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Building a holistic capability model for Lithuanian school heads professional development: theoretical framework and empirical evidence

Author: dr. Julija Melnikova Affiliation/organisation: Klaipeda University Lithuania

Changes in Lithuanian school heads professional role

Period 1991 Start of education reform 1991 - 2012 Conception of school Conception of National school School heads role School head experienced teacher and administrator School head manager of school as organisation School head as a leader of learning community

2003 Second phase of education reform Educational Act 2011 Third phase of education reform The newest Educational Act

School as services providing organisation

School as learning organisation

Competencies of Lithuanian school heads according to Certification Standard (2007)

Understanding of education policy and skills of strategic planning; managing educational process; managing human resources; managing finance and property; life-long learning; managing of informational technologies; managing of change.

Capability approach to school heads professional development

Organizational capacity Competence Capabilities Competencies Skills, abilities Knowledge Training and professional development Capability development

Theoretical model of school heads holistic capability

Instructional competency - an ability to manage effectively the educational process, design curricula, monitor academic achievements, etc. Managerial competency - an ability to seek for overall school as organization effectiveness, to ground management on modern management principles such as quality management; human resource management; learning organization management, etc. Social competency - an ability to create and sustain collaborative culture, mutual respect and understanding, to create a partnership with community. Self-management competency an ability to use knowledge and research data to maximize overall performance of themselves and their organizations. Personal competency - an ability to analyze ones strongest and weakest traits is a precondition for the development of a mature personality and successful self-realization.

Emotional intelligence - highly developed personal and interpersonal skills based on the ability to empathize with the perspective of others. School heads have the capacity to interact with people and work constructively in a team. Critical thinking - helps school heads see the core issues and anticipate difficulties in complex technical and human situations. Diagnostic skills - school heads accurately read the signs to figure out what is actually going on in each new situation.

Approaches employed in leadership preparation and professional development programs

Experiential learning methods Field-based methods Pre-service Job shadowing preparation Study visits to schools Internship/Apprenticeship Newly appointed principals In-service training Mentorship Coaching Study visits to quality schools Networking Classroom-based methods Action learning Questions and answers sessions with experienced principals Role-plays Cohort groups Case study analyses 360 degree assessment Problem-based learning Networking Project-based learning

The organization of the empiric research

The qualitative research based on the Framework for individual rethinking of competencies (Trotter, Ellison, Davies, 2001) allowed to reveal the relevant competencies for todays school heads. The data of content analysis allowed to disclose the structure of competencies, to reveal the necessary competencies and to compare these competencies with the competencies, determined by legal documents on education in Lithuania. During the research the school principals and deputy heads of III- I qualification categories were questioned. The research involved 47 secondary school heads from 36 schools, located in different districts of 10 counties of the Republic of Lithuania. After the answers were received the content analysis has been carried out.

The most important competencies for modern Lithuanian school heads

Category Managerial competency % 76% Subcategory facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a school vision that is shared and supported by the school community creating and implementing clear strategies, identifying contexts, utilizing information, framing problems, exercising leadership processes to achieve common goals ensuring management of the organization, operations, and resources for a safe, efficient and effective organization activity creating working and learning environment Creating quality assurance system monitoring of overall school effectiveness creating and sustaining positive school image developing effective staff communications Instructional competency 64% organizing sustaining, and monitoring educational process, designing appropriate curricula and instructional programs, assessing outcomes, coaching on educational topics political knowledge, acting in accordance with legal provisions and statutory requirements, relating public policy initiatives to student welfare % 24%


13% 12% 9% 9% 8% 6% 50%

37% 13%

Social competency


advocating, nurturing, and sustaining a school culture conductive to student needs and staff professional growth sustaining positive climate in organization applying decentralized management processes and procedures

55% 45%

Education al competency Personal competency


continuous development in professional sphere stimulating staff for professional growth and providing opportunities for continuous competence development

57% 43% 37% 26% 16% 11% 10% 57% 43%


strong leadership humanity tolerance versatile personality criticism

Selfmanagemen t competency


using informational-communicational technologies understanding and responding to challenges and changes in education

Best competencies of Lithuanian school heads

Category Instructional competency % 89% Subcategory managing teaching-learning process managing curriculum satisfaction of students needs and demands project activity Managerial competency Social competency Selfmanagement competency Educational competency 76% strategic planning school management and development 54% creating collaboration culture satisfying school community demands 48% managing resources % 35% 25% 25% 15% 55% 45% 50% 50% 65%

monitoring school activity and using data for self- 35% analysis 46% participating in professional development becoming learning community 60% 40%

Competencies necessary to be acquired by todays school heads

Category Social competency % 86% Subcategory sustaining positive climate in organization sustaining a collaborative culture in school community collaborating with families and community members, responding to diverse community interests and needs, and mobilizing community resources acting with integrity, fairness, and in an ethical manner Managerial competency 71% skills of planning, organizing, leadership, control managing information in school managing change creating school image Selfmanagement competency 43% PC skills managing time % 38% 24% 21%

17% 36% 29% 20% 15% 56% 44%

Competencies that are not included into Certification standards

Category Subcategory

Personal competency

96% oratory skills time management optimism self-presentation charisma

Selfmanagement competency

86% building leaders teams distribution of responsibilities project management building positive relations decision making designing school image

Social competency

82% conflict management designing motivation system creation of cooperation culture cooperation with parents flexible leadership multicultural communication solving social problems

Managerial competency Emotional intelligence Educational competency

64% stating clear goals and priorities managing information 32% managing emotions tolerance 28% team learning reflection

Competencies that are developed by means of various seminars and courses

Category Instructional competency % 93% Subcategory managing of educational process skills of analysis of education policy market analysis skills Managerial competency 93% strategic planning managing finance organizational behaviour managing of quality human resource management Selfmanagement competency Social competency 57% managing technologies % 53% 34% 14% 26% 23% 18% 23% 10%

informational-communicational 58% 42% 62% 22% 16%

ways of information analysis 42% correspondence skills English language skills Managing conflicts in organization

Competencies development opportunities in Lithuania

Self-education (93%); Various seminars and courses (86%); University programmes (57%); Practice and experience (36%); Cooperation with colleagues (21%).

Thank you for your attention!