BELMAS Blog

Mae angen Arweinyddiaeth Greadigol arnom | We need Creative Leadership

04.08.21

Message from the Editor:

It is my absolute pleasure to introduce this blog, which we are publishing in two languages! I really hope this is the first of many BELMAS blogs in languages other than English.

In this blog, Tegwen offers us an interesting insight into the changing educational landscape in Wales. This shake-up in Wales is perhaps an opportunity to set the course for an education system which not only meets current challenges but is also flexible enough to adapt in the future. Tegwen is right, of course, to ask how these reforms will be any different from what’s gone before. And she gets right to the heart of the matter by asking: how can we make sure this makes a difference to all learners?

One of the answers might be what she calls creative leadership. How can we, as educational leaders, move away from repetition and routine and cultivate the conditions and culture which allow creative teams to be cultivated? Creativity is perhaps the glue that’s needed to bring imagination and innovation together.

Thanks and diolch, Tegwen, for sharing this blog with us! Please post any comments on this or any of our other blogs on Twitter using the hashtag #BELMASblog. You can follow Tegwen on twitter here

 - Suzanne


ENGLISH | CYMRAEG

Mae angen Arweinyddiaeth Greadigol arnom

Tegwen Ellis

Er gwaethaf y pandemig rhyngwladol cyfredol (Covid 19) mae Cymru yn wynebu'r newidiadau mwyaf heriol i'w system addysgol ers datganoli ym 1999.

Yn 2017, lansiodd y Gweinidog Addysg, Kirsty Williams AS, Addysg yng Nghymru: 

Cenhadaeth ein  cenedl. (LlC, 2017a) Cynllun gweithredu oedd hwn, ysgogiad mawr i drawsnewid y system addysg yng Nghymru. Hyd yma bu ailwampio mawr ar Hyfforddiant Cychwynnol Addysg, sefydlu Academi Genedlaethol ar gyfer Arweinyddiaeth Addysgol, ymrwymiad i degwch, rhagoriaeth a lles ynghyd â chyd-adeiladu cwricwlwm a phroses asesu newydd. Wrth i ni aros am y Cydsyniad Brenhinol a phasio'r bil cwricwlwm ac asesu yn gyfraith, gofynnaf sut allwn ni sicrhau bod hyn yn gwneud gwahaniaeth i'n dysgwyr a'n pobl ifanc a sut y bydd hyn yn wahanol i fentrau gweinidogol eraill? Rhaid inni sicrhau bod y system addysg newydd wedi'i chynllunio yn y fath fodd fel ei bod yn cwrdd â'r heriau sy'n ein hwynebu nawr a'i bod yn gallu addasu i heriau'r dyfodol.

Wrth wraidd Cwricwlwm i Gymru (LlC, 2015b) mae'r pedwar diben, gyda’r bwriad o gefnogi ein dygwyr i fod yn:

  • Ddysgwyr uchelgeisiol, galluog sy’n barod i ddysgu gydol eu bywydau
  • Gyfranwyr mentrus, creadigol sy’n barod i chwarae rhan lawn mewn bywyd a gwaith
  • Ddinasyddion egwyddorol, gwybodosu yng Nhgymur a’r byd
  • Unigolion iah, hyderus sy’n barod i fyw bywyd cyflawn fel aelodau gwerthfawr o gymdeithas

 Ysgrifennwyd y rhain yn benodol ar gyfer y dysgwyr, ar gyfer ein plant a'n pobl ifanc. Mae'r dibenion hyn yn berthnasol i ddatblygiad pob dysgwr o'r blynyddoedd cynnar hyd at oedolion, wedi'r cyfan onid ydym i gyd yn ddysgwyr gydol oes? Gellir trosi'r dibenion hyn i'n bywyd gwaith a'n rolau ac maent yn arbennig o berthnasol i'r rhai mewn swyddi arweinyddiaeth addysgol. Dylai pob arweinydd fod yn unigolion iach, hyderus sy'n uchelgeisiol ac yn alluog, yn foesegol wybodus, sy'n fentrus ac yn greadigol. Mae pob un o'r pedwar diben yn hanfodol i arfer arweinydd, ond y diben mentrus a chreadigol yw'r allwedd i sicrhau llwyddiant trawsnewid y system addysg a'i chwricwlwm. Mae yna rai enghreifftiau rhagorol o arweinyddiaeth greadigol yn ein lleoliadau addysgol ledled Cymru ac mae'r argyfwng presennol yn sicr wedi gwthio'r ffiniau - os nad mewn rhai achosion, wedi chwalu’r  ffiniau - i archwilio arfer newydd ac arloesol. I wneud hyn mewn ffordd gydlynol a cholegol mae'n rhaid i ni ddatblygu arweinyddiaeth greadigol ac wrth wneud hynny, cefnogi gweithrediad llwyddiannus Cwricwlwm i Gymru.

Mae De Bono (2007) yn nodi 'heb greadigrwydd dim ond ailadrodd a dilyn trefn arferol sydd... mae angen creadigrwydd ar gyfer newid, gwella a chyfeiriadau newydd.' Rydym yn wynebu newid dramatig wrth inni symud ymlaen i gyfeiriad newydd tuag at gwricwlwm newydd yn 2022. Mae cyfeiriad newydd yn gofyn am ddull newydd a gwahanol ac felly, ni allwn barhau i gymhwyso'r un ffyrdd o Ddysgu Proffesiynol i'w ddyluniad ac yn bwysicach fyth i'w gyflawniad. Rhaid inni osgoi parhau i gymhwyso'r un dulliau diofyn a rhaid inni osgoi dilyn yr un arferion. Er enghraifft, pam mae ysgolion yn dal i gael tri thymor gyda gwyliau haf chwe wythnos?  Mae ychydig o ysgolion yng Nghymru wedi bod yn arloesol yn eu dulliau o strwythuro (neu ailstrwythuro) yr wythnos ysgol (Evans 2021). Gwnaethpwyd hyn gyda'r bwriad o greu lle ac amser ychwanegol i weithwyr proffesiynol ystyried eu lles eu hunain yn ogystal ag amser a lle i gael mynediad at gyfleoedd Dysgu Proffesiynol hynod effeithiol.

Felly, ai dyma'r amser i'n harweinwyr fod yn 'cymryd risgiau pwyllog' ac yn 'meddwl yn greadigol i ail-lunio' (LlC, 2015b) mae Robinson (2017) yn awgrymu bod angen meithrin arweinyddiaeth greadigol mewn diwylliant o arloesedd, ac mae e’n dweud ei fod yn ddibynnol ar feithrin tair proses: Dychymyg, Creadigrwydd ac Arloesedd. Dywed y gallai arloesedd fod y nod, ond rhaid iddo ddechrau gyda'r dychymyg ac mai creadigrwydd yw'r broses cyn rhoi'r arloesedd ar waith. Nawr yw'r amser i ddychmygu sut y gallai Cwricwlwm i Gymru ddarparu addysg sy'n ddeinamig, yn gyffrous ac yn ddeniadol? Sut y gellir creu'r hinsawdd a'r amodau i ganiatáu i hyn ddigwydd? Mae arloesi yn un o'r pum safon a gynhwysir yn y Safonau Proffesiynol ar gyfer Addysgu ac Arweinyddiaeth (LlC, 2017c) ond yn ddiddorol nid yw'r geiriau dychymyg a chreadigrwydd yn ymddangos yn y safonau hyn. Ond mae angen i'r dull o ddatblygu arloesedd fel mae Robinson yn awgrymu, gael yr hinsawdd gywir, mae angen yr amodau cywir ac mae angen i arweinwyr fod yn gyfrifol am ddatblygu'n strategol yr amodau ar gyfer Dychymyg, Creadigrwydd a Arloesedd i ffynnu. 

Mae Robinson (2017) yn awgrymu ymhellach bod arweinydd creadigol yn cynllunio’n strategol i hwyluso galluoedd creadigol pob aelod o’r sefydliad a’u bod yn ffurfio timau creadigol i gydweithredu a hyrwyddo diwylliant o arloesedd yn strategol o fewn y sefydliad. Mae angen i'r arweinwyr creadigol ddarparu'r amgylchedd a'r hinsawdd er mwyn i greadigrwydd ac arloesedd ffynnu. Mae angen rhyddhau ymarferwyr rhag ‘ailadrodd a a dilyn trefn arferol’(De Bono,2007)  er mwyn caniatáu ar gyfer profiadau dysgu cyfoethog a fydd yn caniatáu iddynt ddychmygu. Lle mae’r diwylliant hwn yn bodoli gall arweinwyr ac athrawon ‘gymryd risgiau pwyllog’ a ‘rhoi o’u hegni a’u sgiliau fel y gallai eraill elwa’ (LlC 2019)

Er mwyn gweithredu ac ymgorffori'r Cwricwlwm ar gyfer Cymru, yn sicr mae angen arweinyddiaeth weledigaethol gref arnom, ond mae angen arweinyddiaeth ddeinamig a chreadigol arnom hefyd i sicrhau ein bod yn cyflwyno cwricwlwm sy'n parhau i ganolbwyntio ar ddarparu addysg a fydd yn addas yn y dyfodol.


 

We need Creative Leadership

Tegwen Ellis

Notwithstanding the current international pandemic (Covid 19) Wales faces the most challenging changes to its educational system since devolution in 1999. 

In 2017, Education Minister Kirsty Williams AS, launched Education in Wales: Our national mission. (WG,2017a) This was an action plan, a major shake up to transform the education system in Wales. To date there has been a major overhaul of Initial Teacher Training, the establishment of a National Academy for Educational Leadership, a commitment to equity, excellence and well-being along with the co-construction of a new curriculum and assessment process. As we await the Royal Assent and the passing of the curriculum and assessment bill into law, I ask: how can we ensure that this does make a difference to our learners and young people? And how will this be any different to other ministerial initiatives? We must ensure that the new education system is designed in such a way that it meets the challenges we face now and that it is adaptable to future challenges.

At the heart of Curriculum for Wales (WG, 2015b) sit the four purposes, which aim to support our learners to become:

  • ambitious, capable learners, ready to learn throughout their lives
  • enterprising, creative contributors, ready to play a full part in life and work
  • ethical, informed citizens of Wales and the world
  • Healthy, confident individuals, ready to lead fulfilling lives as valued members of society.

These purposes are relevant to the development of all learners from early years to adulthood. After all, are we not all lifelong learners? These purposes can be transposed into our working life and roles and are especially relevant to those in educational leadership positions. All leaders should be healthy, confident individuals who are ambitious and capable, ethically informed, who are enterprising and creative.  All four purposes are essential to a leader’s practice, but the enterprising and creative purpose is the key to ensuring the success of the transformation of the education system and its curriculum.  There are some excellent examples of creative leadership in our educational settings across Wales and the current crisis has certainly pushed the boundaries - if not in some cases, burst the boundaries - to explore new and innovative practice. To do this in a coherent and collegiate way we must develop creative leadership and in doing so, support the successful implementation of Curriculum for Wales.

De Bono (2007) states that ‘without creativity there is only repetition and routine……creativity is needed for change, improvement and new directions.’ We are facing dramatic change as we proceed in a new direction towards a new curriculum in 2022. A new direction requires a new and different approach and therefore, we cannot continue to apply the same ways of Professional Learning to its design and, more importantly, to its delivery. We must avoid continuing to apply the same default approaches and we must avoid following the same routines. For example, why do schools still have three terms with a six-week summer holiday? A few schools in Wales have been pioneering in their approaches to structuring (or re-structuring) the school week (Evans 2021). This was done with the intention of creating additional space and time for professionals to consider their own well-being as well as time and space to access highly effective Professional Learning opportunities.

So, is this the time for our leaders to be ‘taking measured risks’ and ‘thinking creatively to reframe’ (WG, 2015b)? Robinson (2017) suggests that creative leadership needs to be nurtured in a culture of innovation which he says is dependent on cultivating three processes: Imagination, Creativity and Innovation.  He states that innovation might be the aim, but it must begin with imagination and creativity is the process before putting the innovation into action. Now is the time to imagine how Curriculum for Wales could provide an education which is dynamic, exciting and engaging! How can the climate and conditions be created to allow this to happen? Innovation is one of the five standards included in the Professional Standards for Teaching and Leadership (WG 2017c) but interestingly the words imagination and creativity do not appear in these standards. But the approach to developing innovation as Robinson suggests, is to have the right climate, the right conditions. Leaders need to be responsible for strategically developing the conditions for Imagination, Creativity and Innovation to flourish. 

Robinson (2017) further suggests that a creative leader strategically plans to facilitate the creative abilities of every member of the organisation and that they form creative teams to collaborate and strategically promote a culture of innovation within the organisation. Creative leaders need to provide the environment and climate for creativity and innovation to thrive.  Practitioners need to be freed from repetition and routine to allow for enriched learning experiences which will allow them to imagine. Where this culture exists, leaders and teachers can ‘take measured risks’ and ‘give of their energy and skills so that others might benefit’ (WG 2019)

To implement and embed Curriculum for Wales we certainly need strong visionary leadership, but we also need dynamic and creative leadership to ensure we deliver a curriculum which remains focussed on providing an education which is future-proofed.

NAEL-Tegwen-Ellis-WR

Tegwen Ellis yw Prif Weithredwr yr Academi Genedlaethol ar gyfer Arweinyddiaeth Addysgol. Cyn hyn roedd yn gweithio fel Cyfarwyddwr Cynorthwyol ar gyfer Datblygu Arweinyddiaeth a Sicrwydd Ansawdd gyda’r sefydliad.

Tegwen Ellis is Chief Executive of the National Academy for Educational Leadership. Prior to this she held the role of Assistant Director for Leadership Development and Quality Assurance with the organisation.

 

De Bono, E., 2007. How to have creative ideas. London: Vermilion.

Donaldson, G., 2015. [online] Gov.wales. Available at: <https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2018-03/succesful-futures-a-summary-of-professor-graham-donaldsons-report.pdf> [Accessed 16 April 2021].

Evans, G., 2021. The Value of Asymmetric School Weeks. Swansea: National Academy for Educational Leadership and UWTSD.

Robinson, K., 2017. Out of Our Minds The Power of Being Creative. 3rd ed. United Kingdom: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Welsh Government, 2017. Professional standards - Hwb. [online] Hwb.gov.wales. Available at: <https://hwb.gov.wales/professional-development/professional-standards/> [Accessed 16 April 2021].

Welsh Government, 2021. [online] Gov.wales. Available at: <https://gov.wales/sites/default/files/publications/2018-03/education-in-wales-our-national-mission.pdf> [Accessed 16 April 2021].

Welsh Government, 2021. Written Statement: Curriculum for Wales 2022 (30 April 2019) | GOV.WALES. [online] GOV.WALES. Available at: <https://gov.wales/written-statement-curriculum-wales-2022> [Accessed 16 April 2021].

 

Industry Twitter