The Office of Research and Professional Development at York’s Faculty of Education recently played a significant role in the development and launch of a new Administrator’s Leadership Program in Prince Edward Island. John Morrison (Coordinator of Leadership Programs, Faculty of Education) and Derek McEwen (Director of English Curriculum, Prince Edward Island Department of Education and Early Childhood Development) worked collaboratively to create the program for individuals currently in school leadership roles and those interested in pursuing a role in school leadership in Prince Edward Island. York was contracted to review the leadership structure in PEI, work with school leaders selected by the school board to identify leadership competencies, and to propose and develop a leadership development program for the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.
John provided expertise based on his experience as the Coordinator of Leadership Programs for York in Ontario to lead PEI administrators and Department staff in the development of the program and the training of the instructors. Through this partnership, PEI now has a comprehensive program that blends effective leadership theory with the practical knowledge required to become an effective administrator in schools.
“This program will change the face of leadership in PEI for many years to come and will have a positive impact on student retention and success,” said Morrison. “For York to be able to say they played a role in affecting the lives and future of students and leaders in another province is amazing.”
The two-part preparatory program is designed to provide participants with the knowledge of how successful school leaders think and what they do to improve student learning and success. Leader and system competencies and practices, as well as personal tools, all of which are research based, are examined. The content of both Level 1 and Level 2 are organized into five domains. These have been identified as Leadership, Setting Direction, Student Success, Communications and Staff Development.
Level 1 of the program will focus on candidates “exploring” topics within the five domains identified. In Level 2 of the program, candidates will “deepen their understanding” within these domains. The program has been designed to build the foundation for ongoing professional learning throughout the career of the leader. Through a variety of learning opportunities, candidates will:
- Develop their vision of leadership through individual and collaborative inquiry
- Evaluate and develop leadership and administrative skills for effective school
- Learn and use pedagogical practices grounded in adult learning processes
- Develop problem-solving, collaborative group processes, and communication skills in order to advance the needs of students, and the goals of education
- Challenge their beliefs and grow through continuous reflection
- Evaluate the possibilities inherent to innovation and change
“We are very excited to begin this leadership development journey on PEI”, said McEwen. Thanks to York’s Faculty of Education for the significant role that they played in the creation of this program. We look forward to the valuable contributions these new leaders will provide to the education of our students.”