To reflect upon my learning and understanding from this subject, I have learnt a great deal about leadership and change while also gaining respect for how much research has been conducted in this field. Considering leadership is multifaceted (Kay, 2015 blog), the all encompassing deeper understanding I have gained from these studies is the qualification of leadership styles, and the realisation of the need for change processes to occur in schools.
As a recently appointed high school librarian, I have observed the different leadership styles introduced during this subject, and anticipate this process of observation will never cease. This subject has extended my knowledge on the subtitles of leadership and the virtues of different styles. This knowledge will enabled me to identify the different leadership strategies required for different situations, and proceed toward implementing them.
Leadership requires vision, trust, modeling, consideration and empowerment to others, and communication (Collay, 2011). A leader needs direction and this is created through analysis using such models as SWOT (Olsen, 2008) and STEEP (Watt, 2011). Passion, commitment and direction enables the teacher librarian to lead from the middle (Sinek, 2010) and inspire change in the school by collaboratively creating a vision statement and strategic direction which drives adaptation towards twenty-first century learning. This is a significant development from blog post where – the Teacher Librarian can look to needs and directions within the school and collaborate with colleagues (Kay, 2015 blog).
This subject has brought to me realisation of the depth and breadth of study and research related to leadership and change, and how this is relevant to the role the teacher librarian in high schools. To incorporate results, analysis, and recommendations of these studies is sound practice. In order for schools to respond to the rapidly changing social currents, the nature of both leadership and learning require radical rethinking (MacBeth, Dempster and Neil, 2008) and this is where leadership and change theory can be applied. Teaching decisions are an important influence on how well individuals or cohorts are prepared to participate in society as they leave the schooling system (Starkey, 2012), and ultimately, isn’t this what school is all about, preparing students for life after school.
Examination of twenty-first century learning has revealed that critical thinking and problem solving are considered by many to be the new basics of twenty-first century learning (Trilling, Bernie, Fadel, Charles, 2009). The pursuit of twenty-first century skills – collaborative problem-solving, IT, information and economic literacy – requires twenty first century teaching methods… where the role of teachers is no longer to impart knowledge but to guide, discuss and measure progress to know when more support is needed… Innovative schools are designing classrooms for pursuit of knowledge rather than its conveyance and even doing away with them all together . To consider that in the US, the ten most in demand jobs did not exist in 2004 – then twenty-first century education needs to prepare young people for jobs that don’t exist yet, using technologies that haven’t been invented, for which the competition will be global. If we are to develop candidates who are capable of holding their own on a global stage we simply must get better at equipping them with the skills to handle this uncertain future (Hampson, Patton & Shanks, n.d.).
The library is uniquely placed, accessible to all, where these skills of critical thinking and problem solving may be understood and developed. Contained within the General Capabilities in the Australian Curriculum (Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority, 2013),(ACARA, 2013) are requirements to develop capabilities in IT, critical and creative thinking, personal and social capability, and ethical and cultural understanding going towards addressing the needs raised. With this requirement presented, it is now the challenge of the teacher librarian to lead the school in creating a library culture where students embody purposes, values, norms and obligations in their everyday activities (Sergiovanni, 2008).
My views on implementation twenty-first century learning strategies have developed from forum one where I suggested delivering a consistent, planned and predetermined presentation to each class group regarding the resources (Kay, 2015), to now, where I have developed a plan to implement twenty-first century learning strategies into the year 7 integrated curriculum as the starting point to introduce sweeping change across all learning areas to promote and instill a twenty-first century culture toward the library and learning.
In conclusion, I can now see how the leadership offered by the teacher librarian can take a pivotal role in changing not only the way in which learning occurs in the school library and how the space is used, but, also in a school wide leadership capacity to guide learning by developing educational strategies which align with the principles of twenty-first century learning.
Australian Curriculum Assessing and Reporting Authority (January, 2013) General capabilities in the Australian curriculum. Retrieved from http://www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/generalcapabilities/overview/general-capabilities-in-the-australian-curriculum
Collay, M. (2011). Everyday teacher leadership: Taking action where you are. Wiley, Hoboken.
Hampson, M. Patton, A & Shanks, L. (n.d.) 10 ideas for 21st century education. Retrieved from http://www.innovationunit.org/sites/default/files/10%20Ideas%20for%2021st%20Century%20Education.pdf
Kay, G. (March 1, 2105) Re: Task 2b – Secondary Scenario [Online forum comment] Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/messageaction=list_messages&forum_id=_18273_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_6699_1&course_id=_6061_1&message_id=_19367_1#msg__19367_1Id
Kay, G. (April 27, 2105) ETL504 Assessment item 1. Part B – Reflective critical analysis. [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://gregskay.wordpress.com/author/gregskay/
MacBeth, J. Dempster, N. (2008) Connecting leadership and learning: Principles for practice. Taylor and Francis, Hoboken.
Olsen, E. (July, 28, 2008) SWOT Analysis: How to perform one for your organization. [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLF47BA7BC6BDA46B1&v=GNXYI10Po6A#t=12
Sinek, S. (May 4, 2010). Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action. [Video] Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4
Sergiovanni, T.J. (2005). The virtues of leadership. The educational forum, 69:2,
(p.112-123) Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00131720508984675
Starkey, L. (2012). Teaching and learning in the digital age. Taylor and Francis, Hoboken.
Trilling, B. Fadel, C. (2009). 21st century skills: learning for life in our times.Wiley, Hoboken.
Watt, d. (August 4, 2011). Strategic planning for school libraries. [Video]. Retrieved from http://www.slideshare.net/halfpintofwisdom/strategic-planning-for-libraries