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School Leadership and Lady Gaga

School Leadership and Lady Gaga

Love me or hate me, I feel like the Lady Gaga of School Leadership at the moment. I love being a teacher and being a school leader! It’s the best job in the whole world! I am also passionate about school leadership training and helping principals and heads of schools reach their full potential!


Because I get to make a positive difference in the lives of children every day.

Today I’m jumping around like a groupie because I got to meet, hug and talk to Professor Yong Zhao. YES!

I’m at the International Baccalaureate Global Conference in Yokohama, Japan. I heard Yong Zhao speak at a conference about 5-6 years ago and he changed me as an educator way back then. Today he reaffirmed for me what it is we need to do in schools to meet the needs of our precious young generations.

OMG it was amazing. Actually, HE was AMAZING!

Yong Zhao has refuelled me to make sure I do all that I can to make every child great. He has re-energised me to see the uniqueness in every child and every teacher. I’m on a mission to unlock and unleash talents and steer people away from what they’re not so good at and help them learn more about those things they are passionate about.

Today Yong Zhao spoke about what really matters in 21st century schools; creativity and entrepreneurship. How can we help our students to use globalization and technology to do something they love, to create value for others and do something that matters?

In his book, World Class Learners, Yong Zhao presents a framework for developing schools and students that embraces the challenges of the 21st Century. If we are to seize the opportunities presented by globalization and the rapid growth of technology, to learn and work with international partners and artificial intelligence, we will be required to develop expertise in languages and cultures, mutual respect, empathy and develop a deep appreciation for each other’s situations and demands.

Zhao calls these skills and knowledge entrepreneurial global competencies – that is having the perspective, attitude, knowledge and skills to discover opportunities, identify needs, secure investment, seek ideas, and build partners across national borders. He believes schools need to create opportunities for students to develop global competencies by becoming global enterprises.

Zhou has developed a set of elements of entrepreneurial global competency and suggests how schools can cultivate these competencies.

He sees Entrepreneurial Global Competencies as:

  1. Seeing global problems as enterprising opportunities
  2. Understanding relative strengths and weaknesses of different groups
  3. Having a global network of friends
  4. Developing a high level of cultural intelligence.

He suggests that schools can cultivate Entrepreneurial Global Competencies by:

  1. Developing schools as global enterprises
  2. Make products and create services for others
  3. Build a global network of partners
  4. Provide foreign experiences and study/work abroad
  5. Teach foreign languages

Zhao’s work opens up a “world of ideas and solutions” for schools, solutions that are no-blame and require an “open mind and an understanding of the global nature of our world together with the ability to interact with people cross-culturally.” His ideas link directly with the International Baccalaureate and the work of the United Nations and UNESCO in addressing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

What are you doing to develop creativity and entrepreneurial global competencies for your students?

I’m pumping with ideas. Sorry, I guess I was Born This Way!

If you would like to learn more about my thinking on school leadership check out my blog here.

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