Learning, teaching and learning are integrally connected. Leadership can play a key role in improving learning outcomes of learners by setting strategic direction and goal, influencing teachers’ and facilitators’ behaviors and motivations, mobilizing resources and support for institutional development and keeping teachers/facilitators and learners focussed on teaching and learning through monitoring, support and guidance, Effective learning is the outcome of effective leadership. Education systems should have appropriate policies and programmes to develop educational leaders who embrace /learning’ at the core of their leadership role, what is referred to as learning leadership. The hallmark of good leadership in education is to take responsibility and accept accountability for learning.
Educational leaders have traditionally focussed on management roles such as planning, budgeting, scheduling, maintenance of facilities, teacher evaluation, etc. Research in education has shown that a particular type of leadership that makes a difference in learning is instructional leadership or learning leadership, where leaders are intensely involves in curricular and instructional issues that have direct bearing on learner achievement. Learning leaders are those who prioritize teaching and learning at the top of their priority, promote the culture of continuous learning, use evidence or data on learner achievement to make decisions and set priorities. These leaders are consistently focused on the core technology of education, which is learning, learner support, teaching, teacher support, curriculum, learning materials, assessment, feedback and improvement.
In the case of formal schooling, a study conducted by OECD has identified four major domains of responsibility as key for school leadership to improve student outcomes:
- Supporting, evaluating and developing teacher quality
- Goal-setting, assessment and accountability
- Strategic financial and human resource management
- Collaborating with other schools