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How to Become a Transformational Leader in 7 Steps

What is Transformational Teaching?

Transformational teaching creates dynamic relationships between teachers, students, and a shared body of knowledge to promote student learning and growth. Transformational teaching increases students' mastery of key course concepts while transforming their learning-related attitudes, values, beliefs, and skills. From this perspective, instructors are viewed as instructional coaches, who believe in human potential, are results centered, internally driven, and they provide a compelling vision of the future.

To achieve success we need to create learning environments in which every student has an opportunity to learn, and to grow, irrespective of their background or learning ability levels. We need to believe that all students have innate potential to achieve and become anything they want. To do that, first instructors need to understand how people learn. The following learning theories should help begin the journey towards transformational teaching:

Learning Theories


Cognitive psychology


Transformational learning

Transformational leadership

Social learning theory

Intentional change theory

Experiential learning

Situated learning theories

Multiple intelligences

Below I will cover briefly the following learning theories:

Behaviorism - learning takes place through observation and repeated action. I am sure you've heard of the Pavlovian conditioning, named after the Russian physiologist, Ivan Pavlov. He discovered that he could trigger salivation in dogs through the use of a bell, after associating the bell with the food.

Cognitivism - the focus is on cognitive processes of the mind such as thinking, memory, recall and problem-solving. The emphasis is on internal processing rather than external environment. Knowing your students is imperative when practicing constructivism as an educator. Because constructivist-oriented learning revolves around the understanding and experiences of the students, it is inherently a dynamic and transformative process.

Humanism - a growth mindset approach to learning. People with a growth mindset believe that anything can be accomplished with hard work, effort, and persistence. Therefore, the focus is on achieving our human potential. Personally, I believe that every educator should have a growth mindset training to be able to transform ordinary into extraordinary.

Transformational learning - students learn by reflecting and revising their habits of mind. Change takes place when students interact with others to solve problems while reflecting on their habits of mind, and perspectives.

Transformational leadership - Teachers are leaders. Teachers are readers. Effective leaders inspire, empower, and challenge people to transcend their own self-interests and realize a shared vision of personal and collective excellence.

Now let's have a look at how you can become a transformational academic leader in 7 steps:

Step 1 - Shared vision and mission of your course/program or organization

Step 2 - Model excellence - be a role model

Step 3 - Offer intellectual challenges - you'll be surprised

Step 4 - Personalized attention and feedback - help people grow

Step 5 - Create experiential learning opportunities - cultivate team work

Step 6 - Promote reflection/reflection and lifelong learning

Step 7 - Life plan - growth and development plan - be better than yesterday

Access additional information for each step in the presentation below.

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