‘Strong instructional leadership, trust among teachers and among teachers and administrators, and a sense of collective responsibility for students learning can create incentives and opportunities for teachers to implement policy and revise their practice’ (Spillane et al, 2009).
This quote is unique to IB leaders and most definitely applicable to other educational establishments. So how do we build trust? How do we reinforce collective responsibility? How do we ensure that we genuinely do justice to the IB mission as global educators? If we as leaders cannot change our own minds, then how can we change the mindset of others to bring about outstanding pedagogical and professional practices that contribute positively to international education?
Leadership is not dictatorship or a title to cause fear, distress to others or even feed egoistical intentions. But, a unique position of trust and positive influence which can build a more peaceful world; where people regardless of race, religion and gender can come together to contribute to building a peaceful global community through mutual respect. Despite the crisis of ongoing war, poverty, injustice and political turmoil on our planet, we have our own parts to play as educators inside the world of our educational establishments to influence people we are creating to bring about this positive idea of international mindedness and intercultural understanding. This is not just for the sake of our students, but also for our present and future internationally minded leaders.
The enthusiastic glow of leadership involves bringing people together through common understanding for sustainable action and also allowing collaborative leadership. This can mean, transcending ones own egoist mindset in order to challenge and move others positively. This is difficult, because it requires strong social and emotional intelligence, which many of our leaders and citizens of the planet may lack. This idea relates to the discourse of Goleman’s (1995) Emotional Intelligence theory and living evidence of my own experiences in International education. New leaders of IB Schools are encouraged to embrace the IB philosophy through change and professional development offered by the IB to build on existing skills and acquire new knowledge, to support IB programmes, educators and students in their own international educational establishments.
Goleman, D. (1995) Emotional Intelligence. New York: Bantam Books.
Spillane, JP, Gomez, LM & Mesler, L. (2009) Notes on reframing the role of organizations in policy implementation: Resources for practice, in practice’. In M, Bennet, N and Wise, C. (eds). Educational Leadership: Context, Strategy and Collaboration. Milton Keynes, Sage/OU.