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K-12 School Leadership Council

Drexel University School of Education

The purpose of the Drexel School Leadership Council (DSLC) is to foster in-depth conversations of various educational topics driving education today, while exploring how to transform schools to be agile in understanding the challenges and opportunities in the future. The goal is to foster collaboration between K-12 school leaders from urban, suburban, and rural districts which will create a rich dialogue for sharing ideas, resources, and developing skills to navigate complexities facing educational leaders today and into the future.

DSLC is moderated by Dr. John M. Gould and Dr. Michael G. Kozak. Guest speakers will be featured for different sessions.

Register for DSLC

About the moderators

Dr. John M. Gould has more than 47 years of in-depth experience in the field of education, in which he specialized in issues surrounding systemic change, leadership development, curriculum innovation, and the effective implementation of new technologies in learning environments. His studies and work in these areas are a natural outgrowth of his advanced degrees in education, including both an MS from Duquesne University and PhD from the University of Pittsburgh. For the past 10 years, he has served as Clinical Professor at Drexel University and helped co-design the EdD program in Educational Leadership and Change. Dr. Gould is grounded in “systems thinking,” “Theory U,” design thinking and has a strong commitment to the concept of “learning organizations.” The essential question he asks all to consider is: given the rapid changes in social media, medicine, nanotechnology, the environment, and globalization, how do we cope with the need to innovate and design new learning environs for creating a sustainable future for our children?

Dr. Michael G. Kozak has over 30 years in the field of education as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, curriculum supervisor and superintendent of schools. Highlights from his years in education include developing and implementing a major school restructuring, change management resulting in the consolidation of four separate school districts into one regional school district, appearing before state senate and assembly educational committees to successfully lobby for increased school state aid, improving student academic performance, fostering positive learning climates and cultures, integrating technology throughout the curriculum, and improving student learning in a lower socio-economic urban setting through major academic initiatives, including data-driven instruction, guided reading, instructional coaches in reading and math and enhanced professional development for teachers. Dr. Kozak utilizes a framework of systems thinking, innovative and creative approaches to instruction and leadership, learning organizations and leading change. His challenge to emerging leaders is to help design a learning environment to meet the needs of learners and organizations disrupted by changes in education, organizations, governance, work environments, and yet-to-be-determined careers.

2021-22 Program Schedule – How Do You Disrupt Thinking to Initiate Change for the Future?

September 21, 2021 – Disrupting Thinking to Initiate Change for the Future, Part I

The focus for this session will be how educational leaders can begin to transform thinking and mental models of key stakeholders to provide opportunities for the future that wants to emerge. The pandemic forced a sudden transformation on how schools operated. Now that students, parents, and educators have experienced over a year of online learning, certain realizations have begun to occur. Online may not have worked for everyone, but it certainly had advantages for many students. The presentation and dialogue will examine how participants can apply regenerative and systems thinking to create conditions for creating new models for learning. The activities will include an introduction to regenerative and systems thinking and activities they can use in their buildings.

October 19, 2021 – Transdisciplinary Learning and Field Trip (Full Day session 9am-3pm)

The October session will focus on Transdisciplinary Learning and how integrating content areas can address real-world issues. Using examples from the US and around the world, we will compare curriculum models from each participant’s school district to see how using real-world problems, such as clean energy, clean water, and infrastructure can employ concepts from various curricula in a transdisciplinary approach. This session includes a field trip that both in-person and virtual participants will be able to participate.

November 16, 2021– Disrupting Thinking to Initiate Change for the Future, Part 2

We will begin to examine regenerative thinking through the lens of Carol Sanford. The session will explore the 7 First Principles for Regeneration and the Obstacles to a Regenerative Life. As educators, it is important to understand our roles in Developing Intelligence, Transforming Value-Adding Processes, and Coevolving Self and Systems. The collaborative work in this session will provide participants with a framework for addressing the myriad of challenges facing school leaders.

January 18, 2022—The Use of Space in Learning Design

This session will focus on how educational leaders need to understand the concepts of physical space and place within their building to accommodate change. Designing spaces, both physical and virtual, is integral after a year in which students and educators operated in a variety of spaces. Looking at actual examples from around the world, we will match various design spaces to match the variety of pedagogies, such as project-based learning, Makerspaces, and community-based learning, that allow the student and teacher to explore the world both within and outside the school building. A panel of architects will discuss how to accommodate curricular and instructional changes within one’s building.

February 15, 2022– Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

This session will examine a range of epistemologies and how these epistemologies can be applied to leadership practices for equity and social justice. Schools are comprised of people who identify in multiple ways. How can we, as educational leaders, create a climate conducive to valuing and respecting the dignity inherent in all people?

March 15, 2022– Education as Seen Through a Global Lens (Full Day Session 9am-3pm)

We will look at examples of educational transformation from around the world to see how micro-innovations are being applied in schools to create opportunities for learners to expand their learning experiences to have an impact on issues facing their community, while still operating within the constraints of traditional schooling. We will connect to school leaders from within and outside the US to gain a global perspective of how micro-innovations are having a profound impact on educational models. This full-day session will be possible for both in-person and virtual participants.

April 19, 2022– How New Types of Technology are Changing the Landscape of Education

Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Game-based Learning? These terms, and many others, have been touted as the new frontier of the educational landscape. A year after a pandemic forced schools around the world to shift to online learning, what have we learned? What technologies have really made a difference, and what technologies have, and will continue to have, an impact? Various leaders in educational technology will provide examples of how technology continues to be the catalyst in opening new frontiers for learning.

May 17, 2022– What Has This Past Year Taught Us?

This session will focus on how schools, businesses, communities, and people have emerged from two of the most transformational years in recent history. What have we learned? What new opportunities have been presented to learners and educators? Are we better at preparing students for an ever-transformational society? Have our attempts at providing a holistic education been successful? Most importantly, what actions will we take to continually improve ourselves and others?