Volume 24, Issue 3

Planning For Innovation and Disruption in a Global Environment

Michael D. Richardson, Wendi Jenkins and Pamela A. Lemoine

Higher education faces its greatest combinations of challenges: economic uncertainty, accountability and globalization: overlaid by emerging technologies. University leaders face the twin trials of dramatic decreases in public financial support and the increasing cost of resources to avoid technological obsolescence. Technologies continue to evolve that will disrupt higher education in the future. The challenge for traditional universities whose concentration historically has been the production of knowledge in the form of human capital, research, and scholarship is to be able to tap into the expanding need for lifelong learning. Access to higher education will be a necessity for job mobility and economic success. Survival for universities requires modification and adaptation. Traditional educational paradigms have changed and the physical university is now a combination multi-dimensional education model. All these changes demand planning, specifically strategic planning, if higher education institutions are to be competitive and ultimately successful.

Serendipitous Educational Planning:  Expeditiously Applying Effective Change Zone (ECZ) Mindset Concepts

Walter S. Polka, Jerry I. Wolfgang and Rosina E. Mete

Opportunities are like sunrises. If you wait too long, you miss them. (William Arthur Ward) The purpose of this article is to facilitate comprehension of key conceptual framework components of serendipitous educational planning using a practical example that was successfully implemented in 2015, replicated in 2016, and scheduled for 2017 at Niagara University in Western New York, USA. Serendipitous educational planning is based on the premise that individuals engaged in developing and implementing curriculum, programs, courses, and related educational activities need to have a “default planning paradigm” that they can readily apply if unexpected opportunities present themselves that are beneficial to the administration, faculty, and students of their respective organizations. The “default planning paradigm” henceforth known in this article as “serendipitous educational planning” implies a conceptual mindset that is always ready to efficiently and effectively incorporate new ideas from the ever-changing context into educational opportunities for faculty and students. This mindset is predicated on the Effective Change Zone (ECZ) conceptual framework that focuses on the human side of change and includes the following three key dimensions: organizational needs, social-professional needs, and personal needs.

Linking Research to Clinical Practice:  Insights from the Transformational Pathways in an Administrator Preparation Program

Jennifer K. Clayton, Kimberly R. Jamison, Ashley N. Briggs and Abebayehu Aemero Tekleselassie

This study is situated within a larger research initiative in a university-based School of Education that is continuing accreditation with the Council of Educator Preparation Programs. With a focus on candidates in the educational administrator program, this study examined how key assessments were used in clinical practice to support candidates. This includes the development of research, knowledge, skills, and critical reflection as candidates grow into their roles as visionary leaders who understand the problems of practice influencing student outcomes. The specific research questions that informed the broad study included the following:

1. What design elements of clinical practice allow candidates to understand problems of practice in educational administration through adaptable, contextualized, and authentic strategies?

2. In what ways do these elements and measures align with the taxonomy of best practices, theory, and research in assessing candidates and clinical practice?

3. How do candidates perceive the effectiveness of these measures in clinical practice to assess their understanding of the problems of practice in educational administration?

As we considered the research influencing this study, it was clear that two major gaps in existing literature warrant investigation. First, there is dearth of research examining the knowledge, skills, and dispositions candidates gain in educational administration preparation programs and the second is possible changes that occur in schools led by the graduates of these programs. Such paucity in scholarship creates the need for a new research agenda—examining the design elements of clinical practices and candidate assessment measures in an educational administration preparation program. This understanding will inform how preparation influences candidates’ abilities to shape the instructional culture to improve student learning.

Involvement of School Management:  Experiences from Two Districts of Ghana

Might K. Abreh

In this study, School Management Committees in Akatsi South and Upper Manya Krobo of Ghana to examine their involvement and participation in school based management practices. A phenomenological approach was used to unearth four variables that links to school-based management that is carried out by SMC members. The findings of the study showed that the current state of stakeholder involvement and participation in school-based management within selected communities in these two districts are not well coordinated. Besides, school governance structures were not fully operational at their best. The work of the School Management Committees was usually left to the Chairman and in some cases to the Parent Teachers Association chair. There was a limited collaboration between the entire SMC membership and the schools they serve. Additionally, committee planning and implementation issues were significant concerns. The study recommended that SMCs be revitalised and their roles and responsibilities are unpacked for better targeting. The study also suggests changing the management activities to transform the face of activities of SMCs to improve educational provision and administration in the localities they operate.