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Jsl Vol 15-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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6 Articles

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School Leadership That Is Informed by Students’ and Teachers’ Voices of Hope: Reclaiming Our Lost Ways From an Australian Perspective

ePub

JOHN SMYTH

ABSTRACT: This article1 provides both a critique and a more hopeful alternative to the current direction in school leadership. The central framing argument, written from an Australian perspective, is that dominant regimes of school leadership within current school reform approaches are failing because of their inability to listen to the voices of students and teachers. Illustrations are presented from Australian research indicating that when school leadership and improvement are conceptualized and enacted around student learning rather than around management, testing, fear, punishment, and accountability, then genuine change is possible, particularly for students from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. For this to happen, however, there needs to be a courageous paradigm shift and the development of a “vocabulary of hope” with which to conceive of, and think about, schools. For this kind of leadership reform to become widespread, there must be a willingness to confront and question for whom schools primarily exist.

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The Leadership of Heritage: Searching for a Meaningful Theory in Official-Language Minority Settings

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CLAIRE LAPOINTE
LYSE LANGLOIS
JEANNE GODIN

ABSTRACT: This article has two purposes: the first is to give a voice to school leaders in official-language minority schools; the second is to present an empirically based critical analysis of some of the main current models in the field of educational leadership in order to verify whether they are relevant in official-language minority settings. This original perspective is gleaned from a research project that is currently being conducted in official French-language minority schools across Canada. The article presents a brief explanation of the Canadian context with regard to the constitutional rights of official-language minorities to education in their language, describes the method used to conduct the first phase of the research project, and presents some of the main findings.

Since the early nineties, the concept of educational leadership has been the central topic in several major English-language publications in the field of school administration (among others, see Begley, 1999; Greenfield, 1995; Hodgkinson, 1991; Macmillan, 2003; Maxcy, 1991; Owens, 1998; Reynolds & Young, 1995; Sergiovanni, 1996, 2000; Sergiovanni, Burlingame, Coombs, & Thurston, 1999; Starratt, 1991, 1997, 2002) as well as, to a lesser extent, in the French-language literature (see Baudoux, 1994; Deblois & Corriveau, 1994; Girard & Daouda, 1999; Langlois & Lapointe, 2002; St-Germain, 1999). These studies have allowed researchers to identify the crucial role played by educational administrators as leaders, and their influence on the degree of success in educational projects. A number of theoretical models have emerged that attempt to explain what educational leadership is and what it ought to be, such as transformational leadership, socio-constructivist leadership, critical leadership, and moral and ethical leadership. Because most of these models have been developed from research conducted in either homogenous linguistic settings or urban, multicultural milieus, their relevance to educational leadership in official-language minority settings is uncertain.

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Toward Glocality: Facilitating Leadership in an Age of Diversity

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J. TIM GODDARD

ABSTRACT: As a result of inter- and intranational migrations, urban schools in early 21st-century Western nations serve more ethnoculturally diverse populations than ever before. The impact of global events resonates in these schools at the local community level. In this article1 I argue for the administrative fusion of local and global perspectives, a leadership of glocality that facilitates educational renewal and the enhancement of a socially transforming culture.

The early years of the 21st century are notable for many reasons, including the “movement of people as tourists, immigrants, refugees, and others” (Spring, 2001, p. 9) around the world. Such ethnocscapes, as Spring (2001) has called them, are both optional (e.g., people seeking economic advantage) and forced (e.g., as a result of conflict or environmental degradation). Those who choose to move from one environment to another generally do so with the knowledge that the transition will be difficult. They prepare for this in different ways. Some seek to accumulate monetary savings, others to upgrade their skills or to establish a network of contacts in the new location. In essence, these migrants are building their economic, human, and social capital. Other populations, those who are forced by circumstance to relocate as refugees or otherwise displaced persons, often find the move to be at short notice and a cause of great traumatic stress. Although population movements are a global phenomenon, and also include (for example) migrations “to industrial towns in Africa, [of] Koreans in Japan and [of] Chinese in Indonesia” (Erikson, 2002, p. 14), many of these migrating populations seek to develop a new life in the robust economies of “the West.” For purposes of this article, “West” is defined as the liberal democracies of countries within Europe, North America, and to a lesser extent Australia and New Zealand. Canada is one of those countries.

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Leadership and Intercultural Dynamics

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JOHN COLLARD
TING WANG

ABSTRACT: This article explores issues related to the delivery of leadership training courses by Western universities in developing nations. It argues that past theories, including cross-cultural perspectives, are too limited to comprehend the complexity of the processes involved. Instead it posits a more dynamic concept of intercultural understanding as an explanatory framework. It also argues that the pedagogy employed is a more powerful instrument of change than subject content. This is illustrated through analysis of responses from 52 participants in a leadership training program conducted in China in 2002.

 

I think it is very important to have intercultural communication. We need to absorb and make full use of some advanced Western ideas and practices while keeping the essence of our culture.

—Director of Education, Zhejiang Province, China, 2002

International forces have drawn developing nations into closer ties with educational agencies from advanced Western democracies in the past two decades. This frequently occurs through agencies such as the United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Aid programs from such agencies have a strong influence on the education and training policies of developing nations (Jones, 1992; Daniel, 2002). These are conceptualized as “capacity building” to develop “appropriately skilled people” in such nations (ADBI, n.d.; OECD, n.d.). The creation of “human capital” is viewed as a foundation for “economic and social capital” (Daniel, 2002, p. 5). The UNESCO endeavor to promote “Education for All” by 2015 currently exemplifies this process (The World Bank, n.d., p.1.).

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School Leadership Preparation in Mexico: Metacultural Considerations

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CHARLES L. SLATER
MIKE BOONE
LINDA MUÑOZ
MELINDA BASE
LETICIA ROMERO GRIMALDO
LISA KORTH
JAMES ANDREWS
ANNA BUSTAMANTE
ISAÍAS ÁLVAREZ GARCÍA
CARLOS TOPETE
ELIZABETH ITURBE

ABSTRACT: Levels of cultural understanding can be applied to leadership and research. Intracultural understanding is self-contained within one culture. Cross-cultural understanding extends from one culture to another. Intercultural understanding recognizes implications for one's own culture. Metacultural understanding extends beyond one's own and others’ culture to create entirely new meanings.

This study examines an educational administration program in Mexico using researchers from a multicultural team. School directors and those in higher education participated in focus groups to examine the preparation Mexican leaders receive, the challenges they face, and the implications for preparation programs. These issues are significant in Mexico, and have implications for the United States and other countries.

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The Mexican High School Principal: The Impact of the National and Local Culture

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EDITH J. CISNEROS-COHERNOUR
BETTY M. MERCHANT

ABSTRACT: In view of the increasingly global nature of the societies in which we live, it is important that we understand the ways in which national culture can impact the role of educational leaders. The exploratory study reported in this article was designed to contribute to our understanding of the relationship between culture and leadership behavior by focusing on the working lives of two male and two female principals in four public Mexican high schools in the southeast of Mexico. The study was part of an international study that focused on the impact of national and local culture in the principalship.

Educational researchers have argued that context and culture can exert an important influence on leadership (see, e.g., Sergiovanni & Corbally, 1986; Hallinger & Leithwood, 1996). Studies indicate that culture and context play a significant role in the shaping of leaders’ behaviors and in determining decision-making styles. One of the most influential studies in the area of cross-cultural leadership was conducted by Geert Hofstede (1984), who examined the impact of the national values of people who worked for IBM in over 50 nations. Hofstede found that although IBM employees from different cultures experienced similar problems, they used different solutions to solve them. The solutions differed from country to country and were influenced by the context and culture of the company's leader (p. 13). In one of the few studies of the ways in which the national culture influences the role of educational leaders, Walker, Dimmock, and Poon (1998) argue for “the incompatibility of previous research on leadership conducted in the Western nations when applied to other countries” (p. 2).

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