UACEL Resources

Open-to-learning™ Leadership: The Evidence Base

There is a long tradition of theoretical and empirical research behind the OTL™ leadership model. Much of the evidence for its importance and effectiveness can be found in the publications of its originators, Donald Schön and Chris Argyris. Since adapting their work to create the OTL™ model in 2012, Distinguished Professor Viviane M.J. Robinson has led a team of researchers who have addressed questions about the need for the intervention and its impact on leadership capability and effectiveness. A selection of these publications is annotated below. A more complete list of Robinson’s publications can be found at the website of the Leadership Research Group.

Strategic And Annual Planning Templates For 2014 And Beyond (NZ)

This planning template was designed by Dr Linda Bendikson, the Director of UACEL, to support New Zealand leaders to create their strategic and annual plans. Linda worked with Planning and Reporting staff from the Ministry of Education to ensure that this template supports schools to clearly identify what is required in order to comply with legislation, and that we have an aligned view of ‘best practice’.  

Learning And Change Network Plans (NZ)

In 2013, a University of Auckland team led development of Leading and Change Networks – a new initiative to support communities of schools identify shared problems and improve together. Members of UACEL were involved as facilitators. On the basis of this experience Dr Linda Bendikson developed a template for networks to manage the data they gather in the 'understanding phase'. Without understanding the activities that were involved in scoping strengths and weaknesses, and focusing on the problem area, this template may not mean much but it was a tool where information from purposeful scoping activities was gathered and analysed and then summarised into a plan of action.   It may be useful for the current ‘communities of schools’ which is a very similar if not identical, concept about improving by sharing expertise. If you are seeking support with your COS improvement planning, the Level 2 Growing Great Leaders™ course will also be a source of guidance. Linda is also happy to talk people through this template and how it worked even though the activities you pursue to scope your understanding of problems and strengths will no doubt differ to what we used.

Establishing Academic Goals and Expectations (Short Article)

Dr Linda Bendikson and Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson draw upon the literature on goal setting to set out some key principles for leaders: that goals be few, developed with community members and clearly communicated to ensure that staff, students and parents can remember them and are committed to them. Importantly, the point is made that change strategies represent a theory for improvement. They may not work – they represent a theory that needs to be tested.

Opinion Piece: Efficiency: A Much Neglected Leadership Virtue 

In this insightful piece, Viviane invites leaders to view action research, new initiatives and other changes through a critical lens and to ask “what can I do to ensure that the time and efforts of my teachers are used in ways that maximise the probability that we achieve our student learning goals?” Viviane’s many years of research into student achievement are apparent in the clear process of inquiry into efficiency, the testing of which can lead to the kind of strategic thinking that is aligned with successful use of student and teacher time.