Starting off on the right foot (Activity 1.12.1; 2.2.1; 2.2.2 of EE811)

This is my third module of my MA in Online and Distance and Education. The first two modules focused on networking as a practitioner, and becoming a critical researcher. Now I’m turning my attention to educational leadership (or should that be leadership in education?).

This is the module that will, I think, hurt the most. Partly because to be in HE is to be in flux, and to tangle internally with the kind of leadership at play in many institutions, but also thrashing out what leadership could mean for me.

What do I mean by leadership?

Is it management, and all of the political bollocks that goes with that?

Or is it thought leadership, where part of the purpose to is influence thought and contribute into a body of work, or a sector?

Leadership without being in charge? That’s a very familiar concept, too.

I think I believe that leadership does not happen in a vacuum; that effective leaders encourage genuine dialogue and partnership, and ownership of solutions by those they lead.

I found myself already drawing distinctions between management and leadership, before being brought up short by this quote from Unit 2:

“It may not be helpful to force a distinction between leaders and managers, as that narrows down the focus of attention to individuals and the ways in which roles are named and defined rather than the activities that take place.”

But perhaps this is from my personal experience of management who are not leaders, who I don’t feel are leading particularly well. I’ll be interested to see how the unit expands on that, because right now I feel that one can, for instance, be a thought leader in one sphere, without being in a position to influence in another.

I may be defaulting to thinking of leadership as a response to a problem?

EE811 Academic Skills Reflection Grid

Reflective tool for assessing my academic development needs, and to identify which areas I need to focus on developing through the module.
  This is new to me I have some idea about how to do this I am confident in this area I am confident and can explain to others how to work in this area
Independently search for and access academic publications

Independently read academic publications with a critical perspective
Critically analyse current themes and issues in educational leadership and management
Synthesise current themes and issues in educational leadership and management
Formulate an argument in relation to debates about educational leadership and management
Clearly communicate ideas through written text, employing an academic writing style
Cite source materials and use references correctlyX

Be able to articulate a personal perspective on learning in relation to leadership and management
Critically reflect on the area of your own educational leadership and management practice
Be able to engage critically and creatively with debates relevant to the development of your own professional thinking about educational leadership and managementX