Sustaining Improvements in Student Learning and Achievement: The Importance of Resilience in Leadership

  • Christopher Day
  • Olof Johansson
  • Jorunn Møller
Part of the Studies in Educational Leadership book series (SIEL, volume 14)


Over the years, much has been written internationally about leadership purposes, values, practices and effectiveness. More recently, issues of succession planning, capacity building, distributed leadership, sustainability and systems leadership have been the focus of policy and policy-related research. Yet, relatively little research has focused upon how resilience contributes to the success of school leaders, principals in particular, in sustaining their values, motivation, commitment and sense of effectiveness over time in changing personal, social, organisational and policy contexts.

This chapter aims at exploring leadership resilience for sustainable and improved learning and achievement for students. The strategies successful local school principals chose to foster learning and sustained success at the local schools are analysed through the theoretical framework of leadership for democratic education. It offers a lens to understanding associations between leaders who are driven by a belief in the basic values and rights of each individual; taking the standpoint of others into consideration; deliberation in making decisions; embracing plurality and difference; who promote equity and social justice and have a lasting impact on other people within and beyond the organisation and a capacity for resilience. Resilient leadership for improved learning for children is characterised by a clear sense of moral/ethical purpose related to how to create a learning environment in which all students and staff may not only feel they belong to, but also in which they may be successful. Yet, such leadership requires that leaders are beacons of hope, engage in risk, distribute trust progressively in a wise and timely manner and are able to be resilient and build the capacities of others to be resilient.


Social Justice School Principal Successful School Disadvantaged Community Moral Imperative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Day
    • 1
  • Olof Johansson
    • 2
  • Jorunn Møller
    • 3
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of NottinghamNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Centre for Principal DevelopmentUniversity of UmeåUmeåSweden
  3. 3.Department of Teacher Education and School ResearchUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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