All posts by mguldana

About mguldana

I am a Master's student in NU in High School of Education.

‘Head Fake’ of Master’s Degree

We are approaching to the end of one-year intensive program of Educational Leadership. This academic year has passed extremely quickly and productive. I would say, that I have learned a lot about education and leadership consciously, but there are number of skills and knowledge that I have learned unconsciously. Unconscious learning coincided as head fake in Randy  Pausch’s  “Last lecture: Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”. In that lecture he gave an example, when parents send their kids to football pitch not to make them professional players, but to provide them an opportunity to learn perseverance and ability to work in a team. As it is, during this one year, my head fakes of Master’s degree were establishing critical viewpoint, developing of network, and understanding the value of life- long learning.

Before starting master’s program, I was questioning myself about critical reasoning and how to apply it in our daily practice. For my luck, I could learn critical thinking skills through readings, class discussions and via constructive feedbacks of our professors. Now I can use critical thinking to any life situations that helps me to be objective and to look at the things from different angle. I would thank my professors and groupmates who always ready to listen to me and share their opinion and their support follows with building strong network.

Development of the network is one of the essential achievements of this year. I am very proud of my friends whom I found through the program. Even though we will pursue own ambitions after graduation, but we always share common values and memories of Master’s degree for the rest of our life. Beyond that, they are ones who can always give a piece of critical advice and excellent candidates for future partnership or collaborative works in education sphere. Moreover, our faculty members and my friends make me understand the importance of life-long learning.

Life-long learning is the most critical element in this information era. Innovations penetrate to our life with the speed of light, in order to remain as a competent worker, researcher or whatever roles we try,   we should carry out learning till the end of the life. Life- long learning makes to stay updated and critical as well as to be creative that helps us to find extraordinary solutions for various problems.

To sum up, Master’s degree was a solid foundation for achieving self-actualization, applying critical thinking, collaborating with peers and life-long learning. I believe, that seeds planted in our souls and minds will flourish in my future practice for making positive contribution for the development of our society.

 

 

Reference

Pausch, R. (2007, December, 20). Randy Pausch Last lecture: achieving your childhood dreams. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji5_MqicxSo

Career Development and Building Happy Life

Being a potential graduate of NUGSE I have been asking myself, what am I going to do after completing Master’s Degree? This question sounds natural for the many of graduates who are planning their career. In order to find answer to this question I started to listen people’s narratives about how did they find themselves and how did they find meaning in their day to day life. I had watched different sort of TED talks and listened to perspectives of coaches and entrepreneurs, musicians and engineers, women and men, youth and adults. Interestingly, I found common patterns in their speech such as: values, unique talents and meaning of your job.

First, most of speakers were constantly claiming that, every person should have certain set of values and should be aware of them. If you have values in your life path you will invest and commit to those things. Therefore, you start your day with excitement and finish with satisfaction that you do what you value and share your value with surroundings. For example, Ryan Clements(2015) in his speech articulated that he rediscovered himself after looking closer to his values and started to do things that he found value. He believes that cars or houses do not define us, what defines us is whether our values are aligned with our daily practice. Thus, I agree that committing to the activities that you appreciate more and that keeps you motivated.

After, I noticed a repetition of ideas in determining your future job is person’s unique abilities. Though, the topic what are your strengths is quite common in psychology. Still, it worths to scrutinize about things that we can perform at high level. According to Ashley Stahl (2014), sometimes people may ask you to teach certain things or ask for an advice or your professors might acknowledge those abilities. Itis  exactly who you are and you can start from refining and developing those skills in order to get pay of them.

The final point is a bit similar with the first argument, but it is more about contributing to society. I mean, your job should somehow make a positive contribution to lives of other people. Why happiness of other people is important when we talk about individual career? The reason is that you will feel happier and satisfied with your job if you make some positive changes to people’s life (Leipzig, 2013). For example, for the question what do you do, you can just say I am a teacher or you can add significance to it, saying I rear future scholars, engineers and even MPs who will develop our country for better future. It is not just uttering fancy phrases with your interlocutor, but spending your entire working life for something meaningful.

To wrap up, there are might be lots of other advices to for building our bright future, however values based on humanity remain actual all the times. I hope that determining you values, investing on your unique abilities and adding significance to you occupation will make our career life more interesting and engaging.

 

References

Clements, R. (2014, October, 28). What they don’t teach about career fulfillment at school. TEDx Kelowna. Video retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7gFkUqIv1E

Leipzig, A. (2013, February, 1). How to know your life purpose on 5 minutes. TEDx Malibu. Video retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVsXO9brK7M

Stahl, A. (2014, February 23). Three questions to unlock your authentic career. TEDxBerkeley 2014: “Rethink. Redefine. Recreate.” Video retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vMiSf7LpFQE

“Leading and Sharing or New model of leadership for better schooling”.

Are there alternative ways of effective leadership that will improve our schools? Of course, there are some other ways leadership and let’s see if our principals can learn from them. As we know, Ministry of Education of Kazakhstan is aiming to improve education management for developing whole schooling system across country (MOES,2011). I think everyone agrees that excellence in education is closely connected with effective leading. Hence, I would like to propose distributed leadership model that embrace both formal and informal leadership practices which co-operate within one organization (Harris, 2014). In order to understand the essence of distributed leadership I will discuss three key features of it, such as building social capital, professional learning communities and professional collaboration with impact.

Alma Harris (2014) believes that, if school principals use strategies of distributed leadership, it enhances building social capital which means “equitable participation in a joint enterprise” and “collaborative learning” (p.78). In other words, equitable participation occurs among staff members by respecting, showing competence, regarding personal issues as well as by ensuring integrity (Bryk and Schneider as cited in Harris,2014). After building such kind of mutual understanding, teachers within administration should be open for “collaborative learning” that leads to collective improvement, effective practice and positive change of the school environment (Harris,2014). Of course, change does not happen overnight or after conducting couple of seminars for teachers, it happens in the context of continuous professional learning communities that will be discussed next.

Professional learning community occurs in the workplace, where group of professionals collaborate to investigate certain aspects of teaching and learning process. As it operates in one school, professional learning community can corporate group of schools which is larger form of collaboration (Harris, 2014). So what do they do? Answer is learning and sharing experience, teachers are busy by reflecting and sharing their experience for improvement of whole school. Harris (2014) stresses that these sort of learning community is much more effective for betterment of practice rather than effect of temporary workshops for teachers. The short-time seminars might illuminate mind of teachers about certain things but they do not have long-term effects or implications in everyday practice. So, professional learning communities can contribute better and make huge influence on things that people do and the impact of collaboration is the next point of discussion.

Being curios about things that teachers do in daily practice, professional collaboration groups can identify problems, by continuous diagnosis and analysis. After identifying problems, they try to find solutions that will be suitable for their unique cases. These solutions are probed, tested and practiced that eventually build knowledge about certain teaching and learning experience. Thus, this circle of actions and investigations make teachers update their knowledge and to be innovative through hands-on experiences and consultation. Innovative and authentic ideas of teachers will eventually lead for desired outcomes of the school (Harris,2014).

To conclude, my purpose is not to idealize distributed leadership but to examine different practices for opting the most suitable ones for local context and educational culture. I think, if school principals enhance trust and positive personal relationship among teachers they can also come up with innovations which were discussed above. I  agree with the author Alma Harris that trust and professional collaboration with clear purposes and shared vision can do lots of positive changes in our schools or across schools. I hope that in this short blog entry I could unpack the notion of distributed leadership by presenting major traits as building social capital, professional learning communitiesa and collaboration with impact. Therefore, it is not just distribution of tasks among  workers, but it is developing proactive members of organization that work and sharpen expertise by collaboration.

References

Harris, A (2014). Distributed leadership matters. Perpectives, practicalities, and potential.