Open Access Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington
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Professional Development in a Rural Cluster of Schools

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posted on 2021-11-09, 18:59 authored by Couper, Llyween Janet Delves

This study investigated a model of professional development that has been developed by the principals of a cluster of six New Zealand rural schools. It explored the reasons why the principals chose this model of self initiated professional development, how professional development was achieved and the factors that sustained it. Data were gathered using a variety of tools, including interviews with the principals and an external professional development provider, observations, a survey and a limited historical documentation search. Results indicated that the need for regular social and professional interaction with other principals who work in similar communities was highly valued by all participants. They believed that they were unique and capable of providing professional leadership and collegial support for their cluster. The change from meeting for organizing sporting events to providing relevant professional development was strongly influenced by a mentoring contract offered by the Ministry of Education. Implications for the provision of professional development specifically for rural schools and their learning communities are discussed and suggest that the principals of rural schools have specific needs. Their professional development should include opportunities for social and professional interaction with cooperative decisions and activities initiated by them.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

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Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Doctoral Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Education Studies


Jones, Elizabeth