School leaders are integral to the learning enterprise

The mission of this research program is to demonstrate the importance of leadership for learning and how it might be more widely enacted, not only in schools but in children’s homes and communities. Professor Bev Flückiger leads the program.

Research projects


Professors Greer Johnson and Bev Flückiger

This slideshow is an output from an ongoing research project being conducted by Professors Johnson and Flückiger

We sincerely thank the Queensland Department of Education and Griffith University for their partnership and generous support for our ongoing research and development project. The Education Horizon Scheme 2017 co-funded our work on developing a methodology for assisting school leaders to move towards empowering more disadvantaged families to engage in children’s education inside and outside schools.

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A new Australian Research Council Linkage Project co-directed by Professor Ross Homel from the Griffith Criminology Institute and Professor Greer Johnson from the Griffith Institute for Educational Research aims to improve child wellbeing in nine disadvantaged communities.

Using a model that blends new human and digital resources, the $597,000 project builds on longstanding work in this area with collaborations between schools, families and community agencies.

Chief Investigators Professor Ross Homel and Professor Greer Johnson said the study would generate new knowledge in prevention science about how to influence risk and protective factors for child wellbeing cost-efficiently within existing service systems.

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Studies of school leadership practices and factors influencing school leader health are needed to contribute to the academic knowledge base, policy formulation and implementation in the education system. Identifying aspects of principals’ job that can affect their health is a crucial step in finding ways towards improving the work life of school leaders. Initiated and coordinated from Switzerland, the World School Leadership Study is funded by an international foundation. Around 40 countries spanning all continents have joined the research consortium. Project members: Professor Stephen Huber.

Professor Bev Fluckiger

Age appropriate pedagogies in the early years of school

Age-Appropriate Pedagogies in the Early Years of School

This program addresses growing concerns surrounding formalisation of young children’s education. Funded by the Queensland Department of Education and Training, the project works with schools across Queensland to implement evidence-based approaches to teaching and learning in the early years. Research conducted aims to identify the impact that age-appropriate pedagogies have on leaders, teachers and learners. Project members: Professor Bev Flückiger, Professor Julie Dunn, Associate Professor Madonna Stinson and Dr Elizabeth Wheeley.

Principals as Literacy Leaders (PALL) Project

PALL was designed to develop the capabilities of primary school principals as effective literacy leaders. Since commencing in 2009, PALL has operated in every Australian state and continues to expand. The research looks at perceptions a focused reading implementation has on school leadership and changed teacher practices leading to improved student engagement, learning and achievement in reading. Project members: Anne Bayetto (Flinders University), Professor Greer Johnson, Professor Neil Dempster.

The Principals as Strategic Leader (PaSL) Program

In 2016 the Queensland Department of Education supported PaSL to offer a professional learning program and research for independent public school principals. The program was designed to provide schools the opportunity to develop an innovative approach to improve student learning and investigate the impacts of strategic leadership approaches. Project members: Professor Tony Townsend and Professor John Pisapia (Florida Atlantic University) Anne Bayetto (Flinders University), Professor Greer Johnson, Professor Neil Dempster and Elizabeth Stephens.

A Cultural Brokerage Approach to Indigenous Parental Engagement

This project develops an evidence-based framework for building sustainable relationships between Indigenous communities, families and schools. The project builds on the Principals as Literacy Leaders with Indigenous Communities project, which found engagement of Indigenous families with the schools increased with combined efforts of principals and Indigenous leadership partners.

Project members: Professor Greer Johnson and Professor Bev Flückiger.

Raising Expectations: Teachers’ Perceptions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Learners

This study assesses the influence of a student’s perceived Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status upon their teacher’s placement decisions. The research tool designed for this study allows teachers to re-examine deficit views and realise how unchecked stereotypes or biases may adversely influence their classroom practice and decisions they make about their students. This awareness may enable teachers to reframe their classroom practice towards becoming better teachers and mentors for the diversity of their learners. Project members: Dr Tasha Riley.

Middle Leaders

This program of scholarship focuses on the practices middle leaders, which are those who have a leadership position in their educational institution, but also have a significant teaching role. We are interested in examining middle leader practices across all the educational sectors including preschools, primary schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions, and across national boundaries including the different education systems and structures of Australia and Sweden. Program members: Professor Peter Grootenboer, Professor Karin Rönnerman (Göteborgs Universitet, Sweden), Dr Christine Edwards-Groves (Charles Sturt University, NSW, Australia).

High-Potential Future Leaders Project

Queensland Education Leadership Institute has engaged GIER to conduct an independent evaluation of its Future Leaders program, which aims to develop current school leaders who demonstrate significant potential for next-level leadership. The independent evaluation will determine the program’s appropriateness and effectiveness in developing high-potential future leaders. Project members: Professor Greer Johnson and Professor Bev Flückiger.

More information

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