Evaluating the use of a strengths-based development tool with headteachers Educational Psychology in Practice

Liz Cooper, Kevin Woods

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This exploratory study investigated an educational psychologist’s use of a strengths-based development tool with headteachers, in the context of influencing and supporting leaders in school organisations. Nine headteachers completed the ‘Realise2 Introductory Profile’ online strengths assessment and then received a structured debrief by an educational psychologist, to facilitate discussion around their individual profile. Feedback was gathered from five headteachers, using semi-structured interview and a Likert type rating scale. Interviews were analysed thematically. Headteachers reported raised self-awareness in terms of their realised strengths, learned behaviours, weaknesses and unrealised strengths. They noted an increased motivation and commitment to self reflection as a core practice and related this to subsequent changes in management practice, such as improving personal resilience, increased authenticity in their professional role and more effective delegation of management tasks. Organisational level outcomes reported by headteachers included increases in focus on strengths based practices, teacher wellbeing and resilience. Personal and professional development with individual headteachers is discussed as an effective use of educational psychology resources with potential benefits for the wider organisation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Psychology in Practice
Early online date3 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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