Viviane M. J. Robinson

Viviane M. J. Robinson
University of Auckland · Faculty of Education

PhD

About

100
Publications
139,258
Reads
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5,028
Citations
Introduction
As an organisational psychologist working in the field of education, I pursue a research programme which is concerned with organisational learning and leadership, school effectiveness and improvement, and research methodology.
Additional affiliations
January 2003 - December 2005
University of Auckland
Position
  • Head of School
January 2002 - present
University of Auckland
Position
  • Professor of Education (Personal Chair)
January 2002 - January 2003
University of Auckland
Position
  • Co-head of School
Education
January 1973 - July 1976
Harvard University
Field of study
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Clinical Psychology and Public Practice
January 1971 - November 1972
University of Auckland
Field of study
  • Master of Arts in Education (1st Class Hons)
January 1968 - November 1970
University of Auckland
Field of study
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Education

Publications

Publications (100)
Article
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Reducing inequity is the moral imperative confronting today’s educational leaders. Central to reducing inequity is leaders’ ability to solve the school-based problems that contribute to it, while building the positive and trusting professional relationships required for teachers to commit to the hard work of improvement. A theory of collaborative p...
Article
Curriculum reforms often fail because teachers are asked to implement approaches to teaching and learning that are contrary to their beliefs about students and how to teach them. Since curriculum reforms are attempts to resolve particular educational problems, failures in implementation produce parallel failures to resolve the problem for which the...
Article
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Educational leaders’ effectiveness in solving problems is vital to school and system-level efforts to address macrosystem problems of educational inequity and social injustice. Leaders’ problem-solving conversation attempts are typically influenced by three types of beliefs—beliefs about the nature of the problem, about what causes it, and about ho...
Article
Purpose Leadership coaching is an increasingly popular development tool for school principals. However, specific coaching behaviors are rarely conceptualized or examined in prior research. This study presents a coaching behavior framework and then analyzes actual coaching conversations between principals and coaches to illustrate how specific coach...
Article
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Effective leaders solve problems which prevent the achievement of organizational goals. We drew on theories of problem-solving and interpersonal behavior to propose a process model of quality problem-solving conversations, which was used to evaluate three leaders’ attempts to resolve problems in conversation with those involved. Analyses revealed p...
Article
Although it is widely believed by parents and policy makers that the quality of school leadership makes a difference to what students learn at school, testing this hypothesis has proved very complex. Part of the problem is the unreliability of many measures of leadership quality. In addition, the field has been dominated until quite recently by abs...
Article
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Based on a review of the origins and practices involved in student-centered leadership, the author emphasizes that in order to lead with a positive impact on student learning and well-being, five dimensions must be considered: establishing objectives in relation to learning, ensuring quality teaching process, being directly involved in the processe...
Article
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The importance of trust in institutions in Japan is a common theme that emerges from literature on Japanese institutions. This article presents a problem-based methodology investigation into a Japanese educational institution, and how a Japanese educational leader deals with student incidents. A theory of action detailing strategies chosen in that...
Article
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Background/Context Sustained school improvement requires adequate organizational and instructional coherence, yet, in typical high schools, subject department organization, norms of teacher professional autonomy, and involvement in multiple initiatives present powerful obstacles to forging a coherent approach to improvement. This study examines the...
Article
Purpose: The notion of vulnerability underlies relationships of trust. Trust between leaders and staff is needed to solve concerns that hinder equity and excellence in teaching and learning. The purpose of this paper is to examine whether and how leaders show vulnerability by disclosing own possible contributions to concerns they try to resolve. De...
Article
Purpose - The purposes of this study are, firstly, to establish the psychometric properties of the ELP tool, and, secondly, to test, using a Rasch item response theory analysis, the hypothesized progression of challenge presented by the items included in the tool. Research Methods/Approach – Data were collected at two time points through a survey o...
Book
Open-to-learning™ Leadership addresses how leaders can build trust in teams and with individuals while tackling the tough issues associated with the work of educational improvement. It calls educational leaders’ attention to the values and behaviours needed to engage in respectful and constructive conversations about concerns that stand in the way...
Article
Professional development intended to change teachers' teaching practices is often unsuccessful. This article explores a case set in a developing country. Although some researchers have attributed failure to factors that are external to the teacher educators involved, this study explores the role that teacher educators themselves may play in instanc...
Article
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Multi-source evaluation of school principals is likely to become increasingly common in education contexts as the evidence accumulates about the relationship between principal effectiveness and student achievement. The purpose of this study was to examine (1) the magnitude and direction of discrepancy between how principals and their teachers perce...
Article
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Purpose: Principals commonly struggle to have effective conversations about staff performance issues, tending to tolerate, protect, and work around such issues rather than effectively addressing them. This article evaluates principals’ effectiveness in having “difficult” conversations with parents and with teachers. Research Methodology: This artic...
Article
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The concept of inquiry is central to contemporary discussions of teacher and leader professional learning and problem-solving in inter-personal contexts. However, while few would debate its value, there has been little discussion of the significant challenges inherent in engaging in genuine inquiry. In this paper, we distinguish between genuine and...
Article
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In this study we bring together Argyris and Schon’s theories of interpersonal effectiveness and research on negotiation to develop a model of effective leadership behavior in conversations involving actual or anticipated disagreement. A concurrent mixed methods design was used to assess shifts in how 18 Australian superintendents responded to disag...
Article
Full-text available
Multi-source evaluation of school principals is likely to become increasingly common in education contexts as the evidence accumulates about the relationship between principal effectiveness and student achievement. The purpose of this study was to examine 1) the magnitude and direction of discrepancy between how principals and their teachers percei...
Article
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If formative evaluation is to foster school improvement, it must integrate evaluation rigour with rich opportunities for learning and development. This is true whether formative aspects of school self-evaluation are conducted entirely by the school's own personnel or in partnership with external evaluators. For formative evaluators, therefore, tech...
Article
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Effective instructional leadership demands that leaders address the inevitable problems and concerns that exist in any educational organization. Unfortunately, much evidence suggests that many important concerns, including teacher performance issues, continue to be unaddressed and unresolved. This article portrays the nature of concerns facing 77 e...
Article
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While there are numerous reasons given for the limited impact of research on practice, there is little discussion of how research methodology itself may contribute to the research-practice gap. This chapter argues that much educational research is mismatched to practice because it bypasses rather than engages the theories of action that inform prac...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Executive Summary The First-time Principals' Programme (FTPP) began in 2002 as an 18 month long principal induction programme funded by the Ministry of Education. The programme , which is for the 2014 calendar year of 12 month's duration, is delivered nationally by the University of Auckland Centre for Educational Leadership (UACEL). The aim of the...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine how US school leaders make sense of external mandates, and the way in which their understanding of state and district accountability policies affects their work. It is posited that school leaders’ responses to external accountability are likely to reflect a complex interaction between their percepti...
Article
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This article draws on goal-setting theory to investigate the goals set by experienced principals during their performance evaluations. While most goals were about teaching and learning, they tended to be vaguely expressed and only partially achieved. Five predictors (commitment, challenge, learning, effort, and support) explained a significant leve...
Article
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to evaluate two recent examples of the New Zealand Ministry of Education's approach to reducing the persistent disparities in achievement between students of different social and ethnic groups. The first example is cluster‐based school improvement, and the second is the development of national standards for li...
Article
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Purpose – One of the features of the New Zealand secondary schools system is that achievement closely reflects the taught curriculum. The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) directly assesses student achievement on the secondary school curriculum through a combination of criterion-based internal and external assessments. The natu...
Article
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Purpose – Positively engaging parents who have concerns about their children's schooling is a key part of effective educational leadership. The purpose of this paper is to use empirical research on complaint interactions and interpersonal effectiveness to develop and trial an assessment of principals' interpersonal effectiveness in challenging conv...
Chapter
William Firestone is Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. He recently stepped down as the Principal Investigator of the New Jersey Math Science Partnership and now serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. His research interests include studying the effects...
Article
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While there is considerable evidence about the impact of instructional leadership on student outcomes, there is far less known about the leadership capabilities that are required to confidently engage in the practices involved. This article uses the limited available evidence, combined with relevant theoretical analyses, to propose a tentative mode...
Chapter
Innovation has become an increasingly important theme in education. Improving student achievement through school-based innovations has been as challenging for New Zealand as many other countries in the Asia-Pacific region. There are few options for state imposition within the self-managing schools framework of New Zealand's education administrative...
Chapter
Currently, there is intense interest in the relationship between educational leadership and student outcomes. The interest is evident in the number of recent reviews, syntheses and meta-analyses of the available published evidence (Leithwood et al., 2008; Marzano et al., 2005; Mulford, 2008; Robinson et al., 2008). These publications provide an opp...
Article
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Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relative impact of different types of leadership on students' academic and nonacademic outcomes. Research Design: The methodology involved an analysis of findings from 27 published studies of the relationship between leadership and student outcomes. The first meta-analysis, including 22 of the 2...
Article
Aotearoa/New Zealand is experiencing major changes in its demographic profile, indicating that the proportion of Māori (the indigenous people) will progressively increase (Statistics New Zealand, 2004). Projected changes are likely to impact particularly on the school-aged population and this has implications for the nation's educational leadership...
Article
In this paper we have two related aims. First, we aim to present an account of what it is to treat women as sex-objects.1 Like other philosophical writers in the field, we hold that the central idea in an account of such treatment is the failure to treat women with proper respect in sexual behavior. This idea has been cashed out in terms of using,2...
Article
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Purpose – Several arguments have been put forward about why distributed leadership in schools should contribute to the improvement of teaching and learning. This paper aims to investigate the extent to which conceptual and empirical research in the field is aligned to this goal. Design/methodology/approach – The discussion of alignment was structu...
Article
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he purpose of this study was to examine how leaders foster school renewal by facilitating and participating in the types of teacher professional learning and development that improve student academic and non- academic outcomes. The methodology involved a backward mapping strategy that takes as its starting point, not theories of leadership, but pro...
Article
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This article reports on a series of empirical studies that investigated the extent to which teacher evaluation policies and procedures promote teachers' inquiry into the relationship between their teaching and their students' learning. Four possible explanations for the weak focus on student learning in teacher evaluation are discussed. They relate...
Article
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Any programme of principal induction must find ways to respond to the diversity of its participants, in terms of their backgrounds and learning needs. New Zealand's national principal induction programme uses a self assessment of each principal's capability in the leadership of teaching and learning as one of its main sources of information about t...
Article
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Educational leadership research is increasingly focused on the role that school leaders play in the improvement of teaching and learning and on the relationship between various types of leadership and student outcomes. This new focus represents a substantial shift from the prior emphasis in educational leadership research on the generic leadership...
Article
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Purpose – This study investigated the conceptions of governance that informed the practices of school trustees, and considered the extent to which those conceptions matched the policy imperatives that shaped New Zealand's school governance framework. Design/methodology/approach – Semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 32 participants in th...
Article
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This paper reports a series of three studies on the challenges schools face when reporting to parents. The studies are underpinned by an assumption that parents/whānau should be given accurate information about their child's current level of achievement and an understanding of how that achievement relates to their expectations, so that they can tak...
Article
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The alternatives of taking over failing schools or handing over resources for them to develop their own improvement strategies are recognized as ineffective in achieving improvement. When deciding how best to intervene in 26 self-managing schools, the Ministry of Education in New Zealand attempted to avoid the negative consequences of these alterna...
Article
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The public sector reforms broadly known as New Public Sector Management (NPM), have had a substantial impact on the way schools are governed in both England and New Zealand. One assumption of this approach is that local communities can carry out the complex responsibilities of governance in a way that serves both state and local interests. In this...
Article
Children's experience of the transition between early childhood education and school can have a long-term impact on their school achievement and retention. Although both practitioners and researchers often describe ideal transition arrangements in terms of collaboration between families and teachers in the two sectors, little is known about what th...
Article
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Many school reform initiatives now require school leaders to make curriculum and resourcing decisions on the basis of evidence about their likely impact on student achievement. In this paper, we discuss the implications of this policy demand in the context of a descriptive study of schools' capacity to collect, analyze, and use collective achieveme...
Chapter
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The literature on organizational learning and its allied fields of research, such as cognitive science, is replete with references to problem solving (Clark, 1997; Evers & Lakomski, 2000; Lakomski, 1998, p. 407). While researchers suggest links between organizational learning and organizational problem solving, little theoretical work has been done...
Article
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The importance of changing teachers' beliefsand practices in school improvement efforts iswell accepted but little empirical work hasbeen reported on the micro-processes involved.In this paper, we use schema theory to examinehow the teachers in three schools changed theirbeliefs about the causes of low academicachievement from external factors, suc...
Article
While in agreement with the broad coherentist approach of Evers and Lakomski, the position taken here is that coherentism, in itself, does not provide a sufficiently developed normative framework to underpin an ethics of educational administration. The coherentist approach to ethics is that the requirements of survival and social problem solving en...
Article
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The dual purpose of this paper is to locate the contribution of Argyris and Schon to the field of organisational learning, and to discuss aspects of their work which are particularly distinctive or controversial. There are two distinct strands of research on organisational learning. The descriptive strand, with its roots in social and cognitive psy...
Article
At any one time, approximately 15% of New Zealand's self- managing schools are receiving extra assistance from the Ministry of Education under the National School Support policy. The purpose of the policy is to build the capacity of schools and local communities to meet national ad ministrative and educational guidelines, without the need for furth...
Article
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An increase in teacher workload and stress has been identified as an undesirable consequence of sitebased school management. We argue that this increase can be attributed, in part, to the ways in which teachers organize themselves. Organizing principles developed to meet the challenges of managing single-cell classrooms, such as autonomy, collegial...
Article
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Empirical research on copying and cheating in high school and university has typically employed quantitative survey methods. While these methods tell us about the conditions under which it is more and less likely to occur, they tell us less about the reasoning that leads students to copy the work of others. An alternative problem-based methodology...
Article
Greater collegiality among teachers is frequently suggested in the research literature as one way of improving decision making and problem solving in schools, In this article, we argue that this claim cannot be sustained without more sophisticated theorizing about the attributes of collegiality that promote quality decision making and problem solvi...
Article
Nowhere are the micropolitics within schools more evident than in staff appraisal. Currently, the New Zealand government is attempting to shift the evaluation of teachers from a predominantly professional form of accountability to a more democratic form in which teachers are held accountable for their performance to both central government and loca...
Article
Nowhere are the micropolitics within schools more evident than in staff appraisal. Currently, the New Zealand government is attempting to shift the evaluation of teachers from a predominantly professional form of accountability to a more democratic form in which teachers are held accountable for their performance to both central government and loca...
Article
Full-text available
A much neglected reason for the limited contribution of research to the understanding and improvement of educational practice is the mismatch between educational research methodologies and the generic features of practice. Increasing the match requires an account of practice that clarifies its methodological implications. I propose a problem-based...
Article
ABSTRACT National policy initiatives frequently suffer from slow and sporadic implementation, with requirements for school staff to be appraised being no exception. In this paper we identify how policy implementation might be improved if policy formulation was informed by a more detailed understanding of the local conditions which policy is designe...
Article
Collegiality can effectively address complex schoolwide problems requiring shared expertise or cohesive schoolwide action for resolution, but traditional teacher autonomy may inhibit such collegiality. Two New Zealand schools used collegial processes to develop solutions to schoolwide problems. Forest High was worried that staff failure to meet par...
Article
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A much neglected reason for the limited contribution of educational research to the improvement of practice is the mismatch between our various research methodologies and the generic features of practice. After a conceptual analysis of practice as problem solutions, a postpositivist methodology (Problem-Based Methodology) is outlined that incorpora...
Article
Radical changes in the administration of New Zealand education in the late 1980s were motivated, in part, by the desire to make schools more responsive to the communities in which they were located. The principal mechanisms intended to enable this were, first, setting up of Boards of Trustees and, second, the gradual relaxation of restrictive polic...
Article
New Zealand schools are now managed by parent-elected trustees whose role is to work in partnership with school staff to formulate and monitor aspects of school policy. A sample of those involved in the partnership (principals, teachers, chairpersons and parents) were asked what role they thought the Board should play in three different types of sc...
Article
This article asks why critical approaches to educational administration, and critical research in general, have so rarely moved beyond critique to the Tran formative process that is supposed to be central to a critical theory. It suggests that there are important methodological reasons for this failure, in that much critical research is incompatibl...
Article
Critical social science research claims to offer enlightenment and emancipation to members of various oppressed groups. Paradoxically, it can be argued that this mode of social science research lacks adequate safeguards against its own impositional tendencies. This paper outlines a theory of intervention that provides such safeguards and illustrate...