There are many different types of leadership styles and their suitability is dependent on the organisation and the type of outcomes desired. Schools and other learning institutions that have learning as their focus, require leaders to ensure learning outcomes are maximised for all individuals. In response to the information revolution and the digital age, MCEETYA (2009) has highlighted the necessary skill set required by young people to succeed in the twenty-first century. No longer just focused primarily on just knowledge acquisition, the modern world requires students to have critical and creative thinking skills, digital and multimodal literacy as well as competent personal and social capabilities. This transformation of educational outcomes requires a leadership style that is able to inspire change. That style of leadership is defined as transformational leadership.
There is a significant body of research indicating the efficacy of transformational leadership in modern educational institutions. Anderson (2017) describes this style as being characterised by a leader (principal) who guides their subordinates towards a shared vision and executes that change with a team. Transformational principals are able to envision the trajectory of their school towards the goals set by the Melbourne Declaration, and are able to motivate their colleagues to build successful teams and achieve that vision within the desired time frame (MCEETYA, 2009; Mindtools, 2016).
Transformational leadership promotes team building and opportunities for professional growth. This style encourages the development of leadership skills in others (Ingram, 2019). A principal who demonstrates this style of leadership recognises the importance of relationships between teachers and the need to develop teacher leaders (Longwell-McKean, 2012). They recognise the importance of building collaborative relationships and promoting professional growth to enable teachers to become leaders, and instruments of change within their teams and departments (Longwell-McKean, 2012, p. 24). Transformational principals nurture collaborative practices and professional practice in others, and as such collectively increase the level of transformation within the organisation (Longwell-McKean, 2012, p. 25).
Anderson, Matthew (2017) “Transformational Leadership in Education: A Review of Existing Literature,” International Social Science Review 93: 1. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.northgeorgia.edu/issr/vol93/iss1/4
Longwell -McKean, P.C. (2012). Restructuring Leadership for 21st Century Schools: How Transformational Leadership and Trust Cultivate Teacher Leadership. UC San Diego. Retrieved from https://escholarship.org/uc/item/6746s4p9
MCEETYA (2009) Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians. Curriculum Corporation. Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/verve/_resources/national_declaration_on_the_educational_goals_for_young_australians.pdf