Thursday, September 28, 2006

Thoughts on school leadership for the future

Yesterday, there were a number of teachers and students at school although it was the holidays. Why? The students were there in order to start their practice exams and the teachers (from our school and two other schools) were there to participate in a presentation on leadership. Kevin, who is doing studies in school leadership, took us through a presentation to help us think about the needs of our school as it undergoes its restructure. He introduced us to Margaret Wheatley and Robert Starratt's views on leadership, and the need for leaders to critically reflect on their practice.
Margaret Wheatley
who wrote Leadership and the new science, looks at chaos theory and its relationship to leadership, schools as living systems and the idea of servant leadership.
Robert Starratt says: "During ordinary times, which are never ordinary, but especially during a period of school restructuring, educational administrators need to consider their responsibility to promote an ethical environment in their schools." This is something I am very interested in.

My position in the new leadership structure is that of Domain Leader for English looking at the scope and sequence for the students studying in this discipline from years 7 to 12. The main new focus of the restructure is to look at horizontal integration across each year level. I think the role of the domain leader is to bring the new understandings of learning for the digital age to the discipline of English, not just continue doing what an English coordinator has always done. We need to do it with the emphasis being on links across discipline areas for each year level as well as looking at communication and reflection skills that are needed to help our students be lifelong learners.

So there was a lot to think about as a result of the presentation. I think that blogging is definitely a way that teachers can reflect critically with others. I also found a video via Ubiquitous Thoughts that Scott Mcleod at Dangerously Irrelevant thinks should be required viewing for secondary educators, among others. The talented student, Consuela Molino, who made this video is talking about college teaching but it also applies to us in secondary education.
One of the quotes from the video says it all, I think: "If your sole purpose is just to prepare them for the future, then you have to go outside and see what the future's going to be."


  1. adapter6:07 pm

    Good stuff Jo. This suggests you've reapplied and been snapped up again. I'd love to hear more about the process you went through to decide that you would do it...

  2. Anonymous5:00 am

    Yeah.. it's Good stuff Madam. They need to see out side for the student future..

  3. I have always said that today education hasn’t somehow taking into consideration the reality as it is. Schools today are based a lot on theory of the world and less practice. Somehow I have the feeling that teachers forget their own purpose: to integrate kids into adulthood and to make humankind evolve.