Academic Leadership


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This powerpoint presentation talks about academic leadership with focus on how to improve instruction and how to empower teachers to be become excellent teachers.

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Academic Leadership

  1. 1. Academic Leadership Strengthening the Instructional Core Born to Teach! Presented by: Rommel M. Gonzales, MAST This is taken from Workshop on Ignatian School Leadership April 2007 Antipolo City, Philippines
  2. 2. academic leadership <ul><li>3 Levels of Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>1. INCOMPETENT: Performance is so far below standards as to be considered incompetent. </li></ul><ul><li>2. EXCELLENT: Performance is high quality because what teacher knows and is able to do enables students to learn and achieve at high levels. </li></ul><ul><li>3. MEDIOCRE: Knowledge and/or performance is neither substantive and skilled enough to help most of the students learn nor poor enough to warrant a move toward dismissal. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  3. 3. academic leadership <ul><li>Some realities… </li></ul><ul><li>5% of the teaching force in the US are INCOMPETENT. </li></ul><ul><li>The total number of students of these teachers exceeds the total combined public school enrolment of 14 states. </li></ul><ul><li>“ All children deserve excellent teachers!” </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  4. 4. academic leadership <ul><li>In informal studies, over 90% of teachers in sampled districts are rated EXCELLENT. But when supervisors were asked how many were really excellent, they reported only 20%. </li></ul><ul><li>Usually excellent teachers and mediocre teachers receive the same ratings. </li></ul><ul><li>“ Mediocre supervisors breed substandard performance.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  5. 5. academic leadership <ul><li>Skillful leaders should focus effort on confronting mediocre teaching to prevent lost opportunities in learning. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  6. 6. academic leadership <ul><li>Sources of Mediocre Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>THE TEACHER </li></ul><ul><li>with skill deficiencies in teaching </li></ul><ul><li>with limiting beliefs about their own ability to learn to become better teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>THE SUPERVISOR </li></ul><ul><li>with skill deficiencies in supervision </li></ul><ul><li>with limiting beliefs about others’ ability to learn </li></ul><ul><li>THE SCHOOL </li></ul><ul><li>Norms and practices that support and sustain mediocrity </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  7. 7. academic leadership <ul><li>T H E C H A L L E N G E </li></ul><ul><li>As a school leader, do you have what it takes to promote teaching excellence and confronting mediocre teaching? </li></ul>
  8. 8. academic leadership <ul><li>3 Conditions for Confronting Mediocre Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>CONVICTION widely shared belief that: </li></ul><ul><li>(a) “every student deserves and can have expert instruction” and </li></ul><ul><li>(b) “supervisors must be advocates for students.” </li></ul><ul><li>COMPETENCE as an INSTRUCTIONAL LEADER who can: </li></ul><ul><li>(a) speak with teachers about teaching in substantive and balanced manner </li></ul><ul><li>(b) describe the problem in performance and design a plan to address it </li></ul><ul><li>CONTROL adequate structures, processes, and resources to support the supervisors who are charged with confronting mediocre performance </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  9. 9. academic leadership <ul><li>3 Conditions for Confronting Mediocre Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>CONVICTION </li></ul><ul><li>“ This work is important!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We can do it and do it well!” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We won’t give up on one another!” </li></ul><ul><li>COMPETENCE </li></ul><ul><li> Need for a shared language and shared understanding of </li></ul><ul><li>Teaching Excellence . </li></ul><ul><li>CONTROL </li></ul><ul><li>Performance Appraisal Instrument and System and other practices </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  10. 10. academic leadership <ul><li>What is our usual definition of a good teacher? </li></ul><ul><li>“ Anyone who keeps a classroom in order and who does not send problems to the office.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  11. 11. academic leadership <ul><li>Areas of Performance in Classroom Teaching </li></ul><ul><li>(Research for Better Teaching and Bridges, 1993) </li></ul><ul><li>MANAGEMENT </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain discipline. </li></ul><ul><li>Manage the routines of the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>Set a climate of discipline and respect. </li></ul><ul><li>CURRICULUM PLANNING </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly communicate objectives. </li></ul><ul><li>Set and assess standards for quality student work. </li></ul><ul><li>Produce intended or desirable results. </li></ul><ul><li>INSTRUCTIONAL STRATEGIES </li></ul><ul><li>Use a variety of explanatory devices to reach various learners. </li></ul><ul><li>Impart subject matter effectively. </li></ul><ul><li>STUDENT MOTIVATION </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate and enforce high standards and expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Maintains personal contact with students. </li></ul><ul><li>Involve the students in their own learning. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  12. 12. academic leadership <ul><li>Institutional Practices that Sustain and Support Mediocrity </li></ul><ul><li>a.) Transfer Practices </li></ul><ul><li>b.) Teacher Assignment </li></ul><ul><li>c.) Evaluation Practices </li></ul><ul><li>d.) Cultural Practices </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  13. 13. academic leadership <ul><li>TRANSFER PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>The way we respond to mediocrity reveals whether we believe that adults can learn and must be expected to perform on high levels or whether we protect mediocrity. </li></ul><ul><li>Tailoring Classes according to Teachers’ Weaknesses: The assumption is that teachers cannot change or cannot be changed, so students are changed. ( to make or adapt to suit a special need or purpose) </li></ul><ul><li>Moving High Maintenance Students: When we transfer students we should share the reasons with teachers to challenge teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>Transferring Staff: Passing the problem. According to Bridges, this is the escape hatch of transfer within or between schools. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  14. 14. academic leadership <ul><li>TRANSFER PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>LONG TERM CONSEQUENCES </li></ul><ul><li>a.) Certain groups of students are disproportionately affected because teachers are being protected from being asked to improve. </li></ul><ul><li>b.) We end up with a pool of people who are known as substandard performers but for whom there is no documentation. </li></ul><ul><li>c.) Neither supervisor nor teacher develops competence because evidence is constantly swept under the rug. And the supervisor neither builds nor acts on his conviction about the importance of good teaching. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  15. 15. academic leadership <ul><li>TEACHER ASSIGNMENT PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling mediocrity through work assignments: When we give less challenging work to some teachers, we are enabling mediocrity. </li></ul><ul><li>For example: </li></ul><ul><li>Assigning easy classes to senior and mediocre teachers and difficult classes to novice teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>Asking some teachers to stretch by teaching new stuff every year while others are spared because they can’t. </li></ul><ul><li>Result: The opportunities to expand one’s skills are limited to those who can do. Not all teachers are asked to stretch or change or improve. Mediocre teachers end up having an easier job! </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  16. 16. academic leadership <ul><li>EVALUATION PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>Basing evaluations on sparse or non-existent data: Mediocre performance is characterized by patterns of behavior, not discrete, easily identified actions. </li></ul><ul><li>Data must come from multiple sources and accumulated over time. </li></ul><ul><li>e.g. Low standards set for students show up in homework, testing, writing activities. Are these used in the evaluation process? </li></ul><ul><li>What makes problem worse is the practice of assigning evaluations. Too many people to evaluate. People accept that importance to capture or document what it is a teacher does. But it is also important to document what it is that someone does NOT do. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  17. 17. academic leadership <ul><li>EVALUATION PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>Assigning inappropriate weight to data unrelated to student learning. Do not overstress other kinds of contribution. </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Teachers with mediocre classroom performance, but active in extra-curricular activities, in outreach, or community celebrations. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  18. 18. academic leadership <ul><li>EVALUATION PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>Allowing written evaluations that contain mixed messages: Couching language so as not to hurt the teacher’s feelings will send mixed signals and are ambiguous. Or tacking together praise with problems in the same sentence. </li></ul><ul><li>Mediocrity is protected by poor or tentative writing and mixed messages. Do not make the mistake of praising a teacher for something that might be considered a normal and expected part of a competent teacher’s work. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  19. 19. academic leadership <ul><li>EVALUATION PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>“ Your fast pace and rapid-fire response create a lively momentum. Perhaps you want to think about exploring ways in which you could introduce the students to the idea of giving reasons for their answers.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  20. 20. academic leadership <ul><li>EVALUATION PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>“ Your warm rapport and quickness to praise made for a happy environment. While they love to be called on, it seems that students are somewhat reluctant to give reasons for their answers and may need to be stretched. I suggest you try giving them rewards for thinking, which would be entirely consistent with the delightful way in which you motivate them.” </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  21. 21. academic leadership <ul><li>EVALUATION PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>Inflated or Overly Generous Ratings: </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone is excellent. </li></ul><ul><li>There is nothing left to learn. </li></ul><ul><li>Failure is the student’s fault. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  22. 22. academic leadership <ul><li>EVALUATION PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>Low standards for hiring new teachers and for renewing contracts of novice teachers: We may end up with teachers who are considered untouchables because of their connections. </li></ul><ul><li>Do we make allowances or excuses for new teachers even after extra support has been given? If no improvements after two years, let them go. To continue to support them is a signal that we support mediocrity. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  23. 23. academic leadership <ul><li>CULTURAL PRACTICES </li></ul><ul><li>Toxic Blaming: Blaming others for the problems of the school - the teachers blame the supervisors; the supervisors blame the administrators, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Result: A culture of blame and an anti-problem solving ethos </li></ul><ul><li>Lack of reflection and analysis of school patterns and teacher evaluation or ratings. </li></ul><ul><li>No formal induction for new teachers. </li></ul><ul><li>The Skillful Leader </li></ul>
  24. 24. academic leadership: personal reflections <ul><li>On a personal level : </li></ul><ul><li>1. Are my teachers like Miss Ai Ai? Or am I Miss Ai Ai? </li></ul><ul><li>2. What are my realizations after the discussion of the case study and on academic leadership? </li></ul><ul><li>3. What steps will I take to be able to apply these concepts on academic leadership? </li></ul>