Education is key for everyone around the planet and helps us navigate daily life and reach our maximum potential professionally. The knowledge we pick up throughout our journey in education is not only essential for basics such as reading and writing but also for helping us learn more about the world. When you also factor in the social skills that education helps us build as students and the personal development that teachers can inspire, the sector’s importance is clear to see.
Within this, educational leaders play a critical role in ensuring thattheir institutions deliver all of the above to students. Leaders in the industry not only set the direction for schools, colleges and universities to follow, but they also have a real impact on the learning outcomes of pupils. But what does this kind of role involve, and how do these professionals help to shape curricula andpolicies and enhance learning outcomes for students?
What are educational leaders?
Educational leaders are senior figures within the education sector who play a key role in improving student learning outcomes, managing curricula and shaping policies. They are high-level professionals who bring together teachers, pupils and parents within an institution to raise educational standards. Common examples of this role include elementary school principals, chief academic officers and post-secondary education administrators.
How do you become an educational leader?
To become a leader in education, you need to have the right academic qualifications. This not only means that you have picked up advanced knowledge to succeed in this sort of position, but also that you have the right qualifications to apply for jobs. Also, holding the right sort of academic award means that you are attractive to employers looking for the best leaders to drive forward their school, college or university.
A good option to consider in this regard is a Doctor of Education degree (Ed.D.) – but what is an Ed.D. exactly? In simple terms, this program is a good choice for those who wish to apply what they learn in practice and follow a professionally focused doctorate.
The Ed.D. in Education and Leadership from Rockhurst University is a good exampleof a Doctorate in Education thatis aimed specifically at those wishing to move into educational leadership. It not only includes modules on key topics such as educational systems and policy, but also prepares students to develop education frameworks, policies and curricula.
What role do educational leaders play in shaping curricula?
People who work at this level in the education system play a crucial role in forming the curriculathattheir institutions deliver. But how do they achieve this?
To begin with, educational leaders will be directly involved (along with senior teaching colleagues) in forming relevant and up-to-date curricula for courses. Although teaching staff may provide the finer details around the learning thatmodules may involve, leadership figures will have a key say in how any curriculum looks and the learning that any course offers.
Leaders in education will also play a key role in reviewing curricula that are currently being offered and ensure that they are fit for purpose. This can also include checking that the courses being offered hit the required standards in terms of learning outcomes and learning credits. Gaining feedback from pupils, parents and teachers can be key here and allows educational leaders to drive improvements in curricula moving forward.
How do they form policies within an educational setting?
Educational leadershipis key in any school, college or university and sees people in these roles help form policies for pupils and staff to follow. This could include policies around attendance or policies around working hours for teachers. As leaders are the people who will help form any policy in conjunction with colleagues and ensure that it is implemented effectively, they play a crucial role in this area. They are also the people who can make tweaks to existing policies, based on feedback from stakeholders, teachers, pupils and parents.
Due to this, educational leaders may often network with other professionals at their level in the sector to inform their own decision-making. These senior educational workers may also attend networking events and conferences to inform policies within their institution.
What role do educational leaders play in improving learning outcomes for students?
Although shaping policies and curricula is a key part of any leadership position in education, improving learning outcomes for students is also a major responsibility. But how do people at this level of the industry do this?
A good example is how they recruit the best teaching staff to educate students and the best support staff to help pupils reach their maximum potential. By doing this, educational leaders are able to offer the best learning to students and guide them to a place individually where they can make the most of it.
The role that leaders have in shaping curricula and policiesalso comes into play here. Their influence in this area enables schools, colleges and universities to pass on the most useful, up-to-date knowledge to students. The policies that educational leaders put into place facilitate a positive environment for students to achieve more. Attendance policies,for example, are key for ensuring thatpupils spend more time in education and get more access to learning.
Leaders in the industry also help to drive forward learning outcomes by managing their institution properly and ensuring that there is proper investment into educational resources, such as learning management systems, books and IT equipment. This helps to give teachers what they need to perform their role fully and enables students to access the tools they requireto achieve their best.
Leaders in education are key for policies, curricula and student outcomes
As the above shows, education leaders have a pivotal role when it comes to enhancing learning outcomes and shaping policies and curricula. This is one of the main reasons why people ineducation enjoy working in this kind of position. As it gives you the opportunity to have a direct impact in key areas, working in a leadership role in education can feel highly fulfilling.