Many of the world’s most innovative companies are building their culture around a model of shared leadership, whereby employees within a team or organization lead each other. In this model, no employee is above another, therefore each member needs to be comfortable in expressing their ideas and sharing power. If this is the company model that many of our graduating students will be expected to work within, how do we as educators prepare them? Is there a way to remove the hierarchy that exists between educator and student (to some extent) and allow learners to gain the confidence to enter a workforce where they may not report to a “superior” in the the traditional sense? I believe that through the use of the Shared Leadership Framework below, there would be a way.
The above model would not replace what already exists at a school, it would add to it (see Lego model), and support one or more of the school’s common focus(es). For example, global citizenship, innovative thinking, service learning, etc. – let’s say in this instance, it’s service learning. You will notice that in the above framework, no one person is above another: it’s a team effort, and any proposals brought forward pertaining to service learning will have equal value. The purple circle represents service learning and encompasses all the ideas generated to further serve the school’s mission with respect to service learning. The white arrows illustrate cross-collaboration opportunities between students, mainstream teachers, specialist teachers, leadership, ELL teachers and learning support staff. The “atoms” underneath each of the four sections (students, leadership … ) represent any individual or collaborative ideas brought forth from within the group. As with any educational framework, it is incomplete without the individualized planners to support its realization, and these planners would be tailored to suit the school’s individual needs.
In implementing the Shared Leadership Framework at your school, you will be allowing students the opportunity to have a voice and learn how to work in an environment of team leadership. The model doesn’t require eliminating the hierarchy at your school, only choosing one or two areas of focus that will allow for students to share power with the staff in bringing forth and implementing ideas.
The workforce is changing, and it is our job as educators to ensure that our learners are equipped with the necessary skills to succeed. If your school is interested in implementing the Shared Leadership Framework or learning more about what we do, contact us!
What is an Educational Framework?
The Flipped Classroom Framework
The Language Framework
The Early Years Framework
The Transitional Framework