Leading Change in Teaching for Thinking

This module outlines effective strategies for leading pedagogical change toward the establishment of a culture of critical inquiry, examining the institutional factors that can either enable or prevent its development in the classroom.


School leadership is a critical element in education. Regrettably, leaders face a range of challenges from competing agendas that have the potential to distract. While it is the responsibility of leaders to maintain a student focus, research suggests that this is best achieved indirectly via supporting teachers’ classroom practice.

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. 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:

  • How teachers develop their pedagogical knowledge and understanding overtime
  • The concept of best practice being context specific to the needs of each school and student
  • What is pedagogical change? Strategies are just the tip of the iceberg - influencing classroom practice requires a deeper shift
  • The effects of leaders’ pedagogical understanding and dispositions on their leadership
​Learning resources
  • One 90-minute live webinar.
  • Online asynchronous learning activities.
  • Online discussion groups. 


Adam Kuss

Adam Kuss is facilitator in School Leadership at the UQ Critical Thinking Project and a passionate educator who is interested in understanding and enabling pedagogical leadership for teaching students how to think effectively. Over the past fifteen years, he has worked as an educator in the United Kingdom and Australia. Previously, he has been a Head of Department for Mathematics, Junior Secondary, Pedagogy and most recently a Deputy Principal. He has worked extensively with the Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority (QCAA) and is a founding member of the Cavendish Road SHS Academy of Ideas: an academic excellence program designed to promote critical thinking and collaborative learning. 

Selected publications

Kuss, Adam (2020). Understanding Pedagogical Change. Centre for Critical and Creative Thinking.

Kuss, Adam (2020). Building a Culture of Critical Thinking in an Era of Disruption. AIS NSW 2020.