By creating a leadership statement we clarify the principles that govern our life and provides purpose to our actions.
Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner highlight five practices of exemplary leadership that articulate my beliefs and values.
- Model the Way
- Inspire a Shared Vision
- Challenge the Process
- Enable others to act
- Encourage the Heart
Leadership is about :
- self awareness
- social awareness
- consistency of action
- values aligned with actions
- taking risks
- learning, living, teaching, and sharing
- support and encouragement
I believe everyone can be a leader. Leadership is about our actions and our purpose. Leaders are engaged in their world and approach their life willing to learn; willing to lead; and willing to follow. Leaders clarify their vision and unite their people. Leaders are believable.
Thoughts on student centred learning and leadership:
Student identity and student centred learning are concepts that speak to student goals from first years of higher education through a life long learning approach to education. Students, coming from multiple, diverse starting points, will benefit from a curriculum focused on the development of self -managing and self -directed learners.
Today’s literature speaks to the creation of engaging learning environments and the need for students to make personal meaning of their learning. As someone who has travelled the educational journey from unengaged to enlightened, I am keenly interested in creating shared opportunities to help students find their place, be inspired, and achieve their goals.
I believe that the best way for students to be exposed to the learning and benefits of a learner centred education is to envision and practice the application to every day life. And this requires Leadership! Leadership can be viewed from various frames and disciplines: political science addresses power and influence, geography sees leadership as stewardship, anthropology views cultural influences and such factors as symbols and norms, history looks to the influence of key figures during significant times or when leading major social movements, and psychology or sociology looks individual and groups and how they interact. It is important for students to explore how their discipline approaches leadership (Komives, Lucas, McMahon, 2007).
Using the ‘Leadership Challenge’ and ‘The Social Change Model – leadership for a better world’ studies can encompass individual, group, and societal levels of leadership with a goal of helping students to know themselves – who they are and their purpose in life. Students will be challenged to rethink local and global relationships – between institutions and learners, between parents and students, between a university, its members, and the global community, and between students and their peers from different backgrounds
Komives, S.R., Lucas, N., & McMahon, T.R. (2007). Exploring leadership for college students who want to make a difference (2nd Ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
Thanks to Anne Fehr for this piece on Feedback – so critical to Leadership and personal growth
Hattie and Timperley (2007) reviewed these and other works to synthesize a model of feedback that focuses on its meaning. Their review used the lens of formative assessment questions (Where am I going? How am I going? Where to next?), which they call “feedback questions.” Thus, they recognized the importance of feedback in the formative process. Feedback can be the information that drives the process, or it can be a stumbling block that derails the process.
Hattie and Timperley (2007) propose a model of feedback that distinguishes four levels: (1) feedback about the task (such as feedback about whether answers were right or wrong or directions to get more information), (2) feedback about the processing of the task (such as feedback about strategies used or strategies that could be used), (3) feedback about self-regulation (such as feedback about student self-evaluation or self-confidence), and (4) feedback about the student as a person (such as pronouncements that a student is “good” or “smart”). The level at which the feedback is focused influences its effectiveness. Feedback about the qualities of the work and feedback about the process or strategies used to do the work are most helpful. Feedback that draws students’ attention to their self-regulation strategies or their abilities as learners can be effective if students hear it in a way that makes them realize they will get the results they want if they expend effort and attention. Personal comments (“Good girl!”) do not draw students’ attention to their learning.
Thanks to Kimberly Hodge for this gem:
In the mind frames part of Hattie’s book Visible Learning for Teachers he shares a checklist to reflect on your own teaching.
This is taken from page 169 of Visible Learning for Teachers:
“Your Personal Health Check for Visible Learning
1. I am actively engaged in, and passionate about teaching and learning.
2. I provide students with multiple opportunities for learning based on surface and deep thinking.
3. I know the learning intentions and success criteria of my lessons, and I share these with students
4. I am open to learning and actively learn myself
5. I have a warm and caring classroom climate in which errors are welcome.
6. I seek regular feedback from my students.
7. My students are actively involved in knowing about their learning (that is, they are assessment-capable).
8. I can identify progression in learning across multiple curricular levels in my student work and activities.
9. I have a wide range of teaching strategies in my day-to-day teaching repertoire.
10. I use evidence of learning to plan the next learning steps with students.
Thanks to Sophie for this
Group projects are supposed to teach you about team work and collaboration. Group projects can also help the student develop a host of skills.
Properly structured projects can help the student:
- Break complex tasks into parts and steps
- Plan and manage time
- Refine understanding through discussion and explanation
- Give and receive feedback on performance
- Challenge assumptions
- Develop stronger communication skills.
Group projects can also help students develop skills specific to collaborative efforts:
- Tackle more complex problems than they could on their own.
- Delegate roles and responsibilities.
- Share diverse perspectives.
- Pool knowledge and skills.
- Hold one another (and be held) accountable.
- Receive social support and encouragement to take risks.
- Develop new approaches to resolving differences.
- Establish a shared identity with other group members.
- Find effective peers to emulate.
- Develop their own voice and perspectives in relation to peers.
Group projects can backfire when not designed, supervised, and assessed properly.