Reinventing Educational Leadership

As the 21st century continues to unfold, the task of finding competent leaders to occupy positions of leadership in the educational arena continues to be a challenge not because of a lack of academically qualified leaders, but because of a lack of adaptive -competently qualified candidates. As such, many schools are under the leadership of leaders who lack the qualifications necessary to operate educational institutions in an era marked by rapid and constant change. If the educational scenery is to realize any meaningful change educational leadership should be reinvented. This paper identifies some of the challenges currently faced by the Education system. It looks at how these challenges may be addressed by reinventing educational leadership. The paper culminates with brief recommendations of how institutions of higher learning as well as stakeholders in the educational sector may reinvent the manner in which they prepare educational leaders -the end result not only academically-qualified, but also adaptive-competently qualified leaders who are capable to perform in environments characterized by constant and rapid changes.

The educational environment in contemporary society is one in which change represents one of the very few constants. Cultural, social, political, technological and economic changes have asserted in a more diverse school populace since the genesis of education. With the advent of these changes, the educational sector is now faced with increased challenges. Challenges such as: low family literacy, increased poverty margins, a rise in dysfunctional families, and increased access to counter-productive information via internet. These challenges have seemingly created an uneven play ground where students from all walks of life enter the education system being different, but by the time they exit, the barriers of differences should fade significantly, at least academically. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. An article by The National Association of Secondary School Principals "How do you reinvent a principal" highlights a number of effects these challenges have birthed: higher drop out rates, lower academic achievement and teacher attrition. The impact of the effects of these challenges on society is detrimental, as more students exit the educational system without the necessary qualifications to become positively contributing citizens to society.

As these changes and their impact are characterized in the educational environment, stakeholders are forced to raise their expectations from those in leadership positions within schools. Copeland in his article "The myth of a Super Principal" substantiates this point when he states that the expectations of leaders have increased significantly since the 1980's (2001). The mandate of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) in 2001 solidified the prior statements as under the act leaders working in schools which were subsequently reclassified as not meeting annual annual progress (AYP) goals were relinquished of their positions. Incidentally, most of the leaders who were "relocated" were academically qualified for leadership positions, but lacking adaptive-competency qualification. Academically qualified leaders have successfully completed their years of training, by mastering the necessary dogma that was required. Adaptive-competent leaders are able to execute the theoretical skills practically and are able to assess new …

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Nanotechnology – The Science of the Small

Could the local water works be harnessed to fuel your car? Scientists think they just may. Researchers at Sandia National Labs intend to complete development of a prototype solar cell that will convert plain water into combustible fuel! They have already demonstrated concept feasibility. Such cells, along with water, could replace oil as an automotive fuel of choice. Is this for real? How is it possible?

Water is number one fighting fires. But what if we break it down into its component parts? You remember science class, right? That's where they taught us water is made up of 2 atoms of hydrogen combined with a single atom of oxygen. Hydrogen, the most abundant element on earth, is highly explosive. Oxygen is necessary for any type of combustion. In their singular states the components of water are a burning recipe for fuel.

Sandia scientists have also developed a robot that can move, pick up, and drop a payload. Not a big deal you say? What if I told you that 20 of these androids can stand side-by-side across the width (not length) of a human hair; impressed now? Called 'motor proteins' these soldiers can be designed to seek each other out and self-assemble in predictable patterns. Nature self-assembles everything in predictable patterns, both flora and fauna. We are just now beginning to learn mother's secrets.

THE SCIENCE OF THE SMALL

Hail the world of Nano-technology, the science of the small. You'll be singing this word "nano" a lot. From the Greek word for dwarf, you just can not get any smaller. How small? Well, it would take 80,000 nano-meters to equal the width of that human hair we just discussed. Now that's small.

This science allows us to manipulate at the atomic level for the first time.
Re-arrange the atoms of water, dirt and air, and we can create rice, or corn. If we re-arrange the atoms of coal, we can create diamonds. Or should I say, this is being done, now! Boston based Apollo Diamonds creates what it calls 'cultured diamonds' that are actually "indistinguishable" from mined diamonds. They are real. Jewelers can not tell the difference!

Diamonds are a $ 60 billion industry annually. This technology promises to lower the price of diamonds by at least a third initially. What implications does this have for the tightly held global diamond trade? Can gold be far behind? And will this have implications for currency exchange?

Amazingly a survey of US adults found more than half confessing no knowledge of nanotechnology at all. Only 16% of those surveyed claim "some" familiarity with the topic. Observers of nanotechnology disagree as to whether or not this is a single industry. But none disagree on the effect it will absolutely have on our lives, indeed on the very length of our lives.

THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH?

Just as we now have synthetic motor oils, soon we will be able to create synthetic red and white blood cells, even replacements for ailing organs.

The implications …

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