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Showing posts from April, 2014

Michael Fullan in Edinburgh

Yesterday I had the opportunity to listen to Michael Fullan when he spoke at the Edinburgh Learning Festival. Fullan is well known around the world for his work related to teacher and leadership development, and the improvement of education systems. A lot of this has been done in conjunction with Andy Hargreaves and a small, but highly experienced, team based in Ontario. Fullan was talking to school leaders from Edinburgh, and other areas of Scotland,about his latest book 'The Principal - Three Keys for Maximising Impact.'

So he was speaking to school and education leaders about better school leadership by headteachers and others. So what did he have to say?

As part of his introduction, he spoke of current programmes that he and his team are currently involved in. They are working with states and education authorities in New Zealand, Australia,  United States and Canada. He noted that he and his team were now focused on deep change but over a wide scale in all the projects the…

Not More Sheep!

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A few years ago a colleague I was working with first mentioned the term 'professional courage' to me. She was using it to describe actions we sometimes have to take as educational leaders that might not be particularly popular with colleagues, parents, employers or others but which we still should take if we believe them to be the right actions. I really liked the term, and the thinking that lay behind it. Since I first began considering and engaging with the term, I have extended the definition to include difficult conversations that we sometimes have to have and difficult decisions we have to make. Often deciding the route to take in any of these areas does require a degree of 'professional courage' especially when it can bring us into confrontation with others as a result.

If you are a leader, are there times when you have chosen not to take a course of action that you wished because you knew others you work with, or for, would disagree or not support your intended…

Of Panaceas and People

Scotland, like many countries has been looking at how it might train and develop its teachers in order to improve its schools, and education, for all learners. Closing the gap between the lowest 20% of achievers and the rest is also another key driver for Scotland and many other countries. Graham Donaldson's report 'Teaching Scotland's Future' was informed by successes in other countries as well as the history and uniqueness of the Scottish education system. In his report Donaldson made some 50 recommendations on what we needed to do to improve teacher training and teacher quality in Scotland. All 50 recommendations were accepted by the Scottish Government and an Implementation Board was set up to draw up plans to consider how this might be best achieved.

Amongst the recommendations was one that said Scotland should aim to have a teaching cohort that was educated to and trained to Masters level. Some immediately thought this meant we were going to copy the model adopte…