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Jsl Vol 15-N4

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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 Effects of Guided Reflection on Educational Leadership Practice: Mentoring and Portfolio Writing as a Means to Transformative Learning for Early-Career Principals

ePub

SALLY A. CREASAP
APRIL L. PETERS
CYNTHIA L. ULINE

ABSTRACT: An in-depth, 2-year instrumental case study considered the degree to which ongoing reflection, within the context of mentoring relationships and administrative portfolio writing, supported the development of administrative leadership practice within an Administrative Leadership Academy: Entry Year Program. By observing the ways in which entry-year principals applied academy-supported knowledge, dispositions, and performances within the school setting, researchers sought to determine the impact of ongoing Leadership Academy experiences on leadership practice. Findings suggest that guided reflection through mentoring and reflective writing presented an effective means to improve leader learning and practice within the current context of state and federal accountability systems and standards-based education.

The wave of educational accountability and standards-based reform underscores the need to improve principal learning and performance. State and national accountability systems challenge school leaders to collect, record, interpret, and present objective evidence that all students are achieving desired outcomes. As well, rapid increases in the number of non-English speaking persons, single-parent homes, poverty, crime, and the corresponding need for social services add complexities to the day-to-day operations of the school, with the principal performing the role of servant, moral agent, organizational architect, social advocate and activist, and educator (Murphy & Beck, 1994). As the web of school, community, and governance grows increasingly more complex, principals need clear and elegant ways to think about their work. They must move out beyond the collecting and managing of fact to construct knowledge about their schools through experience, study, and engagement in active and artful reflection and problem solving (Uline, 1996). These skills take time to develop. Research suggests that job-embedded learning, reflection on practice, professional portfolios, journals, support systems, networks, peer coaching, mentoring, and engagement in professional associations are among the best strategies for achieving this sort of consequential professional growth (Peterson, 2002; Skrla, Erlandson, Reed, & Wilson, 2001).

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School Characteristics That Foster Organizational Citizenship Behavior

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MICHAEL F. DIPAOLA
WAYNE K. HOY

ABSTRACT: After a theoretical analysis of the concept of organizational citizenship is elaborated, we complete an analysis of the characteristics of school organization that promote citizenship behaviors. We assume that the leadership of the principal is critical in such an endeavor as well as the trust that colleagues have in each other and the extent to which there is a school press for academic achievement. Using a sample of 75 middle schools, our hypotheses were supported; all of these factors both individually and collectively have positive influences on organizational citizenship. Finally, the implications of the findings are considered.

Organizational citizenship as it is applied to schools is a relatively recent concept. The few studies that have examined organizational citizenship behavior report the significance of the concept because it relates to both student achievement (DiPaola & Hoy, 2005) and the openness of the school climate (DiPaola & Tschannen-Moran, 2001). This inquiry explores the concept further by examining its relationship to three important aspects of schools: the leadership of the principal, trust of the faculty, and the achievement press of the school. The purpose of this research is twofold: to elaborate and explain the concept of organizational citizenship and to identify features of the school that foster organizational citizenship behavior. We postulate that the leadership of the principal, the relationships among colleagues, and the general orientation of the school community either facilitate or hinder the development of organizational citizenship behavior.

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Conceptions of Power Held by Educational Leaders: The Impact on Collaborative Decision-Making Processes

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MEREDITH MOUNTFORD
ROSE YLIMAKI

Conceptions of Power Held by Educational Leaders: The Impact on Collaborative Decision-Making Processes

ABSTRACT: This article draws on a reanalysis of findings from two separate qualitative studies that examined a possible relationship between school board members’ and curriculum directors’ conceptions of power and the way they made decisions (Mountford, 2001; Ylimaki, 2001, respectively). The findings from both studies were then compared to the extant literature on collaborative decision making and inherent obstacles of power to sustained collaboration. The findings reveal a pattern among school board members’ and curriculum directors’ conceptions and enactments of power. This pattern of behavior can be used by educational leaders to increase their understanding about the role of power during collaborative decision making, minimize some of the obstacles of power to collaborative decision making, and build and sustain collaborative efforts of all kinds.

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Superintendent Recruitment: Effects of School Councils, Job Status, Signing Bonus, and District Wealth

ePub

PAUL A. WINTER
JOHN D. MILLAY
LARS G. BJÖRK
JOHN L. KEEDY

ABSTRACT: This study examined the effects of four variables on job ratings provided by applicants for simulated superintendent vacancies. The participants were superintendents (n = 72) and superintendent-certified personnel (n = 72) reacting to jobs described in simulated position announcements. The participants rated jobs in districts without school councils higher than jobs in districts with school councils. Superintendents rated jobs in districts without school councils higher than did superintendent-certified personnel. Superintendents rated jobs in high-wealth districts with signing bonuses higher than jobs in a high-wealth district with no signing bonus. Implications for recruitment practice and future research are discussed.

This study addressed the task of recruiting qualified individuals to serve as district superintendents for public schools in a state undergoing systemic school reform. As the district CEO, the superintendent plays a key leadership role in the operations of a school district (Glass, 2001a; Glass, Björk, & Brunner, 2000; Kowalski, 1999) and is a central player in school reform initiatives (Björk, 2001; Glass, 1992). Superintendent recruitment research may address either macrorecruitment factors or microrecruitment factors. Macrorecruitment factors relate to issues affecting all school districts, such as the national supply and demand of qualified applicants for position vacancies. Microrecruitment factors, the focus of this investigation, relate to the decision making of applicants for superintendent vacancies and the techniques and strategies used by school districts to generate adequate applicant pools for position vacancies.

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Distributed Leadership and the Culture of Schools: Teacher Leaders’ Strategies for Gaining Access to Classrooms

ePub

MELINDA M. MANGIN

ABSTRACT: Formal teacher leadership roles—such as coach and coordinator—have become a standard component of education reform efforts intended to support teachers’ instructional improvement efforts. Yet the culture of schools is widely understood to favor autonomy and egalitarianism, suggesting that classroom teachers may be resistant to peer leadership. This study examines how 12 elementary-level teacher leaders negotiate access to classrooms and encourage instructional change in light of teacher resistance. Findings suggest that teacher leaders make concessions that may ultimately limit their impact on instructional improvement. Also, for these positions to contribute to instructional change, teacher leaders require the support of school administrators who offer guidance to teacher leaders and set expectations for teachers with regard to the enactment of teacher leadership roles.

Formal teacher leadership roles have become a standard component of education reform efforts designed to improve teaching and learning, especially in traditionally underserved districts. These school-based leadership positions, such as instructional coaches and coordinators, are intended to support teachers in changing their practice. The notion of teachers as leaders builds on the belief that, in addition to being the gatekeepers of instructional change, teachers have a situated perspective on teaching that may make them the logical leaders of changed practice. Yet the culture of schools is widely understood to favor autonomy and egalitarianism, suggesting that classroom teachers may be resistant to leadership from their peers. Given teachers’ lack of receptivity to change and peer leadership, teacher leaders, as facilitators of instructional improvement, face many obstacles. Currently, little is known about the strategies teacher leaders use to address those obstacles.

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