February 10, 2021

In my last post, I discussed the importance of developing your leadership philosophy and the first four questions to get you started. In this post, I will share with you the final seven questions that will help you create your own leadership philosophy.

What do you have to learn?

The next three questions help build your learner-centered leadership philosophy by focusing your attention on the changes necessary in your learning to help you reach your learner-centered leadership vision.

Question #5: What is the next thing you need to know or learn to excel at what you do?

Question #6: What skills do you need to develop to reach your learner-centered leadership vision? (List at least three with an explanation of why they are important and a plan for gaining those skills)

Question #7: What have you learned and what are you reading that applies to your school and reaching your learner-centered leadership vision?

Creating meaning for your staff

The definition of a leader is someone who has people following them. Without followers, you are not a leader! Once you have created your vision and start to learn about what you need to learn, it is now imperative to communicate with your staff and help them create meaning of the changes you are asking them to make.

Question #8: How do you create meaning for your staff in school? Specifically, how will you recreate meaning for them in the new “world” that they will work in based on your vision for teaching and learning?

Question #9: How do you communicate your vision for learner-centered leadership to staff, parents, and the community? Think beyond one-way communication techniques like a newsletter (although they may be important). How else can you interact with these stakeholders?

Question #10: How can you become a great example to your staff as they start to work within the structure of school as they interact with your leadership philosophy?

Adjusting and iterating your leadership philosophy

The final question help focus your attention on the importance of iteration. You will always adjust your implementation strategy to maximize the effectiveness of your leadership philosophy. You are not changing your philosophy as much as adjusting the implementation.

Question #11: Describe the feedback loops that keep you up to date on how well you are doing implementing your learner-centered leadership philosophy.

I hope this is helpful! Look for a course from me coming soon that will go into detail on starting your learner-centered leadership journey.

About the author 

Tom Butler, Ph.D.

I believe that public education is for the public good and that education should be uncompromisingly learner-centered. The New Learning Ecosystem points us away from the old model of education that does not serve kids well. All educators regardless of where they work can help lead and contribute to the New Learning Ecosystem.

  • These are perfect questions. Will leaders see these as “optional” for learner centered leadership or will they realize that you will never get to a truly learner centered culture without them? Time will tell but you are assisting leaders to think through what it truly takes to be a leader who creates the kind of change in culture necessary to be learner centered. Way to go!

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