Marilyn Cole

Posts by Marilyn Cole for Latest News:

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. 

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).

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