School leadership for improvement in primary mathematics education:
1. Pedagogical Leadership – Preparation Year 0
"I wasn't prepared to just take the first thing that came. I was really wanting something that was proven." Principal
"We had done the research and found that there were good results further north, and we believe in fostering their culture as well as integrating that into their learning, which is what this programme seemed to do." Chair, Board of Trustees
"…for me it was just: oh, this is just another fly-by-night Ministry programme that they've thrown at us. It's been years of working to craft how to teach maths and then, all of a sudden, we're going to do DMIC, which means you have to throw all that knowledge away and concentrate on doing it this way. So yeah, I thought: 'oh, here we go'. Bobbie had I think trialled this in Auckland, and I think one of the comments I heard (was): 'Well, we're Wellington…This is not Auckland'." Teacher Aide/ Board Trustee
"…she (Principal, Sose Annandale) says 'Oh, let me tell you about this Pasifika maths I heard about and been to the workshop'. It is really exciting. It was only through that passion she has about trying to improve and help Pasifika kids that I became convinced and hooked on it." Teacher
"Sose is a very special leader. Often leaders just 'follow me, come with me. We're doing it this way', but she's very much 'come on, let's go, we can do this together'. She'll take things on. She'll embrace change but she wouldn't just do something for its own sake. She would it do it when she saw a value or a purpose." In-class mentor
"Sose has always led by example. If you've got to learn it, I'm going to learn it." In-class mentor
Without a compelling vision, proof of value, strategic resourcing, and active and responsive support from school leadership, staff are likely to reject new ideas that conflict with their current understandings.
Addressing unconscious bias and developing culturally responsive teaching practice remain challenges for New Zealand education. As the New Zealand best evidence syntheses reveal, demonstrated external expertise matters as well-intentioned change can have negative effects.
School leadership of vision, inquiry, early preparation, trust building and wider ownership of change are critical success factors in leveraging opportunities for professional learning and deep change.
As a principal, leader and co-learner, Principal of Russell School, Porirua East, Sose Annandale, developed the understanding and support of teachers, senior staff, teacher aides, parents, whānau, Board Trustees and children.
See the video on Russell School community perspectives on Pedagogical Leadership – Preparation Year 0