SEVEN DOMAINS OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP

DOMAIN 1A

School Environment

Safe, secure, and comfortable environment has a direct impact on students' learning. 

 

School Environment

In the school students must feel safe, secure, and comfortable both physically and emotionally.

IMPACT ON LEARNING

Students' learning improves when they feel safe, secure and comfortable both physically and emotionally. In such an environment, students can freely engage in learning activities with increased focus and concentration.

ACTIONS

Improving the school environment is a continuous process that requires all stakeholders to work together. The major steps of the process are:

  • Conduct a thorough audit of the physical and emotional safety, security, and comfort parameters to identify the strengths and areas of improvement

  • Define SMART goals to improve the school environment

  • Create a Environment Committee comprising of representatives of each stakeholder to draft guidelines and lead the change process

  • Enable the EEC with resources required to bring about the change

  • Monitor and evaluate the improvement in school environment on a quarterly basis

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to improve the school environment. 

 

Learning Culture

The schools must have a caring, collaborative, and inclusive school culture, which encourages excellence, curiosity, empathy, and equity.

Draft NEP 2019

IMPACT ON LEARNING

A strong and positive learning culture is considered the 'hidden curriculum' of a school. The culture defines and drives students' learning through various norms, policies, beliefs, practices, procedures, and values. The school culture, rooted in the school's vision, determines the relationships between various stakeholders, the school curriculum, the pedagogical practices, the assessment, infrastructure, and organizational structure. 

ACTIONS

It takes a lot of time to develop a strong and positive learning culture that is effective. The time and effort spent in developing and nurturing the school's culture is justified because of the heavy impact it has on students' learning and achievement.

 

To develop a positive learning culture, school leaders should:

  • Conduct a thorough audit of the existing culture to identify the strengths and areas of improvement

  • Define SMART goals to improve the school culture

  • Create a Culture Committee comprising of representatives of each stakeholder to draft guidelines and lead the change process

  • Enable the CC with resources required to bring about the change

  • Nurture, monitor and evaluate the improvement in school culture on a quarterly basis

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to improve the school culture. 

Customising Curriculum

The school curriculum must be relevant to the future needs of students.

IMPACT ON LEARNING

The school curriculum defines the learning outcomes as well as the activities that will help students achieve these learning outcomes. Every school has a different vision and students of different profiles. This makes it essential for each school to create its own curriculum that is customised to its vision and profile of students. The learning efficiencies and effectiveness of students will have a huge positive impact if the curriculum is designed for their needs. 

ACTIONS

The process of customising curriculum must be undertaken in phases. The phases can be defined as a combination of grades and/or subjects. For example you may want to start with mathematics and science for primary classes and then follow it up next year with other subjects of primary classes. You may then add other classes and subjects in subsequent years.

 

To customise the curriculum to meet the needs of the students, school leaders should:

  • Develop an in-depth understanding of the demographic variables of students and their families

  • Understand the 'every-day' lives and interests of their students

  • Define the learning outcomes that align with the vision of the school and the national/state curriculum framework

  • Design several learning activities and interventions for each learning outcome 

  • Define the metrics and methods to assess attainment of the learning outcomes.

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to customise curriculum. 

 
 

Curating Content

Good content makes learning effortless, great content makes it enjoyable.

IMPACT ON LEARNING

Students need access to high-quality content to aid learning. The quality of content depends on five factors: correctness, clarity, comprehensionality, conciseness, and cognitive challenge.

 

The internet has made it possible for students to access loads of information using their desktops, laptops, tablets, or mobiles. Apart from prescribing textbooks, schools must build their own curated library of digital content that can aid learning.  

ACTIONS

School leaders must form a "Content Team" comprising of various stakeholders. This team should be given the mandate to:

  • Evaluate each textbook on the quality factors for content

  • Maintain a well-stocked library of high quality books

  • Create "digital libraries of resources"

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to improve the quality of content used by students. 

 

Learning Processes

Schools must transform the traditional mindsets, practices, and processes that are designed to create masses of average performers

IMPACT ON LEARNING

The learning processes used in the school have a direct impact on students' achievement of learning outcomes. To enable each student to maximise his/her learning potential it is important that learning is student-centric, flexible, engaging, and outcome driven.

ACTIONS

To maximise learning and achievement for each child, school leaders must:

  • Monitor learning and achievement of each child

  • Build students' interest and engagement in learning activities 

  • Promote the use of different pedagogical approaches and techniques

  • Encourage innovative student-centric learning experiences 

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to improve learning procesess. 

 

Assessment

Assessment must enable learning without causing stress in students.

IMPACT ON LEARNING

Formative assessment, by definition, is designed to aid learning by providing immediate constructive feedback to the learner and the teacher. It tells students how far they are from their learning goals and what they need to do in order to achieve those goals.   

ACTIONS

To implement formative assessment, school leaders should:

  • Help each student create his/her personal learning goals

  • Collect student specific data that reflects their learning achievements

  • Ensure that students get constructive feedback in a timely manner

  • Enable each teacher to use the data on formative assessment to improve the learning strategies for students

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to implement formative assessment in their schools. 

 

Students

The evolved students community demands a lot more from schools and teachers. Schools will need to create better strategies to satisfy students.

IMPACT ON LEARNING

Students who take ownership of their learning perform better than those who don't. The transformation from being a passive learner to an active learner takes time as well as several interventions by teachers and school leaders. Students need to be motivated and mentored continuously by engaging them in interesting learning activities.  

ACTIONS

In the wake of increased exposure and awareness of students due to digital media it has become challenging for schools to get students interested in learning activities. To address the challenges of motivating and mentoring students, school leaders should:

  • Create interesting, meaningful, and relevant learning experiences

  • Increase involvement of the students in decision making processes

  • Respect their individualities and provide opportunities for individualised growth

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to enhance student experiences. 

 

Parents

Some parents want to involve themselves in the education of their child. If you ignore them, they will interfere. The choice is yours.

IMPACT ON LEARNING

Parents positive involvement has a significant impact on students learning. Parents' inputs and efforts can be used to motivate students and monitor their growth. If ignored, these parents would tend to interfere with the efforts of the school and indulge in activities that may harm the student.  

ACTIONS

School leaders must develop strategies to increase the percent of parents who wish to get involved in the child's education. In addition, schools must improve the quality of parents' involvement. This can be achieved by:

  • Creating an effective communication strategy and channel for parent interaction.

  • Identifying areas and opportunities for parents to get involved in the activities of the school

  • Building a transparent work culture on the ethos of mutual trust

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to improve the quality of parent involvement. 

 

Teachers

and Staff

Teaching is an art and a skill that is developed over a period of time. Great teachers create successful students.

IMPACT ON LEARNING

The quality of teachers has the strongest impact on students' learning and achievements. Teachers must be able to engage students, build their interests, inspire them, and help them achieve the learning outcomes. They should be able to creatively use the available resources and develop positive relationships with parents to improve students' performance.

ACTIONS

It is important for school leaders to invest in mentoring, coaching, and retaining the best teachers since the performance of the school depends heavily on them. The non-teaching staff also needs to be aligned to the school vision and culture as they too interact with students and parents regularly. Schools will benefit from:

  • Creating an individualised professional development plan for teachers,

  • Providing teachers a professional work culture

  • Establishing transparent teacher and staff evaluation criteria

  • Engaging teachers and staff in the decision making processes

  • Investing in professional development of teachers and staff

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to improve the quality of teachers and non-teaching staff. 

 

Finance, Legal and Operations

School leaders must operate the schools efficiently and legally to generate profits to fuel growth.

IMPACT ON LEARNING

High quality education requires significant funding for which schools can only rely on philanthropic donations or profits. Education, being a social sector, is viewed in India as a not-for-profit sector. Schools must learn to operate efficiently within the legal framework and policies, to generate adequate financial resources to manage their growth. 

ACTIONS

Creating and managing budgets, introducing efficient operational processes and adhering to legal and regulatory requirements is a big challenge for school leaders.

 

To overcome these challenges, school leaders should:

  • Understand the legal framework of school operations,

  • Implement efficient operational policies and procedures

  • Learn about best practices followed by other schools

  • Use the services of experts or organisations working in these domains

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to improve the operational efficiencies, adhere to the legal and regulatory framework and manage finances. 

 

High Impact Technology

Technology is a tool to aid learning. But, it has to be used wisely so that it works towards achieving the school's vision.   

IMPACT ON LEARNING

Technology has multiple uses in education. It can help students to:

  • access relevant, useful, and beneficial content

  • connect with communities of students with similar interests

  • assess their learning and progress

  • apply knowledge to real world problems

  • boost their 21st century skills 

ACTIONS

Most technologies attract us with their 'WOW' factor much before we discover their real benefits and impact. To create their high impact technology interventions, it is important for schools to:

  • Identify the problems that they are facing in their schools,

  • Search for technology solutions that can help to address these problems

  • Pilot the technology in a few classes to study its positive impact

  • Train various stakeholders to use the technology properly

  • Evaluate the impact before scaling up the technology solution

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to implement high-impact technology interventions.

 

Leading Change

The transformation of the school can only be led by the school leader who understands how people and organisations change.

IMPACT ON LEARNING

Transforming a school from 'good' to 'great' happens when each student is able to learn and perform to the best of his/her potential. School leaders need an in-depth understanding of the change management process and then develop the right leadership skills to enable the transformation.

ACTIONS

Even though 'change' is believed to be the constant aspect of life, most people and organisations are reluctant to change. It is the school leader's responsibility to:

  • Understand the dynamics of successful transformation

  • Strategise, plan and execute  the transformation process 

  • Enable all stakeholders to actively contribute to the transformation

RESOURCES

ICSL provides its members various resources and assistance to help school leaders lead the change

RESOURCES, PRODUCTS AND PROGRAMS TO TACKLE CHALLENGES

90 Days Transformation Program

LEADING in Chaos, the flagship program of ICSL, is a 90-days blended learning transformation journey for school leaders. The certificate program consists of 2 days of intensive interactive workshop and 6 engaging online ICSL ECHO sessions scheduled once every fortnight.

India's First Anthology on School Leadership

LEAD the Change, published by ICSL, is an essential read for school leaders. It has 49 articles spanning all seven domains of school leadership written by practicing school leaders and experts from India, China, Mexico, UK, and Finland.

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