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Models of leadership in remote Aboriginal schools in the Northern Territory

Nolen, Helen Maree (1998). Models of leadership in remote Aboriginal schools in the Northern Territory. Master Thesis, Northern Territory University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Nolen, Helen Maree
Title Models of leadership in remote Aboriginal schools in the Northern Territory
Institution Northern Territory University
Publication Date 1998
Thesis Type Master
Subjects 130304 - Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
Abstract Aboriginalisation or localisation of leadership in schools in remote areas of the Northern Territory is becoming more widespread in this last decade of the second millennium. Emerging models or ways in which Indigenous leadership is practised in some of these schools is the focus of this research project.

Developing understandings of the history of education in its western guise and ways in which teacher education has been practised, as well as other influences which have impacted on people within remote communities are essential in order to contexualise the changes which are occurring in school governance and decision-making.

Group interviews with senior Aboriginal teachers in five remote schools provide the core data for an analysis of preparation for leadership for executive teachers, decision-making structures, strengths, supports and difficulties in leadership, and areas for localised decision-making. Preparation for leadership for executive teachers in remote areas which occurs primarily through mentoring programs and accredited study courses in educational administration are detailed to provide a framework for initiatives which are being taken.

Leadership theories from the western perspective provide a partial understanding of what is occurring in the localisation of educational leadership and management of some remote Aboriginal schools. A number of significant developments have occurred including ways of incorporating shared leadership into the executive of the school, greater collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal members, and an increase in collegiality. This interplay between traditional and western leadership styles has the potential for transforming education in remote communities.


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