PDI-9: Developing Leadership Skills and Capacity to Sustain Change (NSRC)
Date: Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Location: Boston, MA—Boston Convention and Exhibition Center; Room 204B
Recommended Pathway Sessions
National Science Resources Center
- What can leaders do to be more effective managers of projects?
- What skills do science eduation leaders need to build and sustain their science programs?
- How can leaders build powerful groups to lead reform?
- How can leaders engage community stakeholders to provide for sustainability?
Implementing and sustaining innovative science programs takes time and requires focused knowledge and skill. Capable, well informed leadership is critical. The NSRC’s LASER Center has planned a Professional Development Institute for leaders that will provide opportunities for active engagement, discussion and reflection. The focus of this session will be on the skills necessary to earn the respect and engagement of the people who work with you and for you. We will be exploring the ideas and practices that provide the most leverage in working within an organization. The skills that will be explored are necessary to continue science reform projects and keep them vibrant.
Participants will leave with new leadership skills and a conceptual framework for helping school districts build the local infrastructure or system to support an effective inquiry-centered science education program. School districts must develop leadership competence for choosing and implementing a curriculum, developing capacity for leading professional development, monitoring success of the program, providing the needed materials to teachers and students, garnering support from the community.
Follow–up sessions will provide the on-going professional learning that leaders need to as they move through a phased-in project in their own districts. The Institute sets the stage for the Thursday and Friday follow up sessions by introducing skills needed for effective leaders and providing the conceptual framework for helping school districts build the local infrastructure or system to support an effective inquiry-centered science education program.
This session is intended for leaders, at all levels, of science reform projects. Participants will benefit from reflecting about their own leadership abilities, interacting with other science reform leaders, and learning new strategies for becoming more effective.
For more information about the Institute, contact Arlene Elrod, Senior Program Officer, The Leadership and Assistance for Science Education Reform (LASER) Center, National Science Resources Center (NSRC), firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 256-517-1786
The importance of capable leadership for successful implementation of an innovation is well documented. According to Century and Levy (2002), leadership, that can adapt and improve programs in response to the inevitable changes in school districts, is a key to sustainability. Moreover, leaders need skills to be be an effective facilitator of change. “Being an expert in new science curriculum is not the same as being an expert in the process of change”. (Fullan, 2002) Programs that are sustained have leaders at many levels who are strong advocates for the reform. Everyone who is engaged in a change process has a leadership role to play. Collaborative leadership has become increasingly important since there is a high probability that more than one person will be required to deliver all that is demanded by the complexities of change. (Hall, Hord, 2001)
NSRC has an extensive network of practitioners that will contribute to this program. These individuals have lived science education reform and have practical leadership knowledge that works. In addition, Sally Goetz Shuler will contribute to the session. She is the Executive Director of the National Science Resources Center (NSRC). She has held leadership roles in a district as a teacher, a curriculum developer and large scale inservice education programs for elementary, intermediate and high school teachers. Her work at NSRC includes developing leadership capacity in the United States and the world.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has provided major support for the NSRC’s LASER Center since the inception of the Center in 1998. The LASER Center is a science education implrmentation and dissemination center of a former initiative of the NSF’s Elementary, Secondary, and Informal Education Program. The NSF grant that made the LASER Center possible was matched by a combination of participant fees and contributions from corporations, private foundations, and science curriculum publishers. These contributors were: Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation, Inc.; Carolina Biological Supply Company; Delta Education; DuPont; Hewlett-Packard Company; The Lucent Technologies Foundation; Merck Institute for Science Education; and The Shell Exploration and Production Company.