March 15, 2023

In a previous newsletter, I highlighted the problems I saw developing with the concept of "learner-centered leadership." In a nutshell, the problem is being too focused on the learning ecosystem and not paying attention to other ecosystems that school leaders must "live" in.

The graphic above shows the relationship between the three important ecosystems school leaders must consider.

Notice that all three ecosystems are important, and leaders must spend time in all three.  Keep in mind that a leader must always have at least one foot in the middle, at the intersection of all three ecosystems. The purpose is to stay balanced and aware of all ecosystems, even if you are concentrating time and effort on one specific ecosystem for a time period.

School leaders' time and energy are constantly flowing from one ecosystem to the next. It is important to stay balanced. Never forget that there are multiple ecosystems with competing (often contradictory) goals.

By balancing your attention in the middle, you can work in one specific ecosystem while staying aware of the other ecosystems.

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.

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