Jude Black describes how her sabbatical changed her thinking and leadership style and inspired her to share her knowledge.
A principal supports technology curriculum implementation at primary
Jude Black: So as part of upskilling teachers, I felt I also had a responsibility to understand the technology curriculum. So I was not only a member of the PLG and had the same input that the teachers had, but also I started going to TENZ meetings, went to conferences where I could that [were] specifically about technology, and then at some point I went is there anything else I should be doing, or I could be doing as the leader?
So I applied to do a Ministry sabbatical and I ended up being successful in being selected for that. I visited Great Britain and Europe and found some leading schools over there and saw what they were doing for their year 7 children and above. I did also go to quite a number of primary schools, so I saw technology in action and synthesised all the information that I collected into a report which is online, and that coloured my thinking, especially when I looked at it in relation to the best evidence synthesis on leadership and compared with what were the principals expected to do as good leaders and how the technology curriculum fitted into that and it was very interesting comparing some of those key components that best evidence suggested we should be doing as leaders.
I have a responsibility now to share more widely with principals around in my own region and around New Zealand, so I’ve tried to start exerting my influence to work at a leadership level in New Zealand. So I sent my report off to the Minister and the Associate Minister of Education, I sent my report off to Steven Joyce. I also was approached by a department of the Auckland Council that is concerned with economic development in Auckland (they’re wanting to turn Auckland into a hub of innovation and enterprise) so they found my report was really helpful to them. So I had people from the council approach me and want to discuss it, I have sent my report into them.
So whenever I get an opportunity to exert that influence I act on it. I’ve spoken now at a number of TENZ conferences or mini-conferences, I’ve spoken at various technology workshops. So it’s part of getting that message out there to try and sell how important the technology curriculum is and how all schools should be doing their level best to implement it.
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