As leaders in our schools our roles are not only to be able to effectively respond to ‘disruption’ i.e. AI (artificial intelligence) and the changing nature of work, but to lead disruption and view it as an opportunity.
We need to lead educational disruption in relation to how we lead, how we engage learners, the central role of agency, organizational structures, the learning we value, how and what we assess, learning with and from the community and creating environments which support engagement. The old paradigm of ‘schooling’ where students are placed in rows, organized according to ages, bells inform when to stop and start learning, text books and tests driving learning, should be left in the past, but sadly in many places this is still evident.
Why is it hard to let go of the past? Fear? Insecurity? Need for power and control? Unwillingness to learn or take a new perspective? Viewing the future with a ‘glass half empty’ lens? Exploring self-awareness (see Growing Deep capabilities) helps us to identify our blind spots which hinder us embracing the future with confidence, creativity and collaboration. We are however, not only leading educational disruption but following Jesus’ lead of being a disruptor of social and religious norms of the day.
Jesus disrupted people’s ideas about social and cultural status, wealth, gender, age, employment, religious rules, education, leadership, nationality, belief about God, behavior, wellbeing (physical and mental) and priorities.
All this is fabulous … until he calls me out and disrupts my view of self, others and priorities. But thank God for that, as the greatest disruption is how Jesus demonstrated and taught how nothing we do will ever make us more acceptable, or less acceptable to God. We are loved, we belong regardless of what we do or don’t do. We don’t get extra ‘points’ for ‘doing more’!
So how does leading disruption feel? Well it should feel ‘right’! Yes, there will be push back and challenge, but from an educational perspective, we know our purpose. From a Christian perspective, we have access to the Holy Spirit who energizes us, works within us, changes us, and we have the best leader Jesus, who mentors, coaches, inspires, challenges, encourages and empowers us to ‘take action’, and is with us all the way! And as leaders in Lutheran learning communities, we have been given the gift of each other, to support, encourage and disrupt together!
Educational Leadership Director
Mark 12:30-31 The Message (MSG)
Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’ And here is the second: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ There is no other commandment that ranks with these.”