Leadership development at scale to support policy: experiences from the TESS India project- a UKAID project

Wise, Christine; Addae-Kyeremeh, Eric; Anand, Kavita and Wheeler, Spokey (2014). Leadership development at scale to support policy: experiences from the TESS India project- a UKAID project. In: International Conference of British Educational Leadership Management and Administration Society, 7-11 Jul 2014, Stratford-Upon-Avon.

URL: http://www.belmasannualconference.org.uk/wp-conten...


In the last few years, India has been working with the International community to educate, train and develop millions of teachers as part of Education For All (EFA). Harnessing the benefits of technology to work at scale without compromising quality has been of particular importance. TESS-India (Teacher Education through School-based Support in India) brings together UK academics and teacher educators across India to produce Open Educational Resources (OER) to support teacher educators, headteachers, teachers and others through Teacher Development Units (TDU) and Leadership Development Units (LDU) the latter targeted at school leaders (elementary and secondary).

If school leaders are to actively engage with educational policy related to school improvement they have to understand their roles as leaders. Professional development (PD) is a highly contested area but there is broad agreement about a range of activities that can contribute to PD in individuals and groups eg reflection (Day, 1993), mentoring (Hudson, 2013), reciprocal peer-coaching (Zwart et al., 2007), and engagement with the role (Eraut, 2004). However, none of these suggest effective ways of delivering at scale. In this project we conceive PD as school-based collaborative activity which we suggest must form a coherent part of school reform with a flexible approach to ‘learn by doing’ through multi-platform delivery.

This paper focuses on our findings from the uptake of LDUs in one state during the initial rollout. We investigated:

- What are the perceptions of school leaders about their PD?
- To what extent do school leaders believe their professional practice has changed following engagement with the LDUs?

We conducted multiple case studies drawing on a range of data where possible drawing on others in the leaders’ role sets. This allowed us to test a theory of transformative learning and a theory of change that LDUs alter knowledge, beliefs and practices.

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