Australian School Leadership Today

Edited by Neil Cranston and Lisa Catherine Ehrich

The University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology

School leaders play a critical role in shaping learners for the future. In Australia, some states have begun to establish programs to develop excellence in leadership through professional development programs, strategic initiatives, support, and networking opportunities for school leaders. And yet, up until now, there has been a dearth of scholarly output on school leadership in the Australian context to ensure the success of this next generation of leadership training. This book brings together the expertise, research, and experience of 29 of the best of Australia's educational academics and practitioners to dissect the social, historical and cultural contexts within which educational leadership is understood and practised today. Four sections cover the major topics of: Contexts and challenges facing educational leaders; Leadership issues and approaches; Professional learning and development for leaders; and Leadership in and for successful schools. A must read for all undergraduate and postgraduate students of school leadership, current teacher and leader practitioners, system-level educational leaders and policy makers.

About the Author

Neil Cranston is Associate Professor in the School of Education, The University of Queensland, Australia and Adjunct Professor, School of Education, Unitec Institute, New Zealand. He researches, consults and lectures in the areas of educational leadership, management and change. He is Fellow of the Australian College of Educators, Fellow of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders and recently Visiting University Fellow, University of Tasmania. His most recent book, coauthored with Lisa Catherine Ehrich, is What is This Thing Called Leadership? Prominent Australians Tell Their Stories published by Australian Academic Press (2007).

Lisa Catherine Ehrich is Associate Professor in the School of Learning and Professional Studies, Faculty of Education, at Queensland University of Technology. She has taught, researched and published in the field of educational leadership and management for over a decade. Her research interests include school leadership, mentoring as a professional development activity for educators and other professionals, and the research methodology, phenomenology.

About the Editors

Edited by Neil Cranston and Lisa Catherine Ehrich


At a time when the importance of leadership cannot be overstated and continues to receive more and more attention globally this book arrives at the right time for the right reasons by and for the right learners. At long last an Australian anthology that provides authentic discussion and evidence about school leadership in Australian schools. It provides thought provoking and challenging examples of what is working well and what needs to change to ensure successful outcomes for all. This book is a celebration of Australian education, its schools, it school leaders and the researchers who continually support and challenge school leaders to make a difference for each and every learner in their care. A must read for all aspiring and experienced school leaders and those interested in the study of school leadership.
Jenny Lewis Dip.Ed B.Ed M.Ed FACEL FACE AFAIM AFSAE, CEO, Australian Council for Educational Leaders

At the very time when federal and state governments are recognising leadership as a key to advancing society this book is right on the mark. Cranston and Ehrich have brought together a diverse group of leading Australian thinkers to address educational leadership matters. A must-have compendum for those engaging with the issues and trends of Australian school leadership. Dr Scott Eacott, School of Education, The University of Newcastle

The variety of valuable and relevant themes addressed by the authors and, especially, the insightfulness displayed therein make for some very informative reading. Cranston and Ehrich, in addition to including work from an array of excellent scholars, have themselves contributed four stimulating chapters to this compendium of all-Australian scholarship. The themes addressed are numerous and diverse but all are closely related to leadership in today's schools - a role which can only be described as demanding and challenging. Interwoven throughout all of these themes is the constant of change and, implicitly, the accompanying demand for leaders continuously to identify, balance and establish priorities for addressing the multitude of activities that constitute life in schools. The study of educational leadership in Australia is in good hands.
Ross Thomas, Editor, Journal of Educational Administration