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Jsl Vol 6-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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Educating for Leadership: Issues on Merging Teacher and Administrator Preparation and Professional Development

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KENNETH A. SIROTNIK1

DAVID P. ERICSON2

The yin and yang of educational reform has likely characterized the major change efforts in public education ever since its beginning. Certainly the last fifteen years have been no exception.

On the one hand, if we use as our marker the report A Nation at Risk and the subsequent volume of reports, legislation, and policies designed to raise standards and increase accountability, we see the impact of largely rational-bureaucratic images of educational organizations–clear lines of authority, hierarchical decision making, inputs and outputs, quality-control mechanisms, and the like.

On the other hand, the reform dialectic is completed by countervailing views that find more hope and utility in human, cultural, and political images of the educational system and of organizational life within it. Such is the case over the last decade or more given the clear and contrasting trends within the educational community for teacher professionalism, for a wider sense of teacher autonomy and empowerment beyond the walls of classrooms.

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Democracy, Power, and Authority: The Development of a Conceptual Basis for Shared Professionalism between Teachers and Administrators

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DAVID P. ERICSON1

STACEY E. MARLOW2

ABSTRACT: Overlooked in the recent literatures on the enhancement of teacher professionalism and the changing role of school administrators is the task of rooting such newer ideas in a conceptual framework that would underwrite and give much needed coherence to these ideas. Despite redirections of some existing administrator education preparation programs that move away from emphasising “managerial/supervisory” aspects of school administration, the notion of principal, etc., as authoritarian leader is still ubiquitous in educational practice. The literature on teacher “empowerment,” however, suggests that there should be major, if not radical, changes to the roles and relationships of teachers and school administrators. Some researchers of teacher empowerment issues and school administration have argued that increasing democratic relations between teachers and administrators require that school administrators “should lead from behind” in bottom-up structures of decision making, while the more daring question the need for school administrators at all.

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Democratic Leadership and Places To Practice It

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PAUL E. HECKMAN1

ABSTRACT: The renewal or reform of public schools and their communities calls for a moral democratic concept of leadership, which includes the principles and practices of caring, trust, social justice and collaborative inquiry. In contrast to the bureaucratic concept of leadership that has prevailed in public schools and placed a few people in leadership roles, a democratic concept involves everyone and requires the development of leadership skills in teachers, school administrators, students, parents and neighborhood residents. Such a concept can best be served by a merger of teacher and administrator preparation programs, so that future teachers may develop as leaders as well as followers, and future administrators may develop as followers as well as leaders. In such a merger, there must be community and school forums in which preservice teachers and administrators may practice for their future roles and extend the democratic concept of leadership to students, parents, and neighborhood residents. Efforts of one eight-year school and community change initiative, which is now in its sixth year, indicate the type of forum that might effectively serve this need.

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New Relationships, New Realities: Bringing Preservice Teachers and a Preservice Principal Together in a Professional Preparation Program

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STACEY E. MARLOW1

ABSTRACT: This paper describes an innovative professional preparation program in which preservice teachers and an intern principal came together during their field placements to share their experiences, notions of professionalism, and perspectives about education and schooling. The program had three objectives. The first was to help the participants explore and better understand the process of professional socialization and its relationship to organizational socialization. The second objective was to encourage the participants, through the use of reflection, to examine their own and each other’s thinking about the educational profession and their developing roles within the profession. The third objective was to create an environment of “shared professionalism” in which the participants could work together as co-learners and rethink the traditional hierarchical relationship between teachers and administrators. The research reported here focuses on the experiences and perspectives of the preservice principal as he completed his one year internships in a public elementary school.

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Preparing Educators for Leadership: In Praise of Experience

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KENNETH A. SIROTNIK1

KATHY KIMBALL2

We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive at where we started

And know the place for the first time

T. S. Eliot

Four Quartets

“Little Gidding”

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” One is often tempted to invoke this bit of conventional wisdom whenever arguments are advanced for educational reform of one type or another. Yet we are currently in the midst of one of the more sustained change efforts of the twentieth century, an effort that has begun to shake up conceptions (and, here and there, actual practices) of traditional leadership and decision-making roles in the way districts and schools are organized. Arguments long advocated for substantially increasing the responsibility of teachers for leadership activities beyond their classrooms (Bentzen, 1974; Goodlad, 1975; Sarason, 1971; Schaeffer, 1967) are finally being acknowledged to at least limited extents in the current experiments with devolution of authority, site-based decision making, and the like. Although the sustainability and long-term effects of these efforts (particularly on classroom teaching and learning) are likely to be in question for some time to come, it appears that things may be changing and may not be quite the same.

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Building Capacity and Commitment for Leadership in Preservice Teacher Education

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PAMELA L. GROSSMA1

ANNA E. RICHERT2

ABSTRACT: Current educational reform initiatives advocate changes in both teachers’ and administrators’ roles. Increasingly, teachers are being asked to work with colleagues, administrators, and parents to achieve school-wide reforms. The existing professional socialization of new teachers, however, does little to encourage teachers to gain the skills required to collaborate with other adults. In this article, we argue that preservice teachers education must help beginning teachers develop the commitments, skills, and knowledge required for teacher leadership, and explore the implications of this argument for the pedagogy and curriculum of preservice education.

The current reform agenda rests upon a reconceptualization of the work of teachers both inside and outside of classrooms. Part of the reform agenda advocates new roles for teachers in classroom curriculum and instruction. Another facet of the reform agenda, however, involves teachers’ commitments to communities beyond the classroom. In order to achieve school-wide reforms, teachers must work with colleagues, administrators, parents, and students to make decisions jointly. Representing different voices and experiences, each constituency brings diverse perspectives and expertise to bear on the complexities of teaching, learning, and school life. With joint responsibility and ownership for both problem definition and solution, members of the school community can help each other understand and address these complexities. These changed relationships affect all participants in the system, including administrators. Rather than making decisions themselves, administrators must learn to facilitate a deliberative process in which others participate in decision making. Rather than serving as sole leader, principals must learn to support the exercise of leadership in others. These reconceptualizations of both teachers’ and principals’ roles and responsibilities represent a radical departure from traditional norms and practices in public schools.

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