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EDU8720 Leading Educational Organisations

Semester 1, 2022 Online
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
Grading basis : Graded
Version produced : 2 July 2022


Examiner: Dorothy Andrews


Extensive research and scholarly inquiry has been conducted across since the 1960’s into the nature of educational leadership. Based upon this inquiry, particularly in European, American, Australian settings, and more recently in non-western diverse cultural settings a range of significant implications for educational organisations can now be discussed and explored. Current workplaces have become more complex, and messy that require contextual and adaptive responses as such a study of leadership must be considered within a socio-cultural context in which it occurs. Underlying this course is a belief that Master of Education graduates aspire to positions where they will initiate and guide improvements in educational settings. The course provides grounding in leadership concepts and processes that are fundamental to enhanced educational improvement in whatever organisational setting they find themselves and that will enable graduates to pursue their leadership aspirations with confidence.

The course explores 'leadership in educational organisations ' from a range of theoretical perspectives, including corporate/strategic, transformational/visionary and critical/educative as it applies to the action required given the context in which leadership action occurs. Importance to this understanding is the acknowledgment that leadership is the action of leaders and leadership can is not the province of the formal leader. As part of this exploration, the emergence of leadership frameworks in contemporary educational administration is traced through historical influences into current frameworks. Integral to this course is the development of an understanding of educational leadership as a key dimension in the reform of educational workplaces. Of particular importance is the relevance of different theories of leadership to the work of classroom practitioners. The concept of 'teachers as leaders', 'parallel leadership' and `3-C Leadership' that have been researched, conceptualised and articulated at the University of Southern Queensland are explored in detail in this course.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. formulate conclusions about effective leadership, taking into account theoretical models of systems theory, leadership and the findings of the most recent research in education and other social systems;
  2. generate a personal leadership framework that is derived from authoritative contemporary theories of leadership and that is clearly linked to significant workplace variables;
  3. compare and contrast significant approaches to leadership in terms of their ideological underpinning, and their conceptions of educational effectiveness within culturally diverse contexts;
  4. demonstrate competence in written language and scholarly writing.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Explore the origins and conceptual development of educational organisations
i. an overview of bureaucratic and systems theory
ii. exploration of organisational culture
2. The origins and development of leadership theory
i. an overview of leadership issues
ii. the task/relationships dichotomy in leadership theory
iii. contingency approaches to educational leadership
iv. Impact of context through an examination of organisational systems theory
3. Contemporary leadership theory: the reconceptualisation of leadership
i. leadership in a dynamic, complex and diverse organisational contexts
ii. adjectival approaches to conceptualising leadership
iii. teacher leadership
iv. distributed leadership
4. Leadership issues in current educational workplaces 30.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

Owens, R.G & Valesky, T.C 2015, Organizational behavior in education : leadership and school reform, 11th edn, Pearson Education Inc, Boston, Massachusetts.

Student workload expectations

To do well in this subject, students are expected to commit approximately 10 hours per week including class contact hours, independent study, and all assessment tasks. If you are undertaking additional activities, which may include placements and residential schools, the weekly workload hours may vary.

Assessment details

Description Weighting (%) Course learning outcomes
Critical Literature Review 50 1,2
Workplace Project 50 1,2,3,4
Date printed 2 July 2022