Contextualizing a university-school STEM education collaboration: distributed and self-activated leadership for project outcomes
Hudson, PB, English, LD, Dawes, LA & Macri, J 2012, 'Contextualizing a university-school STEM education collaboration: distributed and self-activated leadership for project outcomes', Educational Management Administration & Leadership, vol. 40, no. 6, pp. 772-785.
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Implementing educational reform requires partnerships, and university-school collaborations in the form of investigative and experimental projects can aim to determine the practicalities of reform. However, there are funded projects that do not achieve intended outcomes. In the context of a new reform initiative in education, namely, science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, this article explores the management of a government-funded project. In a university school partnership for STEM education, how can leadership be distributed for achieving project outcomes? Participants included university personnel from different STEM areas, school teachers and school executives. Data collected included observations, interviews, resource materials, and video and photographic images. Findings indicated that leadership roles were distributed and selfactivated by project partners according to their areas of expertise and proximal activeness to the project phases, that is: (1) establishing partnerships; (2) planning and collaboration; (3) project implementation; and (4) project evaluation and further initiatives. Leadership can be intentional and unintentional within project phases, and understanding how leadership can be distributed and selfactivated more purposefully may aid in generating more expedient project outcomes.