Courageous, ethical and authentic leadership action is needed to challenge current trends. If we accept that the Melbourne Declaration of Educational Standards for Young Australians (2008) helps teachers to define their moral purpose, at least in part, we must ask ourselves not only what a successful learner looks like and how do students become confident and creative, but also how do we raise active and informed twenty-first century citizens in a world where social processes and institutions encourage new forms of individualism and increasingly more selfish modes of living?
“Leaders influence others through authentic presence in their relationships". Influence is related to being fully present in relationships that are authentic and have a clear and mutually beneficial moral purpose. Presence has a number of facets and qualities that help to enhance the purpose, quality and depth of relationships and can thereby greatly increase the potential for leaders to influence what really matters and make a difference.
The most powerful marketing tool we have for encouraging young Christians and career-change Christians to consider teaching as a vocation for the gospel is ourselves- the educators! We are modelling our faith each day and we have opportunities to speak about why we love our work (mostly!) What opportunities do we have each day? How we can positively advocate for our students to thoughtfully consider training as a teacher?
Anglican EdComm launched the Aspiring Leaders Network in August 2017. We were pleased to have Emeritus Professor Patrick Duignan deliver the keynote address entitled Leading with Influence: The Power of Presence, Positive Relationships and Collective Responsibility.
International evidence says today’s schooling is out of step with producing students with the skills to survive and thrive in the complex and demanding 21st century. Instead of resilient life-long learners schools are producing dependent, passive high and low achievers who frequently lack resilience and real world intelligence.
Given the current debate over the legitimacy of ideas in Australian society with the impending marriage-equality postal vote, and questions being raised about the right of opposing voices to be heard, this 20 minute video by Malcom Gladwell provides a helpful way for everyone, but especially leaders, to consider their actions, words and role, and to ask how they can cultivate their presence in such a way that people will listen and obey.
Maxwell (2005) states that, " the true measure of leadership is influence - nothing more, nothing less". It is not uncommon for a teacher to identify the ‘leaders’ among a cohort of students by looking to see which students have influence amongst their peers or to notice the climate of a class change when one student with influence is absent. Sometimes, however, it is less obvious where the real influence is in a school community because it may not always reside with positional authority.
One of the themes of Duignan's work is the idea of authenticity: authentic leadership, authentic relationships and authentic learning. George (2003) says that leadership begins and ends with authenticity (Duignan, 2012, p.13), while Sarratt (2004) claims that authenticity can be learnt and built by 'the cultivation of virtues'...
He has been described as a ‘guru’ by Professor John Hattie. No matter what you think of him, Pasi Sahlberg definitely has some helpful insights into education globally. His experience as a teacher and then system leader in Finland, alongside his international work means that people sit up and take notice when he speaks.
When I began reading ‘The Heart of Education’ I was unaware of the extensive leadership experience and influence of Rod West. Like many others, I knew that he had been headmaster of Trinity Grammar School for 20 years. What I discovered, as I read Rod’s life story, was that he was an inspirational teacher and headmaster whose faith was pre-eminent in every aspect of his life. He transformed several schools as he concentrated on relationships with staff and students rather than the process of education. Under Rod’s stewardship 33 teachers have become headmasters.