There are many models of leadership that can be used to impact teacher practice and increase student achievement in science. One that I have used since 2007-2008 is the Distributive Model of Leadership from the MIT Sloan School of Leadership and Management.
That model has four main components which can be summarized with the verbs 1) Sensemaking, 2) Relating, 3), Visioning and 4) Inventing. That is the approach I used to build capacity for leadership in elementary science education in Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, and is also the approach I advocate to nurture and grow capacity for science education leadership in North Carolina.
Sensemaking – this capability has to do with making sense of the world around us and understanding the context in which we are operating. For NCSLA that means identifying emerging and established leaders in science education in and out of the classroom and also being aware of other organizations serving the needs of science educators and how what they do may be different from the services NCSLA provides.
Relating – this capability deals with establishing key relationships within and across organizations. This is a strength of NCSLA with our close working relationships with NCSTA, the “Science, Math, and Technology Center”, the Science House, the Centers for STEM, the Kenan Program, etc. Opportunities to reach out to other key organizations such as the Center for Teaching Quality, the Charlotte Area Science Network, and STEM businesses can be pursued.
Visioning - this capability creates a compelling vision of the future. For NCSLA we need to think about what we want our organization to look like in 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25+ years. In that time frame there will certainly be a changing of the guard as existing leaders in NCSLA step aside and allow new and emerging leaders to leap up the leadership ladder to continue the traditions of NCSLA as the premiere organization for science education leadership in North Carolina.
Inventing - this capability invents new ways for members of an organization to work together to realize the vision. This is a continuous process and one that the leadership of NCSLA strives to improve as we monitor our Strategic Plan, fine tune our By-Laws, and develop Standard Operating Procedures to give the future generation of NCSLA leaders a strong foundation to serve the leadership needs of future educators.