Leaders who can come in and develop a longterm vision are going to be the most successful all over the world. Key is creating a longterm vision based on the conditions on the ground. Copying and pasting a recipe for transformation doesn’t work unless the underlying causes of each issue are taken into account, and that can only be done by bringing everyone to the table early on.
This quote comes from an extensive research project into 411 schools in the UK. The focus was on the effects of short term and long term impact of leadership on student achievement. The flip side of this is that those who hold long term values and beliefs, often based on decades of scholarship are the least appreciated in the current churn-school-culture.
“Philosophers,” meanwhile, are champions of teaching and discuss best practices a lot but don’t make fundamental changes, while “architects” are unsung heroes who redesign schools with a holistic focus on setting up the structures to support longterm change — but while they foster lasting improvement, architects rarely get the credit, with praise falling instead on the short-term successes of surgeons or public popularity of philosophers.
The rise of the philosopher, often powered by their need to hold court in social media enclaves, is remarkable. There is, as the research suggests a pervasive discussion of best practice which is often connected to cut-and-paste fixes though off the shelf solutions such as apps and subscription content. These all seem to come and go these days, replaced by the next marketing message or solve-all-application.