September 2018
Newsletter of the Center for Educational Improvement
Transformational Educational Leadership
Dear Educators,
Have you made decisions regarding schoolwide policies for 2018-2019? Read about the ethics of transformational leadership, ideas for introducing compassionate discipline, and the importance of future-oriented education in this month's Wow!
Part I: Moving from Transactional to Transformational Leadership – Being a Mindful Principal
Editor’s Note: This is Part I of a CEI series on transformational leadership

By Dana Asby, CEI Intern, and Christine Mason

Christopher Branson, in his book Leading Educational Change Wisely (2010), describes the moral dimension that is required of school leaders: “These leaders need a sense of choice and personal freedom to find new patterns and possibilities in everyday life at work. They need versatility in thinking that fosters flexibility in action” (p.4).

Excellent leaders inspire others to make their dreams a reality. From years of research on the most effective leadership methods we have learned that “leaders inspire those they supervise to find their own voices” (Carr, Johnson, & Corkwell, 2009, p. 25). The most effective leaders emphasize mutual ownership and ethical decision-making. Having a principle-centered leadership approach grounded in a humanistic, transformational, and values-based perspective is the leadership style most capable of raising child outcomes in the socio-emotional and academic domains (Carr, et al., 2009).

Compassionate Discipline
By Maddie Pribanova, CEI Intern

What is compassionate discipline? As you begin the 2018-2019 school year, what type of discipline will you be implementing at your school?

When we think of discipline, we think of authority, control and rigid rules. To be disciplined is often associated with thoughts or even memories of punishment as a way to correct disobedience and reinforce acceptable behavior. However, discipline plays a fundamental role in establishing healthy behavior and building important skills such as self-discipline, respect for others, and the ability to work in a team. A study in 2014 of almost 1,000 adolescents is representative of other research: Wang and Kenny found that experiences of unhealthy discipline could have adverse effects such as low self-esteem and poor emotional regulation, and that harsh discipline was associated with higher levels of child aggression, and behavioral and psychological maladjustment. Unfortunately, a high percentage of parents appear to use harsh verbal discipline, at least a few times each year, sometimes resulting in lasting trauma for their children (Strauss & Field, 2003).

Well-Being, Future Orientation, Risk, and Self-Esteem
By Andrew Barnett Davis, CEI Intern, and Christine Mason

Do your students have a vision for their own futures? What is the vision of your teachers for the future of their students?

Marc Prensky, founder and executive director of the Institute for Global Future Education, states that: “Future-oriented Education means going far beyond adding a few so-called ‘21st century skills’ on top of what we currently teach. It means getting beyond teaching the same math, language arts, science and social studies we taught in the past to every student — and even beyond just adding more critical, mathematical and scientific thinking. It means adding a huge range of subjects we don’t teach systematically today but that will be needed for tomorrow. Future-oriented Education includes adding the “thinking” skills of creative thinking, problem-solving, inquiry skills, argument skills, design thinking, systems thinking, judgment, aesthetics, habits of mind, and self-knowledge of one’s passions, strengths and weaknesses to what we teach.” (2014, p. 2).


"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." Simon Sinek. What is your school's dream this year?

Christine Mason
Center for Educational Improvement