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Education of school leaders: The ethical dimension in the educational task of schools Jón Torfi Jónasson jtj@hi.is http

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  1. EnirdelmEuropean Network for Improving Research and Development in Educational Leadership and ManagementUniversity of Iceland Reykjavík Iceland September 24th - 26th Education of school leaders: The ethical dimension in the educational task of schools Jón Torfi Jónasson jtj@hi.ishttp://www.hi.is/~jtj/ School of Education, University of Iceland

  2. The five parts of the paper • A preamble or a context to the presentation • The ethical dimension of education • The role of the schools in ensuring the place of this dimension in the education of young people, contrasting it with the role played by parents, the media or the more general social ethos • The forces that mould the role of schools; i.e. to what extent the content of education is in the hands of schools and to what extent they can and must take the lead in the ethical arena. In this discussion we will draw on lessons from various school reforms • The implication of the previous discussion for the pre- and inservice education of school leaders Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  3. A preamble, some dilemmas faced by the educational system (as a systematic enterprise) • The uncertain role of education • The number of distinct discourses about education • The power and pragmatics of the dominant discourses • The conservative forces or stakeholders constraining educational development • The problem of relating educational research and practice • Determining the content of the curriculum of education professionals Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  4. A crucial task and two claims • The task is to chart the features of ethical concerns in education and consider those in the perspective of other concerns within the field of education • The claims are that educational leaders must • Understand the ethical educational issues and the educational implications • But no less important, to understand the competing issues and forces that avert the effort to attend to these former concerns Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  5. II. The ethical dimension(s) of education • Refer back to the previous days of discussion • The narrow view of the ethical dimensions • The broad view of the ethical dimensions • Taking an ethical stance related to the appointment, practice and development of educational leaders • Discussing the ethical commitment of educational leaders implicit in their professionalism • The overarching ethical task given to education and the role of educational leaders to ensure their implementation • Refer to the discussion we have in Iceland, especially two discourses • The “after the crash” discourse • The formal or legal or curricular discourse now taking place in Iceland Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  6. The law on education in Iceland New laws on Pre-primary, compulsory, upper secondary, teacher training, and adult education • The law on compulsory education draws attention to three levels in the legal framework, levels that have been there for a long time: • Article 2, the objective • article 24, the national curriculum guide • article 25, the objectives of study • The national curriculum guide, a new guide, has just been published, with the same preamble for pre-primary, primary and secondary schools. Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  7. An attempt at a visual presentation of the issues in the Icelandic law on compulsory education The national curriculum guide The objective of study The objective of education Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  8. The Compulsory School Act No. 91, 12 June 2008Article 2, Objective The role of the compulsory school, in cooperation with the home, is to encourage pupils’ general development and prepare them for active participation in a democratic society that is continuously developing. Compulsory school practice and methods shall be characterised by tolerance and affection, Christian heritage of Icelandic culture, equality, democratic cooperation, responsibility, concern, forgiveness and respect for human values. The compulsory school shall endeavour to organise its activities to correspond fully with the position and needs of their pupils and encourage the overall development, well-being and education of each individual. The compulsory school shall encourage broadmindedness in its pupils, strengthen their skills in the Icelandic language and their understanding of Icelandic society, its history and characteristics, of people’s living conditions and the individual’s duties to the community, the environment and to the world. Pupils shall be provided with the opportunity to develop and use their creativity and to acquire knowledge and skills in their strive towards education and development. School activities shall lay the foundations for pupils’ autonomy, initiative and independent thinking and train their cooperation skills. The compulsory school shall encourage good cooperation between the school and the home, with the objective of ensuring successful school operation, general welfare and safety for pupils. Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  9. The Compulsory School Act No. 91, 12 June 2008Article 24, National Curriculum Guide • The Minister of Education, Science and Culture issues a National Curriculum Guide for Compulsory Schools, which shall be revised on regular basis. It shall stipulate e.g. the compulsory school’s pedagogical role and general policy in teaching and instructional organisation according to the role of the compulsory school cf. Article 2. The National Curriculum Guide shall among other things emphasise the following: • 1. Self consciousness, personal awareness, ethical consciousness, social awareness and pupils’ awareness of their civil responsibilities and duties • 2. Physical and mental well-being, healthy lifestyle and responsible approach towards living beings and the environment, • 3. Training pupils in using the Icelandic language in all studies, • 4. Dramatic and artistic expression • 5. The ability of pupils to understand causal relationships and to draw logical conclusions • 6. Understanding of vital and creative activities, innovation and entrepreneurial studies • 7. Balance between academic and practical studies • 8. Utilising children’s’ play as means of learning and development Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  10. The Compulsory School Act No. 91, 12 June 2008Article 24, National Curriculum Guide (cont.) • 9. Studies which will be of advantage to pupils in their daily life as well as in further studies and future employment • 10. Preparing both sexes equally for active participation in society, family life and employment • 11. A variety of means to acquire knowledge, through the use of technological media, information and communication technology, school resource centres and written sources • 12. Education and career guidance and counselling, information about occupations and employment, available courses of study in preparing for future studies or employment In devising the National Curriculum Guide, in the organisation of study and instruction and in producing and selecting study material, special effort shall be made to ensure that all pupils have equal study opportunities and a chance to select subjects and learning approaches in their own education. • The objectives and practice of study and instruction shall aim at preventing discrimination on the basis of origin, gender, sexual orientation, residence, social class, religion, health condition, handicap or situation in general. • All school activities shall encourage a healthy lifestyle and take into account the variation of personality, development, talent, abilities and interests of each individual pupil. Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  11. The Compulsory School Act No. 91, 12 June 2008Article 25, Objectives of study The National Curriculum Guide shall lay down the main objectives of study and instruction, the structure and organisation of study, as well as division of time between instruction in different subjects and subject areas in the compulsory school. Effort shall be made to ensure as much cohesion of studies as possible, but each compulsory school determines if particular subjects shall be taught in a separate or integrated way. The National Curriculum Guide shall define required learning outcomes within each subject area. Pupils shall have the possibility to fulfil the learning outcomes of particular subjects and subject areas in various ways. The National Curriculum Guide shall define learning outcomes and requirements for pupils to finish individual subjects or subject areas. It shall also define requirements for pupils that finish compulsory school in less than 10 years. The National Curriculum Guide shall outline the cooperation between compulsory school and preschool on the one hand and compulsory school and upper secondary school on the other hand and how to arrange efficient transfer and adaptation between school levels. The National Curriculum Guide shall stipulate the content and organisation of study in the following fields: Icelandic or Icelandic as second language or Icelandic sign language, mathematics, English, Danish or other Nordic languages, arts and crafts, natural sciences, physical education, social sciences, equal rights affairs, religious studies, life skills and information and communication technology. Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  12. An attempt at a visual presentation of the issues in the Icelandic law on compulsory education The national curriculum guide The objective of education The objective of study Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  13. Thus, what is the aim of education? • The notion of education as presented by the aims or objectives paragraph • The historical timeline, • the Greek and the Roman legacies, the reformation and the humanists • Erasmus, Kant • the Enlightenment, the Human capital theory, technological utilitarianism • Consumerism, credentialism • As the world becomes more complex, the discourse tends to be simplified: • The three Rs, the basics, the PISAs • The ethical dimension as emerging (and disappearing) from the various discourses Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  14. The ethical dimension as emerging from the various discourses The various International declarations, agreements and statutes United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) Article 29 (goals of education). Education must develop every child’s personality, talents and abilities to the full. It must encourage the child’s respect for human rights, as well as respect for their parents, their own and other cultures, and the environment. UNESCO Education for sustainable development, a multifaceted umbrella covering a spectrum of issues that should be attended to; a very ambitious framework. Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  15. III. The role of the schools in ensuring the place of this dimension in the education of young people, contrasting it with the role played by parents, the media or the more general social ethos • What school are we talking about; from kindergarten to university? • What tasks can the school undertake and what should it undertake? • Who are the various actors and what might be their respective roles? Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  16. What school are we talking about; from kindergarten to university? And the level of leadership? There is the question of division of labour within a school system that extends for many children and young people over 14-25 years (2+10+2, as the dominant minimum). It is likely that with all new content which is not defined vis-à-vis a traditional curriculum, thatentrepreneurs at all levels are ready to grapple with it. It is eminently possible that the tasks will be attempted by all – or hardly anybody! Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  17. What tasks can the school undertake and what should it undertake? Alistair Ross, ― Jean Monnet ad personam professor, awarded by the European Commission, a chair related to the project: Young Europeans' Constructions of Identity and Citizenship… states in a presentation at the University of Iceland, 19-9-2011 http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/research-units/ipse/staff/alistair-ross.cfm “ I will argue that education and teaching – and teachers - also have the power to transform society, and to promote equity and social justice.” Whereas, David Labaree, at Stanford, suggests: “We want schools to promote civic virtue, economic productivity, and social mobility; to alleviate inequalities in race, class, and gender; to improve health, reduce crime, and protect the environment. So we assign these social missions to schools, and educators gamely accept responsibility for carrying them out. When the school system inevitably fall far short of these goals, … “ http://www.stanford.edu/~dlabaree/publications/What_School_can%27t.pdf Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  18. Who are the various stakeholders or actors and what might be their respective roles? Each group conducts its particular discourse (explicit or tacit) • Politicians, as active participants • Governments or the official authorities, sometimes as political agents • Industry, the world of work • The teachers, as professionals, but with the legacy of their training • The educational reformers, wanting to change education from the inside • The children, the pupils with their background, abilities and motivation • The parents, sometimes adopting the perspective of the consumer • The teacher training environment, with its conservative vested interests • The professional organisations • The media, the internet • The market • The social ethos Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  19. IV. The forces that mould the role of schools; i.e. to what extent is the content of education in the hands of schools and to what extent can they and must take the lead in the ethical arena. In this discussion we will draw on lessons from various school reforms • The notion of drivers or moulders of education • What might these drivers be? How do we determine these? • What kind of control is exerted by these drivers? • The possibility of school reform, and what does a reform mean? Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  20. The notion of drivers or moulders of education I suggest that all the stakeholders mentioned previously, exert some influence on the school system, not just governments or teachers. As an example of drivers, I have argued (elsewhere) that the by far most effective force determining the growth and fate of higher education is the credentialism controlling the choice and behaviour of the bulk of the HE student population. This would then extend to a more general notion of consumerism (simple utilitarianism) operating at all levels of the educational system; a stance adopted by the parents of young and adolescent students. Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  21. What might these drivers be? How do we determine these? I will not be able to enumerate all these drivers, but most are probably more pervasive than the curricular guides issued by governments. By far the clearest examples are, tests (standardized tests, PISA tests), subjects or disciplines (such as biology, mathematics). They will normally be simple, identifiable, and carry with them real or imagined stakes. They have normally utilitarian connotations (such as status or employability). They often (not always) have very strong ties with tradition. If they need to be discussed it must be in simple transparent concrete terms. (How many hours for mathematics? How can the educational system improve the PISA results?) Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  22. What kind of control is exerted by these drivers? The drivers control or affect considerably The form of the discussion, they tend to dominate the discourse The way the system operates at the macro level The way the system operates at the meso level (but perhaps not at the micro level) The content of the system The preparation of those who work in the system Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  23. The possibility of school reform, and what does a reform mean? No reform will succeed unless it understands these drivers and proposes substantive and operative changes that that take them fully into account and counter them, if necessary. It must be clear how the changes break with tradition and be argued that it makes sense to do so. The discourses must be simplified to compete with the transparency of the controlling discourses The implementation of the reforms must equal in stature the existing practice in terms of concrete substance, implementation and evaluation. It must be clear how it will counter the underlying consumer or utilitarian overtones of the dominant discourse. If all these conditions are fulfilled a reform may possibly succeed in replacing existing substance and practices, even though replacing both simultaneously may be formidable. JónTorfiJónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  24. V. The implication of the previous discussion for the education (professional development) of school leaders • Understanding of the task, - the project of education - and constructing a framework that is understood by all the important stakeholders • The what no less than the how, even though both are crucial • Must spend much time on the “what” issue • But then it must be clear “how” important issues are to be implemented • The importance of culture and context, over and above what and how • How to construct, develop and implement a comprehensive modern, innovative, non-traditional school agenda? • The lessons learned from the history of school reform. Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  25. The arena for education professionals: Where does the ethical expertise fit in? Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  26. Drawing towards a conclusion • The ethical dimension of education, must be clarified both in substantive and in pragmatic terms. Its context must also be fully understood, e.g. which are the other contenders for priority • The role of the schools in ensuring the place of this dimension in the education of young people must also be clarified; the division of labour must be discussed; e.g. what concerted active role will others play and what belongs to the school or the school system • The forces that mould the role of schools must be discussed, even understood • The implication of the previous discussion for the education of school leaders; the main thrust of the discourse I am developing centres around context; thus all the three parts of the discourse referred to above must be included and given equal and substantial priority. Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  27. Drawing towards a concluding vision Education should be seen as culture, and the task of educating should be seen as a cultural undertaking. The school should thus be seen as a place of culture. Characterised by respect, cooperation, personal and social development, where learning in the sense of the 19th century is replaced by education and creation, as afforded by the vision, environment and understanding of the 21st century. Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland

  28. Thank you Kærarþakkir Jón Torfi Jónasson - Enirdelm 2011 Iceland