School administrators move to next level of leadership

Posted on November 11, 2015

York University’s Faculty of Education and the Schulich ExecEd recently launched the innovative Executive Leadership Program for Principals & Vice-Principals.

Course participants in classroomThe exciting new program, which integrates education and business, is designed to bring 21st-century approaches from multiple disciplines to engage Ontario school leaders in inquiry learning and take them to the next level of leadership in education.

The program focuses on four broad areas of professional learning for school administrators:

  • leadership – develop a “global mindset” in a leadership role
  • strategy – learn strategies that will help transform school leadership
  • presence – influence and mentor with political savvy and social intelligence and
  • creativity and innovation – foster a culture of creative and innovative “best practices”

Seventeen school leaders from both publicly funded school boards and private schools participated in engaging and thought-provoking sessions.

University faculty and leaders from the business world co-taught the program which was designed to provide senior education administrators with a view of how to merge key concepts and best practices from education and business to strengthen the leadership in their schools.

Two more sessions this month will complete the program.

“The Office of Professional Learning at the Faculty of Education is offering new and innovative approaches to professional learning for educators and instructional leaders,” said Rick White, leadership coordinator in the Office of Professional Learning. “The business lens and scope of the program offers a new opportunity for education leaders to reflect on their practice and to further develop their professional expertise.”

Participants of the program offered feedback, suggesting the program helped to:

  • expand understanding of leadership versus management
  • increase understanding of organizational structure and stakeholder management
  • challenge administrators to step out of their current paradigm to gain a deeper appreciation of their roles and
  • offer a greater understanding of systems and models for effectiveness and overall impact

“We are extremely pleased to be collaborating on this initiative with the Schulich Centre for Continuing Education,” said Ron Owston, dean of the Faculty of Education. “The institute represents our Faculty’s commitment to employing innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to help education professionals achieve their goals.”

The Office of Professional Learning and the Schulich ExecEd intend to offer this program on an annual or semi-annual basis.