Strategies are just the tip of the iceberg - influencing classroom practice requires a deeper shift.
  • The role of school leadership in pedagogical change – reconciling tensions between styles of leadership to support school leaders’ practice.
  • The effects of leaders’ pedagogical understanding of teaching for thinking on their leadership practice.
  • Deliberative Practice - The importance of shared understanding between school leaders and teachers for developing student cognition.
  • Stories of success – case studies of large-scale teaching for thinking.