Parallel Session I: Educational Leadership for a Global Society
Educational Leadership for a Global Society; Empowering Young Societal Innovators for Equity and Renewal in a ‘Post-truth’ Context
Across the world communities are struggling to survive, small communities, large communities, urban communities, rural communities are all experiencing economic and societal challenges, the hope for these communities is the engagement of young people.
In a politically literate society young people feel connected with their communities. They feel like they have the capacity to make a difference. In today’s society many young people are disconnected from their communities. The young people lack the thinking tools they need to ask questions, and problem solve in practical ways to talk back to power and question curriculums and advocate for greater resources.
In a large action research project where high schools leaders partnered with the academy across five continents our research team consistently revealed education policy did not support the development of a society where people felt they belonged. The characteristics that the students and staff valued including trust, respecting the self, and the other, agreeing to disagree and thereby resolving conflict peacefully, and recognising diversity through inclusive practices were also missing in their institutions.
Leaders have the opportunity to empower young people to develop the confidence to use logic, and empirical evidence with a moral compass that assures an ethical framework so young people can challenge a ‘post-truth’ context, or challenge corruption that prevents communities from thriving. Thinking with John Dewey sheds light on how we can build such democracy in education in the 21st century.