Leadership for learning: the role of Head teachers in the professional development of teachers dr. Justina Erčulj
Summary: This article presents the concept of leadership for learning focused on the head teacher’s impact on the learning of all stakeholders and students’ achievement. The head teacher should ensure that appropriate structures are in place to realise a culture of learning and to model learning. We examined the head teacher’s role in the professional development of teachers, particularly in securing conditions for such development. We assessed the indirect impacts of the head teacher that are influenced by various factors, such as creating a culture of learning and promoting staff professional development, behaviour and practice. The main purpose of the study was to identify how head teachers and teachers in nine selected primary schools understood the head teacher’s role as a leader of teacher professional development. We used a multiple case study design. Data were collected by semi-structured interviews with head teachers and teachers, complemented by an analysis of the school’s annual plans. The results revealed that the following factors were important: a broad understanding of professional development, creating conditions for collaboration, effective planning, the school climate and the head teacher’s attitude towards learning. They also demonstrated that the head teacher’s beliefs had a strong impact on organisational values. The findings draw attention to specific issues of leadership and how head teachers influence the professional development of their staff.