By definition social construction refers to commonly accepted models and understandings that are results of social or cultural practice. They are jointly constructed, widely accepted and so difficult to change. Having now considered the structure of our schools, I actually find it perplexing. Education serves a civic purpose, so why is that in our schools, which are supposed to be preparing students for a democratic society, we model anything but? If anything, we model a very watered down version of democracy which may be considered consultative or delegatory. This autocratic power model perpetuates right down to the classroom level, where teachers reign over their students.
Despite the lack of transformation of leadership structures into the 21st Century, the role of the Principal or Head Teacher has grown and more closely resembles the role of a CEO. They are responsible for marketing and image management, external performance evaluations and the running of the school as "business" on top of being the leading professional practitioner. It is also easy to understand hesitancy to relinquish power when accountability is higher than ever.
This discussion raises far more questions than it answers. While different educational models exist, they do not represent the norm and still adhere to an autocratic leadership model beyond the classroom. Who is to say that a transformation of leadership structures would transform education itself? My inner classroom teacher senses the potential for chaos while my inner educational activist says "giddy-up!"
Read all about my thoughts on teaching in the 21st Century, my experiences with technology in the classroom, running a Maker Space, launching STEAM and Design Thinking with students, coding, robotics and much more!
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