Dr. Mark Norris
Philosophy of Education/Teaching
Other than one's health, I feel education is the most important aspect of an individual's life. I feel each person has something unique and special to offer the world. It is the teacher's responsibility to assist each student in reaching their full potential by providing an environment that is safe, conducive for learning, and one in which the student is allowed to express their thoughts and feelings about the world.
As educators, we have the opportunity to promote equity and social justice and we can accomplish this by being a positive role model. One who exhibits a high moral and ethical character. This starts by treating each student with dignity, respect, and valuing diversity.
The classroom should be an inviting place where students are able to determine their strengths and capitalize on them. There also needs to be a solid curriculum where all students are held to high academic standards. This starts with strong leadership both in and out of the classroom.
Although it is important for teachers to assist students in the decision making process, it is equally important to teach students to be critical thinkers and empower them to make their own decisions and choices. By harnessing their individual abilities and strengths, we are teaching them to become responsible members of the community.
Finally, education is not about showing others how smart you are, it is about empowering others to reach their full potential as human beings.
Dr. Mark David Norris
Philosophy of International Education
The world market place seems to be getting smaller, but the demand for highly educated and competent workers is continuing to increase. A major component to meet the demand for highly qualified workers is higher education. The goal for any institution of higher learning is to develop challenging educational programs for a worldwide community of learners and schools. The aim should be to create a better and more peaceful world, and at the same time, to assist all learners to be able to compete in the world marketplace. I feel everybody has strengths and visions they bring to the learning environment. It is our job as administrators and educators to bring out the best in all students. This process starts with strong and visionary leaders.
Primary Components of an International Educational Program
I feel one of the major components is to teach all students to be critical thinkers and problem solvers. This process should start at the elementary level. By the time students are in college or at the university level, they should be able to address and problem solve various social, political, and economic issues. Here in the United States, the Common Core Standards lend themselves directly to that process.
Another major component is communication. In order to be an effective leader or to work well within any organization, one should be able to effectively communicate both verbally and in written form. A major aspect of effective communications is to be open minded and to have respect for other points of views. In addition, all learning institutions should teach students to be ethical and foster a sense of equity and social justice.
I feel technology is one of the major components to the educational process. Technology is changing at an alarming rate and educational institutions must be at the cutting edge of it. I also feel it allows the institution to be able to better communicate with all stakeholders, and it also allows educational institutions opportunities to inform prospective students of the educational programs they have to offer. Colleges and universities need to reach out to all schools, not just the local schools that serve the general area. Students from all over the world desire to obtain an advanced degree from American educational institutions. They see the value these programs have to offer. In addition, due to the rigorous accreditation process, degrees from American institutions are accepted and recognized globally.
All of these components contributes to an international educational program. In order to attract foreign, as well as domestic students, the college or university must reach out to all possible students, regardless of distance. That means, the programs offered must meet the demands of employers all over the world marketplace.
Dr. Mark David Norris
Philosophy of Leadership
I feel being a leader is not only a privilege but an honor. I take it very seriously. As an educational leader, one must put aside any bias and do what is right often under difficult conditions. Although I feel working as a team in a collaborative manner is important, I also feel a leader must be able to make decisions independently. Those decisions, in turn, will determine the fate of the organization, as well the employees.
I feel a leader must know his or her limitations and utilize the talents within an organization. This comes from having honest and open lines of communication. In order to achieve this, a leader must develop trust. I feel building and maintaining trust is the key to the success of any organization.
An effective leader must also listen well, value diversity, and motivate and inspire all of the members of an organization. A leader leads by example and empowers others. In addition, a leader needs to be ethical, fair, and consistent.
The leader must also have clear and specific goals and a plan to obtain those goals. By involving others in the decision making process, all constituents are valued and their voices heard. A leader must encourage thinking and acknowledge the accomplishments of others within an organization.
Finally, a leader must establish a safe, clean, and orderly environment that is conducive to learning.
Dr. Mark David Norris