The most significant changes I plan on making when I become an administrator (hopefully at the school I am currently teaching at) would be to set higher expectations for student admission, align the curriculum of the high school more directly with college courses by implementing more AP (and possibly CCP) curriculum in the four major content areas of English, mathematics, social studies, and science; and I would offer more courses to help students build academic and social skills they will need in college.
As Waters et. al describe changes as “first” and “second order,” I would classify the first change as a first order change because it would be an extension of the past as we have been increasing the expectations in increments so this would be the next step in the process (p. 7, 2003). The second change would be something new, but we are starting this process in the English department… we had our first training just last week so since I would not be administrator for at least a couple more years, this would be classified as a first order change as well because it is going to be an extension of what we are doing now. As Waters et. al jot down in the figure, it would be implemented with existing knowledge and skills along with being implemented by experts as we are working directly with a representative who trains schools to teach the AP curriculum. Lastly, the third change I would implement is something completely new as we don’t have any elective courses in our early college high school program, so this is a second order change as the authors put it as a concept that “requires new knowledge of skills and skills to implement” (Waters et. al, p. 7, 2003). This may require academic coaches or the guidance counselor to teach a class about life skills in academic and social norms, which would require training since they were not educated to teach like the traditional teacher.
The only change I see possible challenges with is the last change since that would require the most planning and implementing into the schedule along with getting financial support from the district. This may have to start as optional courses to attend during lunch, homeroom or after school before implementing those classes in the schedule until it can be ratified for permanent placement in the school.
All four kinds of knowledge are essential when implementing any changes. In my first two proposed changes, the concept of experiential knowledge is evident; these are steps that the current administration is partaking in to increase students’ success on state standardized tests and to achieve the excerpt of “increase college enrollment” from the mission statement. These are important actions to help the students of YREC and give the opportunity to deserving students who can achieve the goal of earning an associate’s degree when they graduate high school. The next knowledge of declarative would be using the steps from before and thinking of improvements and setting a timeframe to measure success, which leads into procedural knowledge: this would involve working with each of the departments, outside supporting systems for education (literacy coaches, AP representatives, district leaders), and working as a school building to set goals for the students. Lastly, the contextual knowledge would come as a gradual change so this can be more sustainable to keep for years to come and can become second-nature for the school. This is a working progress, so the amount of time needs to be flexible because it may take longer due to students’ and staff needs.
With the last change I proposed as a second order change, the experiential knowledge is understanding why students need this supplemental teaching is evident by the students’ testimonies of not knowing how to study, write emails, and to behave on a college campus (our students can be on YSU’s campus as early as their sophomore year) so this has become more evident as students vocalized their needs in both verbal conversations and in survey results.
I believe my school leadership positively impacts students’ outcomes in both learning and social as we are increasing the rigor of the content they are learning in classes to align with college classes, so this will better prepare our students to earn that associate’s degree and further their education to graduate with a bachelor’s or higher. Then, the proposed change I brought up would make them a more well-rounded person and teach them the skills that are more expected by college professors, so these students can acclimate to being college students more smoothly. I hope that these changes will show progress, but it will take time as we need to implement these steps in increments.
Waters, T., Marzano, R. J., & McNulty, B. (2003). Balanced leadership: What 30 years of research tells us about the effect of leadership on student achievement. Ministry of Education. 1-20.