How principals can shape the future of students - and society

by Brett Henebery04 Mar 2015

The profound impact that education can have on society should not be understated, says transformational change executive, Samantha Martin-Williams.

As a principal, your role in enhancing the school as a brand and as an optimum learning space for its students is part and parcel with your job. However, there are other more far-reaching implications that are rarely considered.

University of Newcastle’s Business School’s Samantha Martin-Williams, says that education is about more than just acquiring knowledge.

“It is about realising that the value of education transcends the acquisition of specific skills.” Martin-Williams wrote in the Newcastle Herald.

“It builds self-esteem and confidence, elements that go together to strengthen individuals, communities and ultimately countries.”

Principals Australia Institute (PAI) CEO, Jim Davies, said that new insights into educational learning are pivotal in how our current and future principals perceive their role.

“Educational research is providing deeper understanding about how people learn,” Davies said.
 
“Leadership of young people’s learning is at the centre of every principal’s work. Professional learning programs for principals will need to continue to be attentive to the research.”

As leaders, principals have the responsibility of ensuring both the wellbeing of their school as an institution but also that of their staff and students. Depending on how effectively that role is managed, both teachers and students may go on to become motivational speakers - or even Prime Ministers.

Martin-Williams believes that education’s “power” is not being properly understood, and that through understanding the broader role that education can play in society, the impact that educators have can be felt “around the globe”.

“What we are yet to fully comprehend is the power of education in terms of cultural and gender diversity,” Martin-Williams explained.

“This means truly understanding how education can help empower people to make smart decisions about equality – not just here but around the globe.”
 

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