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Identify, Clarify, and Address Barriers to Achieving the Vision, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 1086

Research Paper

Task 1

Key Reading Points

The concept of the school, as an organization, having a vision statement is relatively new.  It is important that the leadership can demonstrate a sense of purpose and direction, thereby leading with a vision of its’ goals and objectives.  The ISLLC set out 6 standards that School Administrators could use as a guideline in order to implement  the leadership approach. The counter argument is that certain school heads are slightly more “pedestrian” in their ways and lead more towards a maintenance of the status quo as opposed to a revolutionary approach of seeking out improvements and devising strategies to fix them.

Applying Content

Good leadership can be developed by following the 6 Standards put forward by the ISLLC and developing appropriate action plans for good leadership practice. This is best accomplished by taking the school vision and articulating a Mission Statement.  This can further be decomposed by looking at those Goals and Objectives that fulfil the mission.

Insight Into This Weeks Reading

Schools need to develop a firm vision for leadership.  This demonstrated by the Battle Creek School District in Michigan.  The Vision must be articulated into a clear set of Mission, Goals and Objectives and these are supported by guidelines in the form of 6 ISLLC Standards.  Administrators need to align philosophical  goals with that of Educational objectives  looking at what is best for the School and its’ students.

How the Class Has Influenced My Thinking

General consensus is that leadership and vision for the School is a good thing.  It promotes more teamwork and group dynamics between the administration, key stakeholders and pupils.  The purpose of adopting ISLLC standards helps put this into a common framework that is both easy to understand and manage.

Task 2: ISLLC Standard Research Paper

ISLLC Standard 1 – Knowledge Portion

Introduction

Standard 1

An education leader promotes the success of every student by facilitating the development, articulation, implementation, and stewardship of a vision of learning that is shared and supported by all stakeholders.”  (CCSSO, 2007, December)

This means that the School needs to identify a clear vision or statement of purpose.  The concept of a clear leadership policy and directive charting and navigating the way forward for the School. Such a vision being translated to a clear Mission Statement that has appropriate “buy in” from all the stakeholders of the school and other interested parties. The Mission statement needs to be as inclusive as possible and embrace the holistic nature of the Vision.  The mission statement forms the basis of defining clear goals for the school i.e. A Mission, in order to be fulfilled, must contain a number of clear goals that the School will try to attain.  This in turn will formulate a number of objectives that can be translated into leadership action plans which are both quantifiable and measurable.  It is the last part of objective setting that moves from that of the intangible to the tangible i.e. performance results that enable planning and measurement of progress.

Leading With Vision

The concept of a School administration developing a vision statement can be fairly daunting.   Mind mapping techniques are a good starting point.  An example of this might be as follows:

  1. Take the ISLLC Guidelines for  Standard 1 : Leading with Vision
  2. Consider the functional components put forward:
    1. Establish a wide shared vision of learning
    2. Does the vision capture the views of all stakeholders
    3. Can the vision be converted to an implementation plan
    4. Is the plan adequately resourced to meet the desired objectives
    5. Is the Administration supportive of the vision

The following mind map is illustrated as an example of brainstorming techniques in order to formulate a structure for leading with vision.  You start with a central theme or concept i.e. leading with vision and then you explore the different associations or concepts that this might generate.  Once that exercise is accomplished you rationalise the model by merging similar associations and as such derive a new model from which the mission goals and objective statements can be formed.

Note the structure of this technique as you freely associate ideas and add sub-groupings to the main ideas building a model of “thought process” completion

Alignment of Mission to Vision

In order to articulate the vision of the school you need a good philosophical statement about Education. This essentially is the Schools interpretation on the values, purpose and applied use of Education in the context of this School.  From this you can determine the Mission Statement for the School.  An example mission might be :  To provide the highest standards of Education and Teaching to our pupils achieving a high success ratio in both academic and practical learning.  Many heads do not take Mission Statements seriously preferring a more open outlook in Administrative direction .. ” Many school system leaders underestimate the power of properly prepared mission statements, goals, and indicators. Indeed, when they discuss mission statements, educators often joke about the poor quality of those written for their schools but seek redemption in the fact “no one pays attention to them anyway.”  (Donald G. Coleman, 1997, May)

The Visions are translated into successful outcomes by the development of a Teaching Framework or an Action Plan that translates the mission into goals and objectives. It is the latter two that can be mapped and measured.  … ” In earlier visions the beliefs of the Teaching Frameworks were based around the key performance outcomes found in the suggestion for Performance Management Systems”  (Anon, 2009)

Conclusion

Any school that can identify a framework that embodies its’ core beliefs and values  becomes an empowered authority and in much more control of its’ destiny.  Although this can be a slow and cumbersome process, nevertheless it is worth the journey travelled in order to build a consensus bridge between staff, stakeholders and pupils.  Unless you are able to clearly identify your destination it is hardly likely that you can make the improvement steps to reach it.  (Anon, School improvement in Maryland, 2007)

Effective communications play a key part in projecting the vision ” An educational leader’s success hinges on his or her ability to mobilize the system in such a way that the distance between current reality and a powerful vision for the future is significantly diminished”.  (Thompson, 2003).

Works Cited

Anon. (2009). Quality Learning. Retrieved 10 31, 2009, from Future Edge Publications NZ: http://www.leading-learning.co.nz/creating-vision.html

Anon. (2007). School improvement in Maryland. Retrieved 11 1, 2009, from School improvement in Maryland: http://mdk12.org/process/leading/vision.html

CCSSO. (2007, December). Educational Leadership Policy Standards:. Washington DC: CCSSO.

Donald G. Coleman, J. B. (1997, May). A Mission Possible: Relevant Mission Statements. Reference Publications.

Thompson, S. (2003, 8). Getting Real About Visionary Leadership . Retrieved 11 2, 2009, from New Horizons for learning.

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