The Transformation of School Leadership in Argentina
The Programa de Liderazgo Educativo (PLE) has been designed by the Varkey Foundation, in consultation with the national Ministry of Education, as an intensive six week programme for serving, and aspiring, school leaders who are supported by their provincial ministry of education. The Programme consists of six modules, each module being delivered over five days in a dedicated training centre staffed by local experts who have been trained by Programme’s national staff. Each of the six modules has a particular focus on an essential component of the role of the leader in schools of the 21st Century.
Consistent with the aims and objectives of the National Education Plan “Argentina Teaches and Learns”, the PLE has been devised in the belief that students’ integral development must be at the centre of a school’s work. School leaders have a responsibility to ensure that students success and welfare are always paramount in their thinking as they lead the drive for school effectiveness and improvement, and the successful implementation of education policies in an era of change. The PLE aims to underscore the tremendous amount of influence on both the structure and culture of schools that successful principals and school directors can exert. In this regard, school leaders are the most appropriate people to support the national and provincial ministries of education in translating the educational change policies into the day-to-day school practices. Leaders should do this while taking into consideration the needs of the whole school community which consists of pupils, parents, teachers, members of the senior management team, school supervisors as well as voluntary and private organisations.
The PLE places equal emphasis on both the content and the modes of learning. The PLE provides learning opportunities for participants to acquire a rigorous knowledge base on educational leadership, whilst working with colleagues to co-construct meaning and relevance to their local situation.
In an age where school performance has increasingly become measured through international comparisons, the workload of school leaders has intensified and their roles have become increasingly more complex, demanding and challenging. School leaders are now also confronted with the need to lead and manage schools at a time when the burgeoning knowledge economy is rapidly transforming the nature and the expectations that surround traditional notions of schooling. As school leaders play a key to the success of schools becoming successful organisations in the knowledge society and economy, it is crucial to invest resources in their professional development. The success in the preparation and professional growth of school leaders will, therefore, contribute to the realisation of Argentina’s National Education Plan.