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Principal Director of the National College for Educational Development (NCEL), Dr. Taneisha Ingleton, addresses recent JIS ‘Think Tank’.
Photo: Dave Reid

Story Highlights

  • The leadership development strategies of the National College for Educational Development (NCEL) for 2019 will be guided by the theme ‘Navigating the Blue Ocean: Reimagining and Retooling for Greater Impact’.
  • As the world changes, so does leadership, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, through the NCEL, will be navigating the ‘Blue Ocean’ perspective by reimagining and retooling its programmes and initiatives for greater impact on Jamaica’s education system.
  • Principal Director of the NCEL, Dr. Taneisha Ingleton, says the Blue Ocean perspective embraces the concept of eliminating competition by focusing on uncontested market spaces, which makes competition irrelevant.

The leadership development strategies of the National College for Educational Development (NCEL) for 2019 will be guided by the theme ‘Navigating the Blue Ocean: Reimagining and Retooling for Greater Impact’.

As the world changes, so does leadership, and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, through the NCEL, will be navigating the ‘Blue Ocean’ perspective by reimagining and retooling its programmes and initiatives for greater impact on Jamaica’s education system.

Principal Director of the NCEL, Dr. Taneisha Ingleton, says the Blue Ocean perspective embraces the concept of eliminating competition by focusing on uncontested market spaces, which makes competition irrelevant.

It is a management and leadership paradigm that is based on the idea that organisations can achieve higher profit by creating new demand in non-competitive markets.

“We have implemented new ways of training principals and school administrators. We are moving away from using traditional ways of training to customised capacity building. We are into co-creating, where the principals put forward what they need to develop and we sit with them and craft the programme to meet their needs. This is what Blue Ocean is about,” Dr. Ingleton tells JIS News.

The NCEL was established in 2011 to equip school administrators with the competencies required to ensure that schools operate effectively in an increasingly demanding environment.

To achieve its mandate, the NCEL provides continuous professional development for leaders across the education sector with a view to building on existing competencies and keeping educational leaders abreast with current practices and trends.

“School administrators are eager to know more about this Blue Ocean perspective, wanting to find out how it can improve their practice, how can they be better at what they do, and how can they come out of the ‘Red Ocean’ thinking. Most school administrators see themselves in the Red Ocean strategy, which speaks to an organisation existing in a market space which is very competitive,” Dr. Ingleton says.

“What the Ministry is expecting is to see more innovations coming out of our schools. We are expecting to see cases where principals are maximising on the potentials of students, not so much being married to the traditional modes or ways of teaching, but allowing students to expand their horizon,” she adds.

Dr. Ingleton points out that this is what the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) intends to do. It is no longer the kind of rote learning and rigorous explanation of concepts. It is getting students to be creative, to think, to strategise and to look at things differently. Students will not only be given the opportunity to circle and shade in a response, but to explain what they mean when they select a particular response, and this is what Blue Ocean is about.

According to Dr. Ingleton, there is a new breed of principals within the cohort age of 27 and 45, who are a younger generation and who think and act differently. “They want to be able to create, to innovate and not to be dictated to. They don’t want to be in schools complaining about not having resources; they want to be doing things for themselves, so for them the Blue Ocean perspective is an exciting shift,” she says

These principals and school administrators will be empowered to literally reinvent what they would want their space to look like.

They will also engage parents at different levels. For example, parents who are not going to schools to check on their children, they could call them to come in and be part of the teaching and learning experience. They could also design a curriculum for parents where they teach the parents subjects, so that they would now have the opportunity to better assist the students in their academic pursuits.

With Blue Ocean, the space is opened up for wider thinking, where schools are not only for children but also for parents and the wider community. Schools are no longer seen as a traditional academic space where only children go to get an education, but it is now expanded to facilitate parents and community members who have limited education.

“You may even have a ‘curriculumless’ classroom where the demands of the industries and the demands of communities are what drive the curriculum,” Dr. Ingleton says.

“Leadership cannot look the same; the command and control will not work anymore in the fourth Industrial Revolution because knowledge is so popular,” she adds. According to Dr. Ingleton, the NCEL exists to create world-class leaders and to ensure that educational leaders are well equipped for their challenging roles.

However, she notes that the focus is not only principals, but the entire educational leadership landscape which is divided into three categories – the school system, which is specific to schools from primary up to the tertiary level; the Ministry and all its agencies; and all the other stakeholders, which include parents, Board chairmen, and anyone with an invested interest in education.