New batch of ADEC Female Vice Principals ready for leadership roles
Sunday 11th July, 2012:
Twenty Aspiring Female Vice principals received a School Leadership Certificate (Level 1) in their successful completion of the “New School Leaders for a New School Model” pilot professional development program launched last May by the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC) to help prepare selected teachers for leadership roles across ADEC schools for the next academic.
Speaking about the program, H.E. Dr Mugheer Al Khaili, Director General, ADEC said: “The competition for promotion to leadership roles in ADEC schools is very intense. This is good news because the most successful schools are those with strong leadership since these aspiring Emirati school leaders were chosen on merit through a rigorous interview process.”
At the recent Transforming Education Summit 2012 (TES 2012) organized by ADEC, international speakers including former UK Prime Minister, Gordon Brown as well as Tarja Halonen, former President of Finland ( 2000-2012) and various Education Ministers from several countries, emphasized the positive correlation between good school leadership and student performance.
ADEC has partnered with Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE) - Abu Dhabi’s teachers’ college - to offer a professional development program that aims to support their transition into school leadership positions.
“We believe that the most effective professional development is based on practice that is informed by theory. We want our new school leaders not only to know about the ‘what?’ and the ‘why?’ of their roles, but to demonstrate the ‘how?’ and to perform their duties at the highest standards. For that reason, our program has both a campus component (theory) and a school component (practice),” said Dr. Al Khaili.
The seven weeks orientation program involved a combination of weekly meetings and a series of in-school tasks that focus on the work of Vice Principals. Participants meet together two days a week and undertake set-in school tasks for the rest of the three days.
These activities were facilitated by Cluster Managers, ECAE faculty and experienced school leaders who scheduled regular discussions and meetings in order to provide first-hand experience to participants.
There are five modules in the orientation phase based on ADEC’s Vice Principals’ performance standards: Leading People, Leading the Community, Leading Teaching & Learning, Leading the Organization and Leading Strategically. These modules are supported by readings, workshops and presentations by key ADEC personnel.
“The program will not give participants all the knowledge and skills they need in their new role but will provide a good foundation on which to build. Many of the things Vice Principals need to know and be able to do can only be acquired on the job. For that reason, we have offered further support to new Vice Principals during the first six months of their appointment,” said Dr. Al Khaili.
Prior to the launch of the program, Dr Abdullateef Al Haider, Director of Professional Development at ADEC, conducted a workshop on Professional Learning Communities. “The best way to learn a new role is to belong to a network of professionals where you can share resources and offer support for each other,” he said.
Participants made final presentations to ADEC and ECAE senior management at the end of the orientation program as part of the assessment requirements.
All activities undertaken during the program will form part of a shared e-portfolio that will act as a resource for all participants. Successful participants received a Certificate of School Leadership (Level1) endorsed by both ADEC and ECAE from HE Dr. Mugheer Al Khaili, ADEC’s Director General.
Amna Al Mulla one of the aspiring vice principals from Al Ain said, “the best way to learn a new role is to belong to a network of professionals where you can share resources and to offer support for each other. This program has helped us work with each other so that we can understand the complex role of school leaders. We now know what is expected of us. This has been an inspiring experience and we are grateful to ADEC and ECAE for putting their trust in us to take on the responsibility of future leaders.”