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Jsl Vol 10-N3

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The Journal of School Leadership is broadening the conversation about schools and leadership and is currently accepting manuscripts. We welcome manuscripts based on cutting-edge research from a wide variety of theoretical perspectives and methodological orientations. The editorial team is particularly interested in working with international authors, authors from traditionally marginalized populations, and in work that is relevant to practitioners around the world. Growing numbers of educators and professors look to the six bimonthly issues to: deal with problems directly related to contemporary school leadership practice teach courses on school leadership and policy use as a quality reference in writing articles about school leadership and improvement.

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The Impact of School-Based Management on Primary School Principals: An Australian Perspective

ePub

NEIL CRANSTON

ABSTRACT: This article reports research on the impact of the implementation of school-based management on primary schools and their principals in Queensland, Australia. A qualitative case study approach was employed, with individual and focus group interviews being the major data collection method. The findings illustrate that, as in systems elsewhere where school-based management has been introduced, the impact on schools and principals has been significant. Increasing demands are being made on principals to lead their communities through the change process and facilitate cultural change while at the same time responding to greater accountability demands from the system. Educational leadership has largely given way to managerial activities. Implications for policy, practice, leadership theory, and further research are discussed.

Government schools in Queensland, dispersed across some 1300 diverse sites, are undergoing what are arguably some of the most significant reforms ever (Education Queensland, 1997a, 1999). Within a devolution framework broadly similar to that operating elsewhere, school-based management initiatives are generating fundamental changes in the way schools operate, resulting in changes in the nature, range, and complexity of principals’ roles.

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Selecting Mentors for Principalship Interns

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THOMAS J. GEISMAR
JOHN D. MORRIS
MARY G. LIEBERMAN2

ABSTRACT: An instrument for assisting in the selection of mentors for principal interns was developed using six clusters of basic and high-performing principal competencies and five clusters of mentoring traits. The representative sample included 91 principals from Broward County, Florida public schools. A Likert-type scale rated the percentage of time during the principal’s career an influential person had spent exhibiting principal competencies and mentoring traits. All squared multiple correlations, predicting mentoring traits from principal competencies, were significant (p < 0.0001), ranging from 0.63 to 0.89. Predictive discriminant analyses yielded models with significant (p < 0.005) cross-validated classification accuracies for mentors (97%), non-mentors (81%), and the sample (84%).

Mentor–protégé relationships have been important in the development of artists, athletes, scientists, executives, and managers (Gilmour, 1983) and have been found to play a significant role in the development of leaders and managers (The Woodlands Group, 1980). As school districts demand a greater range of skills from principals, principal preparation programs have begun to reconceptualize their programs as integrated, strategic training plans (Kraus, 1996). Components commonly found in integrated training models are linked so that learning becomes a process, not a product. Greater emphasis is placed on situated learning, where learning occurs in multiple contexts that mirror how knowledge is used in the workplace (Kraus, 1996). Under such models, instructional methods may include field experiences, mentor relationships, case studies, authentic problem-based learning activities, simulations, role-playing, and in-box activities (Kraus, 1996; Peel and Wallace, 1996). Internships are often viewed as a crucial component of such training and are one setting in which learning is truly integrated with practice (Coleman, 1996; Jean and Evans, 1995; Kraus, 1996; Peel and Wallace, 1996).

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Teachers Serving on School Decision-Making Councils: Predictors of Teacher Attraction to the Job

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PAUL A. WINTER
JOHN L. KEEDY
ROSE MARY NEWTON

ABSTRACT: School reformers maintain that teacher service on school councils contributes to improved school decision making. There is, however, little empirical evidence that teachers are attracted to serving on school councils. In this study, randomly selected teachers (N = 318) from a reform state rated validated job descriptions for school council vacancies. Teachers with greater numbers of dependent children and prior school council experience rated school council positions more negatively than did teachers with fewer dependent children and no experience on school councils. Regression analysis revealed number of dependent children and school council experience explained 6.8% of the variance in teacher rating of a school council position. Results have implications for teacher attraction to school councils.

Why is decision making authority devolving from the district level to the school level as seen, for example, in Chicago and in Kentucky? One view is that greater participation in school governance by personnel such as teachers contributes to the ultimate goals of improving instruction and student learning (Sizer, 1992). An assumption of teacher involvement in school-based decision making is that, given an opportunity to influence school policies, teachers will contribute to reconceptualizing schooling and help create conditions to improve the academic performance of all learners (David, 1994; Spillane and Thompson, 1997). The above assumption is consistent with statements appearing in landmark reports, such as A Nation Prepared: Teachers for the 21st Century (1986), about the centrality of teachers in school reform: “Properly staffed schools can only succeed if they operate on the principle that the essential resource is already inside the school: determined, intelligent, and capable teachers. Such schools will be characterized by autonomy for the school as a whole and collegial relationships among its faculty” (p. 1).

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Voices from the Field Creating a School for David: A Principal’s Narrative

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ELEANOR A. PERRY

ABSTRACT: This article recounts my year-long journey as a principal to pull a school community together. Specifically, I describe my school’s use of two Organization Development problem solving strategies to alter the norms of the culture and guide the community through planned change for purposes of improved student achievement. I describe how the strategies of S-T-P (Situation-Target-Plan) and FFA (Force Field Analysis) were applied within a model that integrated staff development, Organization Development, and action research. I conclude by reflecting how my practitioner experiences and my own administrative training directly influenced the way I now prepare aspiring administrators.

INTRODUCTION

Like the biblical story of David and Goliath, educational leaders frequently face gigantic challenges in creating a climate where all children can be successful in multicultural and diverse socioeconomic communities. Often norms in and outside the schoolhouse door need to be altered. Administrators must find ways to educate adults as well as children so that both might grow and contribute to the common good of our society. This qualitative study recounts one school’s year-long trek to pull a high-poverty community together.

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