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I have been an elementary and secondary school teacher and administrator. Currently, I am a faculty member in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. My M.Ed. and Ph.D. had a focus on the educational and linguistic experiences of children who moved from other countries to Canada.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Haiti: (re)Imagining a System for Principal Qualifications (Pt 1 #2 elaborated)

2. Develop a system for principal qualifications.

A number of steps would be important in developing a structure to support a "principal certification" program. Likely, this would need to be a "two tier" certification program since some people currently serving in principal positions would not have a university degree which should be seen as a minimum academic standard.

a) Determining minimum educational qualifications. A university degree, preferably in education, would be the minimum standard for a "tier 1" principal qualification. For those with only a high school education, the track they would embark on would be for a "tier 2" (or "associate"?) principal certificate.

b) Establishing multiple professional courses which candidates would have to satisfactorily complete in order to be recognized as a certified school principal. This could follow a number of different models:
  • four courses, each of 30 hours in length (i.e. 1 week), which would cover issues of leadership, educational law, curriculum development, programming, educational psychology, budgeting, etc
  • multiple, shorter courses (i.e. 1-3 days) focused on specific topics (e.g. 1 day on a facet of educational law, 2 days on curriculum development, etc)
  • Master of Education degree - obviously, this would involve a longer period of completion (and wouldn't be available to those without a university degree) but would provide an internationally recognized professional degree program leading to principal certification
c) In any model, there should be two distinct aspects built into the certification program: an internship (or service component) and an action research project. More on this in my next blog posts.

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