Stimulating school development : preconditions for professionalization trajectories which make a difference
School leadership contributes to efficiency and equity in fostering student achievement. This implies that school leaders must always apply goal-oriented leadership strategies and prove the effects of their policies. However, achieving sustainable school development is challenging and school leaders often stand alone. School leaders need support. This can be realized through coaching, professional learning communities (PLC), professionalization trajectories, conferences, etc. The professionalization programs must focus on aspects of effective educational leadership, and these trajectories should be didactically and organizationally purposeful. Literature research suggests that several factors facilitate the influence of professionalization programs on the learning outcomes of school leaders, yet empirical research on effects and explanatory processes is limited. This formed the basis for our research, in which a two-year professionalization trajectory as the research setting was designed and implemented. Our trajectory exists of training days for the full group of participants, focusing on providing actual content aimed at acquiring insights and illustrated with practical examples. The further deepening and concretization of the acquired insights took place in a PLC of school leaders focusing on peer learning and social stimulation provided by this smaller group. In addition, coaching was provided for each school that focused on specific questions. The didactical dimension during the trajectory is based on providing a theoretical knowledge base, encouraging towards creation and further use of an action plan by the participants aiming for concrete goals, handling a varied and activating approach, adaptively supporting the learning process of each participant, and creating possibilities for networking. The primary recommendation based on the research results is that school leaders must have the ability to make quality choices regarding professionalization. In this article, we provide some advice to support school heads in choosing professionalization trajectories to facilitate concrete school development.
Source (journal)
HEADlight magazine
European School Heads Association , 2024
1 (2024) , p. 2-4
Full text (publisher's version - intranet only)
Research group
Publication type
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Creation 23.01.2024
Last edited 04.03.2024
To cite this reference