DEC Scan Journal : Volume 36 Issue 1
2017 Volume 36, Issue 1 8 Contents Editorial Learning & teaching Research Share this Resource reviews Done well, the principal should be able to rely on all the staff, teaching and professional support, playing the major frontline role in managing the empowered parent group, leaving the executive team to supplement that support when needed. 6. Macro understanding That desired level of professionalism necessitates all the staff (Lee and Broadie, 2016c) having a strong macro understanding of the workings of the school’s ecosystem, the value of empowerment and genuine collaboration and the importance of doing so naturally as part of the everyday dealings. 7. Astute use of the digital With digital normalisation the school is able to look to all manner of digital smarts and efficiencies to reduce or contain the load on staff. That said, unless clear parameters are set the same technology can, as all well know, add to the burden on staff. 8. Known operational parameters In the seeming chaos of the rapid digital evolution of schools and the disbanding of many of the traditional operational parameters, the pathfinder schools found it is very easy to forget the importance of always having apt and clear operational parameters to guide all within the school’s community. In a state of flux when people are being empowered – and given greater power – it is probably inevitable that some will test the new boundaries. In a genuinely collaborative environment it should be relatively easy to proactively decide as a group what the parameters will be and how they will be observed. The lesson appears to be, be conscious of always having in place and publicised the operational boundaries. Teacher and executive time should be protected. 9. Operational units Further, to the earlier comment about distributing the management of the empowerment, some of the larger case study schools have opted to use small operational units to better manage the empowered. Thought was being given to using bite sized operational units, mini-schools that can more readily manage the empowered group. The advantage of such units is that their size can be tailored to the extent of parent collaboration, understanding that, for some time yet, it is likely that collaboration will be greater with the younger students. Many schools globally are already using such groupings based on the stages of schooling. While the management of an empowered group was not the reason for their creation, the more manageable logistics could make the going that much easier for the staff. Conclusion In making these observations it bears stressing these are still early days with the development, with much still to be learnt. As indicated at the outset, what we are seeing globally – and not solely in NSW – is the emergence of a highly laudable educational development that has the potential to add immensely to the school, that needs to be managed astutely if it is to sustained and not crush the school’s leadership. References and further reading Kane, G.C., Palmer, D., Phillips, A.N., Kiron, D. & Buckley, N. 2016, ‘Aligning the organisation for its digital future’, MIT Sloan Management Review, July 2016, Massachusetts MIT SMR/Deloitte University Press, accessed 28 February 2017. Lee, M. & Broadie, R. 2016a, A taxonomy of school evolutionary stages, 2nd edn, Armidale Douglas and Brown, accessed 28 February 2017. Lee, M. & Broadie, R. 2016b, ‘The critical role of the principal’, Digital Evolution of Schooling, May 2016, accessed 28 February 2017. Lee, M. & Broadie, R. 2016, ‘Trust and digital schooling’, Educational Technology Solutions, August 2016, accessed 28 February 2017. Lipnack, J. & Stamps, J. 1994, The age of the network: organizing principles for the 21st century, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York.
Volume 35 Issue 4
Volume 36 Issue 2