One of the most congruent findings from studies of effective leadership in schools is that authority to lead need not be located in the person of the leader but can be dispersed within the school in between and among people. (MacBeath 1998; Day et al, 2000) There is a growing understanding that leadership is embedded in various organisational contexts within school communities, not centrally vested in a person or an office. To illustrate, a recent study in USA by McLaughlin and Talbert (2001) that examined principals’ effects on teachers’ community, instructional practices, and careers found no instances of leaders who created extraordinary contexts for teaching by virtue of their own unique visions; nor did the study reveal any common patterns of strong principals’ characteristics. Successful principals turned out to be men and women with varied professional backgrounds who worked in collaboration with teacher leaders and showed respect for the teaching culture. They found various ways to support teachers in getting the job done. “The leadership of these principals was not superhuman; 19 rather, it grew from a strong and simple commitment to make schools work for their students and to build teachers’ determination and capacity to pursue this collective goal.” (Copland, 2001, p. 532)

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