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Jsl Vol 2-N1

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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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Where Is the Discussion of Diversity in Educational Administration Programs? Graduate Students’ Voices Addressing an Omission in Their Preparation

ePub

LAURENCE PARKER1

JOAN POLINER SHAPIRO1

ABSTRACT: This paper describes an investigation of the needs of graduate students in educational administration preparation programs. The study raises questions focusing on what learning would be most valuable to school administrators who deal with diverse constituencies and cultures. To obtain appropriate information, the authors conducted in-depth interviews with older graduate students at three different locations in the U.S. In this study, the most salient finding that emerged was that graduate students learned far more through informal peer learning about diversity issues dealing with gender, race, ethnicity, social class and other areas of difference than they did in the formal educational administration classroom. Based on the analysis of interviews, the authors recommend a number of changes for program development under the category of diversity. Through these changes, it is hoped that educational administration faculty will better prepare graduate students to be educational leaders in the 21st century.

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Attitude Toward Visionary Leadership

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SANDRA J. LESOURD1

SUSAN TRACZ2

MARILYN L. GRADY3

ABSTRACT: Typologies of leadership style are emerging from naturalistic studies conducted by researchers at school sites. Through extensive observation and interviews with members of schools, researchers have accomplished a specific description of the values and behavioral attributes of leaders. For example, Bennis and Nanus (1985), Blumberg and Greenfield (1980), Deal and Kennedy (1982), Lightfoot (1983), and Wolcott (1973) have presented informative studies of schools and organizations. These analyses of leadership in context have contributed to the identification of notable, effective leadership qualities. In addition, the genre of effective school research clarified the existence of variation in the principals’ influence upon school quality (Leithwood and Montgomery, 1982; Purkey and Smith, 1982). Investigation of school effectiveness confirmed that some principals are more influential than others in making improvements. Some develop reputations as dynamic leaders who foster institutional change, while others are primarily concerned with routine maintenance functions.

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A Pathway to Restructuring: Discussion of a University Pilot for Principalship Preparation

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CYNTHIA J. NORRIS1

JOEL LEBSACK2

ABSTRACT:As education embarks upon the second wave of school reform—site­based management—the school principal’s role assumes a more global and dynamic perspective. At the same time, it becomes increasingly crucial that universities provide future administrators with the necessary expertise to fulfill this new leadership thrust. Preparation programs for school leaders have, in the past, directed their attention primarily to problem-solving approaches. Students have been taught to react to problems presented to them and to manage conflict and problems. They have not always been trained to find, define, and refine the problems that they must confront (Achilles and Norris, 1988: 105).

Many experts have recognized this dearth in principalship preparation and have advocated curriculum that encourages reflective practice (Schon, 1983; Sergiovanni, 1987) and the integration of theory and practice (Schwab, 1964; McCarthy, 1987). It is important that immersion in theory or practice not be designed merely to promote an existing order, but that it provides future leaders with the understandings for “question[ing] existing practices and . . . create[ing] visions of a better way” (Norris, 1990, p. 10). Effective preparation programs must also provide students with self-awareness and insight in how their thought patterns and behaviors might serve as facilitating forces, or as hindrances, to the proper execution of their leadership roles (Norris, 1990). Personal awareness provides the first step in enhanced development of latent capabilities that are strengthened as development opportunities are intentionally provided through individualized approaches to learning (Norris, 1990; Messick, 1984).

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The Leadership Enigma Is More Than Semantics

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CHARLES M. ACHILLES1

ABSTRACT:The debate has long raged about the relative merits of leadership, management, and administration. This article does not advance the study of any of these terms, but questions the utility of valuing instructional leadership over management. An administrator wears both hats. Generally accepted definitions of these terms within a framework useful in research will help explain the "real world" and help the field advance. The paper describes one set of definitions and relationships that could remove some of the "value" associated with the terms and then frames a model for guiding analysis and description of relations among the terms.

Throughout history there have been leaders. As soon as humans formed groups, tribes, or clans, there was a leader. The act and fact of leadership have drawn attention from researchers and scholars. Historians have chronicled leadership; behavioral scientists have studied leadership; authors have written about leaders.

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The Power of Context

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DAVID A. ERLANDSON1

ABSTRACT: Context proves to be a powerful tool for understanding educational organizations, for the professional development of the administrators who lead them, and in the preparation of future administrators. Specific strategies are available and should be expanded for harnessing that power in the analysis of educational settings, in transferring knowledge across settings (both spatially and temporally and in the development of skills appropriate to those settings.

For the past twenty-five years, I have been increasingly impressed by the power of context as a tool for understanding organizational meanings, facilitating the management of educational organizations, and preparing those who lead and manage educational organizations. Some of these impressions about the preparation of school leaders were contained in an article that I wrote (Erlandson, 1979)more than a decade ago. Beyond that one attempt I have not tried to systematically present this line of thinking, though it has made, and continues to make, a growing impression upon my teaching, my research, and my assistance to school administrators. In this article, I will describe some of the events that have influenced the steady increase of the power of context in my thought and operation, will reflect on some of the implications that context has for bridging the gap between research and practice, and will explore briefly how the written word can support this bridging process by facilitating transfer across contexts.

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The Professional Studies Doctorate: Leaders for Learning

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MAYNARD J. BRATLIEN1

SUSAN M. GENZER1

JOHN R. HOYLE1,*

ARNOLD D. OATES1

ABSTRACT: A new administrator preparation program is underway at Texas A&M University. The Professional Studies Doctorate is a three year program which consists of a blend of theory, research, and clinical experiences for a select cohort of 14 practicing school leaders. The program includes intensive summer seminars, extended clinical weekends, and ongoing evaluation and research projects. University faculty are assisted in teaching the cohort by leading San Antonio area superintendents serving as clinical professors. Evaluation of the new doctorate is providing insight for improvement at the end of the first year.

“My being selected for this exciting doctoral program is both a wonderful opportunity and scary responsibility.” This student’s comment represents the sentiment of the first cohort as they progress through the new challenging Professional Studies Doctorate (PSD) at Texas A&M University. This program, which began in the summer of 1990, is a three year Ed.D. program which provides students an alternative to existing Ph.D. and Ed.D. programs. The PSD utilizes the cohort concept and makes extensive use of the best in research, theory, and practice to develop professional school administrators for the 1990s and beyond.

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Perspectives of AFT and NEA on Shared Governance and Administrator Preparation Programs

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BILL J. JOHNSTON1

The decade of the 1980s will likely be remembered as one in which issues of public schooling occupied the spotlight of popular concern. While public attention is now beginning to shift in other directions, the problems facing education remain. One persistent difficulty is determining the most appropriate functional relationship between school goals, instructional technology, and organizational structures (Perrow, 1970). Within the framework of rational administration, one would predict that consideration of goals would lead to determination of the most effective means to achieve those goals. Determination of appropriate organizational structures is based upon efforts to facilitate implementation of identified means/technologies. One limitation of much of the educational reform literature is that it ignores one or another of these components of rational organization. That is, one attempts to alter either organizational structures, technology, or goals independently. To the extent that goals, technology, and structure are interdependent, this is a self defeating activity.

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Creating Partnerships in Developing School Leaders: Florida State University’s Specialist Degree Program in Educational Leadership

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WILLIAM R. SNYDER1

ABSTRACT: During the decade of the 1980s, the Department of Educational Leadership at Florida State University became proactive in its orientation to legislative efforts to improve the quality of school-based leadership throughout the state of Florida. The department’s early initiatives set the foundation for creating a variety of partnerships with school districts, other universities and national organizations that would refocus the department’s vision for leadership development of school personnel. What might have been the onset of reduced credibility and influence for the department and the university, became instead a window of opportunity for productive collaboration and program restructuring. This paper presents an abridged documentation of the restructuring that has occurred in the department’s program of Educational Administration during the late 1980s and early ’90s. It describes from a faculty member’s perspective the historical context for the department’s initiatives, the creation of a variety of partnerships with other organizations and the installation of a new field-based specialist degree program in educational leadership. Finally, the paper addresses a few of the key lessons learned about collaboration during the evolution of partnerships and program.

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Creating a Caring School

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MICHAEL COURTNEY1

ABSTRACT: Administrators can create a climate of caring in today’s schools despite the negative characterizations toward education. The author describes attempts to improve school climate at an inner city school in Durham, North Carolina. The approaches are theoretically founded and practically implemented.

The question of “the caring school” is intriguing and thought­provoking in light of all the negative press about our schools today. Whether or not school administrators can promote an ethos of care is quite a challenge indeed considering all the negative critiques and rhetoric directed at our public schools. To promote a sense of wellness or organizational health in schools, care must be provided for all individuals in everyday school life, whether they be students, teachers, or members of the community. The principal, as the leading caretaker of the school, must orchestrate change in the organizational structure, the community, and in research and development to create the context for caring in the total school environment.

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