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An Open Letter to a Principal: 5 Leadership Strategies

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Started by Karen Spencer 25 Aug 2011 10:05am () Replies (3)

...or it could equally be to a school leader. This was recently published in Edutopia, and although it is addressed to leaders going back to school in the northern hemisphere, there is food for thought as we approach the second half of 2011, and start to look ahead to next year.

Do you agree with strategy 3?

What would you write in reply?

Replies

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 21 Sep 2011 11:22am ()

    I agree with strategy 3, especially,

    As society evolves due to advances in technology, we as principals must ensure that instruction follows suit or we run the risk of our schools becoming irrelevant

    and if I was to reply in writing, I’d say "If society and education is changing, then we as leaders we need to be managers and agents of change."

    As Diane Lynes writes in Leaders Who Enable Change,

    A good leader needs to be able to envision, lead and champion change projects. Otherwise that envisioning just becomes a good idea that just stays a good idea. They need to be positive role models and display positive attitudes to change so that we feel safe to get on the bus with them.

    She continues to write in a bus analogy – about how good leaders needs to clearly articulate the destination (vision) and be clear about the pathway or journey (processes for success).

    Good leaders need to know how to lead learning and manage change as well as how to address the challenges on the way – such as resistance to change

  • Diane Mills (View all users posts) 21 Sep 2011 12:04pm ()

    I have just been following a similar thread at LinkedIn.  There the question was asked 'How do we invest in the executive team to ensure the vision for a new paradigm for 21st century [learning] can be known and owned throughout the school?'  While strategic planning is obviously the process required to show the direction a school is heading in, I believe that conversations are a crucial starting point.  These conversations need to take place at the school and community level first.  Some consensus needs to be reached about what learning/teaching needs to take place to prepare students for their future.  And yes I most definitely agree that creativity, problem solving and higher order thinking are skills stand the test of time.  There was a conversation about what the 'new basics' might be, how important character traits like resilience, optimism, persistence as predictors of students' success and how to teach these.

    Interestingly enough the comment was also made that with the high emphasis (and this was in American schools) on assessment and standards, flexibility for teachers was minimal.  Assessment was seen as the high stakes driver of what gets taught and how.  The fall back position being to do more of the same ie traditional teaching to get students through assessment.  This is in direct contrast to your writer's request 'to ensure that teachers are provided the freedom to take risks, knowledge of effective practices, resources to make it happen, and flexibility to incorporate innovative teaching strategies

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

Exploring leadership for change, vision, policy and strategy that integrates ICTs into learning.