The reciprocity principle applies to various life aspects, including economics, business, law, and education. Reciprocity demands equal responsibility and accountability to provide equivalent reciprocal capacity to achieve each unit of performance that an individual expects from another (Elmore, 2005). As the principal of a girls’ school in Dubai, UAE, I apply this principle to inform critical decisions regarding student and tutor behavior and performance. I expect a certain level of performance and avail all resources they need to perform accordingly. As the leader, I am also responsible for establishing and maintaining the school’s internal and external accountability systems.
The UAE educational context practices reciprocity in various ways. Providing excellent learning facilities, hiring skilled teachers, and ensuring the environment is conducive and safe for learning are ways through which reciprocity occurs in this context. The demand for the highest performance from the learners and tutors requires availing all of the above resources equally and being accountable for decisions (Elmore, 2005). For example, the sports department expects a student talented in athletics to pursue and emerge first in competitions. The administration offers superior sporting amenities, sufficient funds, and expert trainers as part of its duty to help the student achieve the expected performance. The management’s expectations of the learners and students’ expectations towards the administration are reciprocal, indicating how the principle of reciprocity applies in the educational context.
The leadership designs the school’s internal systems like the vision, mission, and objectives communicate them to stakeholders and provides sufficient resources to facilitate their achievement. The management collaborates with and is accountable to the national education ministry regarding requirements that constitute an excellent learning facility (Elmore, 2005). Collaborating with the ministry helps establish the school’s external accountability systems.
Elmore, R. (2005). Agency, reciprocity and accountability in democratic education. The institutions of American democracy: The Public Schools, 277-301.