Academic Accountability through Best Practices
Academic Accountability through Best Practices

Standard 2: Instructional Leadership

Summary: School executives will set high standards for the professional practice of 21st century instruction and assessment that result in a no nonsense accountable environment. The school executive must be knowledgeable of best instructional and school practices and must use this knowledge to cause the creation of collaborative structures within the school for the design of highly engaging schoolwork for students, the on-going peer review of this work and the sharing of this work throughout the professional community.

Examples of Standard 2 from The Chronicles of Narnia:

When I first looked at "The Chronicles of Narnia; The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe and Prince Caspian," I did not at first think there were connections between the stories and this standard. I looked deeper and there are indeed connections. This standard is about high expectations, setting and reaching goals, distributive leadership and empowerment. It's also about meeting with people and having dialogues and collaborating on solutions. This standard talks about challenging staff to reflect deeply and to define their knowledge and skills that are essential to the success of their students.

When I look at the leadership of Aslan, he incorportates this standard into his leadership. He sets high expectations for all of the Pevensie children and for the people of Narnia. He tells them they must work together to in order to reach their needed goals of setting Narnia free and keeping its people safe. He promotes distributive leadership by helping each of the Pevensie children to grow through their experiences into leaders, he empowers them by giving them free will in making the decisions that will not only affect them, but the Narnian people now entrusted to their care. He does the same with Prince Caspian. Aslan is all about collaboration. He realizes that being who he is, he probably could do it all on his own, but he knows that a true leader seeks the input and assistance of those around them in order to not only reach the goal, but in order to help those that they guide/supervise, to learn and grow into better leaders. Aslan also is always willing to dialogue with those that "believe" in him and that will listen. Aslan wants the Pevensie children and Prince Caspian to use reflection to help them to better understand and know themselves so that they know both their strengths and their weaknesses, and so that they can gain the needed knowledge and skills to lead wisely. Prince Caspian struggles with the fact that his own Uncle Miraz killed killed his own brother, Prince Caspian's father, and that his Uncle Miraz wants him dead. He knows that rightfully he is the leader of the Telmarines, but he does not know if he is ready for the mantle of leadership (being a king). Aslan knows this and he knows that Prince Caspian must come to this acceptance on his own, but with Aslan's guidance in bringing the Pevensie children back to Narnia to help Prince Caspian. The Pevensies and Prince Caspian end-up helping each other to come to important self-knowledge. Aslan acts as an Instructional leader by empowering his people, encouraging open dialogue, helping them to become good leaders and always encouraging them to reflect upon how they can improve their knowledge and skills for the betterment of their people.

I also found that once Peter he realized he needed to listen to the advice of others and learned that a leader does not lead all by himself, became an Instructional Leader. Prior to the big fight where Miraz was killed, Peter came up with a plan to take the Telmarine Castle. Prince Caspian and many others were against this idea, but Peter pushed it forward despite this. His purpose was not for the good of all, but rather to prove himself. A leader can not do things based on what is good for them, but rather must be looking at the greater good for all. Peter felt a sense of competition with Caspian and would not listen to what he had to say. The attack on the castle ended badly for all of them with a great loss of Narnian lives. As a leader, Peter had to take responsibility for the failure and loss. Initially, he did not do this, but tried to blame Caspian. Eventually, he came to accept his part in the loss and grew as a leader from this. This is when he began to become an instructional leader. He set expectations and goals, but did it through dialogue with his siblings, Prince Caspian and the Narnians. He looked at the strengths of the others around him and started using distributive leadership, he empowered others through his trust in them and the realization that it would take all of them to win back Narnia. He himself became a more reflective leader and encouraged this in his people as well. He finally understood that a leader and his/her people need to be able to "define their knowledge and skills" in order to help those that depend on them to succeed.

Standard 3