Posts by Marilyn Cole for Latest News:
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'...
Duignan argues that a new kind of leadership paradigm is needed to lead authentic learning in twenty-first century schools. Current measures of successful leadership that are based on improvement in educational outcomes for students, focus on the easily measured outcomes that are usually some kind of test score. Such measures fail to adequately capture many things that count but cannot be measured.
Trust is a concept that we do not often discuss in the context of the school environment but it is a concept that is fundamental to both the good functioning of a school and the relationships within it. The Webster dictionary defines trust as “an assured (or confident) reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.”
What an amazing opportunity schools have, to build into the men and women of tomorrow. To speak into their character development and to equip them with the skills and tools to think and to contribute. To hold out to them the existence of ‘truth’, and training in the tools to pursue and find it. At a time when our culture is moving quickly towards uncertainty and relativity, a place where there is no one truth, but many truths, we have a great responsibility.
Knowing More About More, Being Better Thinkers, Being Better People
Dow explains that the benefits that come to the intellectually virtuous person can be broken down into 3 categories: we come to know more, become better thinkers, and become better people (p79).
Intellectual humility is probably the most difficult of the virtues to develop because this goes against the currents of our culture, and pride is deeply rooted in all of us (p75).
We often do what we want and then create a moral code that suits our actions……the result is a corrupted intellectual conscience that no longer values the truth, if it can still distinguish the truth from falsehood at all. Dallas Willard has argued that this results in our behaviour guiding our ethics rather than our ethics guiding our behaviour (p66). What a dangerous place to be!
Curiosity is defined as “an eager desire to know; inquisitiveness”. It asks the questions ‘why’ and ‘how’ and pursues the answers. It is often the forerunner of invention and new ideas. It is not just a state of mind but is active in its observation, investigation and exploration; in its pursuit of answers.
“Those who are fair-minded earnestly want to know the truth and thus are willing to listen in an even handed way to differing opinions, even if they already have strong views on the subject…they attempt to view the issue from the perspective of their opponents, believing they do not always have the most accurate or complete vantage point on a given issue….. they have chosen to put the truth above allegiance to their ego or cherished opinions…..” (p50)