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Inaugural Leadership Academy at Memorial

By Heidi Wicks

The Faculty of Education's newly-formed Educational Leadership Consortium held the inaugural Leadership Academy from July 30-Aug. 3 in partnership with the provincial Department of Education. The consortium is partnering with the Department of Education by hosting 30 school principals, with experience ranging from one to five years, in a week-long series of seminars on leading edge research and training. The seminar topics include professional capital (transforming teaching), the role of the principal in teacher growth and development, the use of assessment, and understanding the 21st-century learning context.

"This is the first-ever Leadership Academy co-hosted by the Department of Education and the Faculty of Education, with the active co-operation of school districts from across the province," said Dr. Kirk Anderson, dean, Faculty of Education. "We want to build our internal capacity within the province to deal with the needs of our province's school teachers and leaders."

Dr. Anderson and Dr. Noel Hurley, interim director of the Leadership Consortium, co-developed the Leadership Academy initiative along senior Department of Education personnel. Dr. Hurley, Dr. Anderson and other leadership scholars within the Faculty of Education have been engaged in similar types of entrepreneurial leadership development for the past decade. Dr. Anderson was part of the Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit, which served the needs of school leaders in the province as well as other parts of Canada and internationally. As well, while at the University of Calgary, he was part of the international development projects for teachers and school leaders in Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean. He was most recently the founding director of the Atlantic Centre for Educational Administration and Leadership in New Brunswick, which was active in leadership research and development and distance education.

The Educational Leadership Consortium will bring many of these previous leadership development experiences to Memorial, which together comprises a considerable range of compatible expertise.

"The Faculty here at Memorial is on par with any experts I've ever worked with, yet Memorial's other faculties do not seem to be aware of it," Dr. Anderson said. "As we build bridges across Memorial through the Teaching and Learning Framework, I hope the Faculty of Education's role and expertise will become more visible. For example, few people know that that 10,000 school principals in Africa are currently being trained using materials developed by members of our faculty, including Dr. Hurley, Dr. Bruce Sheppard and the late Dr. David Dibbon, former dean of the Faculty of Education.

"Blending this expertise within the faculty and outward to other expertise through the co-ordinated structure of our Educational Leadership Consortium fits well with the faculty's expertise, field-based needs and with Memorial's aspirations."