LEADING EDUCATION WORK AT KING SAUD UNIVERSITY 17
LeadingEducation Work at King Saud University
LeadingEducation Work at King Saud University
Thisdiscussion builds from the previous assignment that identifiedintroduction of critical thinking skills in King Saud University. Inaddition to revisiting the issue identified, the review addresses thecurrent problem of critical thinking skills among the Saudi youths.The text also highlights the role as a leader in tackling the issueand possible contributions in moving forward. Further, the discussionidentifies strategies for educational change and how well theapproaches bond with organizational values, policies, culture, andpractices. Lastly, there is a focus on how leadership may affect theinstitution, limitations to a leader in bringing about change as wellas identifying my role in bringing about educational change.
Fromthe previous discussion, critical thinking has been identified as anecessary component in life that cannot be ignored. Further,definitions of critical thinking explain that it is the ability tothink concisely and rationally on the intended belief. Theessay focused on critical thinking skills in college experiences inthe classroom. The problemoflacking proper teaching of critical thinking skills in Saudi collegeswas identified. Hence,the discussion highlights insights to investigate how collegeteachers can educate students on critical thinking in the classroom.The issue of teaching this skill is vital as it leads to improvingoneself,becoming a better team player and enhancing a creative mindset in anindividual.
Leicester& Taylor (2010) explains that there is importance to emphasizethe introduction of critical thinking in institutions of higherlearning. The key members involved in integrating this skill are theteachers and other leaders who are entrusted with the management ofthe facility. The general community within the institution is alsoengaged in the process. Teachers committed to instilling the skillare urged to create an environment that is conducive to ensure asmooth teaching of critical thinking within the University. This way,students can form a small society within their classrooms, and hence,they develop the capacity to solve their problems.
Allamnakhrah(2013) expound that critical thinking skill in the education contexthas gained recognition from leading scholars and theorists. Further,Allamnakhrah (2013) explains that there are noticeable educationreforms in the Western countries such as the US and other developednations including the UK and Australia. The objective of thesereforms is to create a ‘thinking curriculum’ that focuses onplacing thinking skills at the center of the education process. Onthe contrary, several studies in Saudi Arabia have identified thelack of critical thinking knowledge and expertise among students aswell as the teaching strategies applied in by university tutors(Allamnakhrah, 2013). Scholars in Saudi concur that there is a lackof critical thinking among students in the country and consequentlydemand advocate for reforms that incorporate the skill into theeducation system.
Astudy conducted by Allamnakhrah (2013) found out that Saudi Youthslack appropriate as well as training hence cannot distinguish reasonfrom rhetoric. All but two of the students also agreed that theyneither implicitly nor explicitly learn critical thinking in theirpre-service teacher education program (Allamnakhrah, 2013). Thestudents replied that the questions asked by their lectures requiredlittle or no thought as they only needed to recall information fromtextbooks. The study also identified the lack of critical thinkingamong the lectures as the primary problem leading to their lack ofthe skill. The perception concurs with other studies carried out byscholars in the same field. The problem of teaching critical thinkingin institutions is further compounded by the view from the lecturesthat they have much course content hence face time constraint indeveloping professional programs (Allamnakhrah, 2013). The findingsof this study clearly present critical thinking as an issue amongSaudi youths. This problem is can be addressed by institutingeducational change hence the need to incorporate critical thinkingskills course in King Saudi University. This incorporationconstitutes a change in education that involves all interestedstakeholders to instill a more reasoned judgment in decision making.
Discussionof Role, Identity and Leadership Style
Theconcept of identity in leadership is understood from variousperspectives. Lumby & English (2009) explain the importance ofunderstanding the myths that surround leaders involved in educationalleadership. Myths are perceived to play a role in self-identificationas well as enabling an individual to comprehend and grasp thedimensions of being human. Myths also enable a leader to understandthe limits and purpose and possibly give an insight into the meaningof human existence. Myths influence institutions and scholarsadvocate that leaders should understand their importance to cope withdifferent views and opinions raised by other professionals (Lumby &English 2009). In identifying the role as a teacher in this context,myths play a significant role as leadership involves constructing themyths since mythology is concerned about offering directions as wellas the intellectual justification for different actions. Wise,Bradshaw, & Cartwright (2013) further maintain that educationalleadership is one of the elements in this mythic world which issustained by narratives that legitimize current policies andpractices. The role as a teacher in educational transformation dependon two factors including the extent to which one represent the storybeing narrated as well as the response from the audience. Therefore,comprehending the myths in leadership provides the fundamentals inleading the transformation of education in KSU as a teacher byimplementing critical thinking in the course work. This is possibleas myths enable me as the teacher to legitimize existing policies aswell as practices. Myths also provide a sense of direction hence itis possible to justify my intentions
Held& McKimm (2012) contend that emotional intelligence is imperativefor a leader who intends to implement change in individuals as wellas systems. Emotional intelligence facilitates in achieving idealistinfluence, inspiration, and individual consideration as well asintellectual stimulation (Held & McKimm, 2012). Therefore, it isinevitable that emotions influence a teacher and as they enable oneto anticipate how followers will respond to various circumstances andefficiently handle those responses. The application of emotionalintelligence and cross-boundary approaches ensure that the leaderuses boundaries for creating strategic advantage and buildinginstitutional capacity. This way, it is possible for the teacher tounderstand own fears and the feelings of others. The ability to workwith “multi-layered reality” enhances the development of theteacher as a blended professional. A blended professional can operateunder ambiguous conditions by belonging or not belonging to eitheracademic or professional domains (Whitchurch, 2009).
Adaptingto changes as blended professional enables one to conceptualize thefour dimensions associated with the professional activity. Theseelements include knowledge, relationship, space as well as legitimacy(Whitchurch, 2009). However, the author argues that a sense of notbelong to either academic or professional faction may createlegitimacy issues. Dissonance in running an institution could arisewhen individuals are allowed to build their authority in situ ratherthan assuming a particular position within the institution. Hence,adapting to blended professionalism would make the work easier as ateacher since the discussion only highlights legitimacy as the onlydimension faced by issues.
Understandingthe type of a leader is essential in choosing a leadership style. Asa teacher with the responsibility to effect change in education,understanding different leadership styles is a crucial benefit. Thisrealization is important because different leadership styles areemployed depending on the type of situation at hand. Held &McKimm (2012) identify six leadership styles which include coercive,authoritative, affiliative, democratic, pace-setting as well ascoaching. Pace-setting and coercive styles have negative impacts aspeople resist, resent, get overwhelmed and burn out. In this context,a teacher needs a real and more involving style. From this dimension,democratic leadership style is more appropriate because the leader iscapable of forging consensus with the participants as one mobilizesthe followers towards a vision. Achieving educational change in theclassroom and also in the external environment needs a leadershipstyle that would ensure that all stakeholders are involved in thechange. Therefore, the teacher can maintain some form of integrationwith the people by creating harmony and creating consensus. However,it is worth noting that leadership styles that yield positive resultsusually interlink and hence it is difficult to employ one approach intotal disregard of the others. Therefore, democratic leadershipprovides the best option is a leader in the classroom setup and alsofor other stakeholders involved in education change in KSU.
Analysisof the Organizational Context
Theculture and values of on organization play a major role ininfluencing the social and psychological environment. Cultureincludes things such as expectations, experiences, and philosophiesas well as values that hold an organization together. The culture isexpressed through the image, internal operations, communication withoutside parties, and prospects of the institution. Analyzing theorganizational culture focuses on fundamental attitudes, beliefs aswell as customs and rules that are considered valid and have beenformulated over time. The understanding the culture and values of KSUin instituting educational change is observed in how the institutiontreats students, tutors, no-teaching staff and other stakeholdersincluding members of the society. As Blackmore & Kandiko (2011)explain, several constituents of the academic fraternity arethemselves components of an active course. These players are involvedin remodeling as institutions are exceedingly becoming significantfeatures of higher education. Identifying the freedom allowed fordecision-making, formulating new ideas and how authority, power, andinformation flow the management hierarchy also helps in analyzing theculture of the institution.
Theintended objectives of the organization in the education context arebased on goals which successful learners are expected to achievewithin the scope of their studies. Objectives are formulated toenable learners to comprehend what they should attempt to acquire asthey study. In this context, the objective of the institution is toincorporate critical thinking skills in the study course to enablestudents to acquire the expertise as they learn. Students in theuniversity are required to think criticallyand ask questions bearingin mind the environment around them since they face working lifeafter studies. Consequently, most institutions regardless of whetherthey are public or private need to produce able students who canbring understanding and improvement in the workforce. Additionally,they are required to contribute in dealing with some problems in thesociety. Hence, making sure students gain critical thinking expertiseis a primary objective.
Globalizingeducation, people, and culture have an impact on the transferknowledge and skills cross different people and at different levels(Payler & Locke, 2013). These impacts are noted in social andeconomic changes that take place as the flow of knowledge occurs. The changes in this context are observable in the university’slong-time practice that allows teaching and research as wellexpanding practical academic activities. This understanding of theUniversity makes it the best to implement educational change byincorporating critical thinking in the course study material.
Discussionof How to Design and Implement a Strategy for Change
Formulatinga strategy to implement critical thinking should first of allconceptualize and operationalize the institution as an open system.The university should be viewed as a system that interrelatesreciprocally with the environment while a perspective based onbottom-up approach should be considered in capturing the dynamics ofchange (James & Wahlberg, 2007). The activities involved ineducational change at the university level should be initiated andguided by the application of different procedures and policies.Stakeholders should be highly involved as they ensure that the changeis appropriate as well as managing the change process. Therefore,there should be a thorough investigation of these stakeholders. Thestrategies formulated should also be defined regarding their motives.These intentions may be geared towards improvement and mitigationsagainst adverse change (James & Wahlberg, 2007). In achieving aneducational change, the following strategies are put forward
Devisingthe structure of the education curriculum and placing theincorporation of critical thinking at the heart of the course. Thisapproach is intended to improve learning by students as well asenhancing the capacity for lectures to teach in some respect (James &Wahlberg, 2007). In this strategy, a deeper understanding of eachstudent is of focus. The approach is aimed at improving the access toalready existing information about each student. The method alsoinvolves formulating new ways of generating information. In thismethod, there is an attempt to address the marginalized role playedby teachers in advising and guiding young students in choosingparticular programs. The strategy is considered as it keeps intoconsideration both the university and the national policy.
Trainingeducation practitioners is another strategy that is effective whenimplementing educational change. Notably, Payler & Locke (2013)expound that this approach has been used in England to address theskills of practitioners in early-years care education. These effortswere made to change the view of early-year education with the primaryobjective of raising professionalism. Training equips teachers withskills on how to deal with the new transformation as well asproviding an opportunity to grasp the content of the new material indetail. Teachers and all involved stakeholders are involved in thetraining. New, substantive and enhanced knowledge, as well as skills,are distributed across the institution. These skills should then bedeveloped and valued throughout the team members to avoid lessqualified participants feeling undervalued. The valuation is also inagreement with the institutions ambition to pursue excellence inintellectual standards.
Academicmotivation among the teaching staff provides another strategy inaddressing the critical thinking issue. Motivation is importantbecause individuals accord a high status to a certain activity orachievement in wholly personal manner and hence require no approvalfrom others as evidenced by intrinsic motivation (Blackmore &Kandiko, 2011). Motivation is applied in the quest to achieve aprestige economy which appears to be of potential relevance to theacademic framework where social and cultural capital is produced anddistributed. This stimulation is achievable through internal andexternal rewards. Externally, the rewards include but not limited togranting of tenure, pay based on merit and travel allowances as wellas compensation for incidental departmental professional costs andspecial privileges (Blackmore & Kandiko, 2011). Internal factorsinclude taking a key interest in open-ended problem solving,providing help and developing a sense of making a change. They alsoinvolve feeling contented by interacting with students and thesensation of competence by expanding knowledge and skills as well ashaving a chance to exercise independent autonomy (Blackmore &Kandiko, 2011). The inspiration drawn from this approach may lead tobenefits such providing tutors with an opportunity to learn newskills and apply independence.
Thecontinued participation of females in the workforce cannot beignored. Therefore, incorporating them in the process of educationalchange is another strategy. Morley (2013) explains that legislationin gender equality, policy initiatives, socio-economictransformations, ambition and increase in opportunities are thecontributing elements in the rise female students in the globalacademy. The number of female undergraduate students rose sixfoldbetween 1970 and 2008 from 10.8 to 77.4 million globally (Morley,2013). The Gender Parity Index was estimated at 1.08 forfemale-to-male which implies that more females are enrolled inundergraduate studies than males. However, Morley (2013) expoundsthat despite the high rates of female participation, theirinvolvement is yet to make a proportional representation inleadership roles. It is from this disposition that in the process oftransforming education, women need to be given proper representationowing to their increased urge for higher education.
However,the application of the strategies is faced with the challenge of“buying” people to implement them. Despite this inhibition, aleader can influence many participants by applying EmotionalIntelligence (EI) skills. EI presents the leader with the ability toperceive, use, understand and manage emotions (Held & McKimm,2012). Therefore, transformational leadership can bring about changein people and systems by developing constructive revolution thatdevelops the followers into future leaders. This fact is important ininfluencing transformation in education since followers are prospectleaders. Leaders are advised to employ a methodology that isemotionally appropriate to manage various professional attitudes andexpectations as well as stereotypes. However, Held & McKimm(2012) argue that due care should be taken when dealing with emotionsas they have both negative and positive effects. Positive use of EIis vital when developing an individual awareness that involvesbehaviors and emotions that act as their motivators. Therefore, theproper employment of effective leadership and Emotional Intelligenceprovide an efficient tool in drawing the people to follow theproposed strategies.
PotentialContributions and Significance of the Leadership
Contributionsmade in the organization depend on the interpersonal skills utilizedbetween the leader and the followers. In fact, Held & McKimm(2012) posit that personality traits and leadership traits such asemotional stability, intuitiveness, conscientiousness, and compassionare critical in effective leadership. Further, Woodrow & Busch(2008) clarify that effective leadership is gaining recognition aspivotal to organizational vitality and sustaining educational changeagendas. Potential contributions made by competent leadership arederived from the strategies employed in bringing change in theeducation context.
Asa competent leader, it is possible to induce improvement in learningwhich is perceived as potential fostering of better learning bystudents as well as expanding the teaching capacity of tutors. Thechanges in particular courses, material or the reorganization of theentire course would address specified needs of the students. However,this success largely depends on the ability of the participants toshift greater synergy among the learning culture elements (James &Wahlberg, 2007). Also, there is the possibility to increase internalstudents with basic and vital skills.
Effectiveblended leadership is also instilled in the organization. Whitchurch(2009) elucidates that leadership in collaborative practice has beenintegrated into the UK and the US within the public sector.Therefore, there is need to extrapolate the positives of thisutilization into KSU, which is not a Western institution. Theapplication of EI together with the blended leadership has morepotential in addressing the emotions of professionals within theuniversity. Whitchurch (2009) further expounds that there aredynamics that occur within the professional staff. The emergence ofpeople with blended identities is illustrated. These individuals areappointed depending on their experience that is imperative for themto undertake varied portfolios that exist between the professionaland academic domains (Whitchurch, 2009). These professionals have thecapacity to build consensus with their colleagues and the internal aswell as the external parties of the institution. This element isessential for the future running of the changes effected in theuniversity.
Trainingof participants is expected to produce competent tutors who applyprofessionalism in their work. For instance, New Zealand isrecognized for its training ambitions to generate a professionalworkforce for the early-years-care and education (Payler & Locke,2013). A similar trend is observed in England where the governmenthas linked changes and policies to improve the outcomes for children.KSU is faced by the process of introducing critical thinking skillsin the course work, and hence training of the tutors is inevitable.This exercise ensures that the overall impact is high-qualitystudents mentored by competent instructors.
Additionally,the motivation of the participants, especially tutors, will provide abetter way to maintain and expand raise academic productiveness.Blackmore & Kandiko (2011) propose that a model of academicmotivation that has overlapping, yet distinct economies be used. Thereason provided for this model is that understanding is achievable byfinding means to investigate motivational characteristics of bothsocial and cultural environment where academic activities take place.Alongside this explanation is the finding the intrinsic motivator formoney and interest (Blackmore & Kandiko, 2011). Therefore, theunderstanding of academic behavior is possible by developing andexploring the notion of prestige economy that its existence is inline with the monetary economy.
Allowingfemale involvement the educational change will ensure that genderimbalance issues and barriers are addressed. Gender equity in theprocess is achievable if there are changes their roles at home andthe workplace. Equity payment among males and females in similarroles and responsibilities bearing the same experience is another wayof meeting the issue (Colley, 2006). Studies indicate that therepresentation of women in various roles decreases as the gradesincrease (Morley, 2013). Their functions and categories are viewedas unimportant to examine, assess map comparatively. The inclusion ofwomen in the process potentially gives them a positive mentality awayfrom the social imperative of attending house chores.
Theunwillingness of some stakeholders to accept change presents alimitation. Some practitioners may resist new changes as they maythreaten their line of practice. This form of opposition is possibleas it was witnessed in England when the government was introducingthe Early Year Professional Status (EYPS) policy (Payler & Locke,2013). A study carried out to determine the effectiveness of the EYPSfound out that some participants felt the program intended to replaceexperienced workforce that obtained their positions of authoritythrough years of practice via an apprenticeship training model withinexperienced workers (Payler & Locke, 2013). This scenarioindicates that implementing the strategies outlined faces resistance,and hence, steps should be taken to counter this opposition. Nuttall(2006) also argue that such individuals, coupled with emotions, canchallenge complicated dialogue in institutions as noted from Ngaire’sstory.
Also,motivation based on financial gains may be ineffective in some cases.Some people may be motivated by other factors such as status ratherthan economic well-being. Performance –based pay is considered anineffective tool in accomplishing changed academic character invarious instances (James & Wahlberg, 2007). The early careerstaff is understood to be vulnerable compared to more establishedcounterparts. This vulnerability makes them less willing to beinvolved in activities that are beyond their disciplines hence theneed to emphasize the tenure and promotional criteria to influencetheir behavior.
Makinga timely implementation is another limitation. A university is acomplex institution that has mechanisms for policy modifications. Theprocess of initiating a change such institutions is sequential asproposed changes pass through various levels of administrativestructure which in turn takes times. It is usual that a change inpolicy may be effected after the initial implementation owing to newemerging circumstances during policy formulation (Payler & Locke,2013). Even as the change occur, some policies affected by the changemay be maintained to meet the present needs of internal as well asexternal stakeholders. Therefore, implementing the whole change inthe education structure of the institution may take time asunexpected.
Criticalthinking is a vital skill for dealing with logical decision making.Therefore, my role in ensuring its integration in the educationsystem is of equal importance. My role in addressing this problemwould start by providing effective leadership in bringing the change.There is the importance to take the forefront in highlighting theinadequacy of critical thinking expertise among the Saudi youths. Asa leader, I would also endeavor to advocate for strategies to be putin place to counter this problem within the institution and in otherareas.
KingSaud University is a perfect place to start with owing to itslong-term understanding and association with the nation’s policiesand workforce. As a leader, I understand the crucial role emotionalintelligence play in leadership. Hence, I would also encourage otherleaders to understand the implications of Emotional Intelligence indealing with followers and other professionals. Devising a change inthe institution needs to consider all the stakeholders as they arethe beneficiaries or otherwise become victims in case things gowrong. It is important for one to understand the responsibilities andstrategies involved to implement these changes.
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