AIOU Solved Assignments code B.Ed 8618 Spring 2020 Assignment 2 Course: School Leadership (8618) B.Ed Spring 2020. AIOU past papers
ASSIGNMENT No: 2
School Leadership (8618) B.Ed (1.5 Years)
AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 8618 Spring 2020
Q1. Describe the importance of educational leadership in Pakistan during pre and post independence.
There is a good deal of consensus in the literature about the key role of leadership – especially that of the head teacher – in facilitating school improvement. Yet much of the research in this area has taken place in Western industrialized countries. This article explores the issue of headship in the context of schools in a specific developing country context, that of Pakistan. Drawing on 2 studies of the experience of head teachers in Karachi, the article identifies and explores the key variables that may contribute to a sense of personal efficacy for these heads, namely the expectations generated by the national or community culture, the powers and accountabilities generated by the school system in which they work, and their own individual personalities and histories.
Teachers and Paraprofessionals
Many classroom environments employ the use of paraprofessionals, teaching assistants, student teachers and even parent volunteers to help with fundamental classroom exercises. This assistance frees up the time for the lead teacher to focus on skills development and classroom management. To be effective, good communication and teamwork between the adults is vital to ensure that students are getting the time, attention and levels of instruction required. Typically, each adult in the classroom is tasked with carrying out specific duties and responsibilities in a collaborative manner.
In many academic settings, teachers in different departments team up to ensure a continuity of instruction for students. A fifth grade science teacher focused on scientific measurements and calculations might collaborate with a fifth grade math teacher who teaches volume and measurements. As a team, the teachers create a crossover educational experience in which students of both educators have the opportunity to see how statistical information can be used in the different disciplines.
Teachers and Parents
Parents play a vital role in a student’s education, particularly during the formative years. When teachers and parents act as a team, it can reinforce positive behaviors and learning skills developed in the classroom and practiced at home. When students see educators and parental figures working together, they learn to value education and get academic and behavioral support both inside and outside the classroom. Parent-teacher teams that communicate well can share information about the student and help devise ways to individualize learning approaches to best meet the student’s needs.
Team or group work in a classroom teaches students the fundamental skills associated with working as a collective unit toward a common goal. This type of teamwork introduces a variety of skills that will be valuable for students later in the workforce, such as communication, compromise and collective effort. In any type of group work, students must agree about who will handle various components of a project and work in tandem using one another’s strengths to accomplish assigned tasks. This teaches time management, resource allocation and communication skills.
there are many jobs that offer you the opportunity to work your way up to higher leadership positions—usually after several years of proving yourself as a strong individual performer. As a teacher, though, you are in the driver’s seat on Day 1, with the full responsibility of leading a class of 20-30 students.
Teaching is a demanding role that requires incredible organization and time-management skills, as well as the ability to cultivate others’ strengths, to persevere in the face of countless obstacles, and to build relationships—the same skills and experiences needed to lead within a variety of contexts.
The leadership practices you develop and strengthen as a classroom teacher will transfer to any endeavor you might choose to take on. You will continue to draw upon these skills and experiences wherever you find yourself working for systems change and educational equity—whether leading a school, becoming an attorney, heading up a grassroots community organization, remaining a classroom teacher, or holding a position on the school board. Here are four ways that teaching and leadership go hand-in-hand.
- Teachers Start by Developing a Strong Vision for Their Classroom
One of the primary aspects of leadership is having a clear vision for where you are going. As a teacher, you’ll start the school year by setting the vision for what student success looks like in your classroom. Great teachers think big and develop a vision for what must be true in order for students to realize their gifts.
As with great leaders, great teachers seek tremendous input from stakeholders—students, families, fellow teachers, and the broader community—to decide the direction for their class and what outcomes are most important for students to reach by the end of the school year.
- Teachers Take Strategic Action to Reach Their Vision Every Day
In addition to setting a vision, a key component of leadership is mapping out the strategy to make that vision come true. This is a major part of your role as a teacher. You’ll set long-term and short-term goals for what you want your students to achieve and determine how you’ll work with students, parents, and your school team to help your students reach those goals. Every lesson plan you create and every assignment you prepare is a part of your strategy.
- Teachers Are Adept at Building Relationships Across Lines of Difference
Strong leaders are masters of relationship building. Developing authentic relationships is absolutely crucial to your success as a teacher. You’ll constantly work on building trust with your students as you both motivate and challenge them. Teaching also offers you the unique opportunity to build relationships with a diverse group of faculty, staff, and parents, who all bring different backgrounds, experiences, and strengths to the table. Learning how to navigate new contexts and build relationships across lines of difference is perhaps one of the most critical skills that you can develop as a leader right now, as our world becomes more interconnected and diverse.
- Teachers Continually Push Themselves to Learn and Improve
Learning from mistakes, seeking feedback, and continuing to evolve are among the traits of effective leaders. Teachers by nature are at the center of this kind of culture of learning. As a teacher you are constantly learning and evolving—learning how to teach a new concept, learning what motivates each of your students, learning how to navigate the structures within your school to get things done. You are also constantly receiving feedback on what works (and doesn’t work) and challenging your own perspective on what your students are capable of achieving.
Preparing You for a Career of Impact
Taken together, these four traits create a strong foundation for effective leadership in any context and reflect the habits of outstanding leaders across sectors. You will continue to hone these traits as you develop your teaching practice and will draw upon them throughout your career, no matter what path you choose to follow.
For many Teach For America alumni, the experience of leading a classroom and having a direct impact on students is transformational. It’s an experience that awakens and renews their passion to choose lifelong careers focused on educational inequity and the systemic problems that contribute to it. Nearly 65 percent of TFA alumni continue work in education and 84 percent work in roles impacting education or low-income communities.
A significant portion of alumni stay in the classroom and further develop their leadership skills as veteran teachers. Veteran teachers amass a wealth of leadership experience and influence as they continue to have a profound impact on their students year after year. They develop new learning experiences to prepare students for 21st century jobs; shape the education field by sharing exemplary teaching practices with other educators; and serve as advisors within their community.
Alumni also draw inspiration and conviction from what they learn in the classroom to lead in a variety of sectors outside of the classroom that expand opportunities for kids. They serve as school leaders, attorneys, social entrepreneurs, elected officials, and many other fields that impact the environment in which schools operate.
AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 8618 Spring 2020
Q2. What mistake we do while setting common goals, also discuss how a leader can craft a vision.
As new teachers, it is very easy to bite off more than we can realistically chew in our first year. This is true when it comes to the goals we set for ourselves and our students. As new teachers, we need to learn how to set specific, realistic goals for ourselves and our students.
Finding a Balance
The beauty of being a new teacher is that you come into the classroom with high expectations for your students and yourself. Unlike teachers who have taught for a few years, you haven’t had negative experiences with students or parents that make you jaded about the teaching profession. However, as beautiful as it is to have high expectations, sometimes we can have unrealistic expectations for ourselves, and our students, that destine us to be let down. Therefore, especially as a new teacher, it is important to set realistic goals for yourself and the school year as a whole.
Goal Setting Basics
As a new teacher, we are often asked to set goals as part of our evaluation process. Sometimes with such a wide range of goals to set, the task is daunting. However, there are a few specific areas to focus on with our teaching goals.
One common type of goal we are usually pressured to set as new teachers relates to student mastery of content. Often we tie these goals to test scores, but in reality, these goals should relate to enabling students to master the skills specific to your content area. Another goal might be related to mentoring your students, and developing those personal relationships that will help students be successful inside and outside the classroom. You may be given some guidance in setting goals as part of your new teacher induction program, but your goals should not be limited to administration requirements. Some goals should be personal as well; those are equally important to any academic goals you set for your students.
Setting a specific, measurable goal is the first step in the goal setting process. For example, you could set a goal that says ‘My students will grow in their social skills.’ However, this is a little broad. First, there are a lot of different social skills, and when you thought of this goal, there were probably some specific social issues you had in mind. Also, you want to be able to measure the progress towards the goal both for yourself and your students, so make it more specific. For example, if you have students who struggle with positive interactions with adults, you could state it as ‘Students will increase their positive interactions with adults by 10% in quarter 2’. You could create charts to track this goal for yourself, and so students can see their progress towards the specific goal.
However, as a teacher, you want to set personal goals as well. These goals don’t necessarily have to be communicated to the evaluator; they can just be for yourself. They should be goals that are meaningful to you, and not necessarily relevant to anyone else. For example, your goal may be that you manage how many papers you grade a week so that you can leave by 4:30 every day without taking papers home. While this goal may not mean anything to administration, it can mean a lot to a teacher. When you take hours of grading home every night, you burn yourself out. You are more tired when you work long days, which in turn makes you less effective in the classroom. Working twelve hour days will also leave you little time to grow yourself and recharge. Although teaching is a very involved profession, it doesn’t need to be your whole life. To be effective in the classroom, just like with our students, you need to nurture your other interests to grow your spirit.
Some Goals are Partnerships with Students
Often as teachers, we set the goals for our students whether we articulate that to our students or not. For example, we may say we want 100% of our students to pass the test on Friday, or students will increase their MAP testing scores this spring by 5%. However, the mistake we make as new teachers is setting goals that don’t involve a partnership with our students. Education expert Julia G. Thompson says we should set goals with our students, and create a system so that students can see their progress towards that goal. As students see their progress, they are more motivated.
So if some of your goals for the year are academic, then make your students partners in setting realistic academic goals for the year. To do this, have your students brainstorm goals and discuss whether or not they are realistic. For example, saying ‘We will all get an A in English’ is a very broad, and difficult goal for students to achieve. However, that goal can be retooled to make it realistic for the class. Perhaps the goal could be ‘Every student will raise their English average by 5%’ or, ‘By the end of quarter 2, students will have mastered 85% of the spelling words.’ If students help write the goals, then they will have more buy-in to the goal itself, which increases the likelihood of your instructional strategies being successful.
Another approach is to have students set individual goals that are relevant to them. For example, you could have each student set a goal for a quiz grade at the start of a section of content. First, have them take a pre-test to determine their current level of understanding. Then you could track the number of students who met their goal to make it measurable in the classroom.
Before You Write Goals
Remember: short-term, specific goals are more likely to be successful. However, goals are just that: goals. They are not written in stone, and should be subject to change as you move through your timeline. That’s normal and realistic in the course of teaching. There are innumerable events that will pop up along the way that may require you to adjust your goals. At the end of the day, there will be times when you fall short of meeting a goal you set for yourself and your students. Remember that it is okay, and you can go back to modify and adjust. Set a new goal, and keep moving forward. As time goes on, you will get a lot better at setting goals for yourself and your students.
Are you a K-12 teacher about to start another school year? This blog post will help you understand the common mistakes teachers make during back-to-school season that you should try to avoid.
Back to School – Mistakes to Avoid
Back to school is an exciting and fun time, but it also carries significant weight when it comes to setting you up for a successful year. Mistakes that you might make during the first few days can end up dogging you for the rest of the school year. To ensure that the year is as auspicious and smooth as possible, be sure to avoid making these five common back-to-school mistakes.
1.Avoid Setting The Wrong Tone
When you meet your new students for the first time, you want your first impression to be your best impression. But this approach can cause you to overthink your behavior on the first day of school, thereby setting the wrong tone for the entire year.
For example, you might be tempted to present yourself as the ”cool teacher,” so you spend the first day of school being fun and friendly, forgetting to put any emphasis on your classroom policies and procedures. This mistake can lead to a school year marked by student misbehavior.
On the other hand, you might be tempted to nip any negative classroom behavior issues in the bud by being strict and unyielding at the beginning of the year to show your students that they can’t mess with you. As a result, your students may view you as someone to fear instead of trust.
However you choose to present yourself to your students at the start of the school year, make an effort to accurately reflect what will be your actual approach throughout the school year, ideally striking the appropriate balance between friendly and firm.
2. Avoid Being Unprepared
You might think that the first few days of school are casual enough that you can wing it, and that structure isn’t particularly important while the year is just getting started. But not only does not having a plan leave you scrambling when it comes to filling the time, it also robs you of the confidence of knowing what you’re going to do during the first few days of school.
The back-to-school season is already full of so many surprises; the last thing you want to do is to add another unknown variable by not having a lesson plan. Even if you don’t want to get right into lectures in the first week, you’ll still want to plan out what it is that you do want to do, like conducting icebreakers and going over the syllabus.
3. Avoid Doing Too Much, Too Soon
Speaking of not wanting to jump straight into a lecture during the first few days of the year: remember, K-12 is not college. There’s no need to get into the nitty-gritty of the year’s academic material immediately. You and your students have a long school year ahead of you with plenty of time to cover the required material. So instead of throwing a lot of new materials, homework assignments, and assessments at your students right at the start, consider taking a week to:
- Focus on classroom procedures
- Getting to know one another
- Reviewing previously learned material
- Settling into the transition between summer and back-to-school time
4. Avoid Letting Things Slide
Though we don’t recommend being a rigid, no-nonsense disciplinarian from day one just for the sake of it, it’s important to start implementing your classroom policies at the very beginning of the school year. You can’t just present your classroom rules on day one but not put them into place until day six. If you notice that some students are already exhibiting problematic behaviors, don’t assume it’s just a case of the ”back-to-school jitters” and let them slide for now. Communicate that you’re serious about your disciplinary procedures and that you expect respect in your classroom – that way your students will actually follow the classroom rules.
5. Avoid Sweating the Small Stuff
We all make mistakes on the job, and teachers are by no means exempt from this fact. Transitioning into the new school year isn’t just challenging for students; it’s a process for the teacher as well.
So don’t be too hard on yourself if you make mistakes during back-to-school time and overthink them. For example, try not to stay up all night worrying about the way you mispronounced a new student’s name or how you stumbled over your words while explaining your educational background on the first day of school. Neither one of those things are a big enough deal to lose sleep over. As you know, there are far more important things to think about in the school year to come.
Thinking Too Narrowly
One of the biggest benefits of creating goals is that they force us to focus our time, attention, and energy on a specific objective, instead of scattering our focus and our resources among the broad range of possibilities vying for our attention. When we concentrate our efforts on a specific target, we’re more likely to accomplish our goals and less time.
That said, setting a goal that is too specific, while achievable, can lead to a goal setting mistake, by missing the true intention of our goal in the first place. We fall into this common trap by thinking too narrowly, and missing the bigger picture of what we’re really hoping to achieve. Unfortunately, this often leads, to wasted effort and frustration.
Setting a goal to lose 20 pounds for example, might be very valuable to a person who is otherwise healthy, but just carries a little bit of extra weight. For others, losing 20 pounds, while appealing, is misdirected effort, when the real goal is to achieve better health. When you look at the bigger picture, losing weight might not be the most effective goal. Perhaps quitting smoking would be more valuable. Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure or reversing heart disease might be better served by changes in diet or increased activity. Though losing weight might be a byproduct, it isn’t actually the true goal.
Another example of a too specific goal might be to increase the number of sales calls or project numbers, when the real goal is to advance our career, and a more valuable goal might be to attain an advanced certification or further our education to make us more valuable to an employer. Still another to specific goal might be to find the perfect mate, when the real goal is to be happier. Even if we find the perfect mate, we won’t necessarily be happier, because we have missed the true underlying need.
Quantity VS. Quality
In our zealousness for accomplishment, we unwittingly sabotage our forward movement by setting quantity goals rather than quality goals. Quantity goals may simply mean that we have set too many goals at one time rather than focusing our attention on a single, or a select few quality goals. But perhaps more important, is the distinction between a quality goal and a quantity goal.
Quantity goals usually deal with numbers while quality goals generally deal with an improvement in our overall quality of life and work. Unfortunately, quantity goals are easier and faster to achieve so they tend to draw our interest, but often quality goals have more impact on making important changes that address our most crucial needs.
When setting goals, focus on quality rather than quantity to avoid goal setting mistakes. Also, notice if you tend to automatically gravitate to “numbers” goals. Quantity, “numbers” goals are not inherently bad, and can be very useful as long as they are also quality goals that address the bigger picture.
We see this common mistake time and time again. If we set a goal of finding a new job or getting a promotion but only give ourselves one month to do so, we’re just setting ourselves up for failure. Writing your first book generally takes more than six weeks, six months is a more realistic goal. Also, be sure your goals are within your control.
Being offered a new job, might not be within your control, but revising your resume, hiring a career coach, or sending out resumes and checking job postings every week is within your control. Finding an agent or publisher in a specific timeframe probably isn’t within your control, but completing a book proposal, and contacting potential agents is within your control.
keep these common pitfalls in mind When determining goals. Set goals that impact the bigger picture and address your true objectives. Don’t get caught in the trap of thinking too narrowly and concentrate on quality over quantity. Make sure your goals are realistic, within your control and have a reasonable timeframe. While you’re at it, take a look at past goals that you weren’t able to achieve, see if you can revise them, and try again.
AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 8618 Spring 2020
Q3. Describe a vital role of communications skill play in leadership skills.
Proper communication skills in the workplace are needed to express your intent in a project, work well with your colleagues and keep your team motivated. Good communication skills also improve work productivity between departments. Improve the way you communicate with your team and co-workers through the use of oral and writing communication skills and the proper use of body language. Implement a few daily routines to build your workplace communication skills.
Implement a training program that teaches quality oral communication skills for face-to-face and telephone conversations. Focus on clear and concise statements instead of fragments or overly long sentences. Start with simple exercises, such as asking your group to describe a painting in three sentences, to teach expressing ideas clearly and efficiently.
- Offer a class that teaches effective writing skills. Include email etiquette as well as formal business correspondence. Stress the importance of proper sentence structure and paragraph formation. Focus on formal business communication and teach your team the importance of conveying the tone of the message with words.
- Teach inter-departmental communication skills so all departments working on a project stay on the same page. This may include familiarizing your team with terms and language used by another department. For instance, the information technology department must understand that when the sales staff talks about user-friendly software, the reference is to the customer, not the technicians.
- Focus on listening in training and sales meetings. Explain the importance of hearing what the other person is trying to say, even if that person has poor communication skills. Point out key words to watch for during a conversation, such as “but” or “I think,” which may indicate doubt. Teach your team to listen for questions that come in the form of a sentence, such as “You think this will work” or “The customer may want ….”, to clear up misconceptions.
- Recognize the strengths of individual members of your team and point those strengths out when the opportunity presents itself. If you must acknowledge weaknesses, do so in private and offer assistance to overcome the problem. People appreciate discretion and respond to recognition.
Effective business communication skills are vital to successful co-worker and customer interactions. Both the speaker and the listener share responsibility of making the message clear, but effective communication goes far beyond simple speech and hearing. Body language, tone of voice, word choice, message clarification and communication style all come into play, and can make the difference between success and failure in interpersonal transactions and interactions.
Effective Speaking Skills
Speakers must learn to articulate their message in a way the listener can understand, delivering it in a manner that is consistent with the message itself. Serious issues are best delivered in a serious tone, but with regard to the known or potential reaction of the listener. The reaction of the listener to both good or bad news can be directly controlled by the speaker, as long as the word choice and delivery are carefully considered. One part of effective speaking is knowing your listeners and how they may react, or delivering your message in a generic fashion if the listeners are not known.
Active Listening by both Speaker and Listener
Active listening is practiced by both the speaker and listener in effective communication. Active listening on the listener’s part involves eye contact, nods, gestures and brief comments to show understanding. On the speaker’s part, these gestures and comments are clues to the listener’s reaction and comprehension. If the listener seems confused, the speaker may re-evaluate the wording or delivery of the message, and listeners must take it upon themselves to ask questions, validate what is being said and provide input if necessary.
Asking Open-Ended Questions
Questions asked by both the speaker and listener must be of the open-ended type – those that cannot be answered by a yes or no. Open-ended questions encourage further communication, dialogue and understanding, and can help all involved in the conversation to further investigate and clarify the message.
Recognizing and Deciphering Body Language
Recognizing and deciphering body language is both an art and a science. Eye movement and contact, stance, posture, facial expressions, fidgeting and other body language can sometimes give clues to the speaker and listener alike. If the tone of a speaker’s voice is calm but his facial expression or posture is tense, the message can be confusing to the listener. Conversely, a listener who fidgets or does not make eye contact can give the speaker the impression that the listener is bored or not paying attention.
Choosing Communication Methods
In the modern business world, people communicate by text, phone, email, written correspondence and verbal communication. In effective communication, you must choose the communication method best suited for the message. Businesspeople who are articulate speakers may not be articulate writers, so the message in email and and written correspondence can sometimes be misconstrued. The same goes for writers who can craft detailed communications in written form, but choke when it comes to verbalizing.
Learning to be eloquent with all forms of communication methods may not be the easiest task, but the effective communicator knows her limitations and chooses the medium to match the message.
AIOU Solved Assignment 2 Code 8618 Spring 2020
Q4. What do you understand by the term change management? Discuss successful change management process in detail.
A school leader of the 21st Century possesses a vast array and network of skills. To be an effective change agent, the principal maintains visionary leadership, yet is guided by policy and governance. The principal as leader displays skills in organizational management, develops curriculum design and delivery systems for diverse school communities, and demonstrates skills in instructional management. The leader recognizes that effective staff evaluation and personnel management, coupled with comprehensive and sustained staff development plans are driving forces behind meaningful change. The principal maintains values and ethics of leadership while striving to develop and sustain trusting, positive, and supportive relationships with students, parents, staff and members of the community.
Clear Vision – As mentioned above, a “change agent” does not have to be the person in authority, but they do however have to have a clear vision and be able to communicate that clearly with others. Where people can be frustrated is if they feel that someone is all over the place on what they see as important and tend to change their vision often. This will scare away others as they are not sure when they are on a sinking ship and start to looking for ways out. It is essential to note that a clear vision does not mean that there is one way to do things; in fact, it is essential to tap into the strengths of the people you work with and help them see that there are many ways to work toward a common purpose.
- Patient yet persistent– Change does not happen overnight and most people know that. To have sustainable change that is meaningful to people, it is something that they will have to embrace and see importance. Most people need to experience something before they really understand that, and that is especially true in schools. With that being said, many can get frustrated that change does not happen fast enough and they tend to push people further away from the vision, then closer. The persistence comes in that you will take opportunities to help people get a step closer often when they are ready, not just giving up on them after the first try. I have said continuously that schools have to move people fromtheir point ‘A’ to their point ‘B’, not have everyone move at the same pace. Every step forward is a step closer to a goal; change agents just help to make sure that people are moving ahead.
- Asks tough questions– It would be easy for someone to come in and tell you how things should be, but again that is someone else’s solution. When that solution is someone else’s, there is no accountability to see it through. It is when people feel an emotional connection to something is when they will truly move ahead. Asking questions focusing on, “What is best for kids?”, and helping people come to their own conclusions based on their experience is when you will see people have ownership in what they are doing. Keep asking questions to help people think, don’t alleviate that by telling them what to do.
- Knowledgeable and leads by example– Stephen Covey talked about the notion that leaders have “character and credibility”;they are not just seen as good people but that they are also knowledgeable in what they are speaking about. Too many times, educators feel like their administrators have “lost touch” with what is happening in the classroom, and many times they are right. Someone who stays active in not necessarily teaching, but active in learning and working with learners and can show by example what learning can look like now will have much more credibility with others. If you want to create “change”, you have to not only be able to articulate what that looks like, but show it to others. sat frustrated often listening to many talk about “how kids learn today” but upon closer look, the same speakers do not put themselves in the situation where they are actually immersing themselves in that type of learning. How can you really know how “kids learn” or if something works if you have never experienced it?
- Strong relationships built on trust– All of the above, means nothing if you do not have solid relationships with the people that you serve. People will not want to grow if they do not trust the person that is pushing the change. The change agents I have seen are extremely approachable and reliable. You should never be afraid to approach that individual based on their “authority” and usually they will go out of their way toconnect with you.
That doesn’t mean that they aren’t willing to have tough conversations though; that also builds trust. Trust is also built when you know someone will deal with things and not be afraid to do what is right, even if it is uncomfortable. Sometimes trust is built when you choose to do what is right for your community or organization, as long as it is always done in a respectful way.
Should every school/district administrator have these qualities? Probably. But with that being said, positive change is not reserved to be the responsibility of any position. The best leaders may have all of these qualities but also empower others to be those “change agents” as well to build a culture of leadership and learning. That being said, some of them do it in spite of their principal or superintendent and often feel that they are in constant conflict. Things would obviously move a lot quicker if they had the support of their leader. With that support, change can happen in an organization quickly, but if the leader does not “clear the path”, improvement will take a lot longer than it should.
What is important to note is that being a “charismatic leader” is not something that is essential. Often, charismatic leaders lack many of these qualities that I have listed above and although they can seemingly lead change, it is not sustainable and does not permeate throughout the school or organization; it becomes too dependent upon one person. For example, was Steve Jobs a change agent, or a charismatic leader? Apple is not doing as well since he has passed away and their innovation has seemed to slow down. Steve Jobs was known for being notoriously tough to deal with and the trust that is essential to building a strong culture was probably lacking to some degree.
A school leader of today possesses a vast array and network of skills that go beyond the technical realm. The effective leader has a working knowledge of and appreciation for the system. The leader has a strong foundation and repertoire of skills and strategies grounded in theories of knowledge, variability, and psychology. The leader recognizes that education reform and the process of change are intertwined. Change is a prerequisite for meeting the necessary elements of education reform (Henson, 2001). “Understanding the strategies and when to use them is necessary for change agents.
According to Seyfarth (1999), the principal’s job covers a wide range of situations and requires a multiplicity of skills. “In terms of educational leadership, the principal sets the instructional direction, resolves complex problems, are effective communicators, and works toward developing themselves and others”. A leader understands the complex role within the inner workings of a school; recognizing the role is varied and requires the ability to multi-task and prioritize. Understanding the necessity, the principal strives to create a responsive school.
Sensitivity to multicultural issues
Equity carries over into the realm of sensitivity to multicultural issues. Appreciating and celebrating diversity requires culturally proficient leadership by one who is conscious of cultural diversity and recognizes that it is an essential foundation for equality and excellence in both the process and outcomes of education (Banks and McGee Banks, 2004). Such a leader understands and communicates the impact of pluralistic issues on modern society and strives to provide its diverse population with a common educational experience. Such an emphasis is needed because Considerable empirical evidence exists which suggests the negative and inequitable treatment of students, particularly those of color, in public schools. Differential levels of success in schools distributed along race and social-class lines continue to be the most pernicious and prevailing dilemma of schooling.
To implement multicultural education successfully, schools can be thought of as a social system with all its major variables closely interrelated. By doing so, a change strategy can be formulated and initiated that reforms the total school environment to implement multicultural education.
Recognizing that economics play a role in school financing, Brimley and Garfield (2002) believe that knowledge of economics and its partnership with education is deemed important as they explain
That being true, educational leaders at all levels cannot continue to give mere fleeting glances and incidental references fundamental to economic theories and principles if they are to be effective in helping solve, or in reducing the complex and persistent problems involved in financing education adequately and equitably. An integral piece of leadership focuses on the principal’s skills in the curriculum planning and development and instructional processes. Research on effective schools has made educators aware of the need for leaders, particularly the building principal, to be at the center of curriculum and instructional planning (Henson, 2001). In light of this research, a principal assumes significant responsibilities in facilitating the creation of curricula based on research, applied theory, informed practice, and recommendations of learned societies.
An effectual leader guides staff members toward curriculum design and delivery systems built around a philosophical framework that is grounded in theory. This framework not only serves as a road map to guide staff toward achieving a school’s vision and mission, but also serves as a catalyst for change. This can be accomplished through strategic planning processes. The strategic planning process, as it applies to curriculum, plays a vital role in bringing about change; the effective leader maintains a clear sense of focus and direction for staff because “strategic planning is a process for determining and creating the best possible future for an organization.
Q5. Elaborate the need and significance of technology. As an educational leader, discuss use of technoglical tools for various purpose effectively.
Technological tools can foster students’ abilities, revolutionize the way they work and think, and give them new access to the world.
If we removed all of the computers from schools tomorrow, would it make a big difference in the knowledge and skills students demonstrated upon graduation? Probably not. What if we removed all of the computers from businesses tomorrow? Most businesses would find it nearly impossible to continue.
Why is it that schools rumble along virtually unchanged by the presence of computers? As D’Ignazio (1993) describes it, businesses have been building electronic highways while education has been creating an electronic dirt road. And sometimes on a dirt road, its just as easy to get out and walk. Do computers and other technologies offer less to educators than they do the business community? Many educators would answer yes, feeling that the humanistic nature of education makes computers and other technologies less valuable. Increasing numbers of educators, however, are experiencing the power of technology.
Despite the popular inclination to equate computers and other high-tech electronic tools with the term technology, the definition includes two components: a product—the tool that embodies the technology—and a process—the information base of the technology. Both technological products and their systematic processes have a great deal to offer schools.
According to John Naisbitt in Megatrends, new technologies pass through three stages (1982). In the first stage, the new technology follows the “line of least resistance,” into a ready market. At the second stage, users improve or replace previous technologies with the new technology. Finally, in the third stage, users discover new functions for the technology, based on its potentials. They ask, “What can we do now that was not possible before?” In the educational use of modern electronic technologies, we are just entering this third stage.
Technology Use in Schools
For some time now, educators have been using computers at stage two—creating puzzles, delivering instruction, assessing student progress, and producing reports. But unlike their use in business, computer technologies in the classroom have increased, rather than decreased, teachers’ workloads. Many teachers we have talked with reported that the computer spends more time turned off than on, and that money spent to maintain the computer might have been better spent on other instructional materials. These teachers have a hard time justifying the computer’s existence in the classroom. Many schools have added computers in response to parental demand, rather than to compelling need.
In contrast, educators who have moved to stage three are asking, “How can these new tools contribute to a more powerful educational experience?” These educators are searching for a paradigm shift, not just a way to squeeze technological tools between the existing bricks of yesterday’s educational practices.
They begin their search by using the process of technology to determine needs and to design appropriate solutions (see Banathy 1991, Reigeluth 1991). They assess future demands on their graduates and the characteristics of their students and the community. They consider what is known about the learning process, and they investigate the tools and techniques available. Having completed their assessment, they design several alternatives. Educators at stage three understand that it is what the student does that counts. Only after they determine what the students must be doing do they determine appropriate roles for the professionals and the technological tools.
Top 10 Reasons for Using Technology
In stage three, educators use technology as integral components of learning. Here is a stage-three “top 10 list” of reasons for using technology.
- Students learn and develop at different rates. Technology can individualize instruction. Through computer networks called integrated learning systems, teachers can prescribe individual learning paths for students. Such systems offer thousands of lessons covering the same basic skills now taught in a lock-step way through textbooks to groups of students with incredibly different backgrounds, interests, and motivation. With an integrated learning system, students can move at an appropriate pace in a nonthreatening environment, developing a solid foundation of basic skills rather than the shaky foundation a calendar-based progression often creates.
- Graduates must be proficient at accessing, evaluating, and communicating information. Educational technologies can—by design—provoke students to raise searching questions, enter debates, formulate opinions, engage in problem solving and critical thinking, and test their views of reality. Online tools and resources allow students to efficiently gather and evaluate information, then communicate their thoughts and findings. This communication may require reading; thinking; writing; creating charts, graphs, and other images; or the organization and production of information using spreadsheets and databases.
- Technology can foster an increase in the quantity and quality of students’ thinking and writing. Perhaps one of the best documented successes with computers in education is in developing students’ writing. Several features of word processors seem to reduce the phobia often associated with writing. Writing on the computer has a temporary feel, making it easier to take creative and grammatical risks. Difficulty with the fine motor skills required by handwriting usually does not transfer to the keyboard; thus the word processor can reduce frustration. Editing and revising can occur almost as quickly as one thinks, and finished products printed from a word processor have a professional quality that generates a sense of accomplishment.
- Graduates must solve complex problems. Higher-level process skills cannot be “taught” in the traditional sense; they cannot be transferred directly from the teacher to the learner. Students need to develop these skills for themselves, with appropriate guidance. They need to struggle with questionsthey have posed and search out their own answers.
A collection of computer applications often called productivity tools could revolutionize the way students work and, more important, the way they think. Databases, spreadsheets, computer-assisted design, graphics programs, and multimedia authoring programs (programs for creating computer-based presentations or lessons) allow students to independently organize, analyze, interpret, develop, and evaluate their own work. These tools engage students in focused problem solving, allowing them to think through what they want to accomplish, quickly test and retest solution strategies, and immediately display the results.
- Technology can nurture artistic expression. Modern technology-based art forms (video production, digital photography, computer-based animation, and the like) have great appeal, encouraging artistic expression among our diverse student population. These tools provide forms of artistic communication for those students who have been constrained by the traditional options of verbal and written communication, and they increase motivation and foster creative problem-solving skills as students evaluate the many possible ways to communicate ideas.
- Graduates must be globally aware and able to use resources that exist outside the school. With few exceptions, children’s domains of discovery during the school day are limited to the classroom and the school. Technological tools allow students to inexpensively and instantly reach around the world, learning first-hand about other cultures. Various technologies can provide up-to-date maps and demographic data, and computer-based wire services can bring a newsroom-quality stream of current events into the school.
- Technology creates opportunities for students to do meaningful work. Students need to produce products that have value outside school, receive feedback on their work, and experience the rewards of publication or exhibition. Technology can provide a widespread audience for students’ work. Computers link students to the world, provide new reasons to write, and offer new sources of feedback on ideas. Students’ video products shown on local cable stations can produce high levels of motivation and accomplishment.
- All students need access to high-level and high-interest courses. Electronic media can bring experiences and information previously unimagined by students into the classroom. Through instructional television, students can view and discuss events they otherwise could not experience. Laserdiscs and CD-ROMs put thousands of images and topics at students’ fingertips. Distance education technologies can bring important learning experiences to students, even in districts where small student populations have made some courses impossible to offer.
- Students must feel comfortable with the tools of the Information Age. Computers and other technologies are an increasingly important part of the world in which students live. Many of today’s information producers are converting their knowledge bases to digital format and are constructing new technologies to increase speed, capacity, and reliability of dissemination. As telephone, computer, television, and other media merge, incredible resources will become available. An “I tell you, you tell me, and I’ll grade you” model of education will not prepare students to take advantage of these resources.
- Schools must increase their productivity and efficiency. Technology can re-place (not replace) the teacher. When stage-three educators determine what students should do and how teachers and technologies can support students, many of the routine tasks done by teachers can be reassigned to technology, elevating the role of teacher.
Some things only teachers can do. Teachers can build strong, productive relationships with students. Technologies can’t. Teachers can motivate students to love learning. Technologies can’t. Teachers can identify and meet students’ emotional needs. Technologies can’t. Technology-based solutions in education can, and must, free the teacher to do the important work that requires human interaction, continuous evaluation, and improvement of the learning environment.
Computer-based technologies can administer individualized lesson sequences that branch and remediate according to students’ unique needs, quickly and automatically track progress, perform data analysis, and generate reports. Other computer-based tools enable teachers to quickly generate individualized communications to parents, create lesson plans, and select instructional materials from a rich resource database. If entire schools or districts use such capabilities, record keeping and communication can be dramatically enhanced.
Growing with Technology
When educators allow students to interact with technologies in meaningful ways for significant periods of time, the growth that follows will encourage educators to try new things. In an E-mail message to us, Chris Held, an innovative educator in Bellevue, Washington, said, “Technology is often the Trojan Horse through which innovation enters the school.” To see students so engaged in learning that they lose track of time, to see a level of excitement that causes students to come to school early and stay late, and to have time to develop strong relationships with students and to meet their individual needs, will inspire educators to take more frequent and larger steps into stage three.
Modern technological tools allow educators to fulfill age-old dreams. We can individualize instruction. We can create simulations through which students can discover important relationships and construct new knowledge. We can even put the reins into the hands of students and watch as these tools take them to destinations they envision. Or, we can lose much of the potential these tools have by using them to help us do the same things we’ve been doing. As George Leonard puts it:
And now in the space age, the reformers are offering the nation an educational horse and buggy. They would improve the buggy, keep the passengers in it longer, and pay the driver more. But it would still be a horse and buggy (1984).
Systematic use of the processes and tools of technology can enable us to go beyond simply polishing the buggy for a longer ride. Keith Geiger, president of the National Education Association, summarized the situation well:
The problem is this: we are still too timid to restructure our schools in profound, rather than in superficial ways. And only when we stop being timid will we stop undermining the educational potential of this new technology (1990).
Thousands of pioneers in classrooms around the world are pushing back education’s boundaries, intent on avoiding the dirt road designed for the horse and buggy. They are starting, instead, with a systematically designed blueprint for a new kind of school—one designed for learning, rather than teaching. Technologies become powerful tools in the hands of these pioneers.
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