Educational systems are highly complex and dynamic

The impact of quality teaching on students' development is well recognised – but less is known about exactly how our educational leaders help improve student outcomes.

The Educational Leadership and Organisational Development Research Group aims to deepen our understanding of educational leadership, organisational structures and management practices – and how they foster, or frustrate, teacher satisfaction and student learning.

This is an urgent question as Australia’s international literacy and numeracy rankings continue to slide relative to comparable developed nations, and as the attainment gap widens between Australia’s most socioeconomically privileged students and their less advantaged peers.

The group brings together internationally-recognised academics covering every stage of education: early childhood, the school years in our government, Catholic and Independent systems, as well as tertiary education at colleges and universities.

We have an invaluable opportunity to generate and translate new knowledge within authentic educational settings, thanks to our collaboration with the School of Education's comprehensive teacher education program and a substantial network of practicing teachers, educational leaders and decision-makers.

While research confirms a strong correlation between satisfied teaching professionals and student learning and achievement, this is not a simple link. Educational institutions and systems are highly complex, dynamic organisations subject to multiple variables and shifting pressures.

This is particularly true in Australia as our educational institutions seek to balance the demands of external regulations and standardised requirements with the benefits of local initiatives – while complying with accountability measures, often in form of narrowly-framed national student tests.

Australia's context is unique

We need empirical evidence from local research that never loses sight of achieving the best possible outcomes for Australian students.

Our research group aims to deliver

  • a deep understanding of educational leadership and organisations
  • a clear appreciation of the many factors that interact to shape Australia's educational landscape.

By better understanding the complexities of Australia’s educational institutions and systems we can make sounder, evidence-based decisions to improve the prospects of every Australian student.

Dr John De Nobile: Educational leadership; organisational behaviour; classroom management.

Dr Laurie Field: Leadership and management in educational organisations; educational change; organisational knowledge and learning in schools.

Dr Fay Hadley: Leadership in early childhood education; partnerships with families; professional experience and mentoring.

Dr Norman McCulla: Educational leadership; school education policy and practice; teacher career stage trajectories; teacher professional learning and development.

Dr Greg Robertson: Performance development; teacher evaluation; professional learning.

Professor Manjula Waniganayake: Educational leadership; early childhood policies; early childhood workforce; families; professional learning and development.