Category Archives: Education

Methodologies of Online Education

There were many myths and misconceived notions about online education until recent past. Some people believed that online learning is a good option only for students who have a good track record. It was also believed that only those students having access to computers and modern means of communication would benefit from online education. However, with time such notions are giving way to an open acceptance where people have started accepting online education as a viable alterative for conventional education.

Not all online education options have a similar methodology and approach. There are various modes of online education available and it would be better if you have an understanding of different methodologies in use by online education providers so that you can select the course with the methodology that suits you the best. Here we are discussing the learning methodologies for online education:

Online Education Methodologies- Different Options

Live: This methodology is also known as synchronous mode of learning. In this mode of online education, there is instant communication between the students and teachers and at times even among different students. Herein all the participants get access to information simultaneously. Virtual classroom using the facility of video or audio conferencing and real-time chat are some examples of this mode of online education.

This learning methodology has its advantages and disadvantages. This mode is more akin to the conventional education except for the fact that the students don’t have to travel to the classrooms. The biggest advantage of synchronous method of online education is that it allows instant feedback for the student’s performance and allows active interaction among the students and teachers. Thus the students can get the training and education that is tailored suit their needs. Moreover, live education also facilitates the setting up of learning communities and groups for a better interaction among the learners.

This method has the disadvantage that the students cannot plan their schedule and they are bound by the pre-set schedule.

Asynchronous: Asynchronous mode of online education is popularly termed as store and forward education. In this method, the communication between the student and teacher is not instant. Self-paced courses are the examples of asynchronous online education where the students communicate with the teachers and amongst themselves by exchanging emails and posting messages on online bulletin boards and discussing groups. This is the more popular mode of online education because it offers more convenience and flexibility to the students and they can decide the pace and schedule for their education and training.

Despite of the advantages, this mode of online education has its disadvantages too. The students in this mode of learning, lack discipline and motivation and generally tend to develop a lackluster attitude towards education.

The mixed mode of learning in online education combines the advantages of both the modes and it is a combination of personal lectures or face-to-face interaction learning through online activities.

Now that you have a better understanding of different methodologies of online education, you can pick up the right one for you and enhance your skills.

Health Education Certification Available Online

Personal health has become a high priority in today’s society for multiple reasons. Achieving overall health has a positive impact on the life of an individual. Online schools offer the chance to become certified as a health educator through a number of degrees. These degree programs teach students how to educate and promote health in all areas that relate to a person’s body.

In general, health educators give awareness and provide options on how to improve on health related issues. These issues include tobacco prevention, AIDS, disease, teenage pregnancy, childbirth, exercise, diet, and more. The process of schooling enables a student to handle the intricacies of physical health and overcome the challenges of promoting awareness to communities. The foundation of education is biology, health communication, human development, public health, and psychology of health. Through this foundation students will apply practical and real world experience to step into the profession confidently.

Students have many options when it comes to deciding on a learning program. Gaining a certificate in the field is possible, but most students and professionals earn a degree. Putting the work into obtaining a degree benefits students by opening more career options and widening their knowledge. The highest level of education for a student to enter is the PhD level. Students should determine what area of the industry they want to work in. This decision helps when it comes time to choose a degree program to enroll in. Each level of education provides a different level of career preparation. For example, working within the private sector or conducting research in the field requires a master’s degree or a PhD. Choosing the correct education path is essential to reach personal career goals.

An associate’s degree is generally a two-year degree that quickly launches students into the industry. This level of degree is highly effective when a student wants to enter a full-time job as a health educator in clinical, corporate, or community settings. Associate programs provide initial science knowledge that can be applied to entry-level careers or further education at a later time. Topics introduced include how to develop a fitness program, sex education, drug education, and nutrition. To enter an associate’s degree students need to have a high school diploma and at least a 2.0 grade point average in math and science.

To enter a wider choice of careers a bachelor’s degree program supplies a more in depth and rigorous education experience. Specialized training begins at this level of education. Specific course subjects include health theory, computer technology, and leadership. Understanding existing trends in health and diet along with the best health practices are at the top of the list for must have knowledge upon graduation. This information is gained through studying the most pressing health concerns, causation factors of current issues, and following through on solutions. Continuing education to become a health educator is for students who want to work in the top careers of the industry.

Enter a fast growing field and work with people to improve their lives by educating them about important health issues. The occupation growth is estimated to rise 26 percent over the next six years. This projected increase from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that no matter what level of education a student decides to complete a career is obtainable. Choose an accredited program today and work towards becoming certified as a health educator.

Education in Theory and Perspective

What is the meaning of education?

Webster defines education as the process of educating or teaching. Educate is further defined as “to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of…” Thus, from these definitions, we might assume that the purpose of education is to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of students.

It is also defined in Oxford that education is the knowledge, abilities, and the development of character and mental powers that are resulted from intellectual, moral, and physical trainings. So, it can be said that someone who already got education will have additional knowledge, abilities and change in character and mental power.

While in Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, it is stated that:
Education encompasses teaching and learning specific skills, and also something less tangible but more profound: the imparting of knowledge, positive judgment and well-developed wisdom. Education has as one of its fundamental aspects the imparting of culture from generation to generation (see socialization). Education means ‘to draw out’, facilitating realization of self-potential and latent talents of an individual. It is an application of pedagogy, a body of theoretical and applied research relating to teaching and learning and draws on many disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, computer science, linguistics, neuro-science, sociology and anthropology.

From the quotation above, it is assumed that education does not merely transfer knowledge or skill, but more specifically it trains people to have positive judgment and well-developed wisdom, better characters and mental powers. Through education, someone will be able to search through their natural talent and self-potential, empower them and finally will result in gaining their self-esteem and better life.

The history of education according to Dieter Lenzen, president of the Freie Universität Berlin 1994 “began either millions of years ago or at the end of 1770”. Education as a science cannot be separated from the educational traditions that existed before. Education was the natural response of early civilizations to the struggle of surviving and thriving as a culture. Adults trained the young of their society in the knowledge and skills they would need to master and eventually pass on.

The education of an individual human begins since he was born and continues throughout his life. Even, some people believe that education begins even before birth, as evidenced by some parents’ playing music or reading to the baby in the womb to hope it will influence the child’s development. For some, the struggles and triumphs of daily life provide far more instruction than does formal. Family members may have a profound educational effect – often more profound than they realize – though family teaching may function very informally.

Education: the purpose, function and in practice

Theorists have made a distinction between the purpose of education and the functions of education. A purpose is the fundamental goal of the process-an end to be achieved, while Functions are other outcomes that may occur as a natural result of the process- byproducts or consequences of schooling. To elaborate these terms, it can be seen in reality that some teachers believe that the transfer of knowledge from teacher to students is the main purpose of education, while the transfer of knowledge from school to the real world or the application of what has been transferred is something that happens naturally as a consequence of possessing that knowledge; it is called a function of education.

Here are some quotations taking from The Meaning of Education:
“The only purpose of education is to teach a student how to live his life-by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality. The training he needs is theoretical, i.e., conceptual. He has to be taught to think, to understand, to integrate, to prove. He has to be taught the essentials of the knowledge discovered in the past-and he has to be equipped to acquire further knowledge by his own effort” ~Ayn Rand

“The aim of education should be to teach us rather how to think, than what to think-rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men.” ~Bill Beattie

From the above information it can be said that the purpose of education is to prepare the students to be able to face their life by facilitating them to develop their mind and equip them with “hard skill” and “soft skill” to deal with reality. As the result of this education, they themselves will be able to think, to understand, to integrate and to prove their ability.

Talking about the purpose of education, there are some overviews about it. There are different outlooks between autocratic and democratic regarding education. It is quite clear that each type of world outlook demands its consistent type of education. The autocratic wants the education in the purpose of making docile followers. So, that is why they prefer a type of education whose purpose is to build docility and obedience. In the other hand, Democracy is different from them. Democracy wishes all people to be able and willing to judge wisely for themselves. The democratic will seek a type of education whose purpose is to build responsible, thinking, public-spirited citizenship in all people.

This is also different for the authoritarian society. For them, it is just enough for the leaders to know what they want without thinking about what their people want. It is quite in contrary to what a democratic society wants. For the democracy society, the leaders and the most important – the large majority of the people must see clearly the aims/purpose of the type of education they have. In other words, in a democracy it is essential that the leaders and people have clear philosophy of life and a clear philosophy of education.

Outdoor Education Camps With Programs

Summer camps are special camps arranged for people to enjoy their vacation or tour in any adventures. Summer camps comes up with special offers outdoor education camp, leadership camp, science camp, awareness camp and many other social welfare schemes are offered to the public for reasonable prices. Outdoor education forms major part of the education and it is more required for people. Outdoor education is considered has important and essential requirement for most of the people and they fetches more demand among the people. Outdoor education is created and offered specially for kids, children and adults.

The main purpose of estimating and offering outdoor education is to develop self confidence and self esteem among the people. The outdoor education activities, outdoor education courses, outdoor education programs are offered to kids, children, adults by outdoor education schools or outdoor education centers. Outdoor education camps are conducted either inside or outside classrooms. Outdoor education forms major part of the education system and it is more important to be known by the people to come up with every possibility in life. Most of the parents feels better that their children should be aware of outdoor education programs offered and they should compete with outside world.

Outdoor education activities or outdoor education courses are provided by more number of outdoor institutes or adventure outdoor schools. An outdoor education course, outdoor education programs initiates cooperation, coordination, team building, goal settings and spirituality among the students and others. Outdoor education camps are provided by more number of outdoor education institutes or outdoor education schools for reasonable and affordable prices. The outdoor education camp provided will be more worth and valuable for the students who obtains and they are provided under complete knowledge and experience.

Generally, adventure outdoor school or outdoor education schools provides outdoor education activities, outdoor education courses, outdoor education programs to kids, children and adults under prescheduled, guidance and procedures. With regards to qualified, professional and expert outdoor education instructor, outdoor education programs will be offered. Under proper guidance and precautions, outdoor educations will be offered to the people to enable them to know the required outdoor education provided. More number of kids, children and adults are obtaining the outdoor education programs offered.

The outdoor education professionals, experts or instructors guide the kids, children and adults in efficient manner. Generally, outdoor education programs and outdoor education courses are offered to students based on age group, duration of course offered and kind of outdoor education program selected. The outdoor education camp offered will be creative, enthusiastic, innovative and technical appraisement for the students hindering. Outdoor camps will be offered to the students for reasonable price consideration and they are offered by more number of adventure outdoor schools.

Graduate Education Degree Concentrations

As educational careers and instructional certifications become more specialized, education graduate programs are reflecting this by encouraging students to declare a concentration within their education degree program. A concentration makes educators more attractive, often broadening their career prospects and better preparing them to meet the challenges of being an education professional.

While it’s typical for a student to declare a minor in a different field altogether-say, an international trade law major might choose a minor such as Chinese language if he or she intends to work within the Asian marketplace-a concentration is often closely linked with the major, more tailored to a specific job description. Someone looking to establish a career related to electronic teaching methods and new media in education, for instance, might pursue a masters degree in education with a concentration in distance learning, or instructional technology.

Credit hour requirements for concentrations vary greatly; programs typically require anywhere between 12 credit hours and 36 credit hours to complete degree requirements for a concentration within the primary degree program. This varies from one institution to the next, and of course, is dependent on the nature of the concentration itself.

Let’s take a look at a few education degree programs and concentrations to see what’s out there, and to help you better understand how selecting an education concentration might best serve your goals.

Educational Technology

Instructional or educational technology is a growing field that emphasizes the use of technology in education, both in the classroom and as a platform for distance learning programs. It encourages the design and implementation of a wide variety of tools to facilitate and advance students’ potential for learning. With modern curricula being built around the use of digital technology and new media, a master’s degree in education with a concentration in educational technology provides teachers with a valuable technological skill set and a solid working knowledge of e-learning methods. Those who understand and embrace these emerging learning methods are in high demand these days, whether it be in education or in private and corporate settings. Check out the International Society for Technology in Education’s Educator’s Resource page to learn more about this exciting, ever-changing field.

Curriculum and Instruction Strategies

A masters degree in education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction strategies can help teachers improve and strengthen their classroom practices. Exploring such areas as student literacy, inclusion and educational leadership, this concentration helps prepare instructors to better implement practical solutions to problems encountered both inside and out of the classroom. There are plenty of related concentrations in education that are associated with curriculum and classroom methodologies that can also benefit administrators, curriculum developers and department heads, among others. In addition, various teacher certifications are contingent upon completing concentrations like curriculum and instruction strategies.

Inclusion

As a practical theory, inclusion is another name for (or synonymous with) what may have been formerly known as “special education”. New educational models emphasize the inclusion of special needs children in the traditional classroom-built around the premise that children who learn together, learn to live together. A concentration in inclusion is designed to provide K-12 classroom teachers and administrators with critical theory and practical knowledge related to special education inclusion-offering educators the opportunity to study and improve upon professional practices, and in some cases, receive special education teacher certification as well.

Language and Literacy

Concentrations emphasizing reading, writing and literacy allow students to focus their attention on the study of how people develop, communicate and process written and spoken languages. This field explores complex relationships between these developmental processes, and how they reflect and relate to institutions, communities and cultures. Naturally, this field appeals to teachers of language and writing, but also has crossover value to those involved in studying new communication methods, particularly as they relate to technological advancement and ever-changing modes of communication. A concentration in language and literacy can prepare students for a broad array of career options, and also puts the graduate student in touch with the most fundamental elements of education: language and communication. The International Reading Association offers an excellent online resource, full of journals, publications and helpful Web tools for literacy and language professionals worldwide.

Hopefully this article has generated some ideas and gotten you thinking about how you can augment your education graduate program with a concentration-maybe you had already considered exploring one of the concentrations listed above. Again, it’s important to remember that specialization is the name of the game now, and while you’re beginning to pursue a graduate degree in education, give some serious consideration to setting yourself up with a concentration of study; you’ll be that much more successful and fulfilled as an educator in the long run.

Online Degrees in Education

Education is very extensive field and provides you several diverse opportunities. Degree holders or teachers can concentrate on early, middle or secondary students. They can also work in administrative positions. Professionals can also specialize in designing teaching material, adult education or they can also get training as an administrative specialist such as principal or vice principal.

Goals of Earning Online Degrees in Education

Teaching is considered as very easy going profession. But if you really want to become a good teacher you must have multiple skill and expertise like ability of handling students, strong communication skills and talent to convince, motivate and train. After earning any online degree in education from top accredited online university or college you will be able to train students to resolve the problems. If you start your career as elementary teacher you will teach all subjects of basic level. But on secondary level you will teach subjects of your area of specialization. Higher level online degrees in education enable you for higher education positions such as community colleges, vocational schools and universities.

Online Degrees in Education

Several online degrees from associates to doctorate levels are available. Many top accredited online universities and top accredited online colleges offer online degrees in education. Following are the online degrees available.

o Associates Degree in Education
o Bachelors Degree in Education
o Masters Degree in Education
o Ph.D. Education Degree
o Degree in Early Childhood Education
o Master Degree in Education Administration

Online Associates in Education

Online Associates Degree in Education is ideal for working individual to make a career move. It is very beneficial because it is very focused and practical without vast time obligation of bachelor’s degree. You will focus on a general education courses that include sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities. After earning associates level degree your potential career paths incorporate teaching in a Head Start program, Elementary school Para professional and teacher assistant. Associates degree is considered as initial level online degree in education.

Online Bachelors Degree in Education

Online Bachelors Degree in Education provides you option to become certified K-6 Teacher. You will get thorough knowledge of K-6 elementary teacher certification, advanced educational studies, human recourse development, corporate training and higher education. You can select any specific subject of your interest. You will be able to help young students to develop skills and acquiring knowledge. After earning online bachelors you can work as elementary/high school teacher, counselor, course developer, researcher and college professor.

Online Masters Degree in Education

Online Masters in education enables you to join better paying administrative jobs. Masters degree gives you the chance to become certified professional after bachelor. MAT or MIT and M.Ed. are the common master degrees available in education. You can continue to work as teacher or choose to work as principal or assistant principal. This degree provides opportunity to professionals to earn degree with job. You can earn this online degree in education to advance your career. Following are some master’s concentrations available

o Administration and supervision
o Adult education
o Distance learning
o Special education
o Curriculum and technology

Online Ph.D. Education Degree

Online Ph.D. degree is the highest level online degree in education. It is suitable for passionate professional wishes to gain higher grade job. It is basically for individuals already had teaching experience. After earning online masters degree you can teach as professor at university. You will also able to conduct research and apply what you learnt. You can specialize in elementary and secondary education, special education, adult education and higher education.

Online Degree in Early Childhood Education

Online degree in early childhood education is also an important online degree in education. After earning this degree you will be able to work with children below the typical school age between 3 and 5. Course work includes child psychology, parenting and early learning strategies.

Professional finds job in elementary or pre-schools. Early Childhood Education professionals effectively train young children during critical time in which formative learning, skill building and social growth takes place. Children who gain proper training at this stage of life can effectively find their way through the academic and social rigors that every student will have to face later in life. That’s why schools, families and government spend considerable money on early childhood education.

Online Master in Education Administration

Online Master in Education Administration is a unique online degree in education. It is designed for education professionals who have keen interest in administration issues. Course work includes education finance, school law, duties of principal, community relation and supervision of personnel. Degree needs internship experiences in school administration at administrative and principal level. Plenty of jobs are available in educational administration. Educational administrators can work on variety of jobs ranging from day care administrator to college president or school principal. Administrators have good communication skills and able to prepare budgets, supervise student’s progress, manage everyday operations, fund raise, designing policies and standards and command institute to maintain the state and national standards.

If you need further information about online degrees in education and top accredited online universities offer these degrees you can visit this web site it will provide authentic information about online degrees available.

Online Education to Become a Teacher

You might want to consider acquiring an online degree if you are interested in becoming a teacher. The field of education is one that gives you plenty of opportunities to try out different roles. As a teacher, you can focus on early, middle, or secondary aged students. You can also take on administrative roles with an online degree focused on teaching.

Kinds of Online Degrees:
Similar to any other field, there are lots of options available for you when it comes to online degrees. To start with, you can go for a bachelor’s degree in education. You can become a teacher in any college or university by earning this degree along with a certificate in teaching. Normally your college major will decide which subject you are going to teach. Once you have earned a bachelor’s degree in education, you can further go for a master’s degree in education. This degree can come in real handy for individuals who want to advance their career.

Different Areas in the Field of Education:
The education field consists of various specializations that include elementary education, early childhood education, administration, higher education, secondary education and middle school. Each of these specializations needs a specific educational qualification and certification for becoming a teacher. For example, it is mandatory for teachers to get a license from the state in which they are teaching.

Online Bachelor’s in Education:
To start a career in teaching, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree in Education. The course structure of this online degree program includes planning lessons, handling discipline related issues, psychology of learning and making sure that students do not face any problem in understanding concepts. You can earn between $25,000 and $30,000 as a first year teacher with an online bachelor’s degree in education.

Online Master’s in Teaching:
Certified teachers can attain promotions as well as pay raises with the help of online a master’s in teaching degree. Another good thing about this degree program is that it gives teachers more opportunities in private schools and universities. Upon graduation you can also enroll in a PhD in education degree program.

Schools Offering Online Education Degrees:

o Western Governors University: Regionally accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, Western Governors University offers Bachelor in Education, Masters in Teaching, Masters in Education, Higher Education, Secondary Education and Special Education.

o Ashford University: Regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, Ashford University offers Associate, Bachelor and Master degrees in teaching. Some of the programs conducted by Ashford University are Bachelor in Education, Masters in Teaching, Masters in Education, Masters in Teaching, Higher Education, Early Childhood Education, Secondary Education and Elementary Education.

o Grand Canyon University: Accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association, Grand Canyon University offers Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education in Secondary Education and Master of Education in Special Education.

The acquisition on an online degree in education can help individuals in acquiring better career opportunities and go for well-paying jobs. But before enrolling in an online college or university, you need to make sure that it is accredited.

Reinventing Educational Leadership

As the 21st century continues to unfold, the task of finding competent leaders to occupy positions of leadership in the educational arena continues to be a challenge not because of a lack of academically qualified leaders, but because of a lack of adaptive -competently qualified candidates. As such, many schools are under the leadership of leaders who lack the qualifications necessary to operate educational institutions in an era marked by rapid and constant change. If the educational scenery is to realize any meaningful change educational leadership should be reinvented. This paper identifies some of the challenges currently faced by the Education system. It looks at how these challenges may be addressed by reinventing educational leadership. The paper culminates with brief recommendations of how institutions of higher learning as well as stakeholders in the educational sector may reinvent the manner in which they prepare educational leaders -the end result not only academically-qualified, but also adaptive-competently qualified leaders who are able to perform in environments characterized by constant and rapid changes.

The educational environment in contemporary society is one in which change represents one of the very few constants. Cultural, social, political, technological and economical changes have resulted in a more diverse school populace since the genesis of education. With the advent of these changes, the educational sector is now faced with increased challenges. Challenges such as: low family literacy, increased poverty margins, a rise in dysfunctional families, and increased access to counter-productive information via internet. These challenges have seemingly created an uneven playing ground where students from all walks of life enter the education system being different, but by the time they exit, the barriers of differences should fade significantly, at least academically. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. An article by The National Association of Secondary School Principals “How do you reinvent a principal” highlights a number of effects these challenges have birthed: higher drop out rates, lower academic achievement and teacher attrition. The impact of the effects of these challenges on society is detrimental, as more students exit the educational system without the necessary qualifications to become positively contributing citizens to society.

As these changes and their impact are manifested in the educational environment, stakeholders are forced to raise their expectations from those in leadership positions within schools. Copeland in his article “The myth of a Super Principal” substantiates this point when he states that the expectations of leaders have increased significantly since the 1980’s (2001). The mandate of the No Child Left behind Act (NCLB) in 2001 solidified the prior statements as under the act leaders working in schools which were repeatedly classified as not meeting annual yearly progress (AYP) goals were relinquished of their positions. Incidentally, most of the leaders who were “relocated” were academically qualified for leadership positions, but lacked adaptive-competent qualification. Academically qualified leaders have successfully completed their years of training, by mastering the necessary dogma that was required. Adaptive-competent leaders are able to execute the theoretical skills practically and are able to assess new situations and appropriately modify their leadership style to suit the situation. As the educational scenery changes leadership should be reinvented if any measure of success is to be expected in erasing the effects of the challenges facing education.

The expectations of society have shaped and will continue to shape the roles of those in leadership positions. Educational leaders are now expected to be more than managers, creating rules and policies and maintaining the necessary paper work. They have to be more than disciplinarians, enforcing rules and policies and giving consequences in the event that rules and policies are broken. Leaders are expected to, amidst all the challenges they face, contribute to the increase in student achievement, cut drop out rates, and be a motivating force to their teachers. As the period of high stake testing takes root, no educational leader is exempt from these new demands. Institutions of higher learning as well as stakeholders within the educational arena must now ponder and quickly, how to prepare leaders to take on an educational system that must survive in these turbulent times, or face a future with yearly increase in the number of counter-productive students.

Educational leadership for this era demands a style of leadership that is fluid sufficiently to deal effectively with the challenges which will continue to bombard the academic world. This style of leadership should be entrenched in values, only then can an educational culture that is conducive to the invention of productive future citizens be realized. These values should encourage integrity in decision-making which will impact not only education, but stakeholders as well. A value-driven culture should produce leaders and followers who are willing to listen, and evaluate data before taking the steps to implement or act on the data. 21st century educational leadership should encourage collaborative team work within their organizations. This will permit staff members to feel a sense of self worth and subsequently self confidence as they work with their leaders to realize the necessary changes needed to counteract the challenges they face. Educational leaders should encourage staff-creativity, as they seek new ways to address new situations facing education. Far too often educators rely on the advice of those outside of the educational arena to provide techniques with which they may master the challenges they face. In order for staff members to maximize their creative potential leaders should create environments that facilitate and encourage employee creativity and innovative efforts. Encourage workshops sessions were brainstorm techniques as well as the random word technique or mind mapping is used to identify on going methods of providing a climate in which students are motivated to learn. The environment in question should prompt employees to enthusiastically participate decisions critical to the education process. This can be achieved if leaders create a culture that is conducive to open communication, where followers are able to participate by expressing their ideas without fear of ridicule.

Contemporary educational leaders should move away from a particular style, but should utilize different leadership styles as the situation warrants in order to effectively deal with the challenges they face. Any leadership style that lacks the flexibility to bend as the time changes will become an impediment to academic progress. Institutions of higher learning as well as stakeholders should prepare educational leaders to embrace new strategies of dealing with a new “generation” which will continue to metamorphosise as the time changes. As society grapple with the shortage of qualified educational leaders, institutions of higher learning need to provide adequate and on going professional development opportunities to qualify those seeking leadership positions in order to produce academically and adaptively-competently qualified leaders.

21st century educational leadership should be equipped to deal with the myriad changes bombarding society. As technology, culture, politics, economy, and social factors continue to modify the educational environment, academic-qualification, should no longer be the measuring stick by which leaders are prepared. The need to develop adaptive-competence becomes necessary. Only then can leadership be revolutionized to meet the demand of a changing school populace.

Psychology of Education

On the need for an individualistic educational psychology emphasizing on the central role of the learner

Education and psychology are related in more than just one way and the psychology of education could be related to educational principles in psychology or how education as a discipline is taught within psychology as a subject and how these two disciplines merge. This is primarily the focus of educational psychology which studies how human learning occurs, what ways of teaching are most effective, what different methods should be used to teach gifted or disabled children and how principles of psychology could help in the study of schools as social systems.

Psychological education would be completely focused on learning methods as structured or imparted according to psychological and individual needs of the students. Education would differ according to culture, values, attitudes, social systems, mindset and all these factors are important in the study of education in psychology.

Educational psychology is the application of psychological objectives within educational systems and psychological education as I distinguish here is application of educational objectives in psychological processes. The first focus of using psychology in education is more general and the second approach of using education in psychology is more individualistic. However as far as present study of educational approach to psychology is concerned, there is no difference between individualistic educational psychology and general educational psychology and all interrelationships between psychology and education are considered within the broad discipline of educational psychology.

However a distinction between the more general educational psychology and more specific psychological or individualistic education could help in understanding the nuances of individualistic study and give a subjective dimension to the study of psychology in education. This could also help in making learning systems more student based and according to the needs of culture, society, individual or personal factors. This sort of study with a focus on personal/psychological aspects of learning is not just about social objectives and objectives within educational systems but also about personal goals and objectives and the psychological processes involved in learning. There has to be a clearer demarcation between education in psychology as a general study and individualistic education in psychology as a more specific and subjective discipline.

As of now educational psychology encompasses a wide range of issues and topics including the use of technology and its relation to psychology, learning techniques and instructional design. It also considers the social, cognitive, behavioural dimensions of learning but it would be necessary to make education more personal and individualistic through a special branch with a psychological focus on education so that individual needs are considered. There could be two ways in which this branch of knowledge could evolve – either by strengthening psychological education or individualistic approach to the psychology of education or by having two distinct branches of general educational psychology and individualistic educational psychology.

As in client centered approach to psychology, a psychology of education should also include further research that would highlight the need for individualistic dimensions in learning. Learning psychology is the use of psychological theories for example that of Jean Piaget and Kohler in the study of learning techniques, especially among children. I have already discussed Piaget but briefly Piaget’s theory higlights different stages of learning in children and Kohler suggested that learning occurs by sudden comprehension or understanding, however I will not go further into learning theories here. Whereas the focus of educational psychology is on learning techniques per se and the role of the learner is considered only secondary, a branch of individualistic psychology in education could help in emphasizing the role of the learner considering not just their disabilities or giftedness but also their personality patterns. This focus on personality patterns brings out the central role of understanding psychology in educational systems.

Educational psychology studies both the personal approaches to education as in giftedness, disability, learning theories applied to children and adults, and the more general objective approaches to learning as the role of schools as social or cultural systems.

The psychology of education could include the following branches:

General Educational Psychology

1. Learning Systems – As studied from individualistic learning perspectives and generalized learning perspectives, a discussion of the different theories, practices and systems or techniques of learning is an integral part of educational psychology and especially central to general educational psychology.

2. Social Systems – The use of education in social, cultural and economic systems could be considered within the psychological context and this relates to the role of education in society.

Individualistic Educational Psychology

1. Learning Systems – Learning techniques and systems or methods will have to be in accordance with the needs of the children or adult participants and according to skills of the teachers. Needs vary according to personal traits and abilities and individual needs will have to be considered during the learning process.

2. Social Systems – Individual learning psychology will have to be studied according to specific social and cultural backgrounds of the learners and thus a more subjective study of learning approaches and centralized role of the individual in the learning process considering their social, cultural or intellectual background will have to be considered.

Burnout and Educators

As globalization and technology continue to change the way in which businesses function, the need for highly skilled workers possessing the ability to synthesize, analyze and communicate will be the litmus test separating successful from unsuccessful economies. Where does the US fall in light of this? Can the US produce sufficient highly skilled workers to meet the demands of an ever evolving society? If the 2010 results of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) is any indication then the US was found wanting.

The test results showed US students lagging behind many of their peers from other countries in core subject areas. This realization has once more invigorated the consistent intermittent debate surrounding quality education in US schools. In the aftermath of the report, the brainstorming sessions that follows will once more seek to unearth the impediments to the creation of a better education system. What will be discovered? An examination of prior measures unveiled to address the shortfalls of quality education to date, seems to focus consistently on educators as a causative element.

The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) (2002), as well as research which hints that a high quality teacher is the single most important factor that influences students academic performance give credence to the prior statement. These avenues which seek to focus on ways to increase academic achievement seem to hint that educators are the most critical element impacting the ability of students to perform academically. This conclusion has led to extreme pressures on educators to increase academic performances. These pressures while not new, for as Popham stated they existed prior to NCLB (2004) will increase in magnitude as the world continues to change. Can this continuous insistent pressure result in adverse effects for educators? What are the implications for the teaching and learning environment and invariably society?

Relentless pressure to perform in environments that are highly volatile is often conducive to burnout. This burnout is a nemesis to the creation of an education system that is capable of producing students equipped to deal with 21st century workplace challenges; skills which are critical to any country hoping to maintain or achieve a competitive advantage. Drucker makes this point when he coined the term “knowledge workers’ and highlighted their importance for the success of 21st century businesses. This paper examines the principles of rest and highlights the value of rest to educators operating in contemporary educational environments.

The paper pinpoints the challenges facing contemporary American education system which may inhibit rest and brings clarity to the dangers of burnout – a condition created by lack of rest. Leaders in education as well as stakeholders are provided with clear guidelines which may be used to prevent burnout and promote rest. The paper ends with a plea for education leaders to adhere to the necessity to rest in order to construct learning environments capable of creating students with the analytical, synthesizing and communication skills that are critical to ensuring the demands of contemporary and future organizations.

The day started with an Individualized Education Plan for one of my students. Once the meeting was finished I analyzed the results from the summative assessment for forty students from the previous day. I realized that fifteen of my students did not grasp some of the key concepts from the lesson and so I commenced planning intervention strategies. Two strategies had to be different to accommodate two of my students who needed modified assignments. This activity took almost fifty minutes and so I had just enough time to adjust my lesson plans for the day. It was now five minutes before the start of class and as I checked my calendar I realized that I had a meeting at the end of the day with teachers from my department. I made a note to myself, just before I leave for the meeting I must remember to call the parents of three of my students as they were not completing homework and had started acting up in class. As I jotted the note, I glanced at the other meetings and forms that needed attention by the end of the week. As the bell rang one teacher passed my door and as I smiled politely and asked “how are you;” she looked at me and stated “I am overwhelmed, there seems to be so much to do and with all these meetings I am quite frankly exhausted.”

Rest -the principle
“After God created Heaven and earth on the seventh day He rested (Genesis 2:2).” According to Botterweck, Ringgren & Fabry, this day, often recognized as the Sabbath stems from the word Sabat, symbolizing cessation from work (2004). Genesis 2 therefore set the precedence for mankind to take a break from work. As one journeys further into scriptures Hosea 10:12 “…fallow your ground…” when examined through Robbins Social Approach to understanding text represented a call for mankind to desist from their activity. While the verse may have held cultural implications for the Jews as they were farmers, the ramifications for mankind in contemporary society are no different. The principle demands that mankind be removed from the confines of work; that time be taken away from the everyday tasks.

The value of rest
The necessity for educators to rest is vital to the creation of effective teaching and learning environments. Outcalt (2005) believes that rest allows one to regain strength through the renewing of the mind. Rest is akin to the lubricant between two joints; it provides the conditions necessary for smooth operation without complications which may inhibit action. Rest is the indispensable ingredient that fosters motivation and drives creativity, without this ingredient motivation is stifled and the death of creativity fast-forwarded.

The value of rest and renewal to educators is critical to the creation of an effective and sustainable education system. As the world continues to evolve and the momentum of change accelerates, the pressure on educators to produce students who are academically proficient to manage the demands of the 21st century will continue to increase. This increased demand will force leaders and stakeholders to demand more from educators; a move which has the potential to drain educators physically, emotionally and spiritually as they work overtime to increase students’ performance. Maslach and Leither (1997) convincingly made similar points when they stated that the speed and rate at which organizations are bombarded with changes may result in leaders and followers becoming physically and emotionally exhausted. In a bid to meet these demands the possibility that workers will lose rest is likely and unfortunate. Without rest creativity is stifled, motivation becomes a fantasy, competence is sacrificed and mediocrity flourishes. These outcomes erode creativity, innovation, collegial relations and productivity, the end result is that rest is sacrificed and inefficiency is given room to grow.

In a society where change is a constant and stability is a pipe dream the need to be constantly moving to be in sync with societal changes has the propensity to hinder rest. Managers and employees are often driven to work harder and longer to avoid mergers, downsizing, acquisitions and restructurings. The same holds true for educators; as standardized tests show many students not meeting the proficiency bar; as drop-out rates climbs; as more students exercise their first amendment right to explain how entertainers make big bucks with little education and therefore education is not important; and as law makers continue to increase the pressure on educators to produce better quality students, the necessity for rest often becomes blurred. For many educators when the pace and workload become too hectic depression, anxiety and stress are only a few outcomes. Muller made similar arguments when he stated that in today’s world, with its unrelenting emphasis on achievement and efficiency it is possible to lose the essential rhythm of life and how best to create an equilibrium between work and rest (Muller, 2000).

In a world driven by competition, where only the best shapes an organizations competitive advantage, it is easy to overlook educators as people and not machines and it becomes easy to under-value the job they do. It is also very easy to target education systems as the place to make adjustments in order to address societal ills and its inability to produce only the best.

The onus placed on educators in the US to produce first class students in a constantly changing environment, creates an environment of high demands. These demands often unrealistic in nature (as education is by no means the sole responsibility of teachers) often result in stress and lethargy in the affected. Maslach and others (1997) succinctly made similar points when they stated that the burden placed on workers to increase productivity creates conditions that are conducive to burnout. Burnout takes away an individual’s vigor, promotes lethargy, and reduces motivation and efficacy. Such end results negatively affects individuals ability to perform and thereby subtracts from any efforts to maintain or promote long term sustainable achievements.

The foundation of burnout

Burnout according to Maslach et.al (1997) is a symbol of foremost failure of the organization to function normally, which is associated more to the state of mind of the organization rather than its followers. It may manifest itself in detachment, disinterest, hopelessness and de-motivation. According to Maslach et.al (1997) these expressions are damaging to the individual on a personal as well as on a professional level. On a personal level, stress, health issues and anxiety are some of the end results. These personal afflictions spill over into the professional life and slowly drain the individual’s ability to function at their fullest potential.

Burnout incapacitates the ability to think; to be innovative in coming up with new ideas; it limits creativity. It increases workers attrition which may show itself in increased absenteeism, distractions, loss of vigor. Follower’s dedication diminishes and efficiency may ultimately suffer.

Eradicating Burnout
To prevent burnout Halgesen (2001) calls for both leaders and followers to create an environment of partnership where parties recognize the value of each other. Maslach, et.al (1997) support this hypothesis when they call for organizations to ensure that they develop values clarification which they define as the expression of personal values and shared values resulting in the endorsed values by the organization (p. 133).

According to Maslach and Leiter building engagement with work is the solution to burnout. To this extent they noted some factors which if addressed will help to minimize or eliminate burnout.

• Sustainable workload: As 2011 budget debates begin, the need to cut budget for education is once more on the table. The teaching staff and support staff for many schools will once more be targeted. Leaders need to recognize that by removing well needed staff especially in failing schools, they are creating additional pressures on teachers. Evans (2001) posited that the continuous involvement of teachers in their work can lead to burnout; too much work has the ability to compound the situation. While teachers are afforded a long summer break, is it possible to shorten the summer break and distribute “rest days” evenly throughout the semester?

• Feelings of choice and control: Policy makers need to ensure that any policy created to promote academic achievement should give educators the impression that their voice counts and that they have control over aspects of the teaching and learning environment that counts.

• Recognition and reward: High quality education is a definitive factor that favors countries with a competitive advantage. This quality education if often accessed through educators, yet education is arguably one of the lowest paying professions. What can be done to change this?

• Fairness, respect and justice: As the debates continue to find the qualities to define quality teachers, the impetus to align pay with performance may be a
tempting morsel. This morsel should be discarded on two accounts. The first is that research against extrinsic motivation hints at the negative effects of this manner of getting results. Secondly, in an era when Learning communities are expected to be sharing medium where teachers utilize best practice from these sessions; how many teachers will be willing to share their best practices?