Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Defining Educational Leadership – an Exercise

Educational leadership can be a difficult concept to define and unless we have some common understanding of what educational leadership is, there is a chance for miscommunication.

In an effort to find that common understanding, I offer the following exercise. First, let’s define education. Then define leadership. Once you have both of those definitions in place, you can marry them in to a defined concept of educational leadership.

For me, I have used Joseph C. Rost’s definition for leadership from his book, Leadership for the 21st Century. He defines leadership as “an influence relationship among leaders and followers who intend real changes that reflect their mutual purposes” (p. 102).

Next, I define education. Here I like to use my personal definition: “The experience of sharing knowledge.”

Finally, I put them together to come up with my definition for educational leadership:

“A relationship between, educational leaders, instructional staff, and students intended to:

  • Create opportunities for the exploration and the sharing of knowledge.
  • Influence real changes about the value of life-long learning.
  • Create strategies designed to build and promote a shared vision.

I hope this simple, yet powerful exercise is helpful in your own reflections about educational leadership.

Thank you and thank a teacher.

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