Educational Leaders as Change Agents in System Development: The Austrian Leadership Academy s: dr. Michael Schratz and dr. Wilfried Schley
Summary: The Austrian Ministry of Education began the Leadership Academy in 2004 to enhance theinnovative capacities of educational leadership on all levels of the school system. The professional development in this academy comes alive through generations. Each generation is composed of 250 to 300 participants from the educational system; these participants come from all provinces (Bundeslander) and school types and include ministry and regional education authorities (e.g. inspectorate) and higher education institutions for teacher education. This ensures that a systemic effect on change and transformation is possible and that the “whole system” is involved in a joint learning process. The Leadership Academy is designed in compliance with learning organisation principles and cooperates closely with responsible decision makers in the ministry. The Leadership Academy functions as a project organisation and is comprised of generations that form a nationwide network of change agents after graduation. The participants must complete a leadership programme, which consists of four forums. At each forum, all the participants from the respective generation meet at the Alpbach Congress Centre in the Austrian Alps. Between the forums, individual schoolbased project work and intensive exchanges within professional learning communities are emphasised. Participants graduate from the Leadership Academy during the fourth forum.