Tuesday, December 28, 2004
A jazz group - a metaphor for a creative school.
Jazz group as a metaphor
In an earlier web log I suggested the conductor as a metaphor for school leadership. To a degree it is good one but like most metaphors it can only be pushed so far and could be seen as a form of manipulation - the various members playing their part as arranged by the conductor and the composer. The creativity lying within the interpretation.
A jazz group is far more creative, particularly when improvising or jamming around. The group selects a tune and each member adds their contribution when and how they like - the others accommodating or extending each persons contribution. The results can not be predicted but all members have faith in each other do whatever they need to do. And no performance will be exactly the same.
In this respect this is similar to a creative principal who develops a learning environment in concert with all involved and, when there is agreement, everyone is expected to do their best to work to achieve the school vision. Different people will emerge as leaders depending on the circumstances. The 'leader' or principal need to not only create a 'high trust' organization, clear about it's purpose but have faith in the integrity of each staff member.
The same metaphor can be extended to the creative classroom teacher.
In education too many principals and teachers are playing the piper to someone else's tune!
For information on metaphors in education visit Judy Yero's excellent website