The project was set up as an independent professional development programme for school principals based on the work of David Stewart and run by the Te Ariki Charitable Trust.
The project provided both a context and a set of protocols, supported by appropriate resources for ensuring that high quality thinking was applied to the work teachers do. A reworked Quality Learning Circles methodology, both within schools and across schools, was established as a means to progress that goal with the prime focus for the ensuring reflective critique as evidence of their practice.
At the centre of attention were the interactions that the various participants engaged in as they sought to achieve the school goals. For principals it was proposed that they exchange aspects of their current appraisal process for this activity as a means of freeing up time, and a means of more effectively seeking correlations between their intentions , what they actually do and the consequences for teaching and learning in the school.
The sequence began in the individual school and then, following the same protocols, moved to a leaders’ forum where principals demonstrated examples of their interactions, explored the implications and consequences for teachers and students, considered other options and views and made choices based on the notion of ‘worthwhile activities’. There was a coherence and strong sense of professionalism contained in all these procedures which could be collected and catalogued in an on-line concept map provided. Provision was also made for inter-school visiting matching the internal classroom visiting to validate and extend the critical discussions.
Many of the procedures parallel those cited and studied in overseas literature but the manner in which these elements were assembled and operationalised in the Te Ariki project was thought to be unique to the New Zealand scene.
There are two recent research reports commissioned by Te Ariki Trust to support the scholarship:
- Values for New Zealand School Leadership: Literature Review
- Te Ariki professional values for school development: Final Report from the online survey trial for the Te Ariki Trust
Also available is: