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Challenges to Transformative Leadership

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The world of education has been changing faster and faster since the mid 20th century. The global economic challenges of other nations and the increasing amount of knowledge that every person must know, use and understand are daunting tasks for educators. Too often educators and schools rely on past practice to educate. It is the role of the school leader to become transformative in leadership and knowledgeable in using 21st century technology for both students and staff to prepare our citizens for a world that demands skills and information only dreamed of in past centuries.

My challenge in becoming a transformative leader will be changing the status quo thinking of the teachers in the district and increasing my knowledge of how technology is used and can be used to help better prepare students for the 21st century. My organization consists of a preK-12 public school system that has slightly less than 1000 students, 80 teachers and 40 support staff. The district is situated in a very rural setting in North Central Pennsylvania. The community is very supportive and pleased with the district. The global changes that affect the world in last twenty years have not gone unnoticed by community members but very little change has occurred in the day to day activities in the schools. The teachers are almost all local persons who have gone to a college or university not too far away and who now live and work within fifty miles of their birthplace. The teachers do not travel to further their education. They are limited to credits they can learn online or in the closest college within an easy driving distance or what can be offered by the district in regard to professional development programs. As stated in Brown, (2006), "traditional educational preparation programs and the hierarchical structure of public schools tend to perpetuate compliance and maintenance of the status quo" (p.45). The district does not encourage nor seek out innovation in the classroom. The building administration does not actively support ideas different than the norm. Teachers also like to do the same thing year after year. If someone from 1970, after a forty year sleep, suddenly woke up and went to my school district, they would not notice that much had changed. The teacher still lectures, each student has a book, and there appear to be many worksheets to be given back to the teacher. The student might wonder what the strange looking, thin typewriter with the TV screen is, but no one is using it even though there seem to be a number of them in the classroom.

This scenario is my challenge in becoming a transformative leader in my organization. Many employees of the organization have not changed the way they work for many, many years. A few of the



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