Reflection Educational Leadership ETL504

Dan Tapscott’s visionary principles of an open world are very empowering for the 21st century leadership movement. In his TED lecture he explains in one of his examples the drivers for openness in global economies of the world was first due to the advent of the technological revolution changing ways things were done and secondly the trigger mechanism necessary for openness to be established in this case was the global economic down turn. Tapscott uses the “burning platform” analogy as an applicable model to explain change leadership and how decisions were necessary to be made during the financial crisis that brought about the inferential realisation that the cost of remaining where you were “the burning platform” was more costly than moving to something new “extinguishing it”. This analogy is retrospective and necessary for an open world inference to be adopted by an organisation, between organisations or in this particular reflection a school environment setting for them to carry on existing in a 21st century changing world.

In a school environment setting educational leadership has to drive change by improving on the old ways of doing things while realising that to accomplish this they are required to consider implementing the following leadership practices like the sharing of ideas, sharing in decision-making and possessing authentic ideals with its primary purpose to drive excellence in schooling. Dan Tapscott’s presentation also deliberates about the distinct forces that underpin the vision of an open world. These forces are encompassed within the following four principles of collaboration, transparency, sharing and empowerment. Change also relies on transformational leadership’s important elements of traits, goals, purpose, morals, vision, delegation, empowerment, transcending self-interest, transform and inspire and effective team building attributes. Transformational leadership elements permeate through the leadership culture to influence followers to go beyond their limiting abilities, to seek innovative ways to deal with improving their practices and to solve complex problems.

Management, transactional and instructional leadership are important concepts for a teacher librarian running the information center of the 21st Century. Firstly transactional leadership is very appropriate in leading a library as at times you need to be very structured and organised when dealing with your teams. Next instructional leadership elements of inquiry, creativity, exploration, collaboration, resource provider, instructional resource and improving educational outcomes directly affect the teaching, learning and achievement of students. Lastly equally important in a library is management for which operational routines deal with the complexity of library practices and procedures.

The nexus between situational and participative leadership has an encompassing, directive and empowering influence on leader and follower interactions. On one hand it can be telling and guiding while on the other it is inclusive, collaborative and empowering. This mixture is overtly creative in the way it supports the leader in formulating contingencies to suit various types of situational contexts.

Data informed Leadership is a forward thinking strategy that teachers and administrators can use to inform them about their practice and to analyse teaching and learning strategies in dealing with student academic achievement. However “bottom line numbers” should not be the only information that teachers should be concerned with in student test scores but more importantly to use data to advise them on how to improve the overall excellence in schooling. Data informed leadership approach does not only investigate areas that will improve students outcomes but where it is also helpful is with professional learning of educators in meeting the information, teaching and learning needs of students in the 21st century.

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