Deputy principal

If we think of schools as social systems which create positive bonds for educational purposes, we can foster empowering student leadership, says Adam Driver.

Adam Driver
Adam Driver

Key facts

Career: Deputy Principal for the high school section of Michael Park School
Programme: Master of Education
Campus: Epsom

“I enrolled in the Master of Education because of the freedom and responsibility that doing a thesis offered me.”

“I was able to do some important research with a whānau of interest and student leaders at my case-study school, Kia Aroha College, that could empower Māori, Pasifika and other students in terms of their cultural leadership.

“I was fortunate to receive a Teacher Study Award and the full support of my previous Board of Trustees at James Cook High School, which enabled me to immerse myself in my studies, research and writing.

“Having the opportunity to conduct culturally responsive research that used an emergent research design at Kia Aroha College helped hone my ability to truly listen to diverse voices. I also had the luxury of time to really think about my ontology, the purposes of education in Aotearoa New Zealand and how these things matter.

“My research on whānau leadership provides insights about how schools as organisations build community. If we think of schools as social systems that create positive bonds (based on aroha, awhi, love, and much else) for educational purposes, then we can foster student leadership that is culturally responsive and empowering. In fact, we can nurture a lot of really good educational experiences as part of an empowering curriculum for young people.

“Doing my part to foster student leadership at Michael Park School will draw on my research, as well as the wisdom and insights of my colleagues and our students in the context of our Steiner school."