The PIVOTAL Model, developed at two Australian universities based on research with practicing school leaders and current students, has impacted school leaders’ capacity to lead and to retain personal vitality. The Commonwealth Government of Australia-funded research underpinning the development of the “PIVOTAL” (Partnerships, Innovation, and Vitality—Opportunities for Thriving Academic Learning) Model, addresses the gap identified in recent research in the preparation and on-going development of school leaders. The PIVOTAL approach to postgraduate leadership course design was implemented in education and business courses at two universities in Queensland, Australia. Data from school principal reference groups and student focus groups informed innovations to leadership courses. Subsequent research confirmed the impact these innovations had for school leaders at the beginning of 2015. Success has resulted from the introduction of peer mentoring and activities which promote an understanding of factors contributing to personal vitality in complex leadership roles. The introduction of a simulated leadership project option for international students has also been well-received. The accommodation of diverse learning needs of students with varying levels of prior leadership experience remains to be addressed fully. The PIVOTAL Model is planned to be developed further by working with other Australian and international tertiary partners in 2016.
International Journal of Educational Organization and Leadership / Vol. 23, No. 3, pp.1-16