Roles in Systemic Change
Crucial to effective systemic change is the power of teams that draw on different kinds of expertise, representing players from various parts of a district. Leadership occurs at all levels and has the following characteristics:
This section provides resources for and insights into how these characteristics are manifested in the specific responsibilities of the school board, the superintendent, the principals and the teachers.
SCHOOL BOARD AND CHANGE (Excerpted from Leadership and Technology, published by the National School Boards Association's Institute for the Transfer of Technology to Education)
The school board's role in leading change involves:
Essential roles of effective board leadership include:
Vision: The board, on behalf of and with extensive participation by the community, envisions the community's education. This includes:
Structure: To achieve its vision, the board establishes a structure and creates an environment designed to ensure that all students have the opportunity to attain their maximum potential through a sound organizational framework. This can be done through process management. Process management includes implementing the vision and thereby providing excellent education. Several key processes must be in place including education design, education delivery, school services, and business operations. Although board members do not directly manage these processes, they are responsible for seeing that they are well-designed, effectively managed, and continuously improved to achieve the established vision.
Accountability: Because the board is accountable to the local community, it requires the continuous assessment of all conditions affecting education. An information system facilitates educational assessment. To professionally perform their function, board members need to ensure the integrity of the information systems used in their school systems. Issues include how data is selected, managed, and analyzed and how this information is used to continuously improve education and business operational systems.
Advocacy: The board serves as educations key advocate on behalf of students and their schools to advance the communitys vision for its schools, pursue its goals, encourage progress, energize systemic change, and deal with children as whole persons in a diversified society. This entails providing communication whereby board members are responsible for ensuring that student and stakeholder needs and expectations are solicited, monitored, and evaluated. Board members are also responsible for ensuring that the information is communicated and used to improve education.
The boards ability to promote change is related to its stability, unity, and knowledge base. Effective school boards function like a board of directors, focusing on education outcomes, not managerial responsibilities.
The following discussion questions are intended to help school boards effectively lead change:
|How can curriculum keep pace with the increasing amount of information?|
|If information is exploding at a rapid rate, how do schools get access to that information?|
|Are textbooks the most economical investment in information that students need?|
|How do teachers teach students to learn how to access information (information literacy)? What happens to the importance of literacy?|
|If technology become important in the workplace, what kind of curriculum do students need in schools?|
SUPERINTENDENTS AND CHANGE
Superintendents are the primary change-agents for school districts, helping to establish the overall district vision and mission, planning and coordinating, facilitating change, spanning institutional gaps, communicating, resolving conflicts, improving organizational efficiency. For resources on how to develop these skills, go to the American Association of School Administrators: http://www.aasa.org
PRINCIPALS AND CHANGE
Principals facilitate shifts in roles and increased responsibility among teachers, students, and administrators. They move from managerial roles to instructional leaders, working collaboratively with all to create share vision, team building, delegation, mediation, problem-solving. For resources on how to develop these skills, go to the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals: http://www.nassp.org/, http://www.naesp.org/
TEACHERS AND CHANGE
Teachers design and provide staff development; act as mentors and coaches to students; develop into master teachers; participate as team leaders; direct district wide teacher education centers and professional development programs. Resources for teachers in these roles can be found at: National Education Association http://www.nea.org, American Federation of Teachers http://www.aft.org
In this section:
|Change and Education||Change Inventories||Education Systemic Change Tools|
In the Toolkit:
|Toolkit Home Page||Why Change?||Why Technology?|
|Planning||Policy||Curriculum and Assessment|
|Community Involvement||Facility Planning||Funding|
|Prof'l and Ldrship Development|