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Jsl Vol 6-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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5 Articles

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Administrative Interns as Legitimate Participants in the Community of Practice

ePub

PAULA A. CORDEIRO1*

ELLEN SMITH SLOAN1

ABSTRACT: In recent years, many programs in Educational Administration have added the requirement of an administrative internship. This paper explores how internship learning differs from classroom learning using a theoretical framework of legitimate peripheral participation. The paper also explores how the internship impacts both the intern and the mentor as well as how reflection opportunities can be built into the internship. The paper concludes with an Intern Transition Model.

Recent reports, articles, and books in educational administration have focused on redesigning preparation programs for future school administrators (Crow, Mecklowitz, and Weekes, 1992; Milstein, and Associates, 1993; Murphy, 1992). The descriptions of these revamped programs describe the need for field experiences which are integral to the entire preparation program (Milstein, Bobroff, and Restine, 1991). In 1987, Murphy and Hallinger called for the “Need to bring the training process more in line with the conditions and milieu of the workplace” (p. 255). A common criticism–that newly prepared administrators lack clinical experience–is addressed by including an internship as a major component of administrator preparation programs (Anderson, 1989; Griffiths, 1988; Heller, Conway, and Jacobson, 1988).

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Secondary Department Chair Roles: Ambiguity and Change in Systemic Reform

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TRACI BLISS1*

CAROLINE FAHRNEY1

BETTY STEFFY1

ABSTRACT: Systemic reform initiatives, while concerned with school leadership roles, have overlooked the potential role of secondary department chairpersons in the change process. This study examines department chair and teacher perceptions of department chair responsibilities in the context of state-mandated systemic reform. What emerges is a distinct lack of consensus about the appropriate department chair role among the chairs themselves as well as among teachers. Teachers have identified specific types of support they need from chairs which differ from the chairs’ view of their own responsibilities. The chronic ambiguity of the department chair role, particularly in the midst of systemic reform, should be addressed to fully realize the potential for meaningful and facilitative leadership.

Systemic reform initiatives have instigated a focus on new types of school leadership roles and participatory forms of decision making (Russo, 1994; Van Meter, 1994). However, a potentially instrumental cadre of leaders, discipline area department chairs in high schools, is currently overlooked by both researchers and policymakers. The following exploratory study examines department chair roles in the midst of systemic reform in Kentucky—how department chairpersons perceive their roles and how they are perceived by the teachers with whom they work.

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Creating a Learning Community in a Multicultural Setting: Issues of Leadership

ePub

CAROLYN M. SHIELDS1

ABSTRACT: For a four year period, the author has been studying the efforts of two principals to implement changes which would turn their schools into learning communities. The original purpose was to determine whether these approaches would lead to greater student empowerment and better learning environments. As I studied the issues related to cross-cultural leadership in two schools serving largely Native American populations, questions arose concerning the nature and utility of the community metaphor in such cross-cultural settings. I did not readily find evidence of the gemeinschaft notion of a community of kinship and shared values. How then might community be defined and/or achieved? The paper presents an empirically-based conceptualisation of community for cross-cultural settings, and identifies the implications of this concept for school leaders.

Within today’s context of major change–political, economic, ecological, scientific, social, and cultural–school administrators are often charged with the task of “restructuring” their schools in order to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student body. Under the rubric of school restructuring, administrators are confronted by proposals and demands for innumerable reforms including new governance structures, experimental organizational structures, and innovative instructional programs. Banks (1992) defines restructuring as “a fundamental reexamination and reconstruction of the goals, values, and purposes of schools” and suggests that real reform will focus, at least in part, on the creation of “multi-cultural, learner-centered schools.” Fullan (1993) asserts that the reason so many heavily funded reform initiatives have not produced the anticipated changes is that people have failed to make the necessary connections “between new governance structures and the teaching-learning process” (p. 50).

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Context and Perception: Implications for Leadership

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JUDITH H. BERG1

ABSTRACT: This article focuses on the behaviors and activities of one superintendent as he tried to implement a change agenda in his district. The superintendent’s and administrators’ perceptions are presented on the critical issues. Although his leadership style seemed based on theory, it created consternation and fear in many and acceptance and support in some. Specific phenomenon appear to have impacted these perceptions and the subsequent promotion or rejection of the superintendent’s agenda.

The education reform movement of the 1980s placed the responsibility for school improvement squarely upon the shoulders of the school principal. Understandably, the site administrator must be viewed as the key player in any improvement process within the school. Less discernable is the rationale which supports the fact that the role of the superintendent has been, in the main, left out of the reform agenda. In fact, the literature on school reform “is largely silent regarding the role of the superintendent” (Schlechty, 1986, p. 18). “Remarkably little attention ... (is) given either to superintendents specifically or to district level operations” (Murphy, 1990, p. 237). Some, (Tyack and Hansot, 1982; Wirt and Kirst, 1982) suggest that this omission is purposeful. They postulate that superintendents, in the decades from 1960–1980, in general, exerted little or no leadership for school improvement. Thus, the school district’s chief executive officer role is limited to “authorizing and enabling” in most of the prestigious commission reports focused upon educational improvement.

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Using Cohorts as a Means for Developing Transformational Leaders

ePub

MARGARET BASOM1

DIANE YERKES2

CYNTHIA NORRIS3

BRUCE BARNETT4

ABSTRACT: The practice of using cohorts in educational leadership programs is examined from conceptual and practical viewpoints. Suggestions for developing cohorts are followed by discussion of the effects of cohorts on students, faculty, educational programs, and systems. Lastly, this paper takes a look at the potential of using the cohort concept as a vehicle for the development of transformational leaders.

Across the landscape of educational administration, the cohort is emerging as a fashionable delivery structure for preparation programs. Yet, the cohort concept is not new to education. As early as the 1940s, cohorts were part of preparation programs committed to reform and the concept has been revived with modest success from time to time since. However, early use of cohorts was limited and, possibly because of historic exigencies, the approach nearly vanished from mainstream preparation programs by the 1980s.

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