21st century learning in New Zealand: leadership insights and perspectives
Schooling in New Zealand in this, now the second decade of the 21st century, a time perceived to be one of significant change. School leaders (and their school communities) are currently challenged by the focus on 21st century learning, which demands a shift to digital pedagogies, increasingly enacted in flexible learning spaces, and the demand for the the curriculum to be a vehicle for developing new skills and competencies. The research question guiding this study highlights the problem of leadership in this particular time of change. What is the influence of the concept of 21st century learning on leadership in a selection of New Zealand schools? This article grows out of a larger, Auckland University of Technology funded study, and focuses on the insights and perspectives of two school leaders on 21st century learning. The larger study is particularly interested in the influence of 21st century teaching and learning initiatives on school strategic statements and practice, an area currently under researched and analysed in New Zealand. This research seeks to address this gap, and make a contribution to New Zealand academic scholarship. This article analyses data from two principal participants. The participants demonstrate that certain characteristics of exemplary leadership remain constant even in the face of some of the most radical challenges to the ways in which the work of teachers, school leaders and schools is conceptualised and conducted.