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Jsl Vol 7-N6

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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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4 Articles

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Reconsidering the Educational Restructuring Process: An Exercise in Retrospective Sense-Making

ePub

BOB L. JOHNSON, JR.1

ABSTRACT: The restructuring movement in American public education has been underway for several years. No longer is it enough, reformers argue, to improve schools as we know them; the very organizations in which teaching and learning are imbedded must be restructured. Yet like so many words associated with reform, restructuring has come to mean everything and nothing. The full significance of the word is often overlooked, its richness lost, as educators and policymakers alike equate any and all change efforts with restructuring. A cursory review of the literature attests to this ambiguity and to the scarcity of conceptual work on the topic. While works on specific restructuring initiatives are prevalent, few focus on the meaning and organizational implications inherent in restructuring efforts. Motivated by this scarcity of conceptual literature, the purpose of this endeavor is to provide both researchers and practitioners a framework for thinking about the restructuring process in educational settings. While not an attempt to offer a comprehensive explanation, a conscious effort is made to move toward an incipient theory of restructuring using the language and logic of the organizational structure literature.

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Who Defines “Democratic Leadership”?: Three High School Principals Respond to Site-Based Reforms

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LIANE BROUILLETIE1

ABSTRACT: This article focuses on the behaviors and activities of three high school principals as they respond to their district’s decision to implement a model of shared decision making designed to give teachers and parents a larger voice at the building level. The varying responses of the three building administrators are described, along with the way democratic leadership was multilaterally defined in each school by the principal, teachers, and others.

In recent years, prevailing conceptions of the principal’s role have changed dramatically. Many researchers and practitioners have called for a shift away from an older, managerial model of practice, toward a model analogous to that followed by other professions whose members must exercise discretion and judgment in meeting the unique needs of clients. The new model would be based on professional conditions of specialized knowledge, collective self-regulation, autonomous performance, special attention to the unique needs of clients, and responsibility for client welfare. As in health care and related professions, the implicit bargain struck with society would be that, in return for professional control over work structure and standards of practice, the profession would guarantee the competence of its members. This would require that increased autonomy be balanced with ongoing peer review of practice under the leadership of the building principal (Darling-Hammond and Wise, 1992).

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Problem-Based Leadership Development: Preparing Educational Leaders for Changing Times

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PHILIP HALLINGER*,1

EDWIN BRIDGES2

ABSTRACT: This article presents a scenario for the future of school leadership and the role of problem-based leadership development. This scenario fosters several assumptions concerning the capacities that will be needed by future school leaders: a) ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, b) attitudes and skills in life-long learning, c) more varied leadership roles, d) higher levels of collaboration with professionals and parents. We define and describe problem-based leadership development and compare it with traditional forms of instruction. We do not advocate PBL as a replacement for administrative preparation; rather, we offer the rationale for using PBL as a complementary approach to leadership development.

Today’s educators are responding to a wide array of changes initiated, for the most part, from outside the schoolhouse: emerging instructional and management technologies, shifting governmental priorities for education, a stream of innovations in teaching and learning, evolving local governance structures, new community-school configurations, students and families with changing needs. These present schools with multiple and varied challenges, not all of which are welcomed with open arms. In education, as with the private sector, one prescription—leadership—seems to make all the lists of requirements for coping effectively with organizational change.

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Toward an Understanding of Teachers’ Desire for Participation in Decision Making

ePub

DIANNE L. TAYLOR*,1

ABBAS TASHAKKORI1

ABSTRACT: An integral component of the restructuring literature rests on the assumption that teachers want to participate in schoolwide decision making. The present study explores this assumption by constructing a typology of teachers based on their reported desire to participate. Four types of teachers are characterized: (a) empowered—those who want to participate and do; (b) disenfranchised—those who want to participate but do not; (c) involved—those who do not want to participate but do; and (d) disengaged—those who do not want to participate and do not. We examine the differences and similarities among the four types of teachers on both demographic and attitudinal indicators. Results indicate that teachers are distinguished more by actual participation than by desire to participate. However, one attitudinal indicator, sense of efficacy, differentiated teachers based on desire for participation.

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