An interview with Lester Flockton

In this interview Lester Flockton talks with David Stewart and Kay Tester on a range of issues currently confronting New Zealand school principals.

Lester Flockton is a graduate of Dunedin Teachers College and the University of Otago. He has extensive experience in New Zealand’s school system as a teacher, principal (5 schools small rural to large urban), inspector of schools, Ministry of Education official, researcher, university teacher, educational thinker and leader.

Throughout his career in education he has worked on many national curriculum and assessment committees and projects, including the revised New Zealand Curriculum (2007). He has led numerous professional development and learning programmes, made dozens of conference presentations, and held office in various professional organizations.

Kay Tester is principal of St Brigid’s School in Wellington, and a regional director of the Ariki project responsible for data management within the project. She also facilitates the ArikiRural group; a small school subset of the wider programme who operate at a distance.

Download interview with Lester Flockton (M4V)


A Board of Trustee's Perspective

Martin Glaeser has been a member of the Board of Trustees at St Brigid's for 4-5 years and has been the chair for the last two years. His two children have attended the school and Martin enjoys the community interaction that the role brings. He has found the work with principal and staff satisfying. He talks with David Stewart about the Ariki Project and the chart that is referred to is available on the Project News page.

The conversation explores themes of school and principal accountability; the connection of principal intentions with classroom practice; how the project had impacted on the Board's thinking regarding principal appraisal; the board's response to professional conversations beginning predominately with examples of evidence of practice; and the extent to which this Ariki Project had influenced both the culture of the school and importantly the raising of student attainment.

Listen to this conversation with Martin Glaeser mp3


When metaphor becomes reality

Dr David Stewart has wide experience in the educational sector. Some time principal, academic, centre director, author and researcher, he is currently director of the Ariki Project.

These three short pieces explore how good ideas expressed as metaphor can inhibit progress if applied literally. The examples chosen are open door policies, 3600 feedback and flat organisation structures.

Listen to David Stewart mp3


Ben Levin

Dr Ben Levin, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Education Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto talks with David Stewart. Their discussion is based around Ben Levin’s recent book

How to Change 5000 Schools. Harvard Educational Press, 2008.

This conversation explores the manner in which knowledge gained from Ben Levin’s recent experiences could be applied to principal behaviour in New Zealand schools. He served as deputy minister (chief civil servant) for education in the province of Manitoba 1999-2002 and in the province of Ontario from 2004 to 2007. It is a topical exchange which explores themes currently being debated in educational circles here including the thought that schools benefit from leadership that is intelligent rather than simply obedient.

Listen to Ben Levin mp3

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