DEC Scan Journal : Volume 36 Issue 1
2017 Volume 36, Issue 1 7 Contents Editorial Learning & teaching Research Share this Resource reviews Nothing moreover has been penned on the even greater challenge that schools have to contend with of not only managing the professionals but also an empowered parent group and community, none of whom are bound by the staff members conditions of employment. Most assuredly, nothing has been written on the challenge of doing so in an ever evolving, complex, adaptive system and an increasingly integrated digital school ecosystem where the natural forces at play will impact, in often quite unintended ways, on the workings of the school. How that challenge is best met, time, experience and research will hopefully reveal. Meeting the challenge That said, there appear to be a number of key moves the case study schools have made that should help prepare the later adopter schools. Nine key moves are summarised here. 1. Successful digitally-based school ecosystem All have created a tightly integrated, mature digitally- based ecosystem, where all operations are focused on realising the school’s shaping educational vision. 2. Shaping vision All have a clear shaping educational vision – readily understood by the total school community – that is the glue that holds the networked organisation together (Lipnack and Stamps, 1994). Vitally it must be strong glue, able to withstand daily stress testing by literally hundreds of the school’s community. 3. Astute principal, with the requisite people skills Every one of the case study schools had an astute school principal with the wherewithal to lead and orchestrate the workings of a digital and socially networked school community (Lee and Broadie, 2016b). The person has had the requisite people management skills, readily able to daily manage the contribution of a dynamic empowered staff and parent community. The last thing a digital and socially networked school needs is a highly qualified head with limited or no people skills. 4. Distribute the management When schools succeed in empowering all staff, the homes and the local community, one is talking about genuine empowerment with hundreds of people, all with their own agendas. No one person, no single principal, no one executive position has the time – or indeed the need – to manage the contribution of such a vast body of empowered personnel. The job should rightly be distributed across the staff such that the management happens naturally as part of everyday interaction. 5. Professional staff Central to the quest to empower the staff and the wider school community has been the creation of a highly professional staff, whose professionalism is developed to the full, able to play a lead role in both educating the children and in nurturing the teaching contribution of the other teachers of the young – the parents, carers, grandparents, the community and the children themselves. The schools have tried to avoid adding to the workload of the staff.
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Volume 36 Issue 2