Jim Spillane Keynotes Australia Principals Conference

Jim Spillane Keynotes Australia Principals Conference

Jim Spillane

When professor James Spillane gave the keynote address at the Queensland Principals Conference in Australia, 1,350 principals from across the state of Queensland heard his talk. Spillane spoke to the school leaders about leading and managing instructional innovation in Australia.

As a follow-up to "Leading and Managing Instructional Innovation in Educational Organizations & Systems," Spillane gave a second talk at the Queensland conference on “Designing Educational Infrastructures for Collaboration: The Real Challenge of Instructional Innovation.” 

Collaboration was a key theme of the Queensland Principals Conference, with the tagline “a great school has a great school down the road.” Based on research into high-performing education systems, Spillane and other speakers emphasized the power of a strong network to foster collaboration among school leaders. Sponsored by the Department of Education and Training, the conference took place on February 26 and 27 at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre.

In his keynote address on February 26, Spillane discussed instructional innovation in terms of moving beyond an "implementation mindset" to engage in diagnosis and design. His second presentation on February 27 focused on using a distributed framework for systemic and organizational infrastructure design and redesign.

Leadership workshops
Also in Australia, Spillane conducted eight workshops for school leaders on distributed leadership. These workshops, organized by the Australian Council for Educational Leaders (ACEL), were held in Sydney, Canberra, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin.

Spillane’s distributed leadership workshop is part of an ACEL series called “Empowering Others to Lead and Manage Instruction.” He traveled to the eight cities between February 25 and March 11 to lead the seminars on school leadership.

ACEL is the leading professional organization for educators in Australia, with approximately 6,500 members. The organization seeks to foster outstanding educational leadership through workshops, conferences, publications and other initiatives.

Spillane conceptualizes a distributed perspective on school leadership and management as a way to rethink instructional improvement. This perspective describes organizational leadership as a distributed practice, shared among school leaders including teachers.

Research and policy expertise
A world expert on school leadership and educational policy, Spillane is the author of several books, including Distributed Leadership and Diagnosis and Design for School Improvement, as well as many journal articles. Spillane’s work explores the policy implementation process at the state, school district, school and classroom levels. In addition to his policy work, he also studies and writes on organizational leadership and change.

At Northwestern, Spillane is the Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change and the chair of the Human Development and Social Policy doctoral program at the School of Education and Social Policy. He is also a professor of Learning Sciences and a faculty associate at the Institute for Policy Research.

As the director of the Office of Global Initiatives at SESP, Spillane is leading the efforts of the School of Education and Social Policy to develop a more global perspective. Global initiatives are a priority for the School to extend its resources and address critical issues worldwide. 

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 7/13/16