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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.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Crossing Borders: Glocal leadership for now and 10 years into the future

I have been intrigued with the concept of glocal for years. Time and space have changed how we view "the other" as well as challenges which confront us on local and global levels.

Time: Collaboration and problem-solving can now happen in "real-time." I can communicate with a colleague in Haiti instantly. We can both pull up a web-site or collaborate on a Google doc. We can access resources at any time and not just when a physical building (e.g. library, government office, school) is open.

Space: Physical space isn't decreasing between my colleagues, however, emotional and cognitive space is. Colleagues in Haiti are discussing similar challenges to what school leaders are struggling with in Canada: How do I effectively communicate with parents? How do I support the teachers in my school? What areas do I need to program for to best meet the needs of our students? How do I shift the culture of my school?

School leadership needs to increasingly move to new conceptualizations of time and space. Although there are those who are engaged with non-traditional educational practices (e.g. on-line learning), we continue to use traditional teaching and leadership practices as our bench-mark for success.

Crossing borders means that we don't just engage in making international connections but that we cross meta-cognitive borders to imagine educational leadership that moves into new understandings of time and space.

What will education look like in 10 or 20 years? I strongly suspect that there will be outposts of traditional "9-3" learning but that there will be many more dynamic and collaborative spaces that will look nothing like what most schools look like today ... and something like what those outliers of educational leadership have already envisioned.

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