Saturday, 13 August 2016

Comparing Challenges and Issues of Educational Leadership Past and Present

My name is Emily MacLean and I am an Education Technology Coach at an international school in Singapore. Working at a private school gives me a very different perspective on schooling and leadership compared to growing up in a public school board. I am doing this course as part of my Masters of Education (Information Technologies) as my role provides me with a unique leadership position where I am not responsible for any teachers but yet responsible for supporting all teachers in their use of technology in the classroom.

  • What do you think may have been the demands, key issues and dilemmas facing educational leaders/managers when you were attending school?
    • Finances for resources
    • Equality
    • Parent expectations of their children
    • Political pressures for curriculum, class sizes etc.
    • Delivering content
    • Teacher -centred approach
    • Limited support for students with learning needs and special education students
    • Accountability
  • Reflect upon the current professional setting in which you are working and note down the demands, key issues and dilemmas facing yourself as a leader/administrator. Alternatively, if you are aspiring to leadership/management, list the demands, key issues and dilemmas facing leaders/administrators in your workplace
    • Parents as stakeholders (private school setting) - expectations and demands
    • Time (in general)
    • Professional Development for teachers - Staying current with teaching practice
    • Teacher shortage ( in public domains, international schools not facing this issue); Finding highly qualified staff
    • Continually upgraded technology resources (finances)
    • Technology integration
    • Diversity
    • Developing learning environments - flexible learning, finances
    • Developing skills not content
    • Student-centered approach - diverse needs, individualised
    • Strategic planning - forward thinking, backwards by design
    • Accountability - use of data driving instruction
    • School vision
    • Changing teaching roles to more of facilitators
    • Inquiry learning
    • Competing with other private schools for enrollment
  • Are there areas that you have listed that are the same on the two lists? What areas/issues/dilemmas have you listed that are different?
    • Budgeting and finances - resources, staffing, operational needs
    • Teacher professional development
    • Student behavior
    • Parent expectations- change in parent expectations from student to expectations of the school
    • Accountability - although changes to who school is accountable to
    • Staying current trends
    • Time

  • Reflect: What key events have occurred in the world and in our lives which may have led to these differences?
    • Some of the biggest changes have been due to the advances in technology. Technology has become more readily available and more affordable. Students have technology at home and now it’s been brought into the educational setting. This changes the learning environment by extending it beyond the classroom and also impacts how teachers must teach. Teachers are now facilitators in the learning environment supporting and co-creating with their students. No longer must teachers be the sole expert but one of many in the classroom. Teachers require more professional development as the educational setting continues to evolve in order to stay current.
    • Research is becoming more prominent and more available to educators. Many teachers are becoming researchers themselves as they document their action research. Because of the increase in educational research, educators must continue to stay current by reading up on best practice and again, ensure they are receiving professional development to help them put this learning into their classroom.
    • For many countries (like my home country of Canada), there have been changes in the government since I was in school. With the changes of political parties, there is changes to funding, teacher expectation, policies and even curriculum. This continues to be an area that educators have to be aware of to ensure they are aware of the changes as they occur.

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