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Education and Academic Support / Leadership & Mentorship

Online Leadership and Management Program for K-12 School Leaders

The foundation has increasingly focused on school principal leadership development through a variety of mentoring, coaching, and other principal preparation models. In 2016, the foundation provided start-up funding to the Harvard Business School (HBS), the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE), and HBX to collaborate in designing, developing, and delivering an Online Leadership and Management Program for K-12 School Leaders. It addresses a school leadership deficit that can be mitigated by bringing a high-quality, scalable professional development experience to the market. This program is catalytic for the field in that it aims to serve as the foundation for the development of future online leadership and management programs. The new program will integrate the research and teaching of the HBS, HGSE, and other Harvard faculty and will be delivered on the innovative HBX online platform. The platform, with initial offerings including the “Credential of Readiness (CORe),” enables the proven-effective inductive teaching method and supports a highly-engaged learner experience that includes guided peer interaction.

Peer learning will be an integral element of the program. As demonstrated on the HBX platform through CORe, the program will cultivate a learning community that will be particularly valuable for principals, who generally work in isolation. Unlike the communications tools in many online programs, which often resemble traditional bulletin boards with jumbled questions and answers, the HBX platform enables student interaction in the context of a particular module. For example, a participant will be able to click on a “peer help” feature that will display only the questions and answers related to where he/she is in the course. Since new content is revealed to participants only as prior content has been completed, participants cannot see the peer help discussions for content they have yet to reach, preserving the impact of inductive learning.