“I’m already an education thought leader,” said an educator recently. Often, there is a disconnection between possessing advanced educational degrees and teaching experience versus creating a body of work that transforms the field of education or other professions.
The disconnection largely encompasses how educators view themselves contrary to how colleagues view them. To truly become an education thought leader requires a different kind of work than most educators typically engage in. Besides the daily responsibility of teaching, parental and administrative meetings, and curriculum development, what are educators doing that bill them as education thought leaders?
In every profession, there will be those who participate at the level that qualifies them as competent, excellent or remarkable.
Embodying education thought leadership requires remarkable work. Here are few suggestions to begin developing remarkable education thought leadership.
1. Create or adopt a critical thinking model that leads to resolving an industry problem. In a commerce-driven society, educators must show students how to dissect problems, develop solutions through established benchmarks, analyze best practices and create intellectual property from solutions.
2. Use audio, textual and visual platforms to build intellectual property.
3. Use social media sites like LinkedIn to build e-portfolios that attract potential clients, recruiters and decision-makers that value your analysis and insight.
4. Curate the work of other experts within your niche. All too often, educators may become too self-centered by not sharing the work of others making similar contributions. Attaching your viewpoint to that of respected authorities helps you establish education thought leadership at a deeper level.
5. Consistently look for new innovations and angles to attract a greater following.
With the emergence of artificial intelligence, and the commoditization of education reform, educators who want to become real change-agents, must think and work differently than in the past. The next generation of thought leaders, scholars and intellects are depending on it.
Edward Brown, M.S.