More and more responsibility is being given and taken by educational leaders, and the necessity of professional development has only grown with it. In the fast changing and diverse educational context leaders roles are evolving faster than ever. Keeping up with technology, evidenced-based research, the newest funding opportunities, and the dynamic nature of student development has required leaders to take on new levels of personal and professional development.
To be an effective leader of others first means being a leader of oneself, and resources to aid in this is the recent upswing of self-efficacy testing. While there are many resources for personal development in leadership, self-efficacy measurements can be used throughout one’s,
career as a way to chart development strengths and weaknesses. Learning how to be self-reflective will aid leaders to be effective mirrors for those they are leading as well.
There are many types of personality tests which developing leaders can use to determine their strengths, and the best possible way to utilize them. A few of these tests are:
• Big Five
• NEO PI-R – Neo Personality Inventory Revised
• 16 PF- Sixteen Personality Factor
• PAI- Personality Assessment Inventory
• MBTI- Myers Briggs Type Indicator Personality Test
• PAPI- PA Preference Inventory
• Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI)
Methods for developing greater self-efficacy are always growing, with research consistently supporting that, “Leadership self-efficacy was found to predict leadership behavior and distinguish leaders from non-leaders. Further, prior leadership experiences predicted leadership self-efficacy judgments. Finally, women reported significantly lower leadership self-efficacy than men” (McCormick, Tanguma, and Lopez-Forment 34). Understanding these trends will help educational leaders overcome perceived limitations.
The last few decades have seen a staggering rise in the number of professional development programs for educational leaders. There are now online resources, resources at one’s place of employment, international support systems, and every type of development tool in-between. A few curriculum guides and teaching resources are:
• Asia for Educators
• Choices for the 21st Century Education Project
• Facing the Future
• World Trade Organization and Globalization
• Global Education Collaborative
• Heifer International for Educators
• iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) (NEA)
Organizations which work with educator’s professional development are:
• AACTE Committee on Global and International Teacher Education
• Comparative and International Education Society (CIES)
• Council of Europe Global Education Week Network
• Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program
• Institute of International Education
• International Society for Teacher Education
• NAFSA: Association of International Educators
• Partnership for 21st Century Skills
• SIETAR - the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research
• The World Council of Comparative Education Societies (WCCES) (NEA)
Professional development was once part of the accreditation process, but now teachers are encouraged to continue such leadership development throughout their careers. The NEA emphasizes such programs, “should provide equal opportunities for these educators to gain and improve the knowledge and skills important to their positions and job performance. They should assure that these educators have a decisive voice at every stage of planning, implementation, and evaluation” (NEA). Such developmental prioritizing is in step with the education reform of the Every Student Succeeds act (ESSA) which empowers teachers to implement their own strategies to aid their students. Thus, the more development educational leaders participate in the more prepared they will be to creatively address student’s evolving needs.
Research is now showing that educational leaders who are trained in the new approach are staying on the job longer and being more successful than those educators who rely on traditional learning support. Many new concepts have translated from evidence-based research
In order to accomplish this:
• Teachers want to advance while staying close to the classroom.
• Great teaching does not automatically translate into great leadership.
• Districts and schools need a more diverse, stable source of leadership. (Valdez, Broin, and Carroll 9-11)
Recently new programs have emerged to help educational leaders develop the diversity awareness and approach with the student population is calling for. One such example is the Emerging Leaders Program, which during the 2012-13 school year helped 315 participants develop. The success of this program (as seen below) is encouraging more developmental support programs like this one around the nation and the world.
The National Education Association (NEA) has many professional development programs they support and have organized through their vast network of strategic organizing. Attended regularly, the “professional development opportunities are the NEA ESP National Conference and the NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow program. Additional programs may be available to ESP members through their State or Local Association” (NEA). Each program has a specific focus because there so many ways to nurture development. The list below shows a few of NEA’s focuses:
• NEA ESP National Conference
• The conference is designed to provide professional development opportunities for participants to help them gain the skills they need to build stronger locals: building strong internal and external relationships, organizing members,
• NEA ESP Leaders for Tomorrow
• created to train future ESP leaders in leadership attitudes, skills, and knowledge. The overarching goal is to develop skilled ESP leaders across the 50 states. (NEA)
Professional leadership development in education is growing exponentially, and there is great likelihood that such development programs will begin to partner with schools during educational training. While many positions of leadership require such development, for the most part it is up to leaders themselves to cultivate continuous education. Such changes in education have great potential to help students access much vaster styles of teaching.
1: Chart retrieved from: http://userpage.fu-berlin.de/~health/faq_gse.pdf
2: Personality tests retrieved from: http://www.personalitytestfree.net/personality-tests.php
3: Chart retrieved from: http://pasisahlberg.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Teacher-Leader-Effectiveness-Report-2011.pdf
4: Chart retrieved from: http://www.newleaders.org/wp-content/uploads/NewLeaders_Untapped.pdf
5: Chart retrieved from: http://www.newleaders.org/wp-content/uploads/NewLeaders_Untapped.pdf
McCormick, Michael J., Jesus Tanguma, and Anita Sohn Lopez-Forment. “Extending Self-Efficacy Theory to Leadership: A Review and Empirical Test.” Journal of Leadership Education, Vol. 1.2(2002), pp. 34. Retrieved from: http://leadershipeducators.org/Resources/Documents/jole/2002_winter/JOLE_1_2_McCormick_Tanguma_Lopez-Forment.pdf
NEA. “Professional Development.” Nea.org, 2016. Retrieved from: http://www.nea.org/home/30998.htm
Valdez, Marianna, Aexandra Broin, and Kathleen Carroll. “Untapped: Transforming Teacher Leadership to Help Students Succeed.” Newleaders.org, 2015. Retrieved from: http://www.newleaders.org/wp-content/uploads/NewLeaders_Untapped.pdf