Educating the educators – Leadership development is the key to stronger schools

By: Rod Thompson

Executive Leadership

Developing successful leaders is a critical contributor to success common to all organizations. For schools, these leaders are its principals.

That’s why, for over 10 years, The Learning Partnership has been developing and delivering executive leadership programs for principals in collaboration with the Rotman School of Management and the Ivey Business School. This endeavour has sought to develop and strengthen personal leadership, aimed at turning principals and school administrators into CEOs and leaders of the education world.

By learning in the business school environment, principals are introduced to new perspectives on leadership drawn from current research and professional practice in education, business and the private sector.

Longest running of The Learning Partnership’s executive leadership programs is the Canada’s Outstanding Principals program, which recognizes 40 principals each year from every province and territory in Canada. The program also provides the selected principals with professional development opportunities where they can dialogue and reflect on leadership issues with distinguished leaders from the educational, social, cultural and business communities. The National Academy of Principals creates a learning community of outstanding principals across Canada who can share, interact, and provide support to one another. The Academy now boasts a network of over 400 members as we head into our 13th year in 2017.

In addition to Canada’s Outstanding Principals, The Learning Partnership has developed other programs to support education leaders, including the Ontario Supervisory Officer Executive Leadership program, in partnership with the Rotman School of Management, the Directors of Education Leadership Institute in partnership with the Ivey Business School, and the Ivey Leadership Series, designed for superintendents, principals and vice-principals.

The best development vehicles for leaders are the lessons of personal experience drawn from the orchestration of advanced learning environments, through which meaningful dialogues with colleagues become valuable learning opportunities.

In addition to business leaders, The Learning Partnership believes this to be true for school administrators and principals. Leadership recognition and professional development of educational leaders will ultimately contribute to a stronger public education system. After all, great principals make great schools. And great leaders make great schools.

rod-thompsonRod Thompson is the Director of Executive Leadership at The Learning Partnership. Prior to that, he was formerly the Director of Education for the East York Board of Education and held a series of senior positions, including Associate Director with the Toronto District School Board. 


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