Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education and Sport : Education

Undergraduate Course: Understanding School Leadership and Culture (EDUA10205)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education and Sport CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryRecognising that educational policy in Scotland acknowledges the importance of leadership (Forde et al, 2011), this course will examine key issues and current debates concerning leadership, as well as the role of leadership in the development of effective organizational cultures in educational settings. Working from the key principle that leadership and organizational culture are broad, multidimensional and complex concepts, the course will examine selected approaches and frameworks considering their widespread implementation and development in schools and schooling i.e. from the perspective of the student, teacher, faculty, as well as whole school leadership. Specifically, contemporary leadership approaches and determinants of effective organizational culture will be outlined and critically evaluated (e.g. interactional and transformational leadership models). In addition, the benefits of developing leadership capacity at all levels of schooling will be explored, namely the potential impact it has on the learning and teaching culture, as well as attainment and achievement.
Course description The main themes, frameworks and concepts covered in this course:

- What is leadership? Contemporary views, issues and debates e.g. the function, nature and components of leadership, and leadership versus management.

- Approaches to leadership - Examining leadership theories and their application within educational settings e.g. trait, skills, style, situational, contingency approaches, as well as transactional and transformational models.

- What is school culture? Schools as complex organizations and how school cultures develop.

- Developing effective organisational cultures - examining conceptual models that help educators make sense of, plan for, and facilitate change.

- The importance of team-training, roles, role clarity, conflict management and managing the Zone of Uncomfortable Debate (ZOUD)

The course will be taught through weekly lectures, and associated seminars and practical workshops. The course content will be delivered in a variety of ways i.e. whole group lectures, small seminar group discussions and student led tasks. In addition to the taught lecture, seminar and workshop programme, students will learn independently e.g. undertaking set reading prior to each session, as well as completing formative and summative assessment tasks.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a systematic, extensive and comparative knowledge and understanding of essential and advanced materials, techniques and skills relating to leadership and organisational culture and how they link to educational settings and professional practice.
  2. Use their knowledge, understanding and skills in the systematic and critical assessment of a wide range of concepts and ideas relating to leadership and organisational culture, and in both identifying and analysing complex problems and issues; demonstrating some originality and creativity in formulating, evaluating and applying evidence-based solutions in educational contexts.
  3. Exhibit skills in identifying information needs, and in the systematic gathering, analysis and interpretation of ideas, concepts and qualitative and quantitative data and information from a range of evaluated sources relating to leadership and organisational culture, including current research, scholarly, and/or professional literature.
  4. Communicate the results of their study and other work accurately and reliably using the full repertoire of the principal concepts and constructs relating to leadership and organisational culture.
Reading List
1. Cannon-Bowers, J. A., & Bowers, C. (2010). Team development and functioning. In S. Zedeck (Ed.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 597-650). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
2. Forde, C., McMahon, M. & Dickson, B. (2011) Leadership Development in Scotland: after Donaldson, Scottish Educational Review, 43,2, p.55-69.
3. Kaplan, L. S. & Owings, W. A. (2013) Culture re-boot: Reinvigorating school culture to improve student outcomes Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
4. Northhouse, P.G. (2018) Leadership Theory & Practice [8th Edition] SAGE: California.
5. Salas, E., Benishek, L. E., Coultas, C., Dietz, A., Grossman, R., Lazzara, E. H., & Oglesby, J. (2015) Team training essentials: A research-based guide, New York, NY: Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Graduate Attributes: Research and Enquiry

1) search for, access, critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise relevant literature and information in order to develop their knowledge and understanding relating to education, physical education, physical activity, sport and well-being
5) communicate research plans and findings to specialist and non- specialist audiences.

Graduate Attributes: Personal and intellectual autonomy

1) be independent learners who take responsibility for their own learning, and are committed to continuous reflections, self- evaluation and self-improvement
3) be open to new perspectives, methods and creative ideas in understanding education, physical education, physical activity, sport and well-being
4) be able to reflect on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge and judgments in education, physical education, physical activity, sport and well-being

Graduate Attributes: Skills and abilities in communication

1) be able to communicate using oral and written methods to specialist (e.g., staff, fellow students) and non-specialist audiences (e.g., schools, research participants)
2) be able to use communication as a means for collaborating and relating to others including staff, fellow students, research participants
3) be able to engage in critical discussion demonstrating listening skills, effective use of evidence and own experience to support assertions, and clear articulation of points.

Graduate Attributes: Personal effectiveness

2) have the confidence to make informed decisions relating to problems and issues in physical education.
4) be able to transfer knowledge, skills and abilities to a professional context (e.g., schools, health promotion organisations)
5) be able to effectively work collaboratively with others, recognising the diversity of contributions individuals can make.
KeywordsLeadership,School Leadership,School Culture,Organizational Culture
Course organiserDr Murray Craig
Tel: (0131 6)51 6043
Course secretaryMs Barbara Kucharska
Tel: (0131 6)51 1196
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information