Current Research


International Teacher Leadership Study (ITLS)

Focus of the study

This study seeks to contribute to the wider understanding of teacher leadership and of how professional development and university programs might contribute to teacher leadership knowledge and skill development.

ITLS participants

Conference poster presentation

South Australia

Title: Sustaining School Improvement: Exploring internal and external factors that develop school-system alignment in selected CESA Schools.

Completed Research


Leadership of System-School Alignment: Leading Actioning of Schoolwide Pedagogy (SWP) for School Improvement

Author: Dorothy Andrews, Joan Conway & Lyn Smith

This research project traced the implementation of a school-based contextual specific pedagogical approach to teaching and learning (SWP) in a school defined priority area for improvement. The study also explored how school leaders use the SWP and meta-thinking to respond authentically to system and broader government requirements.


Strengthening Leadership for School Improvement: Understanding the impact of context, culture and collaboration in selected schools of the Sydney Catholic Schools Eastern Region

Author: Joan Conway & Dorothy Andrews

Guided by the work of Hallinger and Heck (2010) and prompted by the Sydney Catholic Schools Eastern Region Director, this study has focused on the strengthening of leadership for school improvement. It was considered important to gain insight into how schools sustain success, and in particular, how an understanding of context, culture and collaboration might be contributing to the strengthening of school leadership. The principals and their leadership teams of eight schools, together with the regional consultants have shared their perspectives on being a successful school and what it means to be a successful leader.

The study has been guided by the research question:

How does an understanding of the impact of context, culture and collaboration contribute to the strengthening of leadership for school improvement?

The final report acknowledges the Principals’ understandings of the impact of context, culture and collaboration on leadership.  In addition, the report highlights their reflections on how the effectiveness of leadership might be strengthened beyond the findings of Hallinger and Heck.

For further details on this research project, contact Prof. Dorothy Andrews

Schoolwide Pedagogy: Vibrant new meaning for teachers and principals

Author: Frank Crowther, Dorothy Andrews & Joan M Conway

The idea of schoolwide pedagogy (SWP) is a relatively new phenomenon, and here, thanks to researchers at the Leadership Research Institute at the University of Southern Queensland, is a brand-new title to help you understand this exciting teacher-friendly concept better.

Introducing the background of SWP through personal recollections, you’ll learn about the specific criterion and principles that characterise SWP, as well as discover how it has been used in research within primary and secondary schools of the Sydney Catholic Education Office. Along with the two well-documented case studies from two different schools, showing exactly how the concept and ideas of SWP can be applied in a real-life setting, you’ll also learn about the more specific ideas behind the schoolwide pedagogy concept.

This book’s multiple messages of inspiration and practical pedagogical approaches will serve as motivation for any teacher, principal or school community that wants to revitalise their school outcomes.

Hitting the Bullseye of School Improvement: The IDEAS Project at work in a successful school system

Frank Crowther, Dorothy Andrews, Allan Morgan & Shirley O’Neill

Many comprehensive approaches to successful school improvement have emerged over the past decade, thus ensuring that school improvement need no longer be a ‘hit and miss’ affair. But the reconceptualisation of successful organisational improvement in educational contexts nevertheless remains seriously unfinished business. It is this ‘unfinished business’ that this article reports on. It does so by describing the contributory processes, and outcomes, associated with a ‘new paradigm’ (or ‘Fourth Way’) educational improvement project (the IDEAS Project) at work in schools in a highly successful school system – Sydney Catholic Education Office.

The research looks in particular at schools in Sydney CEO that achieved substantial growth in NAPLAN results in the period 2006-2010. It is concluded from analysis of the experiences of the schools in question that sustained success in student achievement requires ‘multiple leadership sources’, encompassing system, school and developmental project leadership constructs and processes.
The concluding section of the article makes use of a well-known literary device – metaphor – to capture and communicate the essential findings of the research. Specifically, the field of archery, incorporating arrows and target, is used to demonstrate how successful school improvement was shown to unfold in the Sydney CEO and its schools.


A Research Report on the Implementation of the IDEAS Project in Victoria, 2004-8

Associate Professor Dorothy Andrews and the USQ-LRI Research Team

The research that provides the basis for this report derives from the implementation in Victorian schools of the IDEAS Project, a school revitalisation initiative that was developed initially by the Leadership Research Institute (LRI), University of Southern Queensland, and Education Queensland across the period 1997-2004. The IDEAS Project has subsequently been implemented in five Australian education systems, including the Victorian State system, and refined with each new iteration.

The research problem that guided the research was as follows:
What key lessons for enhanced educational achievement can be learned from the implementation of the IDEAS Project in a selection of Victorian schools, 2004-8?