Enabling Factors that Lead Educational Middle Leaders to an Effective Professional Performance

Conference: The European Conference on Education (ECE2022)
Title: Enabling Factors that Lead Educational Middle Leaders to an Effective Professional Performance
Stream: Educational Policy, Leadership, Management & Administration
Presentation Type: Live-Stream Presentation
Elaine Aaltonen, University College London, United Kingdom


Effective school leadership is made of senior and middle leaders who work with efficacy and collaboratively. More than ever, in the 21st century, there has been recognition that schools need knowledgeable, skilled, proactive and committed leaders, along with great teachers, to ensure outstanding education at all levels of schooling. The scope of this paper lies within the sphere of the work of middle leaders, who can make a great impact on student learning outcomes for having a direct influence on teachers and classroom teaching. It aims at sharing findings obtained through an academic qualitative case study carried out in 2021, by the same researcher, on the professional performance of educational middle leaders, applied to the context of the lower elementary school division of a private Brazilian school. The master´s dissertation research questions included one focused on discovering the enabling factors likely leading middle leaders towards a professional performance of excellence. Through an electronic questionnaire and individual face-to-face interviews, whilst being supported by a solid body of research underlying the study, it was possible to find out evidence that four 'enabling factors' are essentially important for middle leaders to play their roles effectively, which are: a 'specific knowledge and skills base', 'in-service professional development (PD) programme for middle leaders', 'inner drive, and 'support by the senior leaders'. The purpose of this paper is to outline the main aspects concerning the academic study undertaken, and mainly to place an emphasis on these enabling factors, approached in depth in the dissertation report.

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