The starting point of this master thesis was to study the implementation of the school developing
project school-based development. School-based development is part of a joint effort to develop all
secondary schools in Norway. In 2012, the government prepared the Strategy for secondary schools,
and school-based development is one of the measures in this strategy. The goal of school-based
development is to increase each school's overall competence in classroom management, reading,
writing and arithmetics, and to develop the school as an organization. The project started in 2012 and
will end in 2017.
The main question for this master thesis is: How do school leaders experience challenges in a schoolbased
development project? I have also developed four research questions:
1 How do school leaders regard teachers' competence in the management of student learning?
2 Which perceptions do school leaders have of teachers' learning?
3 How do school leaders understand a school-based development project?
4 How do school leaders understand leadership challenges in a school-based development project?
The methodological approach is qualitative. The purpose was to examine how school leaders
experience challenges of leading a school-based development project. I've been looking for school
leaders' experiences with and opinions on school-based development. The strategy for obtaining
information has been conducting semi-structured interviews with eight principals at secondary
schools. Through the analysis I developed categories I further discussed.
The theoretical perspectives I have used are different perspectives on leadership, learning and
competence. Theoretical perspectives on organizational learning are central. Action learning is a part
of the theoretical basis of the thesis.
In brief this study finds that principals have a positive opinion on school-based development. They
are concerned that teachers will focus on building the school as an organization and a community.
When it comes to leading school-based development, this study finds that the action learning
processes are carried out differently. A common feature is that the principals hold on to existing
structures in terms of management and implementation of school-based development. Findings in this
study show that many of the principals relate their own role to planning and administration, and they
are very engaged in how teaching works in class. The principals seem to particularly emphasize teachers' professional competence, relational/social skills and their didactic skills. Furthermore,
findings show that there are some obscurity regarding cooperation with external actors outside the