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Case study: how principal certification can help you lead through change

Case study: how principal certification can help you lead through change

Feature 4 minute read

In our latest case study, a school leader explains how Certified Practising Principal (CPP) helped her lead a major change process in her school.

Dr Cheryle Osborne CPP has been a school principal for almost two decades and has spent the last nine years at Aspendale Gardens Primary School. In 2017, she was awarded her Certified Practising Principal (CPP) through ACER – the same year Aspendale Gardens became an International Baccalaureate (IB) school, a major change to the way a school approaches teaching and learning.

IB teaches students to be critical thinkers and to learn independently. Through inquiry-led learning and a transdisciplinary framework, students are encouraged to think for themselves and drive their own learning as they explore local and global issues.

Leading through change

‘To become an IB-accredited school you need a great deal of student and staff feedback,’ Dr Osborne said. ‘There are many policies to implement and you need to develop documentation that supports the IB philosophy.

‘The authorization process is quite prescriptive and you really have to follow the guidelines provided.’

Dr Osborne said becoming a CPP had helped her navigate the transition to the IB, as it encouraged continuous evaluation and monitoring of the process – a move that has proved invaluable.

‘The IB has a strong focus on student voice,’ she said. ‘With inquiry-based learning, the students inquire about what they’re interested in, which really engages them, resulting in some excellent learning experiences.

‘It sparks their interest, and when their interest is ignited, they apply themselves really well and learn more.’

‘As a result, students have more in-depth questioning and knowledge of what they are exploring and they learn how to find things out, rather than just memorising information,’ she said. ‘Parents have given us feedback that they’ve even seen a difference in conversations around the dinner table.’

Improving leadership with CPP

CPP is an independent professional certification that allows principals from all school education sectors to hone and analyse their leadership skills.

Upon completion, principals walk away with an enhanced ability to think critically about their practice and the tools to institute a long-term strategy for improvement in their school.

‘What I liked about it was that you could focus on a particular innovation you were implementing and really track the progress,’ Dr Osborne said. ‘You could really analyse your leadership style, how your decisions impacted on others and how your decisions encouraged others to take initiative as well.

‘It really made me focus on my leadership – on what works and what doesn’t work.’

Interested in becoming a CPP?

The CPP will not only hone your leadership skills through critical assessment and reflection, but also help you lead through change and set you on the right course towards tangible school improvement.

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