The leadership development programs offered by the Professional Services division are a unique feature of the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s (SSEC)work. Leadership development serves education leaders across all levels of a school system including school and district-level administrators, teacher leaders, government officials, parents, community organizations, local businesses, and more.
Every school system’s context is unique. Consequently, leadership development at the SSEC provides leaders with the time and framework to construct a plan for their own school system.
Over the past three decades, the SSEC has developed a range of leadership development services to assist districts, regions, states, and countries in transforming science education, starting with a fundamental understanding to taking meaningful action to achieve their goals:
I’m interested, but I don’t know where to start
For communities interested in working with us, we offer one-day Building Awareness events contextualized for local needs. By exciting and informing key players on the need for science education programs that are responsive to our changing world, the SSEC supports localities in garnering support for new and ongoing efforts to transform science education.
I’m ready to make change in my school system, but I don’t have a plan
Our annual weeklong Science Leadership & Strategic Planning Institute guides leadership teams through the development of a five-year strategic plan for transforming science education in their community. This work is based on research and best practices for implementing hands-on, inquiry-centered science programs for students from kindergarten to twelfth grade using the LASER model as a framework.
I have a plan to transform science education in my school system, but I’m facing challenges in implementing it
After attending one of our Strategic Planning Institutes, many leadership teams return to their communities and discover specific aspects of implementing their strategic plan to be particularly challenging. We offer Implementation Institutes as follow up to better support communities at this stage.
I have attended all the SSEC’s leadership development programs and I want to stay involved
Support from the SSEC doesn’t end after a school, district or community has participated in our continuum of programs. By the time groups reach this phase, they have the skills and information to implement a strong program on an ongoing basis. Even then, the SSEC remains available to and supportive of its alumni network.
Join our faculty: We call upon those who have had transformative experiences working with their school, district, or community to be a part of future programming. The faculty at our institutes are past participants who bring a wealth of knowledge from experiencing the systemic change process themselves.
Consultation: The SSEC can continue to offer support on an as-needed, consultation basis. If you are interested in our consulting services, please reach out to us to discuss your options.
Participation in the SSEC’s Leadership Development programs is designed to equip a community with the skills, knowledge, and network to sustain your program in perpetuity. A passion for science education and understanding of the transformative power of the LASER model can fuel your program to grow and evolve over time. But don’t just take our word for it. Explore some of our successful outcomes on Our Results page!