York University’s Faculty of Education and the Schulich Executive Education Centre recently launched an innovative Executive Learning Program for Vice-Principals and Principals on the weekend of October 17/18. The exciting new program, which integrated the worlds of education and business, was designed to bring 21st Century approaches from multiple disciplines to engage Ontario’s school leaders in inquiry learning to take them to the next level of leadership in education.
The program focuses on four broad areas of professional learning for school administrators:
- Leadership - Develop a “global mindset” in your leadership role
- Strategy - Learn strategies that will help you transform your school leadership
- Presence - Influence & mentor with political savvy and social intelligence
- Creativity and Innovation - Foster a culture of creative and innovative “best practices”
Seventeen school leaders from both publicly funded school boards and private schools enthusiastically participated in the engaging and thought-provoking sessions in October. University faculty and leaders from the business world, co-taught program in order to provide senior education administrators with a view of how to meld key concepts and best practices from the worlds of education and business in order to strengthen their leadership in their schools. Two more sessions in November will complete the program.
“The Office of Professional Learning at the Faculty of Education is offering new and innovative approaches to professional learning for educators and instructional leaders,” said Rick White, Leadership Coordinator in the Office of Professional Learning. “The business lens and scope of the program offers a new opportunity for education leaders to reflect on their practice and to further develop their professional expertise.”
The following testimonials from some of the participants highlight the impressive benefits of the program:
- This course has expanded my understanding on leadership vs. management; perceptions and paradigms, including understanding organizational structure and stakeholder management and bringing to light what every school administrator needs to know to be productive, insightful and effective
- Challenges administrators to step out of their current paradigm to have a deeper appreciation of why we do what we do, while providing strategies to enact new learning
- This opportunity provided a new window to open and take in a view that could never be looked at before. Blending two professional areas through a common thinking agenda
- The course met my personal professional learning goals and I feel I have a greater understanding of systems and models for effectiveness, success and overall impact!
- An invigorating experience where I’m walking away feeling inspired and excited!
“We are extremely pleased to be collaborating on this initiative with the Schulich Centre for Continuing Education,” said Ron Owston, Dean of the Faculty of Education. “The Institute represents our Faculty’s commitment to employing innovative, interdisciplinary approaches to help education professionals achieve their goals.”
The Office of Professional Learning is also interested in partnering with other Faculties at York to offer cutting-edge professional learning programs for education professionals. An example of one such program was the Teaching Astronomy Through Fun Hands-on Activities Inspired by the Latest Discoveries module offered in collaboration with The Faculty of Science. The blended certificate program supported educators to further develop scientific thinking of students in Grades 9 to 12. The module, which was aligned with the Earth & Space component of the Ontario Ministry of Education’s curriculum and current teaching pedagogies, included activities on extra solar planets, cosmology and black holes.
The Office of Professional Learning in the Faculty of Education at York University offers a variety of custom professional learning modules to meet the diverse professional learning needs of educators both locally and internationally. Find out more by visiting our web site at http://www.edu.yorku.ca/profdev.