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Exploration a presenting pedagogical leadership challenge: Explain your school/preschool/educational context in relation to a significant pedagogical improvement agenda (eg. from your school improvement plan) and then theorise referencing key topic papers with insights from your own contextual pedagogical learning experiences (yourself, yourself and others, inside and beyond the school community) offering an argument for how you will lead pedagogically in the short (3-12 months) to longer term (3 years) in relation to the presenting pedagogical challenge.

Pedagogical Leadership Challenges

Pedagogy involves understanding how the philosophy of learning takes place in a learning institution and the practices that support it. Pedagogical leadership on the other hand encompasses the guidance or leading study of the teaching and the process of learning in the educational institutions (Harris, 2003). The pedagogical leadership often requires the readiness and ability which is based on the attitudes of a leader. Pedagogical thus brings the leadership role close to the interaction of people as opposed to the hierarchical style of leadership.

Pedagogical leadership also involves the management of personal learning and its implementation which is defined by every learning concept of a leader (Shor, 2012).This paper will discuss the pedagogical leadership challenges which I encountered in my professional work and the different approaches which are necessary to overcome the challenges. The pedagogical challenges will come from the findings from my present learning institution.

From the past, research has shown that teachers barely came up with the child-centered approaches in the teaching and learning institutions due to lack of adequate knowledge on the new approaches to successful leadership in classrooms. There have been large classes which hold a lot of untrained teachers having insufficient materials for use in learning and teaching purposes. This calls for the provision of teachers with enough educational enlightenment, be adequately resourced, and developed professionally in their particular areas so that they can transmit their philosophy and promote meaningful development learning to their children (Ainscow & Sandill, 2010).

Pedagogical challenges

From my experience in my learning institution, the current pedagogical leadership practices I encountered in were inappropriate. The primary issue which I saw as a challenge to most of the teachers was overpopulation of students in the classes. This made it hard for the teachers and students to have a good learning environment. The lack of enough facilities and resources and children observed to be sharing a single room due to the lack of enough classrooms and the insufficiently qualified teachers have been a big problem.

The teachers also have revealed that they were not specialized in teaching particular subjects but remain to teach other subjects. They have claimed to be aware of the learner-centered pedagogies, and they have never attended any professional development training or orientation to learn about the new approaches to the career development of their students (Geijsel & Meijers, 2005). Additionally, it has become difficult for the children to be supervised in their co-curricular activities.

As a result of overcrowding in the institution, the challenge has brought about blame to the leaders of institution. The teachers have blamed the administrators for infective strategies of change and appropriate leadership. They have complained about the poor working conditions and workloads they have been tasked. The parents have also have blamed the school for not complying with the regulations placed by the educational sector to run the school business properly. With this kind of blames reported by different groups, I suppose it is necessary to ensure that responsibilities should be taken by the leaders of the school to ensure change is effected in order to give the best to the students.

Ineffective Communication

The students confronting failure and their difficulties expect respect and change of the strategies that have been put for change in the schools. Self-discipline, resilience and work ethics by the leaders should be observed in order to ensure the students become successful in their educational practices. The educational professionals ought to embrace the feedback, seize their responsibility and come up with the a change approach to ensure assessment is effectively done and leadership in schools is carried out appropriately (Komives, Longerbeam, Mainella, Osteen, Owen & Wagner, 2009).

In the institution, I also encountered the problem of ineffective communication between the teachers and the students due to the overcrowding of students in the classrooms. A large percentage of the students gained little information from their teachers, and a few could barely get the information fully. This advantaged the smaller group of students while the large one was greatly disadvantaged in the process. The communication between the teachers and students usually involves the written and oral skills and use of technology to convey information. However, the use of effective communication skills has been remarkably lower than expected.

Despite calls for collaboration and teamwork, there have been no ways that have been used to asses and measure the competencies of the teachers and the administrators about the education systems being regulated (Robinson, 2007). I have also noted that, despite the policymakers talking about the good game and creativity in assessing the performance of the students in the classroom, teaching has remained primarily focused in basic literacy skills and performance. The academic content having been necessary though, they have been insufficient to ensure the students gain the necessary skills to be creative in their particular careers.

Due to the challenge of overpopulation encountered in the institution, I observed that there were a few learning and teaching resources which the students were offered. The lack of enough learning materials due to a higher population levels in the classrooms hindered the delivery of efficient learning. I observed poorly ventilated classes, suitable furniture that was suitable for use by the children, safe playing grounds, and toilets. This implies teachers had no enough learning and teaching resources to help them implement their curriculum effectively with ease.

This negatively created a notion of a sustainable environment where their learning could be effectively implemented to enhance academic performance. There was also a high ratio of child to the teacher with remunerations which were poor. This is a big challenge to the institution and has been subjected too much attention among the relevant authorities in the education sector. The teachers have been seen not to be comfortable with the increase in the student's number in the classes they are handling.

Addressing the challenge

With the student population, I have observed various approaches which have been put in place to overcome the pedagogical problem. I came to know there is need for the leaders to learn effective educational needs required by the diverse population of students to overcome them. There has been researching carried out in the field regarding both the classroom and the school conditions which are helpful to the students from the families which are disadvantaged economically to those with diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds.

Lack of Adequate Learning Resources

Some of the educational policies which have been put by most of the governments concerning the size of classrooms, the grouping practices of students and the forms of instructions have been put to regulate the school from admitting more students where there are a few teachers (Beatriz, Deborah & Hunter, 2008). More research to this area has suggested that the economically disadvantaged students will learn more in the relatively small school which has at least 300 students and classrooms holing up to 20 students while their teachers help them engage in the active forms of instructions focusing on meaningful co-curricular activities by use of heterogeneous strategies of grouping students (Smith, 2010).

To promote the achievement of the diverse student's populations, the leaders should make sure that they assist their staff in implementing the conditions of the school and the classrooms. The leaders should engage with other agencies to provide the necessary support for the students and their families without the diverting of their leader's attention and influence the learning programs in the institution (Fisher, Frey & Pumpian, 2012). The leaders should be able tocome up with often complex and coherent research body in order to develop the suitable policies of which to implement About the student groupings.

it’s important to know more about what the leaders can come up with in order to generate more expectations and foster a good learning experience in the institution of learning and also encourage the sharing of learning experiences amongst the students and come up with a much more challenging curriculum (Van, 2016).. Also, the educators need to have adequate time to prepare them sufficiently for the lectures. The instructors often spend little time to make themselves for student-centered classes; the instructors often have less time creating well-organized lectures which are engaging to all the students in the classes. By coming up with the change practices to engage the students, it will be easier to manage a large group of students in a particular class setting (Van, 2008).

Another approach I think will bring change in the institution is the regular evaluation and assessment framework to bring about change in the classroom set up. There are some strategies which can reinforce the link between evaluation and assessment of classroom practice. The strong emphasis on the teacher evaluation and continuous improvement of the teaching practices will help the institutions recruit more experienced teachers, in the long run, to make sure those who are incompetent are replaced. Self-evaluation should be carried out on teachers as a collective process to ensure that the teachers remain experts in their particular fields (Webb, 2005).  Assessing the students should also be carried out to make sure that the correct number required per a particular classroom gets a maximum percentage of the content given to them in a particular period.

Another approach involves supporting the teachers in their daily routine practice through ensuring that the goals of the students are met and building their capacity through adequate training an assessment of their literacy. This strategy will help develop the professionalism of the teacher. The evaluation and assessment frameworks will not be able to improve if the learning is not accompanied by the appropriate incentives in the motivating and providing support for the teachers in the classrooms. The focus on improving the linkages to the improvement of classroom practices is thus one critical point in designing an effective assessment and evaluation approach.

Overcrowding

I would also recommend for the recruitment of effective teachers to create efficiencies in learning and also nurture their students in the classrooms that are due to an increase in the learning of students. There should be rules and the procedures with the students, forestall the needs of the students and ensure proper orientation of students is done and instructions given to them to ensure there is effectiveness in the learning process. There should also be rules to ensure positive interaction is done in the classroom and maintain routines for the smooth running of the classrooms.

There should also be classroom rules to ensure effectiveness in pedagogical leadership. The effective teachers often have classroom rules which focus on the expectations of how to interact with each other and maintain safe environment that promotes effective learning in school. The teachers should also offer the explanation of the rules and the models for the rules and also rehearse the expectations they require the students to give out and offer the students opportunities to ensure they meet the expectations which are desired. There should be the establishment of consistent, fair, and reasonable rules which will make the difference in the classrooms (Jones & Bouffard, 2012).

The effective leaders in education have a sense of the should ensure they correctly provide the students with effective guidance in their mandate of educational practice and help them become aware of the interventions that are required to prevent further problems. For effective communication, the educators should use other means of communication for example the nonverbal cues and proximity in order to discourage any misbehavior in the class set-up. These techniques of communication will ensure the instructions are followed and help the students be successful in their education progress. The teachers should also be prepared to address the situations in hand including positive reinforcement pointing to the behaviors which are desired and also a response to the behaviors such as the student being reminded on why some rules are essential in the class.

While they are more adaptable than standards, the approaches used in addressing the pedagogical challenges should be observed for a smooth running of the institution. Classrooms should follow the various schedules to work proficiently and adequately. For instance, schedules usually incorporate how to enter and exit the classroom, participation of students, secure educational materials, completion of the assignments, and making progress amid or between instructional exercises. Fundamentally, the schedules will shape the classroom atmosphere.

The successful educators utilize schedules for daily assignments more than their incapable partners. They use well their time at the beginning of the academic period to show the schedules. By building up and establishing programs that require little checking, educators guarantee that the focal point of the classroom is all the more unequivocally on guidance. Compelling instructors much of the time give understudies signs to help them to remember adequate conduct, and successful educators are great at arranging and keeping up a favorable classroom condition.

Current political policy and agenda

The political agenda and policies are essential in any educational set up to address the challenges effectively. The policies contexts often change substantially with time, and they tend to be the same for most leaders. The large-scale accountability policy contexts have been pervasive for the educational management across the countries. The states have played a major role in the enactment of the educational leadership strategy. There has been a focus on the state accountability and standards systems driving the local decisions and the policies which have been made to ensure that effective learning adheres. Most countries have provisions for the student based assessments, evaluation of the teachers and system evaluations but they are often not integrated and there are no strategies to ensure that different components for the framework can underpin each other.

Addressing the Challenges

Some policies have aligned the standards of education and student assessment. In the standards-based systems, the governments have set standards for the attainment of children to ensure they are competitive in their particular area of study (Robinson, 2010).  The curriculum often covers the objectives which are defined in the standards and student assessments.  The assessments match the curriculum, and the results are judged on how well the students are learning in their classes.

Therefore the policy gives the necessary attention to the strategies required to assess the performance of the standards of the student classroom layout (Garrison & Vaughan, 2013).The part of the strategies often consists of coming up with standardized tests with a high-level degree of validity. Another approach I would recommend is to develop the capacity of teachers by assessing their standards and come up with the detailed options to mark their assessments and strengthen their moderation process between the schools and the teachers.

Conclusion

From the pedagogical challenges and solutions, as discussed, it can be concluded that the student-based pedagogy can transform the problem-solving skills, learning to promote children's creativity, problem-solving skills, critical thinking skills, learning ways and also the emotional and behavioral skills of development. This may be achieved the varied, and the relevant activities with the resources which are available are put into use and interaction encouraged during the learning and the teaching processes. The pedagogical skills of teachers are essential since the knowledge can be used to inform us of the benefits of the development of a student in the aspect of learning in school (Danielewicz, 2014).

The state policymakers and the developers of the curriculum should ensure there is quality practice and also gain the understanding of to whether there is need to carry out an evaluation and assessment of the school curriculum in order to ensure there is quality practice and also gain knowledge of the approaches which are effective to ensure efficiency in learning of the curriculum in the school. Additionally, there is the need in the future to make sure the government commits and spends on the training of more teachers in the initial teaching education.

Emphasis should also be made in providing professional development and improvement of teaching and learning facilities and materials. To ensure there are meaningful learning strategies in the classrooms, the teachers should be trained on the learner-centered pedagogy. Findings have indicated that there can be problems in creativity and inquisitiveness in most of the children of which they can be promoted if the children are actively involved in the interactions with the teachers and their peers.

There should be an emphasis on the review of the curriculum which would lead to the practice improvement. More teachers are required to reduce workload and also reduce the size of the classes and also the professional development of the existing workforce and improvement of the primary education of the teachers. I also think it's necessary for the education stakeholders to rethink and come up with new ideas and the concepts in their curriculum development rather than sticking to the outdated ideas. I recommend the intervention of study in and evaluation of the enactment of the child-centered curriculum in the in the educational sector. The methods of teaching should be diverse to fit the curriculum and help the students understand it adequately. 

References

Ainscow, M., & Sandill, A. (2010). Developing inclusive education systems: the role of organizational cultures and leadership. International Journal of Inclusive Education, 14(4), 401-416.

Beatriz, P., Deborah, N., & Hunter, M. (2008). Improving School Leadership, Volume 1 Policy, and Practice: Policy and Practice (Vol. 1). OECD Publishing.

Danielewicz, J. (2014). Teaching selves: Identity, pedagogy, and teacher education. Suny Press.

Fisher, D., Frey, N., & Pumpian, I. (2012). How to create a culture of achievement in your school and classroom. ASCD.

Garrison, D. R., & Vaughan, N. D. (2013). Institutional change and leadership associated with blended learning innovation: Two case studies. The internet and higher education, 18, 24-28.

Geijsel, F., & Meijers, F. (2005). Identity learning: The core process of educational change. Educational studies, 31(4), 419-430.

Harris, A. (2003). Teacher leadership as distributed leadership: heresy, fantasy or possibility?. School leadership & management, 23(3), 313-324.

Heikka, J., & Waniganayake, M. (2011). Pedagogical leadership from a distributed perspective within the context of early childhood education. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 14(4), 499-512.

Jones, S. M., & Bouffard, S. M. (2012). Social and Emotional Learning in Schools: From Programs to Strategies. Social Policy Report. Volume 26, Number 4. Society for Research in Child Development.

Komives, S. R., Longerbeam, S. D., Mainella, F., Osteen, L., Owen, J. E., & Wagner, W. (2009). Leadership identity development: Challenges in applying a developmental model. Journal of Leadership Education, 8(1), 11-47.

Robinson, V. (2007). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: Making sense of the evidence.

Robinson, V. M. (2010). From instructional leadership to leadership capabilities: Empirical findings and methodological challenges. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 9(1), 1-26.

Shor, I. (2012). Empowering education: Critical teaching for social change. University of Chicago Press.

Smith, M. U. (2010). Current status of research in teaching and learning evolution: II. Pedagogical issues. Science & Education, 19(6-8), 539-571.

Van Manen, M. (2008). Pedagogical sensitivity and teachers practical knowing-in-action. Peking University Education Review, 1(1), 1-23.

Van Manen, M. (2016). Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy. Routledge.

Webb, R. (2005). Leading teaching and learning in the primary school: from ‘educative leadership to ‘pedagogical leadership.' Educational management administration & leadership, 33(1), 69-91.

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