Participants Study in a Blended-Learning Environment to Incorporate the Science and Art of Leadership into Daily Practice
Leadership and Accountability
Schools are worlds in which people live and work. Like any other social organization, the world of school has a system of power, defined and undefined structure, logic, ethics, and values which influence the way individuals behave or see the world, interpret it, and respond to it. The behavior of people at work in an educational organization, individually and as a group, is significantly shaped and molded by the social norms and expectations of the culture in the organization. This interplay between the individual and the social environment of the educational organization is key, and those who would be effective leaders must have a clear understanding of the dynamics of organizational behavior if they expect to be change agents.
Leadership is both a science and an art. Anchored in practice, leadership must be fostered, observed, assessed, and reformed if it is to be credible and effective. The Professional Institute for Leadership, Learning, and Results (PILLAR) can help to meet these challenges through an innovative alternative to continuing education for PK-12 administrators, providing 45 Act 45/Act 48 credit hours per class. PILLAR is being developed in partnership with Intermediate Unit 1 in the IU 1 Moodle Platform. There is a cost for these courses but once complete, participants receive Act 45 continuing education credits.
PILLAR is made up of four stand-alone courses:
- Leadership and Instruction (course ended 11.20.16)
- Leadership and Curriculum (course ended 2.5.17)
- Leadership in Assessment and Data Usage (cancelled)
- Leadership in Managerial Roles
The courses focus in turn on these leadership areas while offering instruction in each of them to ensure continuity through a spiraling design. Each addresses the PA Core Leadership Standards:
- Leader as Strategic Planner For Student Success
- Leader as Architect Of Standards Based Reform
- Leader as Data-Informed Decision Maker
PILLAR’s research-based, practical professional development results in the creation of a school culture focused on student achievement through blended learning that combines face-to-face interactions with the MOODLE (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment) online classroom. The experience respects participants’ time constraints while providing experiences and skills they may readily apply in their daily practice. Each of the seven-week courses adhere to the same design: Fourteen hours of asynchronous online study that includes feedback from colleagues through an online discussion forum, plus sixteen hours of job-embedded practical application, the latter proposed and carried out by the principals themselves. Participants may also choose to engage in one-on-one coaching options. Currently, there are four stand-alone courses but starting in 2017 these courses will be grouped into a larger 2-year program to meet the needs of the Act 45 continuing education credits.