Ed

Ed.D course Sept 4th-Nov 30th, 2018 Posts Dr. Rita Gardiner
Week 1 –introduction
September 7th, 2018
Hello everyone,
My name is Nishma, and my passion in this field stems from my teaching experiences abroad, working with various institutions and in different capacities. My Masters of Education in Leadership from the University of Calgary prepared me well for teaching as a sessional instructor at the college level.
The videos by Ken Robinson and Chellie Spiller struck a chord with me in different ways. Watching the video Changing the Education Paradigm, made me reflect on my days in primary and secondary school. The delivery of education was rigid and there was no room for developing divergent thinking and curiosity. Nevertheless, as an educator I believe it is necessary to recognize and accept a new paradigm so we can develop a culture that enhances the talent of our younger generation. I try to teach my students in a way that allows them to develop their ideas beyond what’s in the textbook and to think outside the box. Also, after watching the video Wayfinding Leadership, I have a better understanding of how people learn and the tools they use to help them create a sense of self and become successful in what they set out to accomplish. I enjoyed the approach Chellie Spiller used in explaining wayfinding by means of storytelling to convey her experience.
I look forward to wayfinding on my journey to learning and leading.
Nishma
September 9th, 2018
Hi Carleen,
Nice to meet you as well. I agree, and as Busch informs us about the consequences, it’s important that we are able to tackle the many challenges in the current system by learning from our traditional systems. Do colleges and universities need to revise their mission statements?
Week 2 September 10th
Question 3
Jill Blackmore’s (2013) article was an interesting read.  Leaders are accountable for developing the culture of their group. They shape the way for how people think and behave.  There are many ways to differentiate leadership values, and identity is one way that shows how we work, how we lead, how we make decisions and form relationships.  Our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours make us different from others and what is required of us within our organizations is to be able to interact with individuals who are different from us.  Race, gender, ethnicity, culture, socio-economic class, education are terms that allow people to assess inclusive leadership within their organizations.  Many organizations, workplaces, and teams practice diversity but do not practice inclusion.  Cultivating self-awareness as a leader is essential for all leaders, and inclusion is key in developing an all inclusive, equity focused reflective leadership practice. 
To further help my understanding of leadership in practice, I would like to learn more about identity transition towards leadership, identity of managers vs. leadership identity and its influence on the organizational structure. 
Of interest an article from the Harvard Business Review regarding gender roles and relationships – “The Different Words We Use to Describe Male and Female Leaders” (2018) website – https://hbr.org/2018/05/the-different-words-we-use-to-describe-male-and-female-leadersNishma
Nishma,
You might want to look at the work of Sara Ahmed who is not a leadership critic but she writes on the changing organizational language from equal opportunities to diversity in university policies. Her research comes out of her own experiences in policy development as well as discussions with equity officers in Australia and the UK.  I’m currently leading a new project where we are looking at how we can use Ahmed’s thinking in the implementation of sexual violence policies in Ontario.

The video below may be of interest to you.

Your turn to identity is opportune; there’s a lot of interest in that term in organizational/leadership lit. Feel free to connect with me and I can share some ideas.

Ahmed, S. (2018). Complaint as diversity work. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JQ_1kFwkfVEDr. Rita,
Thank you for sharing. Diversity work through the lens which Sara Ahmed explores is knowledge I can embrace. We can define ourselves in many ways, and I believe sometimes it is acceptable to define ourselves for what we are against than for.
Nishma
Hi Nisha
I found your post very thought provoking.  I enjoyed reading the HBR link and the results certainly resonated with my experiences.  I look forward to learning more about your research into identity and influence on organizational structure.

Jenn
Thanks Jenn for your response.  I just thought about adjectival leadership – As Niesche and Gowlett (2015) point out, leadership is not a set of traits but rather something that is performed.  
Nishma   
Hi Yasmin,
To add to your final point, I feel perhaps looking at the privileges of social justice/equity/inclusion can help us understand about the limitations of these terms (sexism, racism) within this framework of leadership for social justice in teaching and learning. I imagine similar to how Busch (2017) states, “Social justice as both a concept and a set of polices is rejected as a mirage” (pg. 18).
You might like to read Jill Blackmore’s article (2006) – Social justice and the study and practice of leadership in education: a feminist history.
Nishma
Week 3 September 17, 2018
Question 1.

Unprepared for a job related to their field and unable to secure full-time work, more and more students are graduating from college/university without the technical knowledge and skills needed in the workplace. I believe there is a conflict between what students expect for their future careers and the actual realities of the industry. The domain of formal education brings with it the undervaluing of all else (Busch 2017). Influenced by societal norms, parents, and other individuals students are led to believe that higher education is a path to success, and that getting a degree means automatically getting a job, long hours, and income. The sad part is that very little do students learn in school what they are best at. What might be lost at work then, are the shortage of skills, language skills, critical thinking skills, team work, motivation, and most importantly knowledge of global and cultural perspectives. The younger generation of students need to be better prepared with the kind of skills and workplace habits essential across all jobs and industries.

In my own workplace I have had students tell me that they struggle with the ability to communicate effectively, problem solve, and use the skills they have to make meaningful contributions at work. The challenge will be to create these opportunities for students to allow them to apply their knowledge, skills, and attitudes at work and overcome problems they may encounter in their transition from learning to working. In addition to fixing the skills gap, another challenge graduates may face at work is not being able to get ahead or make progress, and because of this they may leave or lose the motivation to continue working. This topic reminds me of Ken Robinson’s clip on Changing the Education Paradigm, if only if education was focused on equipping individuals with the necessary skills to succeed at work for the greater good, and not on academic ability and grades what a wonderful thing it would be.
Nishma
September 25, 2018
Question 1
I enjoyed both the reading from the course text and the article for this week. Within my organization I believe some of the advantages of implementing a distributed leadership model are many and to name a few, would ensure diversity, help productivity, promote collaboration of new ideas and knowledge, and overall build the competence for change and optimize organizational performance. On the other hand, by not implementing a distributed leadership model we would ignore the talent, creativity, and capability of members, and other individuals within the organization. A challenge however would be the fear of sharing responsibility and accountability which can then lead to the concern of safety and security in the workplace. Within my workplace, I imagine distributed leadership would increase transparency between administrators and faculty, which would facilitate the generation of new ideas and in turn better decision making, and last but not least create opportunities for faculty to develop their own leadership roles. As Busch (2017) points out this hierarchical structure “has transformed higher education in ways that treat scholars and students as isolates, reduce their autonomy and freedoms, and undermine free inquiry” (pg. 48). Distributed leadership can focus on the interactions between individuals instead of shifting the focus on informal/formal roles. Some sort of structure (cross-functional approach to leadership (Jones et al., 2012) needs to be developed and or implemented to maximize talent and minimize influence, and an emphasis placed on collective collaboration rather than individual power and control (Jones et al., 2012, pg. 67) and that such bureaucratic values (authority/power/control) should be questionable (Busch, 2017).
Nishma