Mission and Vision Statement

In its early stages, The 21st century is referred to most widely as a global society, in which a shift from the industrial revolution to the knowledge society is reshaping policy, practice, communication, and connections among people and organizations. Models of collaboration and partnership are replacing isolated working, resulting in the growth of networks, and learning organizations to name a few. Greater access to resources is reshaping the balance of power between people and nations, at least to some degree, and shifting national borders and economic structures are generating new alliances and unions across nations. Dialogue is becoming a more common approach to communication, with the belief that sharing, listening and mutual respect can lead to greater peace and communal growth. The environment has been an important alarm for us as a global society to question how we live and use our common resources. More and more it is becoming clear that while there are still local conditions and history that make us unique, we must continue to strive to find ways to work together to stimulate a world of peace and democracy.

Schools play a central function in this global challenge, for educators are being asked to shape curriculum and pedagogical practices that prepare youth for active citizenship, lifelong learning, and leadership, entrepreneurship, a digitical competence, and an ability to work collaboratively. Rethinking schooling in this context is a huge undertaking, which requires support at the political and economic levels, as well as the educational and local community levels. At the same time, it requires that people involved with the schooling community develop their own capacities and awareness about living in a global society. Learning skills in organizational development, leadership, communication, pedagogy, and technology, which reflect the workforce needs of the global society, is a minimum requirement.

One of the espoused benefits of the global society, or the network society as Castells (1986) calls it, is that we, as a global citizenship, have the possibility to learn with and from one another through virtual communication as well as physical contact. We have been given a new opportunity to develop communities of learning through which dialogue shapes our understanding of each other, and widens our perspectives. We who work with Wingspan believe that educators need to be a part of this global dialogue, learning from and with other educators from around the world. No longer do we need to be limited by travel to open the perspectives between east and west, or north and south. We are free to connect in multiple directions, sharing with each other the different approaches to school development and learning that are emerging around the world in response to the global challenges.

It is our hope that Wingspan will serve as a dialogic device, stimulating thinking and learning both through academic scholarship, and school-based stories about programs and experiments. Through a multi-dimensional exchange across cultures, we hope to broaden the knowledge base about schooling, leadership and learning, through the sharing of different research and experiences that has the potential to influence the development of schools in the global society. We consider the area of school development to be very broad, reflecting the different voices of people connected to education, including students and family, communities, supporting institutions, and educators themselves.

Members of the journal team represent persons from different countries working in different aspects of the educational arena. It is our goal to select a wide variety of articles and contributions to help shape this global dialogue. At the same time we are necessarily biased to publish works that are contributive to the ideology of a democractic global society. Beyond that, we hold open the belief that how we define and shape democracy can be different between cultures, as can the perspectives of schooling. What works in one country, may not work in another. At the same, we, as a global nation, have a responsibility to learn from and with each other about the different perspectives. We hope that you enjoy reading the contributions through Wingspan, and that you are stimulated in this global dialogue about leadership, learning and school development.