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Jsl Vol 5-N5

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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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School Principal Succession and Teachers on Successor Effectiveness

ePub

BOB L. JOHNSON, JR.1

JOSEPH W. LICATA2

ABSTRACT: Consistent with a long-standing tradition of research on schools as social systems, this study examines the relationship between the conditions of principal succession and teachers’ perceptions of the successor’s effectiveness. Using a sample of seventy-three elementary and secondary school principals and 3,067 teachers, its intent is to stimulate exploration of principal succession through the development of a series of tentative propositions. Study findings suggest that effective successors: inspire teacher confidence early; are associated with predecessors that teachers see as relatively weak; and are not vulnerable to negative comparisons with the predecessor. Further, and within the context of the social-systems framework, this study suggests that teachers’ assessments of successor effectiveness are related to the degree to which the successor’s style and policies disrupt those features of the school organization which promote systemic predictability for organizational participants.

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The Jobs of British Primary Headteachers and Texas Elementary Principals

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DAVID A. ERLANDSON1 *

GEOFFREY LYONS2

ABSTRACT: A study of the jobs of 255 headteachers in England and Wales was replicated with twenty elementary school principals in Texas. These studies examined the most important and most time-consuming tasks of the headteachers’ and principals’ jobs, the context factors of the jobs, and the work-related personality characteristics of the job incumbents. The results of the study have been used as a tool for the professional development of the twenty principals; they also suggest direction for further exploration of comparisons and contrasts between jobs of headteachers and principals.

As chief administrative officers of their schools, headteachers in Great Britain and principals in the United States have much in common. They are the professionals primarily held accountable for ensuring the positive impact of an educational program that is the product of the interaction of teachers and students. Effective performance of this job has always required a combination of leadership and management skills operating in a variety of domains: curriculum, instruction, student development, budget, school plant, etc. However, traditional ways of exercising these skills are being challenged by major changes in the environments of schools, both in Great Britain and the United States. One of the most powerful changes in school environments has to do with the decentralization of the school organization as manifested by local management of schools (LMS) in Great Britain and site-based management (SBM) in the United States.

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Principals’ Policy Preferences Concerning Accountability: Implications for Key Competencies, Performance Indicators, and Professional Development

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R. J. S. “MAC” MACPHERSON* 1

MARGARET TAPLIN2

ABSTRACT: In this paper, we examine the policy preferences of Tasmania’s principals concerning accountability criteria and processes, compare their views to other stakeholder groups, and identify issues that warrant attention in principals’ professional development programs. We show that there are many criteria and processes related to the quality of learning, teaching, and leadership that are valued by all stakeholder groups, including principals. We conclude that Tasmanian state schools probably need to review and develop their accountability policies, and that the professional development will need to prepare leaders for specific forms of performance and generate key competencies if more educative forms of accountability practices are to be realised in practice.

The Tasmanian Department of Education and the Arts (DEA) commissioned research** in September 1992 intended to identify educative forms of accountability preferred by selected stakeholders. It was explained in a memorandum to principals of all high, district high and primary schools, senior officers, schools councils, and parents’ associations that, “in mapping forms of accountability, the project will address the criteria and the processes that are or should be used to identify, report on, and improve learning, teaching and leadership” (Harrington, 1992). It was also made clear that the findings would be reported “in a form which will assist school communities and the Department to review their accountability policies” (p. 1).

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Teacher Perceptions of a Consulting Teacher Model for Professional Development

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E. DIANE BEHRENS1

ABSTRACT: Teachers' perceptions of the Consulting Teacher Model in Albemarle County, Virginia were examined. Data collected from five consulting teachers and ten client teachers were utilized in a case study approach to describe five professional development clusters—each consisting of one consulting teacher and two client teachers. Five themes emerged from a cross-case analysis: receptivity to assistance, value of collegiality, viability of the role, consulting teacher as change agent, and teacher empowerment. Consulting teachers helped client teachers grow professionally and promoted different perspectives on teaching in the areas of mathematics, language arts, and special education. Of all the benefits of the Consulting Teacher Model, collaboration was viewed as the most rewarding.

The days of neighborhoods that are stable and families that are intact are gone. Schools are expected to handle a variety of welfare tasks that were handled elsewhere in the past. Many young people come to school unprepared to learn. The complexity of teaching has led to an increasing need for excellent teachers and a recognition that the key to educating young people today requires a professional staff willing to accept new responsibilities–leadership responsibilities.

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