Understanding what features and what qualities are required in current leaders for promoting the SDGs is important in the education of future generations so that they become responsible citizens.
But what are those features and qualities?
According to Principal Kelly, leaders usually acquire a vision gained from experience and they need to have a willingness to express this vision and to put it into action, even if it implies changing things fundamentally. Another common characteristic of a leader is to have a concern for and care for people. Indeed, a leader should be aiming to empower people by promoting the social, economic and political inclusion of all, regardless of their background or status. This is expressed through the SDG goal n.10. – “reducing inequalities within and among countries”.
Additionally, Principal Kelly believes that a leader should be focused on bringing people together in a team environment and then helping them individually to reach their full potential within that environment. In education, this is best achieved by firstly adopting a holistic vision for the school that resonates on a teaching team and an individual level and then putting in place values that promote and embed that vision. Indeed, many educational organisations struggle from a lack of an effective unifying vision, collaborative practices and individually-focused professional development. If an organisation’s vision and values align with the SDGs it can be a powerful conduit for change and the promotion of responsible citizens and actions.
This article is related to the interview of Principal Kelly on ieNEXT youtube channel's series: "At the forefront of international education". Episodes are made available twice a week here (link).