Preparing the next generation of school principals in the The National Aspiring Principals Programme: Jill Lunn
The NAPP is making significant strides in developing potential principals and the influence of the programme is rapidly increasing. 48% of new principals in 2014 have completed NAPP prior to winning the position.
A key feature of NAPP is a leadership inquiry where participants get the chance to trial their new learning in their own school. In 2013, 83% of principals in schools with NAPP participants noted the NAPP leadership inquiry had a positive or very positive effective on professional practice.
The 2013 cohort also made significant shifts in understanding the role of the principal. Data collected in four areas of principal development - Leading change for shifts in thinking, beliefs and practice; Knowledge of changes that will impact on schools; Principal leadership practices that enhance student achievement; Having an explicit focus on Māori student achievement - showed participants developed considerable understanding as shown in table 1 below.
Using digital technologies within NAPP
The complex set of blended learning experiences in NAPP supports discussing the educational leadership issues and challenges of the multi-faceted role of the school principal in Aotearoa New Zealand. Future focused learning, leading learning and leading the changes that will improve the learning outcomes and achievement of all learners in our schools is the priority. Participants are engaged in online dialogue, responding to questions, reading relevant articles and policy documents and building their personal digital portfolios of relevant information. Research has shown this is a real strength of the programme in learning principalship and creates a valuable resource for principalship. The practical experiences of the digital learning platforms, Skype, and deep reflective dialogue are important to the development of digitally competent and confident school principals.
One aspiring principal’s inquiry journey 2013
Each aspirant undertakes an individual inquiry into their practice within their school or kura context. The following document upacks one principal's process of inquiry that targeted and tracked mathematics achievement for several yr 2-6 students across the school.