W.G. Walker Outstanding Paper Award

Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 15 May 2007


Ross Thomas, A. (2007), "W.G. Walker Outstanding Paper Award", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 45 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/jea.2007.07445caa.001

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

W.G. Walker Outstanding Paper Award

At the end of each year members of the journal’s Editorial Advisory Board are asked to vote for the articles that they consider the best to have appeared in the just-completed volume. Accordingly, I am pleased to announce the result of the ballot for the outstanding articles to appear in Vol. 44, 2006.

The W.G. Walker Award, made in honour of the founding editor of this journal, is presented to Neil Cranston, Lisa C. Ehrich and Megan Kimber for their article “Ethical dilemmas: the ‘bread and butter’ of educational leaders’ lives”. The article was published in Vol. 44 No. 2.

Two articles were highly commended: “Toward a framework for preparing leaders for social justice” by Colleen Capper, George Theoharis and James Sebastian (Vol. 44 No. 3) and “Complexity and the beginning principal in the USA: perspectives on socialization” by Gary M. Crow (Vol. 44 No. 4).

On behalf of the Editorial Advisory Board and the editorial members of the Journal of Educational Administration I extend congratulations to these fine authors.

This issue

This issue of the journal contains five articles contributed by authors in Israel, New Zealand, the UK and the USA.

The first article is published with the permission of the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. The article, “Leadership as a subversive activity”, is the William Walker Oration presented by John MacBeath (University of Cambridge) in October 2006 at the annual conference of the Council in Canberra. In his article, MacBeath uses “subversive” in an intellectual, moral and political sense, as “a sacred mission to confront the ‘noble lies’ of politicians, the superficiality of the designer culture and the line of least resistance opted for by overworked and demoralised teachers”. The paper is based on a seven-country three-year study, which brought together staff from 24 schools to explore the connection between learning and leadership. Five key principles held in common among the schools provides basis for an insightful and intriguing discussion.

Our second article reports a study conducted in junior and senior public high schools in Israel. The authors, Klein and Weiss (Bar-Ilan University) investigated a procedure that integrates both decision-making approaches – intuitive, considered to be holistic and creative, and systematic, considered to have a theoretical basis and accuracy in data processing – used by teachers. These two approaches, together with a composite or integrated procedure, were used by teachers to resolve a complex educational dilemma. Fascinating results shed light on the different thinking patterns of decision-makers and point to the potential integration of intuitive and systemic thinking in resolving complex educational problems.

Friedman, Bobrowski and Markow next identify factors that represent parent satisfaction with their children’s schools. They then seek to identify the predictors of overall school satisfaction among three groups of variables – district characteristics, parent demographics, and school satisfaction factors. Findings for this study are based on data gathered from over 30,000 parents throughout the USA. Three significant factors emerged: the extent that parents received adequate information from the school about their children and the degree of involvement the school and teachers afforded them; the adequacy of school resources; and the extent to which school leadership (Board of Education and School Superintendent) were effective and managed the school budget well.

The next article is also based in the USA and investigates the composition of metaphor by adult graduate students in 17 teams in two business and three educational administration courses. Marcellino (Adelphi University) used action-research (conducted by the instructors and students) to utilise participants’ metaphors or metaphoric fragments (glimpses of a metaphor) as an instructional technique to better understand and compare the team processes in each discipline. It was found that the analysis of metaphors enabled the instructor to develop a multiple perspective of various team stages and to revise an action plan that would expand the use of metaphors as a diagnostic tool.

In the final article, Walker (Massey University) reports a study of perceptions of service climate in New Zealand English language centres. Teachers and administrative staff responded to a detailed questionnaire the analysis of which revealed their overall positive perceptions of service climate in their respective institutions. Aspects of management were not as positively perceived; resourcing even less so. The author concludes that the centres are doing well in their “soft” service management areas, e.g. client focus, but need to pay more attention to the “hard” components such as resourcing and basic management competencies.

Six book reviews complete this issue.

A. Ross Thomas