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Jsl Vol 7-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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Does Restructuring Make a Difference for the Principal: Role Conceptions of Principals in Restructuring Schools

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DANNY L. TALBOT1

GARY M. CROW1*

ABSTRACT: School restructuring involves changes in the principal's role in general and in the role conception in particular. The study reported here examines differences and similarities in role conception between principals participating in a state sponsored restructuring program and principals of schools not participating in this program. Findings are based on a statewide survey of administrators. Principals in the restructuring schools generally report practices and attitudes that are congruent with elements of the program. However, there is little difference between these principals and their counterparts in regard to involving parents in core technology activities of the school.

School restructuring involves changes in the principal’s role (Bredeson, 1993; Hart, 1993; Murphy and Hallinger, 1992; Murphy and Louis, 1994). Most research on the role of the principal in restructuring schools has focused on how principals enact their roles. This current body of research suggests that school restructuring influences how principals enact certain elements of their role including decision making, problem solving, staff relations, and resource/environment management (Goldring, 1992; Hallinger, 1992; Hallinger and Hausman, 1994; Hart, 1994).

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Looking at the Big Picture: School Administrators and Violence Reduction

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GEORGE J. PETERSEN1

ABSTRACT: This study investigated district and site administrators' perceptions of school violence and violence prevention programs in fifteen school districts of various sizes in twelve states located across the United States. The study focused upon: (1) school administrators' fears about violence, (2) frequency of administrators as victims of violent actions over the past two years, (3) areas in the school environment which pose the greatest risk for violence for students or school personnel, (4) profiles of typical victims and perpetrators of violence, (5) strategies implemented by schools/districts to reduce violence, (6) perceptions regarding which strategies were considered to be the most and least effective in reducing violence, and (7) the cost to school districts for violence prevention. The study concluded by providing a suggested plan of action to remediate and reduce violence in schools.

The problem of violence in schools, which is part of the overall problem of violence in society, has become one of the most pressing educational issues in the United States (Noguera, 1995). The number of youths arrested on homicide charges between 1988 and 1992 increased by 101 percent in Ohio alone. “People think juveniles only run away and steal candy bars. They don’t. They murder, they commit rapes, they use handguns.” (Baker, 1995). While the increasing tide of juvenile violence in the streets is alarming, it is particularly problematic because of insidious encroachment into the public school systems (Sautter, 1995). Many of our public schools, once considered safe, are being ravished by violence. Violence disrupts schools from functioning, students from learning, and teachers from teaching. It degrades the quality of life and education for children, and it forces some schools to devote many of their already scarce resources to security measures (Berliner and Biddle, 1995).

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The Construction of Paradox and the Teacher Union’s Role in Complex Change

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WENDY L. POOLE1

ABSTRACT : This article presents a case study that focuses on the construction of the teacher union paradox as a factor contributing to productive collaboration between union and management. Teacher union leaders face an apparent paradox between the dual interests of teacher unions—teachers' self-interests and teachers’ educational interests. Teacher union members and leaders act upon their particular constructions of the relationship between these dual interests. The cast study demonstrates how union members and leaders constructed the dualities differently and how these constructions influenced their behavior. Examining teacher union leadership through the perspective of paradox construction may result in new ways of understanding union behavior and union-management relationships.

Common themes within the literature contend that teacher unions promote a conception of teachers as laborers and that teacher unions are more interested in maintaining and enhancing the economic and political interests of teachers than in promoting professionalism. Traditionally teacher unions have been perceived by educational administrators as adversaries in the promotion of the broader educational interests of students and educational institutions.

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Ethical Leadership: The Soul of Policy Making

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JAYNE HUDSON1

“The images or metaphors through which we read organizational situations help us to describe the way organizations are, and offer clear ideas and options as to how they could be.” (Morgan, 1986, p. 335)

Policy making is a vital facet of any organization and has a direct effect on the amount of trust the stakeholders have in the organization. A major player in policy making is the leader, including the leader’s assigned role and personal agenda. Therefore, the influence the leader has on policy making is an aspect worth examining. The proposition presented is that if trustworthy policy is the desired outcome, then ethical leadership is the critical element. Considering the complexity of policy making and the extensive writings which address the myriad aspects of this organizational function, the statement that the essence, or soul, of policy making is ethical leadership appears, on the surface, to be simplistic if not naive.

The significance of leadership in policy making will be examined using the metaphorical framework of the body, its inherent dependence on the heart for life, and its requirement of a soul for virtuous direction. Organizations, as we know them, cannot exist without policy and policymakers. Using the images of the body, heart, and soul highlights the paramount importance and interdependence of each of these elements to the organization as a whole. Both the body and policy making are dependent on the correct contribution of all their parts if they are to function properly. Each body has a heart which supplies the essential elements of life to that body. In policy making, the leader is responsible for procuring the vital elements so that the decision-making process can take place. Whether the body is productive or unproductive, used for good or evil, is contingent on the soul. The moral stance of the leader is the prevailing force in determining whether the policy produced is ethical or unethical. Ethical policy might be possible without ethical leadership, but the only way to insure ethical policy is by having an ethical leader.

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Professional Isolation and Performance at Work of School Principals

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MARC DUSSAULT1,*

STÉPHANE THIBODEAU1

ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between professional isolation of school principals and their performance at work. Principals of a suburban area of the province of Quebec (n = 109) were administered French versions of the UCLA Loneliness Scale and Self-Appraisal Instrument for Community College Administrators. The results indicate, as expected, a negative and significant correlation (r = -.27, p = .005) between isolation and self-report of performance at work of school principals. The results highlight the importance of looking for ways to reduce professional isolation of principals and to pursue research on this topic.

Educational organizations are facing many challenges. They must enhance the quality of their services, ensure that all children are learning, reduce dropout rates, and encourage the completion of degrees. The situation calls for improvement and leadership. A large body of studies highlights the primary role of school leaders in excellent North American English schools (Cheng, 1994; Hallinger and Heck, 1996; Hallinger and Leithwood, 1994; Silins, 1994) or French Canadian schools (Brunet, Maduro, and Corriveau, 1989). School leaders are viewed as the central persons to shape the contextual factors that create the organizational conditions necessary for school change and improvement. Principals, by playing a key role in the development of the school culture (Pépin, 1986), are also described as the orchestrators of change (Silins, 1994) who must contribute to the development of the school as a learning community (Hellweg, 1983; Krackhardt and Hanson, 1993).

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