Professors Christopher Tienken, Daniel Gutmore, and James Corino from the Department of Education Leadership, Management, and Policy in the College of Education and Human Services conducted a video conference lecture on education leadership in the United States with approximately 100 masters degree students, school principals, and university faculty at the University of Catania on January 15, 2019. The professors provided a two-hour seminar about culture of leadership in the United States, the roles and responsibilities of the school principal, and one form of democratic leadership, known as distributed leadership. The technical support for the video conference was facilitated by Alex Pilaia and Vanessa Leonardo from Seton Hall TLTC.
The video lecture was part of a larger collaborative relationship developed by Professor Tienken with the Department of Education Science at the University of Catania four years ago that includes joint research projects, lectures, and publications. Tienken spent his 2015-2016 sabbatical at the University of Catania as a Visiting Professor with a focus on education policy. He collaborated with faculty to unpack and understand Italy's new education law, known as La Buona Scuola (The Good School). La Buona Scuola included multiple reform programs that affected school curriculum, merit pay for teachers, teacher evaluation, school accountability, and the development of Education Leadership as a field of study in Italy. Tienken and colleagues from Catania conducted seminars, international conferences, and wrote papers related to the various aspects of the law to inform policy and practice. Faculty members from the University of Catania visited Seton Hall in 2017 and provided guest lectures in Tienken's masters level curriculum courses and also conducted school visitations and interviews with school administrators in several New Jersey School Districts.
Professors Tienken and Gutmore were invited to the University of Catania in July 2018 as part of the ongoing collaboration to meet with University of Catania faculty to develop an international seminar on leadership. Because education leadership is a new field of study in Italy, the faculty at the University of Catania are collaborating with Tienken, Gutmore, and Corino to better understand the various contexts, roles, responsibilities, theories, and research of school leadership. The University of Catania received a three-year grant from the regional government in Sicily to develop education leadership courses and seminars and Tienken, Gutmore, and Corino have been asked to provide video lectures and onsite lectures at the University of Catania.