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A file produced jointly by École branchée and Education hub.

A file intended for school administrators, which suggests avenues for establishing a coherent working framework for teachers and students alike, taking into account the expectations formulated by society and the aspirations of young people.

For almost a decade, there has been strong pressure on teachers to update their teaching approaches. In addition, they are asked to differentiate their approaches to students, to integrate technologies, to see to their professional development on a continuous basis, etc. However, shouldn't the school's organizational structures provide them with fertile ground to practice? This is exactly why the school administration has a primordial role to play in the school: to allow other education professionals who work closest to the students to flourish, but also to see to the development. skills from 21e century in the latter.

To do this, the directors must establish a coherent working framework for these professionals, but also for the students. This framework must also take into account the expectations formulated by society as well as the aspirations of our young learners.

This is what we suggest you think about in the context of a file intended for school administrators: how to run a school at 21e century? It will identify practices that are essential to help resolve the issues that emerge in this century and ultimately ensure that students can do the same and thus develop the tools necessary to flourish and update. their potential.


The subtle art of being useless
The growth mindset ... for professionals
In praise of complexity as an antidote to routine
Put an end to the impression of time passing too quickly
Initially continuous training
These tribes that we lead
The archetypes of leadership
Transformational leadership
The conclusion

The subtle art of being useless

We chat: what if becoming useless is the best thing a school leader can do? First part of our file intended for school administrators.

If there is one thing that inspires everyone in the world of education, it is certainly the feeling of being useful to something, to someone. Indeed, what is nobler than helping to prepare a young person for his future life? Is there anything more rewarding than feeling useful in this great adventure of educating a human? And for school administrators, the feeling of being useful to school staff is just as important.

Now, come to think of it, success lies in its opposite: how, as a school principal (or as a teacher), can I be “useless”? Funny question you say? Let's explore the foundations!

Often the management mindset is that everything is approved or seen by the relevant management before projects are completed. And this is true in almost all fields of activity, from school to business to public services. Obviously, it is a question of accountability and the leader has the obligation to supervise the projects under his responsibility. However, beyond these essential imperatives, so many people seek to make their function essential to the success of a project. Is this a way to justify their usefulness to the company? Possibly. However, for the leaders of these organizations, it is possible to see things differently.

And it is here that "becoming useless" is to be considered. You read correctly! For my part, I try to ensure that my colleagues can do without me. Hard to believe? In fact, this allows me to serve my school other than through the service I usually provide. In short, I'm trying to get out of my famous job description which, for me, represents the bare minimum of things I have to do (and not the maximum). It allows me to imagine something else for our school and to continue to explore to move it forward to places few schools venture. This allows me to keep a watch and monitor what is happening in the Canadian, American and European schools, as well as in our own network.

My goal is to empower people around me. I want them to have a free hand in the decisions they have to make and to know the direction given to them. I also want them to know what I do for a job and to know the answers to frequently asked questions. In this way, the need to consult me decreases. It's kind of the basis of transformational leadership, a concept that relies more on trust in your work team rather than your ability to multiply and accomplish countless tasks.

I am therefore not trying to make my functions a private preserve. On the contrary, knowing that no one is irreplaceable in their professional life, it is in the best interest of our school that I open the ledger of my duties, which will help make my colleagues (and even the students and their parents) independent in their use of my services.

Obviously, beyond the accountability of the people who are under our authority, there is the whole aspect relating to the training of the members of these work teams. Mentoring, professional development activities and the good flow of information appear to be essential.

It is when things almost do themselves that we really become useful. In short, it is when we succeed in "being of no use" that our usefulness is at its peak! And this newly created space undoubtedly helps guide our school through the challenges posed by the 21e century and see that it thrives, for the benefit of the students and in respect of the educational project.

Examples of files often put aside for lack of time

  1. Revamp documents and update them so that they reflect the new concerns of the school clientele: rules of conduct, local evaluation policy, procedures, etc .;
  2. Lead committees, particularly those with an educational vocation;
  3. Assume leadership and some educational facilitation;
  4. Exercising an educational and digital watch: what is being done elsewhere? What are the academic research findings that are relevant to my team and to me?
  5. Support teachers in their professional development;
  6. Sit down and chat with the students;
  7. Take the time to interact with parents on a regular basis;
  8. See to their own professional development;
  9. Etc.

Alain Beaudot wrote, as early as 1969 (p. 52), that "pedagogy consists in ensuring that the one on which it is exercised ends up by doing without the one who exercises it". It is the need to ensure that we no longer become essential. Probably in an impulse of professional development, the teachers want to perpetuate their useful link with the students while they must work to make them autonomous in the sense that, for example, the latter must engage in their process of learning, conduct their own research process, get involved in knowledge transfer, etc. This is true for the students vis-à-vis their teacher, it is also true for the professionals who are at work in the school and who work in collegiality with the administration.

Be “useless” and help move your school forward. This is your challenge this school year. After all, to paraphrase Tina Fey, a well-known actress in the United States, the principle is simple: hire the right people and give them all the space they need to do what they were hired to do!


- Beaudot, A. (1969). Creativity at school. Paris: University Press of France.


The growth mindset ... for professionals

Renowned psychologist and Stanford University professor Carol Dweck believes that personal and professional skills should be seen as dynamic and constantly in need of improvement. It's a concept better known as the “growth mindset”. A mentality is a preconception that we have of ourselves (whether consciously or not) and which concerns who we are and what we can accomplish, both professionally and personally. Dweck claims that this mindset influences our ability to learn and develop skills, relate to others, and achieve some level of professional success. The growth mindset, also called the “growth mindset” by the author of the theory, is therefore the belief that any personal ability can be developed through a good work ethic, some resilience and, above all, a predisposition to learn throughout life.

At its opposite is the fixed mindset, where people think that their qualities, talents, and intelligence are predetermined and limited and that they cannot evolve. In other words, if we relate it to the school level, the psychologist's research indicates that both students and their teachers maintain the perception that there are people "who have it or who do not have it", and that nothing does not exist. can change that.

An example of a fixed mentality in education would be a teacher who explains a student's failure by his previous academic progress: “Stéphane has always had difficulty in mathematics. He failed in Secondary 1 and 2. It makes sense that he should be in third as well ”.

In short, in education, all students can succeed and intelligence is not enough to determine who succeeds or fails in a course. Motivation comes into play, along with work ethic and several other parameters.

“(…) More and more research (Dweck, 2010; Duckworth, Matthews, Kelly and Peterson, 2007; Tough, 2014) shows that non-academic skills in the intra-personal domain include attitudes such as perseverance, courage steadfastness, and a growth mindset, are closely related to a human's ability to overcome difficulties and be successful in the long run. "

- Ontario Ministry of Education, 2016, p.14

In the same way :

“According to researchers and education leaders, metacognition and a growth mindset (including self-regulation and ethical and emotional awareness), while still important, are even more important in a connected environment. and global which involves knowing how to communicate, work and learn with various groups and teams around the world. "

- Ontario Ministry of Education, 2016, p.16

… And for the teacher?

There is therefore no predeterminism or geneticism linked to success. It is the question of mentality and the importance of interpersonal skills (better known as “soft skills” anglicism) that is essential. Education professionals, whether teachers or principals, must embrace this vision if they, in turn, want to instill it in students.

From a professional point of view in education, the teacher must himself adopt a learner posture to perfect his knowledge and professional skills in order to develop his own practice and, by the same token, his entire profession. . This will make it possible, indirectly, to contribute positively to the learning process of the students placed under its responsibility.

If there is one area that requires constant updating of professional practices in the 21st century, it is education. Scientific breakthroughs are now accessible to everyone, including parents, and they must be put into practice quickly to ensure the success of the greatest number of students.

… And for management?

The growth mentality is particularly important since it allows management and everyone else to ensure that knowledge and practices are kept up to date. The opposite can be dangerous: a fixed mindset would lead to a stagnation of knowledge and skills and eventually lead to a shift in knowledge and practices. This has a direct impact on the progress of the school as a whole: disuse of policies, mission, educational project, etc.

The school is by definition a learning organization, which is constantly renewing itself. For this, each of its stakeholders must be willing to learn from others, but also be engaged in a continuous training process.

Benjamin Barber, a prominent American sociologist, said in 1992: “I do not divide the world between the weak and the strong, or between successes and failures. I divide the world between learners and non-learners ”.


- Barber, B. (1992). Benjamin Barber. The Reader's digest. 140(837-842).
- Dweck, CS (2006). Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. New York: Random House.
- Ontario Ministry of Education. (2016). Define the skills of the 21e century for Ontario. 21st century skills. Discussion paper. Online.

In praise of complexity as an antidote to routine

The western school of 21e century is certainly a place where professional autonomy collides. One thinks mainly of the possible friction between teachers and members of the administration. But more and more, other autonomies are appearing in the school landscape: that of parents, that of health professionals, those coming from the legal world, etc. They add their expertise and help explain several parallel dimensions that revolve around the student's learning process: mental health, parental divorce, demotivation, intimidation, etc. In short, the educational relationship in the school environment is becoming more complex and this shock of professional autonomy clearly reflects this reality.

Although it is difficult to accept that orientations or considerations are imposed by someone from outside the school environment, what matters is to understand that the complexity of judgments, actions and decisions does not are equaled by the complexity of the young people placed under the responsibility of the school. This complexity is to be tamed. Today, more than ever, education recognizes and values diversity as a tool for developing individuality in students and even as emancipation.

Discouraged? It's normal!

Peter Senge, in his “Fifth Discipline”, wisely reminds us that we have to be patient and that cultural changes take place in depth and not on the surface. They take time not only to operate, but above all to show the results. To quote a former Nobel Prize for Literature, the Russian dissident writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn, "Human nature, if it evolves, it is hardly faster than the geological profile of the Earth".

Are you sometimes discouraged? Do you have the feeling that this complexity is slow to be recognized in your community? Precisely, “systems thinking is intended to be an antidote to these discouraging reactions (Senge, 2016, p. 72)” which arise when too much attention is paid to isolated elements and not to the dynamic interrelationships of the changing system.

These details that drive our professional activities

And these isolated elements, we give them much (too much?) Importance. The problem is that these elements are in fact symptoms of intense underlying systemic activity that remains invisible to the eye and they are the basis of much of our daily professional activity.

In education, the routine is well established: we teach the same thing at the same time every year, despite the fact that our students change from one year to another and that the needs vary. This diversification, catalyzed by the recognition of the importance of educational differentiation, means that we often have to start over from one year to the next and change our educational approaches according to the students present in our classes.

There is no identical solution for all problems and, very often, these problems are challenges that span, for a teacher (or a principal), over a full school year, and sometimes more. Also, this routine is actually a copy of what we were doing last year on this date, which implies that we not only reproduce the good moves, but also the problems. In a system, according to Senge (2016), problems often arise from "solutions already provided in the past" (p. 61). This is one reason that explains the growing interest in developing skills in the 21e century to develop among students and also among professionals who supervise them. It is illogical to claim that a school system with several attributes dating back to the 17the century (Gauthier, Bissonnette and Richard, 2013, p. 35), are still considered to be valid solutions for young people born almost half a millennium later.

Finally, when we talk about a system, we must not forget that we are all part of it and that it is itself made up of dozens of systems whose components are variable and not necessarily present in the classroom. This includes colleagues, but also parents and other stakeholders.


- Gauthier, C., Bissonnette, S., Richard, M. (2013). Explicit teaching and student success: learning management. Saint-Laurent: ERPI.
- Senge, P. (2016). The fifth discipline: collective innovation in learning organizations. Paris: Eyrolles.

Put an end to the impression of time passing too quickly

This human reflex firmly anchored in the 21e century, that of instantaneity, is possibly increased by the advent of digital technologies in our lives, while the resulting issues, partly for the same reasons, are becoming more complex. Indeed, some observers believe that technology encourages instantaneity and exacerbates the problems already present in education. Fortunately, as Peter Senge writes, “This is in part a consequence of technology and the emergence of new large information and communication networks which allow us to think and act with greater awareness. ecosystems ””. Technology would therefore be both the problem and a good part of the solution.

From the reflex of experience to the reflex in action

Beyond technology and immediacy, there is the sense of urgency where education professionals let themselves be invaded by the whirlwind of various situations to quickly tick off their to-do list. or again, to settle the unforeseen which monopolizes the organization of time. It is as if everyone lost control of time and what arises in it during everyday life. We only give ourselves rare breaks to reflect on our past professional decisions as the ten months of the school year go by. Senge (2016) reminds us that we must take the time to reflect on our practice by engaging in “reflective conversations” (p. XIX).

Moreover, if we want teachers to take the time to reflect and dialogue in this regard, their directors must certainly be able to take the time to do so. This reflection, dialogue or not, allows to develop a reflex in action so that intelligence precedes consciousness, that is to say that the professional reflex makes it possible to act in a reflective manner in the heat of the action of a given problematic situation. This makes it possible to go beyond the "first degree", that of experience. To learn by and in the action or to solve a problem in an effective way to situate it in a framework of learning of “second degree” calls for an approach of analysis situated in a mental framework.

In short, the reflex of experience in education is no longer enough to make professionals aware of the complexity in which they evolve with their students. If the reflective process and metacognition are key elements for the pupils, the same goes for the professionals who supervise them in this school adventure.

The role of management

The role of management is to put in place mechanisms allowing the development of reflective thinking. This can be done in various ways within the framework of educational support by management or by peers. It is a question of allowing the teacher to verbalize the reasons for which he made a decision or exercised his judgment within the framework of the piloting of a pedagogical activity which was the subject of an observation. For example, we are seeing the birth of “educational rounds” or “instructional rounds” in certain American schools; these are practices imported from medicine where teachers come together in small groups to solve a problem that is common to them. In this specific example, the administration could act on the organizational structure of the school and thus ensure that these gatherings of teachers can take place.

Also, organizing continuing education activities is a great way to allow all staff members to stop and reflect on their practice by learning more from their colleagues or from research conducted by academics. Once again, it is up to the principal to ensure that the school organizational framework can be flexible in order to create these opportunities.

Senge (2016) calls this “the essential learning skills of a team” (p. XIX), which can be explained by the clarification of aspirations, the initiation of reflective conversations and the understanding of complexity. Complexity in education is therefore a golden pretext that allows professionals to surpass themselves and evolve in a dynamic system that is constantly in motion.


- Senge, P. (2016). The fifth discipline: collective innovation in learning organizations. Paris: Eyrolles.

Initially continuous training

One of the main peculiarities of running a school (in Quebec, at least) is that initial “conventional” undergraduate training simply does not exist. The majority of management staff were initially trained as teachers since a bachelor's degree in school administration or in education management does not exist. Those who take the leap into this profession basically learn it in three ways:

  1. through post-graduate training;
  2. through various less formal continuing education activities;
  3. thanks to the support of mentors or a “tribe” (see next chapter).

A bit like it is the case for teachers, in-service training is essential for school administrators if the latter wishes to anchor their professional practices in the current century and adapt them to the needs of students, parents and teachers.

In a sense, we are making the leap in the direction of continuing education. We start from the combination of experience and teacher training to add training which is, in fact, initial management training, which is offered at the second cycle by universities.

This university training is however insufficient: it is essential to continue its training process thanks to informal activities which come under administrative, pedagogical and pedagogical monitoring. It is therefore essential to read specialized books, participate in learning communities, take part in conferences or other types of training, etc. This not only allows you to stay up to date in legal, psychological, sociological, educational and other fields, but also to take avant-garde positions that will allow you to better situate your school in the face of the challenges that loom on the horizon.

In addition, it is important that this monitoring is not carried out only at the local or regional level. A national watch allows us to better understand the challenges of other provinces, such as Alberta and Ontario, and to see how they are going to meet them. The same goes for the international. What is happening on the school scene in the United States? Elsewhere in the Francophonie? In countries with prominent school systems like Finland, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea? Keeping an eye on the best performing education systems in the world provides the best growth opportunities for our schools.

What matters is simple: the profession of school management must be the subject of perpetual renewal. This allows you to explore new horizons and build a different, exceptional and unique school.

These tribes that we lead

There is something complex and mysterious about leadership that researchers in all disciplines struggle to explain scientifically. There is certainly a magnetism which is exerted by the ones on the others, which is often explained by personality traits. This, to say the least, subjective perspective explains why leaders are never unanimous. This natural tendency to be attracted to leaders is not universal and it differs between individuals. For example, Elon Musk (Tesla) is often cited as an outstanding leader, while some will never follow him. Steve Jobs (Apple), recognized as one of the greatest leaders of the last thirty years, was not unanimous either: while some admired him, others denounced his autocratic and ruthless management style.

This could be explained by the need that the individual feels to want to believe in someone and be affiliated with a movement, with a group. Human beings cannot resist this need to belong to something greater than themselves. This would explain the political, religious, civic movements, etc.

Regardless, all humans are drawn to leaders, and each of these leaders brings people together. Seth Godin calls these gatherings “tribes”. In other words, countless tribes exist: where there is a leader, there is a tribe. These tribes weave a complex and deep web:

- they can be made up of several leaders;
- leaders can lead several tribes;
- several leaders can be followed at the same time;
- following a natural cycle, tribes are formed, others are undone.

Beyond the complexity of the web, one very simple thing remains: there can be no tribe without a leader and a leader does not exist without his tribe.

The power is in the "followers"

While one would be tempted to believe that the “followers” are obsessed with the influence of their leader, it is rather they who create the movement. They are the ones who make the leader. It is those who agree to follow someone or something that give him the legitimacy to lead the tribe.

Leaders have always been the ones we have followed for their innovative ideas. Thus, becoming a leader requires a good dose of courage. However, being among the first to follow a leader is an even more meaningful act. Indeed, the first leaders of a cause or an idea are often passed off as oddballs, while the “followers” are those who end up giving shape to the tribe. This is why the power of "followers" should not be underestimated. If they give meaning to the leader's work, they can also do the opposite and undermine his approach by withdrawing their support.

How to lead your tribe?

A question is essential when transposing everything to the school environment: "as an educational leader, how do you lead your tribe"? Among the myriad factors, there are three that are particularly important.

Initially, the members of a school “tribe” are not only colleagues at work, but also students and parents. They need to trust and be willing to learn from management. The leader must assume his role in a benevolent way by having the best interests of everyone at heart. However, as the quote Dan Rockwell (2016), author, consultant and self-proclaimed leadership coach, “Good intentions don't compensate for lousy leadership”. Leadership is an accelerator as it can be an important brake since the characteristics in question can serve the positive leader as well as the negative leader. This is an excellent observation that lifts the veil on one more element to consider in a definition of leadership in schools: we want it to be positive.

In addition, given the power of “followers”, the leader must find ways to reach them through various effective communication channels. Obviously, education being a fundamentally human adventure, this communication requires a constant presence and exchanges in situ, in the field.

Finally, we must remain relevant. What ideas do you have and above all, how do you know how to put them into practice? It is the responsibility of the management to disturb the tranquility of the professional environment. Indeed, a movement and an innovative direction cannot be done without disturbing the immediate entourage.

In short, leadership is not a question of "position" or position in a school, but a question of influencing others.


- Godin, S. (2008). Tribes: we need you to lead us. New York, Portfolio.
- Rockwell, D. (2016). Good intentions don't compensate for lousy leadership. Retrieved on May 9, 2016, from

The archetypes of leadership

As stated in the previous text, leadership is a complex concept. This makes it extremely difficult to define it consistently. There are between 180 and 350 definitions of leadership, according to the authors. Each of these definitions relates to the context in which it takes shape and it illustrates how, for example, the artistic aspect is as important as the scientific aspect. What matters is to go beyond the simple anecdotal aspect sometimes found in the first manifestations of the study of the phenomenon of leadership: the theory of great men and the approach by personality traits. The first relates to the belief that people are born with qualities that will change the course of history. It is, in a way, a question of biological determinism. The second, for its part, is based on the personality traits of humans which, thanks to these, distinguish them from so-called "followers". Today, research allows us to conclude that leadership is a social phenomenon that goes far beyond the person of the leader.

Also, we cannot deny the importance of interpersonal skills in the question of leadership. Two individuals who say the same thing, who do the same thing in the same context, do not necessarily achieve the same result.

We cannot claim either that flair, charisma and interpersonal skills are sufficient to support the emergence of leadership in schools. We therefore need more than personal characteristics or socially accepted behaviors in order to hope to exercise lasting leadership with the stakeholders in a school.

Without knowing the universal foundations of leadership or being able to define the concept precisely, many engage in taxonomic exercises. That of Peter Fuda (2016) is based on Manfred Kets de Vries (2013), of the European Institute of Business Administration, who distinguishes eight archetypes which are in fact roles played by leaders:

  1. The strategist, one who approaches leadership in a strategic way thanks to a faculty of analysis and vision inscribed in a time interval;
  2. The change agent, the one who takes advantage of his position to initiate any reform or repositioning;
  3. The broker, the one who likes to negotiate agreements;
  4. The innovator, the one who takes advantage of complex situations to develop light projects;
  5. The entrepreneur, one who uses various challenges to promote the company, its employees or the ideas generated;
  6. The processor, the one who sees to accomplish prescribed tasks in a well-oiled system;
  7. The coach, the one who knows how to bring out the best of each employee thanks to the quality of the relationship uniting them;
  8. The communicator, the one who knows how to distribute the information necessary to allow the accomplishment of tasks smoothly.

Come to think of it, these categories could suggest that leaders must be confined to one or the other of these roles, when it is the opposite: a leader can play some of these roles, but not play all of them. . Also, it can play other roles which are not found in the taxonomic exercise of Kets de Vries.

Eleven essential skills of the school leader in the 21st century

In these times when the roles of teachers, students and parents are constantly changing, it goes without saying that those of management are changing accordingly. Here are some important skills to develop and maintain in a school setting today:

    1. He knows how to manage complexity and encourage practices focused on educational differentiation and all forms of diversity;
    1. Faced with this complexity, it is both tenacious and resilient;
    1. He is tolerant of ambiguity in understanding that education is in fact a mosaic of nuances;
    1. Not only does he show creativity in tackling complex issues, but in addition, he shows co-creativity in tackling them with the members of his team;
    1. It collaborates with all stakeholders in the school environment, ranging from teachers to parents, including the community and, of course, the students. He also knows how to establish winning conditions to promote this collaboration between these actors;
    1. He deploys a systemic vision of his profession. He has a large-scale vision, because he knows full well that everything is interrelated and that the forces which move the school on a daily basis do not exist separately;
    1. He exercises a reflective practice which aims to enlighten the framework on the best practices resulting from experience or evidence;
    1. He is committed to a process of continuous training and professional development;
    1. He is involved in learning communities which form a supportive network;
    1. He knows how to use diplomacy and interpersonal skills, with an ability to play down various situations which are, most of the time, swollen with emotion. He must also know how to say "yes" and have the courage to say "no" in front of an entourage who always asks for more;
  1. He possesses and develops his mentality of growth which is, not only a flame to guide his own practice, but to frame that of others, starting with that of the students.

Obviously, the list could be expanded. However, this is a good start not only to manage a school in the 21st century, but to inspire the actors of the school world to exercise their own profession or their own role in order to inspire the pupils in turn.


    • Fuda, P. (2016). Leadership transformed: how ordinary managers become extraordinary leaders. Las Vegas, Amazon Publishing.
  • Senge, P. (2016). The fifth discipline: collective innovation in learning organizations. Paris: Eyrolles.

Transformational leadership

It has already been written that leadership is a complex phenomenon, difficult to grasp, to define. He expresses himself in action where he lets a certain expertise transcend behaviors and attitudes in complex situations likely to bring a gain in credibility. These behaviors and attitudes are shaped by experience, on the one hand, but also by the growth mindset (as seen in Chapter 2). In short, the leader is a perpetual learner and he takes advantage of the complex situations in which he is immersed, sometimes despite himself, to make experiences that mark his leadership.

Leadership is nothing fixed. It's not a “you have it or you don't”; it is a given and it is shaped through experience. The good leader germinates new attitudes in others so that they in turn build their own experience. It is in this sense that we speak of transformational leadership. The leader transforms, of course, but he also transforms others and the institution in which he operates. Its action in education is based on the importance of allowing other actors to exercise their own leadership and to put it at the service of the school. Inspired by Leithwood (1994, 2000), cited by Stewart (2006), here are seven dimensions of transformational leadership in education:

  1. Building an institutional vision and setting goals for leaders to meet helps build buy-in and define expectations. This vision is shared with the team that will be hard at work to give it shape.
  2. Fostering intellectual stimulation encourages a process of professional development and, in a certain sense, helps to ensure that colleagues all benefit from said stimulation.
  3. Offering individual support makes it possible to reach each person personally in order to recognize their individuality and their contribution to the institutional mission.
  4. Embodying institutional and organizational values implies that the “chops and boots” of leaders follow one another.
  5. Specifying the high expectations of professional practices encourages everyone to surpass themselves and evolve in their practice, one school year after another.
  6. Create and nurture a culture of innovation in the school by supporting those who innovate and those who wish to do so through various material, organizational, human and financial resources.
  7.  Develop consultation structures in the community in order to promote the contribution of each and establish a culture of transparency.

These dimensions make it possible to emphasize a leadership which generates innovation and collective adhesion to an ideal which takes the form, at least in the school world, of the educational project of the school.

Transformational leadership takes an altruistic form as it encourages staff to look beyond their own best interests to that of others. We are therefore talking about transforming oneself in order to aspire to transform one's school in order, ultimately, to educate the young people who attend it. Beyond altruism, individual considerations are also satisfied since by the power of the contribution of the individual to the collective cause, the gains are palpable for the latter: professional development, improvement of expertise, job satisfaction. , recognition, professional autonomy and latitude, professional support, etc.

All this emphasizes the vision that must be established in the school environment and which may, at times, be lacking in our schools. The relational aspect is therefore inseparable from this type of leadership. Confidence in one's leader is essential and it is observed that his charisma is often emphasized in broad strokes.

It is therefore a question of letting oneself be pushed by the involvement of one's colleagues instead of striving to constantly try to pull them up. It is a question of mobilization and sharing of leadership which is at the center of the transformational approach.


    • Fuda, P. (2016). Leadership transformed: how ordinary managers become extraordinary leaders. Las Vegas, Amazon Publishing.
  • Stewart, J. (2006). Transformational leadership: An evolving conception examined through the works of Burns, Bass, Avolio and Leithwood. Canadian journal of educational administration and policy, (54), 1-29.

The conclusion

Many believe that for Quebec schools to continue their development in the 21st century, teachers must invest in their professional development and continuing education. This is not wrong, but in order to do this they need support. And those who must offer them this support are inevitably their principals. A close collaborative relationship is essential.

There is often talk of the teacher effect, as what the latter has a direct effect on the academic success of his students. The effect that management has on students is less well documented and studies contradict each other in this regard. However, there is an indirect effect of management on student success:

    1. Management can act on the organizational framework and become a facilitator in order to transform this framework and place it at the service of the educational relationship instead of making it an obstacle as is often the case. Let us not forget: the framework, the organizational structure influences behavior.
    1. The administration must act as a teaching partner of the teacher by offering him various opportunities which must be seized and reinvested in opportunities to be seized by the students.
  1. Management should be a model of professional development, continuing education and the development of a growth mindset.

Its title says it: management must give… direction. He is a mobilizing agent, an inspiring leader. It is therefore more than an administrator. It is a spark that ignites other sparks. He is an educational arsonist; he lights flames, watches them burn and above all, he sometimes feeds them against all odds!

Marc-André Girard holds a bachelor's degree in humanities education (1999), a master's degree in history teaching (2003) and a master's degree in educational management (2013). He is currently a doctoral student in school administration. He specializes in change management in schools as well as in educational leadership. He is also interested in 21st century skills to be developed in education. He holds a managerial position in a public primary school and gives lectures on educational leadership, pedagogical approaches, change in the school environment as well as on the professionalization of teaching. He took part in educational expeditions to France, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Morocco. In September 2014, he published the book “Le change en milieu scolaire québécois” with Éditions Reynald Goulet and, in 2019, he published a trilogy on the school of the 21st century with the same publisher. He frequently collaborates with L'École branchée on educational issues. He is very involved in everything that surrounds the professional development of teachers and school administrators as well as the integration of ICT in education. In March 2016, he received a CHAPO award from AQUOPS for his overall involvement.