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  • 1.
    Aas, Marit
    et al.
    Oslo universitet.
    Blom, Thomas
    Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Department of Educational Studies (from 2013).
    Benchlearning as professional development of school leaders in Norway and Sweden2018In: Professional Development in Education, ISSN 1941-5257, E-ISSN 1941-5265, Vol. 44, no 1, p. 62-75Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we investigate a new national collaborative Benchlearning program for principals in Norway and Sweden. Four process leaders have been running the program. The aim is to give the participants the knowledge to develop a leadership practice and school environment that are more innovative. The program includes theoretical inputs, sharing experiences, school visits, training, and trialing of new leadership practices. Drawing on data from surveys, participants’ reflections, and the leaders’ descriptions of new leadership practice, we examine and identify successful and critical aspects of the learning process. The findings show that principals’ motivation and willingness to start change processes can be created in a synergy between structured school visits, work in learning groups, and a theoretical foundation. Working in groups across schools in two countries seems to enhance principals’ sense of efficacy, which in turn is shown to have a positive effect on their willingness to trial new practices. Two implications of the study are suggested. First, in the design of principal programs, systematic and critical reflection about authentic practice should be the basis. Second, educators should be trained to be process leaders who can support principals’ learning during a critical and social construction of a new practice.

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