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EDU8720 Leading Educational Organisations

Semester 1, 2021 Online
Short Description: Leading Educ Organisations
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts
School or Department : School of Education
Student contribution band : Band 1
ASCED code : 070303 - Education Studies
Grading basis : Graded


Examiner: Dorothy Andrews


Extensive research and scholarly inquiry has been conducted across since the 1960’s into the nature of educational leadership. Based upon this inquiry, particularly in European, American, Australian settings, and more recently in non-western diverse cultural settings a range of significant implications for educational organisations can now be discussed and explored. Current workplaces have become more complex, and messy that require contextual and adaptive responses as such a study of leadership must be considered within a socio-cultural context in which it occurs. Underlying this course is a belief that Master of Education graduates aspire to positions where they will initiate and guide improvements in educational settings. The course provides grounding in leadership concepts and processes that are fundamental to enhanced educational improvement in whatever organisational setting they find themselves and that will enable graduates to pursue their leadership aspirations with confidence.


The course explores 'leadership in educational organisations ' from a range of theoretical perspectives, including corporate/strategic, transformational/visionary and critical/educative as it applies to the action required given the context in which leadership action occurs. Importance to this understanding is the acknowledgment that leadership is the action of leaders and leadership can is not the province of the formal leader. As part of this exploration, the emergence of leadership frameworks in contemporary educational administration is traced through historical influences into current frameworks. Integral to this course is the development of an understanding of educational leadership as a key dimension in the reform of educational workplaces. Of particular importance is the relevance of different theories of leadership to the work of classroom practitioners. The concept of 'teachers as leaders', 'parallel leadership' and `3-C Leadership' that have been researched, conceptualised and articulated at the University of Southern Queensland are explored in detail in this course.


On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. formulate conclusions about effective leadership, taking into account theoretical models of systems theory, leadership and the findings of the most recent research in education and other social systems;
  2. generate a personal leadership framework that is derived from authoritative contemporary theories of leadership and that is clearly linked to significant workplace variables;
  3. compare and contrast significant approaches to leadership in terms of their ideological underpinning, and their conceptions of educational effectiveness within culturally diverse contexts;
  4. demonstrate competence in written language and scholarly writing.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Explore the origins and conceptual development of educational organisations
i. an overview of bureaucratic and systems theory
ii. exploration of organisational culture
2. The origins and development of leadership theory
i. an overview of leadership issues
ii. the task/relationships dichotomy in leadership theory
iii. contingency approaches to educational leadership
iv. Impact of context through an examination of organisational systems theory
3. Contemporary leadership theory: the reconceptualisation of leadership
i. leadership in a dynamic, complex and diverse organisational contexts
ii. adjectival approaches to conceptualising leadership
iii. teacher leadership
iv. distributed leadership
4. Leadership issues in current educational workplaces 30.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

Owens, R.G & Valesky, T.C 2015, Organizational behavior in education : leadership and school reform, 11th edn, Pearson Education Inc, Boston, Massachusetts.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
Crowther, F 2011, From school improvement to sustained capacity : the parallel leadership pathway, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, California.
Crowther, F, Ferguson, M & Hann, L 2009, Developing teacher leaders : how teacher leadership enhances school success, 2nd edn, Corwin Press, Thousand Oaks, California.

Student workload expectations

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Independent Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Objectives Assessed Notes
Critical Literature Review 40 40 02 Apr 2021 1,2
Workplace Project 60 60 04 Jun 2021 1,2,3,4

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students’ responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks for that item.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    Students should refer to the Assessment Procedure (point 4.2.4)

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must obtain at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course and have submitted all assessment items.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative items for the course..

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    There is no examination in this course.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Referencing in assignments must comply with the APA referencing system. This system should be used by students to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ library's referencing guide. This guide can be found at

Evaluation and benchmarking

In meeting the University’s aims to establish quality learning and teaching for all programs, this course monitors and ensures quality assurance and improvements in at least two ways. This course:
1. conforms to the USQ Policy on Evaluation of Teaching, Courses and Programs to ensure ongoing monitoring and systematic improvement
2. forms part of the Master of Education Program and is benchmarked against the internal USQ accreditation/reaccreditation processes which include (i) stringent standards in the independent accreditation of its academic programs, (ii) close integration between business and academic planning, and (iii) regular and rigorous review

Date printed 18 June 2021