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Professor Bart McGettrick 5 October 2011 5 October 2011 Leadership and Values in the Contemporary School National Conference for Principals National Conference.

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Presentation on theme: "Professor Bart McGettrick 5 October 2011 5 October 2011 Leadership and Values in the Contemporary School National Conference for Principals National Conference."— Presentation transcript:

1 Professor Bart McGettrick 5 October October 2011 Leadership and Values in the Contemporary School National Conference for Principals National Conference for Principals

2 In contemporary society the main function of education is – The flourishing of humanity including personal and social well-being and developing gifts and talents in the service of others

3 “Amongst the other blessings (which God gives) it is to be reckoned not least that by assiduous study man may win the pearl of knowledge. This shows him the way to live well and happily and its preciousness opens the door for him to understand the mysteries of the universe; it helps and raises to distinction those that were born in the lowest places.” (Nicholas V, Bull of 7 January 1451, Glasgow University Archives)

4 Leadership and Values Leadership requires attention to:  Clarity of vision  Consistency of action  Constant review of evidence

5 So what is the vision of schools of the future? Concern for the truth Concern for values Concern for the poor Concern for relationships These are unchanging principles… but differ in the detail of our practices.

6 Is there is a crisis of values and of life-styles in the world today? There are certainly some areas where there can be cause to concern. Among these would be: Consumerism Materialism Economism The self in relation to the other.

7 Overarching Challenges in Society  There is no vision  There is no fear The school should offer a vision of a world characterised by justice, hope and love. That is a sustainable vision for the educator.

8 This requires an understanding of the human condition… Set in terms of humanity – both the person and the community Where do we see humanity flourish? Have schools become the battleground of values for the souls of children?

9 It is not difficult to see certain values and influences as the enemy in the battle for the souls of children. Schools can enhance the place and the practise of human rights by being communities which are centrally concerned with people: with relationships with caring with values with a better world.

10 Where these are at risk there is discord and unrest – Internally and externally… Alienation, hopelessness, disengagement, frustration, etc Expressed in different ways, including civic unrest and violence towards society and its institutions?

11 Human flourishing requires that life should be comprehensive (holistic and integrated), manageable and worthwhile. Where any of these are missing then human flourishing is at risk. A worthwhile life carries a deep sense of hope… and a lack of hopelessness…

12 We live in a world where rights and responsibilities are generally better servants than masters… where we are to be guided not only by the law, by the book, and by written rights… but also by the spirit that touches all our lives. Education contributes to this.

13 Education is to equip people for life in all its richness. It is to improve the life chances of everyone. It gives hope, understanding, skills, happiness, etc Education is NOT ONLY for employability and professional advancement. To drive that agenda fails the majority in our society. It is an inadequate conceptualisation of what it is to be an educated person.

14 Education is not concerned with gaining power but is the flourishing of the person with all their gifts and talents. Knowledge is not a commodity or a means of gaining material prosperity and success. It is a call to serve and be responsible for others.

15 A school is a place where the values and ideals of a community are expressed freely and with integrity. The school is a place where the spirit resides in the hearts of the people and in culture of that community. It is concerned with the individual and the community. A school gives priority to the lived human experience and the relationships that form and inform these experiences.

16 Education is not the pursuit of perfection. It is the constant search for living the best life that we can, whatever our personal, social and cultural circumstances. Education is concerned with the centrality of the person; the person set in the context of their community or communities. We are seeking to develop in optimal ways taking account of our human frailty and vulnerability, and taking account of the culture that forms us.

17 “Education thus presents itself as at once preparation for life and an irreplaceable part of life itself: Hence the good school is to be assessed not by any tale of examination successes, however impressive, but by the extent to which it has filled the years of youth with security, graciousness and ordered freedom, and has thus been the seed-bed for the flowering in due season of all that is of good report.” Secondary Education : A Report of The Advisory Council on Education in Scotland, 1947

18  Education is supporting people to go beyond “potential.”  There are no limits  We should not set man-made limits.  We should be respectful of ALL abilities and gifts.

19 Education is not about consumerism and commercialisation, but about what it is to be fully human. The emerging future of education has to be explicit about the values of JUSTICE - HOPE - LOVE

20 Among the global pressures are: Individualism Materialism, and Economism These threaten the interests of human rights since they put undue value on the self, on material well-being and on the role of education in developing the national economy that they subjugate human rights and the centrality of people in society.

21 These flourish in an environment of freedom, health, happiness which are among the human rights for which all of us aspire. We wish to form a society where people will act  Through love, care and compassion;  With a care for beauty and wonder;  With a sense of hope;  By serving the world by her/his gifts.

22 Whatever we do in education has to be based on an informed conscience. This means that it is our duty to use what research there is, and what insights we gain from our professional reflections in the service of others. In doing this we ought to take account of evidence, and have it mediated through professional reflection and, where we have people of faith, to reflect on that faith.

23 Professional practices enhance the human condition by having this vision of humanity that goes beyond articulating the principles. It is a matter of service, and of ethical practices. Too often this is perceived as a cerebral exercise; and exercise for the mind alone. It also has to do with the hand and the heart. Good works on their own are not enough. Professional practice is unswervingly to improve the human condition of others.

24 “A thought transfixed me: for the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth - that love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.” “Man’s Search for Meaning” Viktor E Frankl,1959

25 The values of my school What valuesAction for implementation Greatest challenge

26 Professor Bart McGettrick 6 October October 2011 Relationships at the Heart of Learning National Conference for Principals National Conference for Principals

27 In contemporary society the main function of education is – The flourishing of humanity including personal and social well-being and developing gifts and talents in the service of others

28 Education is based on the centrality of relationships. Relationships are not about “control” or aspects of enforcement. Learning really occurs in the space between learner and teacher. Space and the development of the self are of paramount importance.

29 Through effective relationships with a responsible adult the child forms the scaffolding for her/his thinking and development. This becomes the mental scaffolding that allows the child to make sense of the world. It forms the intellectual and emotional structures which provide the capacity and ability to see the world in positive ways and to give structure to cognitive thought and to knowledge itself.

30 Where there is the absence of this relationship, the child is unable to see the inter-relatedness of knowledge and struggles to make progress in formal educational systems. This is why children who do not have parental or other positive adult role models are likely to find formal education difficult. Consequently they have difficulties in obtaining formal qualifications and find themselves unable to advance in life through those structures.

31 Education is incarnated in a person… It exists in the hearts of people. The curriculum is a means to the end and not the purpose of education. Sometimes we need to protect children and others from the negative effects of oppressive educational regimes.

32 We talk so much about change in this world, but one aspect which dos not change is the fact that children still need to love and be loved. Is it too much to think that this may indeed be a human right? This remains as perhaps the one area we still need to conquer – the depths of the heart… A vision?

33 Is education able to address the crisis of moral change? We live in the real world and are part of it…. Not removed from it. We require to see humanity flourish– both in person and in the community Where do we see humanity flourish? Have schools become the battleground of values of our children?

34 Where these are at risk there is discord and “crisis” – Internally and externally… Alienation, hopelessness, disengagement, frustration, etc Expressed in different ways, including civic unrest and violence towards society and its institutions?

35 We live in a world where each child has the right to be literate… but where there are over 800 million people who are not; and where we are guided by the law, by regulations, and by written rights… Education is not about conformity to legislation and plans, but the freedom of the human spirit. Education contributes to human freedom

36 A Celtic way of thinking is always to walk with two steady feet… one in the spiritual world and one in the here and now of daily life. That is what gives the human being balance. The footsteps are more important than the signposts on this journey of life. That allows us to appreciate that not all of life is found in the here and now.....to believe in a spiritual life where we can get beyond the immediate and engage with life at a deeper level.

37 Education gives access to Personal Identity … personal well-being Social mobility …employment and economic sustainability Emotional well-being …contentment and social sustainability Cultural diversity … peace and cultural sustainability Creativity … new knowledge & change

38 Education is more than function although it includes it. The purpose of education is not the curriculum. The curriculum is a means to the end, not the end in itself. Being educated is not primarily the end in itself. It gives people feelings of identity, well-being and purpose. It gives hope….

39 Education resides in people and in our humanity… It is incarnated. Education is not found in the endless papers that we read and even produce. It does not exist in the eloquence of the talks you hear and even give. It does not even exist in the thoughts we have; but it exists mainly in the actions we take to benefit others.

40 Education is not simply a matter of teaching about the facts and skills and techniques. We have much deeper responsibility for  forming a society that cares;  loving our neighbour;  sharing all our gifts;  promoting people of hope. It is through relationships that society will thrive and humanity will flourish.

41 A Model for Learning Content – Principles, Knowledge, Concepts, Ideas, Skills Dispositions to Learning – Learning to Love Learning RelationshipsEmotional and Spiritual Space

42 Educating the Teacher  There are three kinds of knowledge to be addressed – Academic Knowledge – Professional Knowledge – Personal Knowledge

43 Through this kind of relationship the child forms the scaffolding for her/his thinking and development. This becomes the mental scaffolding that allows the child to make sense of the world. It forms the intellectual and emotional structures which provide the capacity and ability to see the world in positive ways and provide a moral compass by which we can navigate the secular world.

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45 Progression on being educated Teaching (Didactic) LearningThinkingBeingBecoming ControlFacilitationEnablingSelf – Aware Constant Aspiration Curriculum & Assess’t Prescription Personalised Education Values Relationships Weak Strong Trust and Respect

46 Education is not about consumerism and commercialisation, but about what it is to be fully human. The emerging future of education has to be explicit about the values of JUSTICE - HOPE - LOVE

47 The centrality of relationships which carry the spirit of our lives and the values we espouse. In a world of change the leader knows where the branches are that can move with the wind… where the trunk is that remains a steady presence … and where the roots are that feed and sustain the tree of knowledge… the tree of education.


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