Medium 9781475811469

Jsl Vol 14-N2

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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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5 Articles

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Sustaining Teacher Leadership in Enabling to Inchoate Cultures

ePub

LINDA DAWSON GONZALES
LINDA S. BEHAR-HORENSTEIN

ABSTRACT: This qualitative study used ethnographic and historical approaches to examine teacher leadership in both an enabling and an inchoate culture. The purpose of this study was to discover what factors contributed to or inhibited the sustainability of teacher leadership. Using original documentation from earlier studies that report on eight years of a middle school’s reculturing and restructuring experiences, we describe a model for linking leadership and learning and identify components of an enabling culture for teacher leadership: learning, valuing, nurturing, supporting, sharing, and coaching. We describe the development of a learning culture, 5 teachers’ identification with a democratic teacher leadership style, and the sustainability of these leader identities in an inchoate school culture.

Teacher leadership is often interpreted through the lens of leadership theories that emphasize formal roles with defined responsibilities. This lens produces a traditional hierarchical, or vertical, interpretation of the teacher leader as a formally sanctioned participant in middle management (Bolman & Deal, 1991; Cooper, 1988; Little, 1988). However, not all teacher leadership occurs through formal administrative roles. Horizontal leadership, based on a reciprocal process, is developed through the mutual construction of a learning culture (Lambert, Walker et al., 1995; Lambert, Collay, Dietz, Kent, & Richert, 1996). It is more collaborative than directive, more spontaneous than structured.

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Understanding Educators as Adult Learners in Transformation: Facing the Professional Development Challenges of Educational Technology

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KATHLEEN P. KING

ABSTRACT: School leaders can benefit by considering their faculty as adult learners in transformation while they are learning educational technology. In this article a Journey of Transformation model is presented to assist school leaders in meeting the challenges of the postinformation age. The model is grounded in transformational learning research and presented utilizing the descriptions of participating teachers. Faculty members’ strategies and processes for coping with educational technology learning are discussed. The article concludes with suggestions for school leaders as they address challenges posed by technology for education.

As we grapple with the realities of the postinformation age, it is important that we address the continual need to keep up with rapid technological change. State and national departments of education (e.g., New York State Education Department, 2002), accreditation agencies (NCATE, 2002), professional associations (ISTE, 2000; O’Neil, 2000), publications ( Education Week, 1999), and the community (Noble, 1996; Parker 2001; Wilgoren, 1999) call for the continued integration of technology into the curriculum. In addition to these demands, school administrators often find themselves with fewer technological and financial resources in a time of fiscal austerity and government funding cutbacks. For these reasons it is especially important for school leaders to have a vision of how to effectively encourage and support their faculty’s professional development in educational technology.

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A Narrative Analysis of Scholar-Practitioner Teacher Leadership Preparation

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GLENDA MOSS

ABSTRACT: This study moves from theory to practice to theory. Through multiple narratives, I present how theory and practice work together to produce praxis, defined as critical pedagogy. The story takes place through my experience as teacher and researcher, but it shows how the theory takes place in practice on many different levels. I present a critical reflective-reflexive narrative analysis of teacher preparation from my point of view as teacher and scholar, transitioning from middle school teaching practice and the scholar-practitioner leadership doctoral program to university teaching practice. Postformal inquiry and narrative methods provide readers a rich description of the epistemology and context of scholar-practitioner leadership from an experiential point of view.

We can no longer prepare teachers to fill passive roles as university students and teachers, but must empower them to serve as coleaders in the work of educational and social change. This change must begin in preparation programs, recursively grounded in theory and practice. Teacher educators can no longer remain distant from classroom practice while dominating teacher preparation. They also can no longer participate in the reproduction of this dominance by failing to critically inquire into their own practices and by failing to contribute to theory for practice. Practice must be grounded in theory, and theory must be grounded in practice. Scholars and practitioners must co-construct educational theory and practice.

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Enabling School Structures: Principal Leadership and Organizational Commitment of Teachers

ePub

JAMES SINDEN
WAYNE K. HOY
SCOTT R. SWEETLAND

ABSTRACT: School structures need not be rigid, controlling, and coercive; in fact, they can be just the opposite. Enabling school structures are centralized and formalized in ways that promote problem solving, collaboration, flexibility, change, and professional judgment. The current research demonstrates the importance of both collegial leadership of the principal and organizational commitment of the faculty in the development of enabling school structures. Building an enabling structure is likely a key to promoting quality school organizations.

School structures can either hinder or enable the effective operation of schools; indeed, research paints two contrasting pictures of participant responses to organizational structures (Adler, 1999; Adler & Borys, 1996; Hoy & Sweetland, 2000, 2001). The dark side reveals bureaucratic structures that alienate, breed dissatisfaction, hinder creativity, and demotivate employees. The bright contrast shows organizational structures that guide behavior, clarify responsibility, reduce stress, and enable individuals to feel and be more effective (Adler, 1999; Adler & Borys, 1996; Hoy & Sweetland, 2001). The principal is a key individual in developing the school structure and executing administrative action. The leadership of the principal in large part determines how teachers will view the school and its structure. There are two purposes of this analysis, one conceptual and the other empirical. First, the conceptual properties of school structures that enable rather than hinder are reviewed and explicated; then the leadership behavior of school principals that are likely to promote enabling school structures are explored and tested.

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A Critical Review of Strategic Planning: Panacea for Public Education?

ePub

ROBERT H. BEACH
RON LINDAHL

ABSTRACT: Many states, accrediting agencies, and the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium have policies and standards mandating strategic planning for public schools. Planning in schools has become synonymous with strategic planning. However, alternative approaches to change exist that offer more effective solutions to school improvement. School processes are significantly different from those in the business environment from which strategic planning evolved. The coalescence of policy around a single planning form may not be in public education’s best interests. This article explores the limitations of the strategic model and the potential contributions of other planning models and lessons from contemporary “best practice.”

It would be difficult to find a K–12 public school that does not formally engage in some form of a planning process—at least in the United States. Planning in schools has become synonymous with what is commonly referred to as “strategic planning.” Many states and accrediting agencies have established policies that mandate a strategic planning process for public schools, thereby conveying the message that such a process is essential if a school is to be effective and efficient. In the absence of such external policy mandates, many districts create their own policies requiring strategic planning in their schools.

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