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Hairon Salleh
Distributed leadership
Instructional leadership
Leadership practices
Middle leadership
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The concepts of instructional leadership (IL) and distributed leadership (DL) have been featured prominently in much of the recent discourses on educational leadership research, and are considered as key factors for school effectiveness. It is thus not surprising that these two concepts and their relationship have gained increasing attention in the educational leadership literature. Sadly, a review of the literature revealed few attempts that empirically establish the link between these two leadership related constructs. The purpose of this study was to address this gap and investigate the relationship between dimensions of IL and DL. To understand the relationship between IL and DL, this study distilled the enactment of DL in relation to the four main dimensions of IL by focusing on the situations that were brought about by the web of interactions among the leaders, teachers and situations (Spillane et al., 2001, 2004). The dimensions of DL include (i) empowerment, (ii) collective engagement, (iii) shared decision-making, and (iv) developing leadership; while the dimensions of IL are (i) aligning teaching practices to the school vision, (ii) leading in teaching and learning, (iii) developing a conducive environment for teaching and learning, and (iv) promoting professional development. The study sets out the qualitative methodological approach and design to uncover possible intricate links between the dimensions of the two leadership constructs within a Singapore secondary school context.

The findings of the study show that IL and DL exist hand-in-hand. In aligning teaching practices to the school vision, middle leaders involved department teachers collectively to establish the department action plan. The middle leaders empowered their teachers to make professional judgement on appropriate programmes and instructions for teaching and learning as they are the front-liners in the classroom. The demonstration of trust in the teachers by the middle leaders, involvement of teachers in making shared-decisions and collective engagement in curriculum matters had helped to develop a positive teaching environment with positive teacher collegiality, teacher ownership and willingness to take risks and to try new things. Involving teachers in school committee work as well as school-wide and department programmes promoted teachers’ professional development as well as leadership development. Leadership practices enacted by the middle leaders demonstrated value for pragmatic efficiency, teacher autonomy and teacher agency which land well in the Singapore education system that values teachers’ innovation and contribution in a fluid education system for the twenty-first century education. Situations are important elements that bring about the leadership practices – routines, tools, structures and functions – clearly shaped the dimensions of DL and IL.
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Call Number: 
LB2831.585.S55 Kho
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Appears in Collections:Doctor in Education (Ed.D.)

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