This unit focuses on developing what it means to be a leader in a contemporary educational setting. It explores key challenges in developing leadership capabilities. Contemporary theories about educational leadership are examined in a national context, and pre-service teachers will be encouraged to reflect on current and likely future issues facing schools and school leaders. The content around these topics will add to pre-service teachers’ understanding of the dynamics between leadership, culture and change, and the challenges for leaders. Pre-service teachers will develop skills to make sense of, and constructively respond to, policies within organisational contexts.


Teaching periods
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date
Semester 2
Start and end dates
Last self-enrolment date
Census date
Last withdraw without fail date
Results released date

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this unit will be able to:

  • Express advanced mastery of theoretical knowledge and professional practice in leadership studies
  • Evaluate, analyse and theorise about developments in leadership that contribute to greater understandings and improvements in professional practice
  • Integrate knowledge and skills with creativity and initiative to new situations in supervising and/or appraising staff
  • Critically analyse how policies and programs shape education
  • Critically analyse contemporary education reform agendas both within Australia and globally, including an understanding of key national and international stakeholders.

Teaching methods


Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Face to Face Contact (Phasing out)
2.00 6 weeks 12
Online Contact (Phasing out)
Online Class
1.00 12 weeks 12
Specified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
4.00 12 weeks 48
Unspecified Learning Activities (Phasing out)
Independent Learning
6.50 12 weeks 78

Swinburne Online

Type Hours per week Number of weeks Total (number of hours)
Directed Online Learning and Independent Learning
12.50 12 weeks 150


Type Task Weighting ULO's
EssayIndividual 50% 1,3,4 
ReportGroup 50% 1,2,5 


  • Educational Leadership in a changing world.
  • Policy agendas, policy drivers, twenty first century learning.
  • Challenges in developing educational leadership.
  • Public education, role of the state, internationalism, globalisation/ legislation and responsibilities.
  • Leadership styles, purpose of educational leadership, roles, governance of schools.
  • Leadership concepts and theories.
  • Sustainable and effective leadership.
  • Women in educational leadership, multiculturalism, diversity, Indigenous leadership.
  • Democratic leadership, teachers, students, communities.
  • Complexity theories and organisations.
  • Teachers, students, communities – action plans.

Study resources

Reading materials

A list of reading materials and/or required textbooks will be available in the Unit Outline on Canvas.