Posts by Marilyn Cole for Latest News:
“Culture is the hidden tool to transform schools and to offer students the best learning possible." Fullan and Hargreaves (1996) use the concept of “culture” to refer to the guiding beliefs and expectations evident in the way a school operates, particularly in reference to how people relate to each other. Put simply, they say culture is the way things are done in a particular school.
In the context of today’s knowledge society, the memorisation of facts and procedures by students is not enough for their success...
A review of literature indicates that there are concerns in a number of countries that the role of principal, conceived for the needs of the past, is no longer relevant or effective to deal with the complex challenges schools are facing in the 21st century (Duignan, 2012, p. 121).
Duignan argues that every action of leadership in a school should be based on moral principles that are underpinned by a clearly articulated value system. These values should provide the reason why leaders do what they do. But how many of us are familiar with the values statements of our schools? Do our schools have values statements and if so are they ever made explicit to staff and students?
Many of the challenges facing educational leaders involve situations where values and ethics are contested. These challenges are multi-dimensional and involve complex human behaviour, as well as different expectations and possibly different values from different stakeholders who may be culturally diverse.
“The issue is not how friendly formal leaders should be with those who work with them, but how organisational members can work together professionally as a team to achieve the goals and objectives of the organisation.”
Leadership in a turbulent, uncertain and rapidly changing world needs leaders who are capable of responding ‘adaptively to the depth, scope, and pace of change that combined with complexity creates unprecedented conditions’ (Parkes, 2005 in Duignan, 2012, p. 17). In the context of education adapting to new challenges involves learning and developing new leadership capacities...
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.
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.