Educational Philosophy and Leadership Style

Julie Lindsay, October 2008

I believe the goal of education is to not only teach the subject but also the whole person. To me this means helping learners gain confidence in their ability to move along the path of self-discovery and realize their full potential. My aim is to promote the value that one-size does not fit all, that a unique and valuable contribution can be made by each student and each teacher.

Education is not preparation for life. It is life itself.
John Dewey

As a teacher I want to provide a secure, motivating environment in the classroom whereby students can take responsibility for their own learning. I aim to be sensitive to the needs of the students, to assess student's readiness and interest and to modify and differentiate curriculum where required. I want my students to be able to confidently take their place in a global community and have the skills to effectively and peacefully solve problems while striving towards becoming teachers as well as life-long learners. I want my students to think independently, be able to reason with compassion and to be in touch with their academic as well as creative sides.

We must view young people not as empty bottles to be filled, but as candles to be lit.
Robert H. Shaffer

As a learning technology educator my focus is on the integration of e-learning and digital literacy ideals with a content-rich curriculum. My view of the learning process is that students learn best by doing, through discovery and enjoyment of a task. I consider my approach to be that of a techno-constructivist, and realize the full potential of technology to help students build their own experience, construct their own meanings, create products, collaborate and interact as well as solve problems. I am on a journey to assimilate new technologies for learning and am always open to new possibilities that will focus on student competencies and intelligences and provide relevance and immediacy in the classroom. Engaged learning is the key to success.

I believe the 21st century classroom can maximize learning opportunities by embracing mobile and ubiquitous computing (laptops, handhelds), moving curriculum into appropriate online spaces and flattening the classroom walls by incorporating global projects and interactions with other classrooms in diverse geographical locations. This includes powerful learning practice professional development models, encouraging teachers to share, collaborate, and reflect on their classroom practice.

As a leader I have a vision for teaching and learning that I like to share and foster and watch it grow into a planned approach to change within an organization. From this point of view I consider my leadership style to be creative and collaborative. I like to build relationships, support initiatives and delegate authority and responsibility where possible.

We have so much to learn from jazz-band leaders, for jazz, like leadership, combines the unpredictability of the future with the gifts of individuals
'Leadership Jazz', by Max De Pree

Change is inevitable, but is especially evident in education as we move further into a digital world and we want to be encouraging the use educational technology to support teaching and learning. As a leader I believe the fear of change is eased through my own ability to be organized and prepared. Organized, in that I lead by example, not by directive, and attempt to explain reasons and motives for change before change is expected. Prepared in that I try to lead into change by setting a plan, sharing that plan with other stakeholders, and being flexible enough to change or modify the plan if needed.

As an educational technology leader I believe Web 2.0 has changed how we think about school and learning. It has provided opportunities to connect to the world; there is a changed view of 'literacy', digital citizenship and global curriculum. Learning does not and should not occur in isolation. Systemic change starts at the grass roots level. We need to celebrate 'baby steps', scaffolding learning for teachers and students, providing support and encouraging risk-taking. The move is towards embracing a transformative curriculum, emphasizing collaboration and creativity with a converging 1:1 ubiquitous approach to technology use. I consider myself to be both participant and leader in this movement.

Please read my Personal Statement
Back to the Digital Portfolio homepage