While management responsibilities are a fact of life, the core business of school leaders must be the facilitation of teaching and learning, argues Professor Stephen Dinham from the University of Melbourne’s Graduate School of Education.

In his new book Leading, Learning and Teaching, published by the Australian Council for Educational Research, Professor Dinham details how school leaders should lead the charge to improve educational outcomes.

“School leaders must be more than great managers. They cannot afford to get stuck in administration. They need to be able to harness the skills of teachers to develop and improve teaching practices and evaluation,” he said.

“Educational research clearly shows that successful student learning depends on quality student-focused teaching and leadership.”

Laureate Professor John Hattie said that while a great deal of study and research has gone into leadership, as well as learning and teaching, this is the only book that brings the three together.

“Educators must read this book if they are to lead learning and teaching. It helps teachers focus on what really matters, the research that informs optimal learning schools, and how to lead others in the quest and joy of knowing thy impact,” he said.

Launched by Victorian Deputy Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino last night, Leading Learning and Teaching builds on extensive research in Australia and around the world.

This new book, which follows the success of Professor Dinham’s 2008 book How to Get Your School Moving and Improving, also examines the importance and impact of instructional leadership.

“Instructional leaders have a deep knowledge of learning and the teaching strategies and approaches that facilitate this. They actively promote and participate in curriculum development and teacher professional learning, while using evidence to evaluate and improve school practice,” Professor Dinham said.