Educational leadership and teaching

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Summary

This report is a project discussion paper which was organized by Australian Education union (AEU) to discuss Educational leadership and teaching for the 21st century. Teachers, academic, principals, and union representative in Australia are invited by Australian Education union to discuss their opinions and view points about the future of teaching and leadership. This report is based on the previous meeting in AEU in 2003 which call for holding other meetings to discuss the quality of teaching and the teaching profession and determine the shape of teaching in the future. The results of the discussion are outlined in this report, which aims to provide a framework for Australian Education union members to participate in the debate on the future of teaching and learning in Australia. There are two main reasons which encourage Australian Education union to engage in this discussion to make sure that the changes are in favor of both students and teach and AEU has the right to be involved in the major forums making decisions about teaching and schools. At the beginning of this report there are many points of views and suggestions that appeared internationally by other countries than AEU discussing the future of education and the role of teachers as leadership in this field. These views and opinions are as follows. First, The emergence of a 'knowledge based society' or 'information economy. Many countries all over the world have witnessed development in the economic field so it becomes very necessary for those countries to apply new concepts for students to gain new knowledge while they are learning to be able to continue the development of their nations. Second, The increasing importance of education worldwide. Third, Schools become more important but are perceived as needing major changes. The traditional ways of teaching and learning have to be replaced with the modern ways to meet these demands of the new economy, and requires substantial qualitative changes on top of greater public investment. Fourth, Leadership has to be more qualified and experienced to play effective roles in teaching process. Fifth, Emphasis on teacher quality. Teachers should have high quality and high performance to be able to improve students' outcomes. Sixth, Curriculum and assessment: there should be new curriculums and assessments that go with the new changes rather than the old traditional curriculums and assessments. Students should be taught new subjects that teach them new skills and there should be integrated tests based on rich tasks rather than examination of knowledge. Finally, ICT. Supporters of new changes in education see that the new technology should be used as tool in the learning process

The above motioned was the opinions and views of academics and professors outside the AEU. Now it comes the role of AEU members to response and to give their opinions about what they see in the future of learning and teaching. They have discussed and give their opinions in important points to create a future which best meets the perspectives of all people as follows. Firstly, concerning the future of society: the AEU members see that, it is essential to ensure that the fundamental principles of society and of schooling are not to be changed. The transformative aspects of education, creating social cohesion, and supporting basic human rights. Secondly, concerning the organization of schools: the AEU members suggest that there should be more attention to the school as an organization. There should be interaction between schools and other organizations. The innovative schools should include high levels of professional empowerment, high level of industrial democracy and shared vision with the students, parents and community. Thirdly, School leadership; leadership and the principals of schools have to play basic roles in managing schools and directing both teachers and students. Some see that leaderships have to be granted more authority to be able to control the teaching process. Others see that there should be equality between leaderships and teachers. Fourthly, Teacher quality: the quality of teachers plays basic roles in forming and shaping the quality of learning to students. Teachers have to be good qualified and be totally aware of the aim of changing knowledge, changing ideas, changing practice in order to implement the new desired education. Fifthly, Curriculum: the curriculum and the contexts of subjects of schooling should be structured very well to improve the capacities required for citizens in the twenty first century. Finally, Educational decision making: the AEU members emphasize on the importance of making decisions concerning the new system of education and the stakeholders who should be involved to make these decisions.

Furthermore, this paper discussion was based on four different perspectives that looked for the future of teaching. The OCED discussed this matter under the topic of Teaching, Learning and Schools for the Future. OECD introduced six scenarios. These scenarios points out that there are many ways into the future of education. These ways should be purified to a limit number to choose from the best strategy to apply in education in order to reach the desired goals. The Commonwealth Government and the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) discussed the future of education under the title of Innovation - Unlocking the Future. They reached that preparing for the good future of education requires and flexible learners, schools, vocational education and training institutions and universities need new ways of teaching and learning. They should be prepared to manage risks and to be in connection with the world of business. They should use information technology in the processes of learning and teaching. Australian Council of Deans (ACDE) discussed the future of education under the title of "New Learning: A Charter for Education in Australia". They suggested that education will play major roles in creating persons, learning will be lifelong, technology will become central of learning and the work of educators will be changed. United Mind Workers suggested three core ideas for school and education. Firstly, teacher unions must organize around quality. Secondly, teachers should put more emphasis on organizing around schools, rather than districts. Thirdly, there should be an organized labor market that allows teachers to switch jobs more easily through making pensions.

Comment

As a matter of fact this report is very interesting report. It handles many matters that concern the future of education and the role of leadership in implementing the new vision that most of the countries of the world look forward to. The discussion in this report was based on the opinions and the views of academic teachers, consultants and principals who represented different countries. This report is also based on four different perspectives on the topic through four key projects in different countries which imply the utmost importance and the utmost vitality of this topic. As we see, the opinions and the recommended suggestions of this report is highly regarded and we should pay a great attention to these suggestions as they are really the best solutions for our education in the future. The report contains very valuable plans to develop education. The discussion about the topic of the future education and leadership took into consideration many matters such curriculums that can sustain in the world of globalization, the quality of teaching process, the characteristics and models of excellent leadership, and the forming and establishing of educational districts that can make good decisions to improve the future of education. In addition, the vision of this discussion is to increase the social equality through the public education system and it emphasizes on skills, values and characteristics rather than the content of knowledge in the future of education. Furthermore, this discussion shed light on the importance of recognizing and supporting teachers and principals in order to encourage students in the learning process and to make good link between students, teachers and schools. Therefore, I feel that these solutions, view points and suggestions about the future of education and characteristics of leadership are the best suitable solutions. If we start to perform and implement the reached suggestions and the recommendations in the process of education there will be more development and progress in the educational, economical, social and political fields of life worldwide. I recommend, four basic elements in the future of education that can ensure that students can access to rich education. First of all, the contents of educational and instructional programmes that will be developed by educators and policy makers should be complete and focus on the long-lived of skills. Secondly, the investment in human capital especially in training teachers should be highly reviewed by states and school districts. Thirdly, there should be more concentration on the use of information technology in the processes of teaching and learning. Finally, new assessments and tests should be presented to assess and evaluate the new system of learning. These changes in education will help the whole community to reach high progress and development. The 21st century demands that we prepare students to be well educated, and more sophisticated.

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