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For the Love of Learning: Rethinking School Leadership

5. The best leaders don't value what they measure -- they measure what they value. In their book Professional Capital: Transforming teaching in every school, Andy Hargreaves and Micheal Fullen layout how, "great schools are made up of three kinds of capital: human capital (the talent of individuals); social capital (the collaborative power of the group); and decisional capital (the wisdom and expertise to make sound judgements about learners that are cultivated over many years".

I found this written on my whiteboard
on the last day of school. 

At the end of this school year, my grade 6 students wrote Provincial Achievement Tests. Their multiple choice scantrons were promptly shipped off to our provincial capital to be counted.

At the end of this school year, I found this message on my whiteboard that counted formally and officially for nothing -- but meant everything to me and to that student. Good leaders would care about this emotionally intelligent piece of data at least as much, if not more, than spreadsheet-friendly test scores. Albert Einstein said it all, " Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts".

Such a nuanced approach requires us to temper, if not abandon, our mania for reducing learning and teaching to numbers. While so many forces work to sterilize and standardize our schools, Hargreaves and Fullen lead the way to humanize education.

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Joe Bower

Joe Bower teaches in Alberta, Canada.