Isnâ€™t exciting to learn something new?Â I have vague remembrances of getting the balance right on my bicycle.Â It must have happened because I can still do it.Â However, I definitely remember learning to ice-skate and to ride a skateboard because I was a bit older and I fell. A lot. About a year ago, I learned how to drive.Â Well, Iâ€™ve actually been driving for years but I taught my daughter.Â In the process, I really had to learn again.Â Some things change, like where you are supposed to hold the wheel.Â Others, stay the same, like how you make a turn.Â I experienced the somewhat uncomfortable sensation of accelerating into a turn and I had to quickly dissect the anatomy of the turn, keep my voice calm and instruct.Â Ahhhhâ€¦ learning is fun.Â Iâ€™ve found that I learn quickly when there is a bit of pain involved.
Building a new leadership development program requires learning.Â I have a few bruises from the experience to be sure.
As we have shared our vision of developing CEOs for schools, many people have asked â€śWhat are you looking for in the ideal candidate?â€ťÂ This question is very important as we launched from a graduate school of business.Â The professors at Rice are world class thinkers and researchers.Â Our adjuncts have deep industry knowledge. Â In understanding what we offer as a program, we also had to consider what we didnâ€™t.Â We are recruiting for REEP from the education community.Â Our goal is to develop school leadership as a primary way to innovate and deliver on the promise of public education.Â Who are the ideal candidates? Â We are looking for learners and leaders.
The Rice University Education Entrepreneurship Programs bring together educators from across Houstonâ€™s public school systems.Â Districts and charters are represented.Â Teachers, Assistant Principals, Deans of Students, Deans of Instruction/Associate Principals, Principals and School Leaders are all represented.Â Weâ€™ve even had some district leadership and staff participate.Â This far-reaching network with varied experiences creates a powerful learning environment to explore what it is that we know about education.Â Weâ€™ve identified 3 critical questions that we explore throughout all of our course content:
First, what is the role of the leader?
Second, how do leaders encourage critical thinking?
And finally, how much room is there for innovation and change?
The students are challenged to learn a new vocabulary, new tools and frameworks.Â We explore the possibilities of â€śWhat ifâ€¦?â€ť and â€śWhy notâ€¦?â€ťÂ We examine the mindsets of both effective and ineffective leaders by reading research, watching movies, talking to each other.Â Â The constraints in education are numerous.Â Almost everything seems to have a rule associated with it.Â Rules set the lanes in which we operate.Â But then we explore again.Â Do they really?Â Iâ€™ve often said that we donâ€™t provide the answers at REEP; we offer questions.Â I ask the learners who come to REEP if they have a sense of urgency about their work.Â If we go on this journey together, will you make things happen?Â The call for leadership is everywhere, especially in education with budget cuts, technology advancements and human capital development needs.
What we should expect from REEP in the years to come?Â What are our ambitions for REEP?
We want to instill a sense of entrepreneurship in education.Â Entrepreneurs are sensitive to the conditions of the world around them.Â They know how to sell their products or services.Â They push limits, customs, and traditions to do something ordinary in a somewhat new way. Â The Wright Brothers did not invent flight.Â They created a way for humans to experience it. Â Oprah didnâ€™t invent talk shows.Â She did create an experience of empowering others through knowledge. Steve Jobs did not invent music.Â He had an idea about how we might listen to it.Â The REEP students and alumni are entrepreneurs.Â They have sought out something new and are using the knowledge they have gained in practical, everyday situations. As we recruitÂ new candidates for the 2012 REEP Programs, the possibilities are boundless.