© 2018

The Practices of School Middle Leadership

Leading Professional Learning


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Peter Grootenboer
    Pages 1-19
  3. Peter Grootenboer
    Pages 21-41
  4. Peter Grootenboer
    Pages 43-59
  5. Peter Grootenboer
    Pages 61-83
  6. Peter Grootenboer
    Pages 85-105
  7. Peter Grootenboer
    Pages 107-133
  8. Peter Grootenboer
    Pages 155-174
  9. Peter Grootenboer
    Pages 175-194
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 195-196

About this book


This book uses practice theory to examine the role of ‘middle-leadership’. In particular, it investigates the practices of ‘leading in the middle’ in the cultural-discursive, material-economic, and social-political domains – i.e., the sayings, doings and relatings of middle leading. This perspective acknowledges the ecological arrangement of leading practices in schools, and the necessity of considering the unavoidable reality of the site. The analysis is used to promote the need to view leading in the middle as a form of praxis – a morally and ethically informed practice that requires thoughtful decision-making and action in situations where the outcomes are not always clear. This book focuses on the practice of leading for those in ‘middle management’ positions in primary and secondary schools, such as those responsible for curriculum leadership, including senior teachers, assistant principals, and curriculum leaders. In their positions that bridge ‘management’ and ‘the classroom’ they are significant leaders in promoting and sustaining effective pedagogy for good learning outcomes, and they have to continue to provide high-quality teaching in their own classrooms, while simultaneously being a mentor, coach, supporter and evaluator for their colleagues.


Action learning Australian education Curriculum leadership Dispersed and Distributed leadership Ecologies of educational practice Educational leadership Instructional leadership Leading in the middle Material-economic School leadership Middle leadership New Zealand education Practice architecture Practice theory Self-directed professional development Site-based staff development Social-political Teacher appraisal Teacher leaders Transformational leadership

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia

About the authors

Peter Grootenboer was a school teacher and leader for 12 years before moving into the tertiary sector. He received the national Jim Campbell Award for teaching excellence. He is now a Professor of Education at Griffith University and the Deputy Director of the Griffith Institute for Educational Research. His research interests include mathematics education, educational leadership, practice/praxis theory, and action research.

Bibliographic information