VIEWS: 1 PAGES: 2 POSTED ON: 2/13/2012
Video title: Expert commentator – Leonie Trimper Leonie Trimper, President, Australian Primary Principals Association. Voice over: Leonie Trimper is the President of the Australian Primary Principals Association, and understands the need for change and the role of leadership in change. Leonie Trimper: We have a large group of students at the tail end in our low SES schools and particularly for our Indigenous students where the gap widens as they progress through primary school. The personal cost for students when they can not read or write are just enormous, they’re enormous for the student themselves, for the family, the local community and for the nation as a whole, just too great a loss. So, the reform, we do need to look at doing things differently for some of these students. There’s a huge group of students that are very successful, that’s great, but we now have to look at doing, look at different projects and different ways of working with low SES and Indigenous students so that they are successful at schools. The role of the principal is absolutely critical, particularly for sustained change. But, for a lot of principals, they’ve been out of the classroom for quite a while and their role is such a complex one, there’s so many other things that they have to learn about and keep up to date about. We’ve also worked on the understanding that principals perhaps don’t need a deep knowledge base as long as the teachers have that, and the principal is sort of managing the whole school operations then that was seen as okay. Well, the research isn’t saying that now, the research is saying that principals do need a deep knowledge base, an understanding about how students learn to read and write. They need to be able to offer practical suggestions to their teachers, they need to know when they walk into a classroom to work with a teacher, observe a teacher, they need to know is this an effective literacy classroom? They need to know what to do with students who are struggling. Voice over: Sixty principals are getting valuable leadership and literacy training through the Principals as Literacy Leaders pilot. Leonie Trimper: The Australian Primary Principals Association worked with South Australia, Western Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland, three universities, plus the jurisdictions, Catholic, Independent and Government, to form a partnership. I think the essence of the pilot is the critical role that the principal plays in the teaching of literacy and numeracy, and we’re going to have a look at what capabilities they need and research that. What capabilities do principals need, as a leader, and what capabilities do they need as a literacy leader. If we are going to build sustainable reform and improve student literacy and numeracy in this state, it’s absolutely critical that we all work together - we just can’t do this in isolation. We know what the problems are, and if we’re going to bring about the solutions, the only way to do that is by working together. I think the 60 principals in this program will be so confident, so knowledgeable and things will be so different in their school, that I think we’ll be seeing some really outstanding results.
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