ERIC Number: EJ942994
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Reference Count: 0
21st-Century Priorities for Leadership Education and Prospective School Leaders
Mullen, Carol A.
Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, v4 n4 p331-333 Win 2010
What are the major priorities for preparing educational leaders for their work in school communities? Clues to this question are nestled within higher education curricula. Prevalent 21st-century priorities that governing standards specify, such as innovation, assessment, distributed leadership, and technology, must be vigorously shaped into social justice praxis. Highly qualified administrators must help teachers prepare students for careers, higher education, citizenship, and global readiness. This is how the national standards in educational leadership read, as well as much of the current literature. But this goal can be integrated into the kaleidoscope of social justice work or can be treated in isolation. Clearly, priorities for leadership must be nurtured within a morally centered social justice framework. For example, future-ready leaders need to know how to innovate by collaborating with partners to facilitate change, remove barriers from learning, and understand global connections. They create a culture that embraces change and make decisions in collaboration with parents and other stakeholders. They also model the use of multiple and authentic assessments to target the skills and knowledge students should learn. High-quality standardized testing is, at minimum, balanced with alternative assessments that inspire creative student learning. These leaders enact a distributed leadership strategy that support teachers' growth through professional learning communities and positive school climates. They understand leadership activity not as the work of single leaders so much as communal participation enacted in complex, interconnected ways. A distributed perspective occurs as principals influence teacher practice as instructional leaders. Cutting-edge technologies not only support teaching and learning but also ensure safety for all, as well as the protection of human dignity. Priorities for school leadership anchored in a social justice epistemology can enhance administrator advocacy and responsibility. Set adrift of this focus, priorities amplify the inequities and injustices that plague school communities.
Descriptors: Social Justice, National Standards, Epistemology, Instructional Leadership, Leadership Training, Administrator Education, Educational Needs, Needs Assessment, Administrative Principles, Administrator Responsibility, Leadership Effectiveness, Leadership Qualities
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A