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Ricerca per l'innovazione della scuola italiana


20 dicembre 2022

The kick-off meeting of the project on shared leadership at school, In Florence

On Monday 19 December, the Kick-off meeting of the two-year project entitled “Shared leadership for learning schools” was held in the Lombardo Radice hall of the INDIRE headquarters in Florence, promoted by the “Evaluation of Innovation processes” research unit.

In addition to the 12 schools involved in the project, the event was also attended by the President of INDIRE Cristina Grieco and the Director of the Ministry of Education and Merit, Damiano Previtali.

“Shared leadership for the learning school” intends to promote a new model of educational leadership that involves intermediate leaders of the school community.

In particular, it has the following general objectives:

  • experimenting with a model of participatory school governance through the recognition, enhancement and dissemination of shared leadership practices;
  • enhance the role and leadership of the headteacher and system figures within the professional community;
  • promote non-formal intermediate leadership roles also involving students, parents and other local stakeholders.

An ambitious and complex project due to the many variables that come into play but which, as underlined by the President Grieco and the scientific coordinator of the project, Storai, INDIRE has chosen to promote to work with schools and for schools.

In the school system, the concept of leadership has often been interpreted as a top-down vertical relationship between an individual (the school manager) and a group (teachers, students, ATA staff …), but over the years, to cope with numerous changes that have taken place in the educational sector, alternative leadership models have emerged, necessary to respond more effectively and flexibly to the new educational and organizational needs.

The model of shared leadership shifts the focus from that linked to the concept of distributed leadership. According to this approach, in fact, the need to support the assumption of responsibility by all school actors (students, teachers, parents, other local stakeholders) is recognized and underlined in the decision-making process and in tackling problems and difficulties that concern and involve the entire educating community. Thus, in addition to and alongside the headteacher, for example, other leadership figures can emerge (teachers, students, parents..) capable of taking charge of projects and educational and organizational paths of change and innovation.

The meeting saw the participation of Damiano Previtali, Director of OFFICE VI, Evaluation of the national education and training system of the MIM, who during his speech underlined the importance of shared leadership and the enhancement of sharing of the strategic tools within of the educational and professional community (Self-assessment report, Improvement plan, Three-year Plan of the Educational Offer, Social Reporting) to govern the change, promoting the improvement of the educational offer and of the educational and educational outcomes of the students.

From the discussions with the Executives, some fundamental elements emerged in terms of actions and values to be put in place for the promotion of sheared leadership. Training, communication with the local area, stakeholder involvement are just some of the actions identified as necessary, together with these the importance of the values that must characterize shared leadership was highlighted, such as trust, empathy, accountability, basic elements of an educating community in which dialogue and collaboration are promoted.