The Stronger Smarter Cornerstones need to be in place to enact the Stronger Smarter Metastrategies, which are introduced in the Stronger Smarter Leadership Program. The four Stronger Smarter Cornerstones are:
Responsibility for Change
Transformation is a journey, both for the school and for personal leadership. It requires creativity and innovation and planning to change the future rather than maintaining the present. In the Personal Sphere the SSA not only asks leaders to set high standards and expectations for students, but to recognise their own role in providing the environment for students to succeed. The Stronger Smarter Leadership Program supports educators to unpack ‘out-of-awareness’ assumptions, habitual patterns and negative stereotypes and unlock the belief and confidence to be an agent of change.
The Stronger Smarter Approach honours the humanity of others, and in so doing, acknowledges the strengths and capacity of others. In a school, this is doing things ‘with people’ not ‘to people’, recognising the strengths that exist in the local community, embracing positive community leadership. School transformation has to begin with relationship building in the Community Sphere so that strategies are co-designed from the beginning as relevant to the local context.
Strong and Smart
Strong and Smart is a belief that all students can be strong in their identity and smart in the classroom. Dr Chris Sarra introduced this vision for Cherbourg State School in 1999, where he described ‘Strong’ as meaning ‘proud to be Aboriginal, proud to be from Cherbourg and holding our ground without letting anyone put us down’. ‘Smart’ meant ‘being smart enough to survive in any other school in Queensland; having the academic capacity to operate in any other classroom in Queensland; and to achieve academic outcomes that are comparable to any other child from any other school in Queensland’. (Sarra, C. 2003. Review of Strong and Smart Vision at Cherbourg State School).
The difference between a competent teacher and a quality teacher is relationships. If transformative change is to be built on collaborative co-design of local strategies, it has to begin with strong, supportive relationships between colleagues, with students, and with families and communities. High-Expectations Relationships underpin the three Spheres and provide strategies to build challenging and supportive two-way relationships leading to collegiate work environments and collaborative partnerships.