A number of studies and frameworks have pointed out a combination of elements that contribute to successful school leadership, including high expectations, shared/distributed leadership, core leadership practices, pragmatic and contextualized approaches, continuous learning, instructional leadership, innovation, collaboration, stakeholder engagement, among others. Other studies underscored the need for school leaders to develop socio-emotional competencies, including self-awareness, empathy, trust and respect, and resilience in order to effectively influence change and cultivate commitment within the school.
It is within this context that UNESCO Bangkok organized the 19th UNESCO-APEID International Conference, Effective School Leadership for the 21st Century: Meeting the Sustainable Development Goals, to facilitate discussions about school leadership in contributing to the SDGs. The specific objectives of the Conference were to:
- Increase understanding of school leaders’ roles, responsibilities, and challenges in the 21st century;
- Showcase innovative school leadership programs and practices in improving the quality of education;
- Foster effective assessment, monitoring and evaluation of school leadership; and
- Facilitate collaboration and networking to support quality school leadership.
Eminent speakers, paper presenters and facilitators shared their rich experiences in linking theory to practice. Policy makers, academics, researchers, school leaders and administrators, educators, parents, students and representatives from international organizations, local communities and the private sector attended the Conference interacting and engaging in stimulating discussions regarding school leadership policies, strategies and resources.
It was indeed a privilege to attend and to co-present a research paper on Awareness Based System Leadership with Dr Richard Owens (Powerpoint link below). To have this paper chosen as part of the inspiring presentations related to the Sustainable Development Goals was indeed an honour and also highlights the integrity of this approach being embraced by LESNW.
The focus on the SDGs strongly connected to aspects of “our foundation” in Growing deep, especially “education being God’s gift for wonder, growth and to respond to the needs of the world”.
Educational Leadership Director