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Jsl Vol 6-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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5 Articles

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Fashioning a Culture for School Leadership from the Top

ePub

ALLAN WALKER1 *

TERRY QUONG2

ABSTRACT: School leaders are unavoidably touched by educators placed higher in the formal systemic hierarchy. This article reports the attempt of a newly-appointed Education Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to fashion a culture of leadership suited to self-managed schools and shifting educational priorities. First, the context into which the CEO was appointed is described as is the rationale anchoring the new set of guiding values. Second, the values themselves and the actions taken by the CEO to stimulate their adoption throughout the system are discussed. Finally, some initial administrator reactions to the change attempt and a number of associated issues are explored. Findings indicate that actions from high-level educators can influence principals’ approaches to leadership, but that such changes may lack durability unless other influential players exhibit commitment. A further finding exposed the paradox of instituting culture change while avoiding a personality driven approach to leadership.

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Interdisciplinary Teams: Concerns, Benefits, and Costs

ePub

GARY QUINN1

L. NAN RESTINE2 *

ABSTRACT: This article presents a description and analysis of four middle school interdisciplinary teams, their focus of concern, and teachers’ perceptions of the benefits and costs of teaming for themselves and for students. Findings reveal that successful progression toward interdisciplinary teaming tasks is influenced by the interrelationships of group composition, operating variables, and structural variables in particular environments over time.

According to the National Middle School Association (1982), the most essential element and distinguishing feature of the middle school is the interdisciplinary team structure. Interdisciplinary teams are best described as a way of organizing faculty so that groups of teachers share the same students, the responsibility for planning, teaching, and evaluating curriculum and instruction in more than one academic area, the same schedule, and the same area of the building (George and Alexander, 1981). “Schools-within-a-school” reduce the size of students’ social groups, provide more flexibility, and enable students to have a sense of being in a smaller school rather than in a school of several hundred students (Goodlad, 1990).

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Preparing Expert Leaders: A Fresh Clinical Model

ePub

CAROL B. FURTWENGLER1 *

WILLIS J. FURTWENGLER1

DAVID HURST1

RANDALL L. TURK1

EDIE HOLCOMB1

ABSTRACT: This article describes an innovative doctoral program that prepares students to become expert leaders in educational administration. The program integrates curriculum through an applied inquiry, clinically oriented, field-based model. To ensure accurate assessment, student performance is judged according to theoretically grounded categories and is based on multiple evidences.

This article describes an innovative doctoral program that field-tests performance categories for assessing students of educational administration. After providing an overview of the program and highlighting its distinguishing features in the context of recent calls for reform in educational administration programs, we discuss the program’s operation, its integrated curriculum, the evaluation of field studies, the multiple evidences for assessing student performance, and the five performance categories applied to these evidences. The final sections of the article cover the barriers to program implementation, identify the changes in university culture necessary to ensure desired outcomes, and offer participants’ personal reflections (culled from interviews and students’ own reflective logs) on the design and implementation of the program.

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Theories of Liability for the Sexual Misconduct of Teachers

ePub

KAREN L. MICHAELIS1

ABSTRACT: This article reviews two theories of liability adopted by courts to resolve complaints by school children for the sexual misconduct of teachers. Student complaints of sexual abuse by teachers has increased dramatically in the past six years. In each case, students have sought to hold school districts and school officials responsible for the injuries students have suffered while at school due to the sexual misconduct of their teachers. Courts have been reluctant to hold school districts and school officials financially responsible for the acts of individual teachers or other school employees. This result is accomplished through the application of two legal theories—the Constitutional Duty Rule and the policy, custom or practice theory. This article illustrates the way courts misapply these two theories of liability and offers an alternative approach to the issue of the sexual abuse of students by their teachers that promises more meaningful protection of students. The alternative approach encourages school districts and school officials to develop a plan of action that encourages school officials to address the problem of the sexual misconduct of teachers toward students in ways that ultimately offers students better protection from sexual abuse.

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Decision Making: A Comparison of Group and Individual Decision-Making Differences

ePub

RAYMOND L. CALABRESE1 *

SALLY J. ZEPEDA2

ALAN R. SHOHO3

ABSTRACT: This study contrasted the quality in decision making between individuals and collaborative groups. Forty-five participants were administered the Decision-Making Inventory either as individuals or in collaborative groups. There were few differences between individual and collaborative decision-making formats; individual decision-making skills were more effective than collaborative groups in the areas of curriculum and student discipline; there were no significant differences in decision-making skills across the independent variables of gender, ethnicity, and the participants’ current positions in schools.

Decision making is a skill that has long been identified with the work of principals and teachers (Good and Brophy, 1994; Vandenberghe, 1995). The centralization of decision making by principals has been criticized by many who have called for greater participation in decision making as a progressive way of making schools more democratic and more efficient (Ellis and Fischer, 1994). Greater participation in decision making has been a major focus in the educational reform movement. In many states, this has led to legislative-driven educational reform that mandates the incorporation of teachers, parents, and students in the decision-making process. The principal, who in years past had centralized control and reserved the right to make decisions in the privacy of their office, now acts as a facilitator guiding the decision-making process. Leadership workshops now emphasize the process rather than the end product.

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