From the Dean
In the winter issue of the Reflector, we examined “the embattled teacher” and the challenges faced both by current teachers and those who aspire to enter the profession. But although they are a critical factor for student success, teachers are not the only factor. In schools as a whole, it is up to principals to establish a vision for academic achievement and to create environments that foster learning. Principals hire and develop great teachers, ensure that instruction is relevant and rigorous, and manage processes with an eye toward continuous improvement. This issue of the Reflector takes a closer look at principals and highlights the research and training being conducted by members of the Peabody College faculty.
One trait that principals will affirm is needed in a successful school is a steady focus on students. Principals and teachers alike must establish relationships with students characterized by care, cooperation and clear communication. Students thrive when they know that those charged with their educations are genuinely committed to their well-being and advancement.
In the best of situations, students return others’ investment in their educations by investing themselves. At Peabody, students like undergraduate Ashley Krueger and graduate students Greg Aikens, Shaka Dickerson and Ellen Zambetti are emblematic of the abundance of Peabody students who not only are talented and high achieving, but who are deeply engaged with fostering the well-being of others.
We have every reason to think that amazing students like these and others will go on to become leaders in their fields, whether it be education or in other organizational and even for-profit settings. Our new master’s degree program in Leadership and Organizational Performance, which also is described in this issue, is intended to prepare graduates who can move all types of organizations forward.
Camilla P. Benbow
Patricia and Rodes Hart Dean of Education and Human Development