What is the Role of a 21st Century School Principal?

On Sunday I read a report by the Sunday Telegraph’s education editor Laura Speranza which highlighted the technological habits of school principals. I tweeted the following:

https://twitter.com/#!/danhaesler/status/117800130081587200

Unsurprisingly, many of the responses suggested they thought principals needed to be across all the latest technology, and if they weren’t it would hamper their students’ learning in the 21st Century.

However, whilst it may be preferable for a school principal to be across all the latest technology, it is both unrealistic and unfair to expect this to be the case.

Instead I suggest principals must satisfy the following four criteria.

1. First and foremost a school prinicpal must be a visionary. They must have a clear and well communicated mission for their school, its staff and wider community.

2. Principals must be expert communicators and facilators in order to deliver their vision.

3. Principals must be experts in their field – teaching. They must understand the implications of, and rationales behind various pedagogical techniques in the 21st Century.

Principals need not be experts in all areas of curriculum design, e-learning, finances, maintenance, wellbeing and psychology etc… Rather schools need leadership teams comprising of experts in each of these fields.

Using Richard Branson as an example. He has the vision of Virgin offering the first commercial space flight in the near future. However, I doubt he is an expert on the latest and most efficient material for space craft design.

What do you think? Is this too simplistic?

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0 thoughts on “What is the Role of a 21st Century School Principal?

  1. Greg Reply

    I am about to defend doctoral research which asks, “How do I as Principal lead school transformation through the use of digital technology?” This Blog is an appropriate response to the Sunday Telepgraph article.

    • Dan H Reply

      Thanks for your comment Greg, I appreciate it!
      I believe that too many people see digital technology as the “silver bullet” in addressing 21st century educational needs, and we lose sight of the fact they digital technology is simply the tools with which to deliver it.
      Thanks again,
      Dan

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