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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 46, Issue 3.
With deep regret we report the death of Jack Culbertson who, until very recent years, was an active and extraordinarily influential professor in the field of educational administration.
In many ways the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA) stands as a memorial to his vision, efforts and energy. Long-time Executive Director of UCEA, Jack Culbertson oversaw its development into the most significant of institutions in the field.
Jack Culbertson was a member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Educational Administration from 1968 to 1982. His contribution to this journal is remembered and appreciated.
Editorial Advisory Board
We welcome to the Editorial Advisory Board Alma Harris who is Professor and Director of the Institute of Education at the University of Warwick. As Editor of School Leadership & Management she will bring added and valuable expertise to this board. Professor Harris was also Guest Editor of the preceding issue of the journal (Vol. 46 No. 2, 2008) the theme of which was distributed leadership.
There are six articles in this issue of the journal the authors of which come from the USA, Australia and Israel.
In the first of these Blase, Blase and Du report on their study of teachers who have been mistreated by their principals. Data were gathered via an online 219-item questionnaire from elementary, middle and high school teachers. The items addressed six research questions which, inter alia, sought the teachers’ perceptions of the major sources and intensity of mistreatment by a principal. A wide range of abusive principal behaviours was identified which resulted in extensive, adverse psychological/emotional, physical/physiological and work-related effects on teachers as well as their families and their work. Little by way of coping strategies was indicated by the teachers.
Gigante and Firestone next contribute details of a study of teacher leadership in which colleagues are assisted to improve their teaching in mathematics and science. Case studies of seven teacher leaders provide data for the authors’ investigation. Analysis of the cases revealed that teacher leaders manifest two kinds of leadership tasks - support (in which teachers are helped do their work but are not assisted in teacher learning) and developmental (which does facilitate teacher learning). All teacher leaders engaged in support tasks but only four undertook developmental tasks - those who had access to one particular material resource (time to work with colleagues) and three social resources (support from administrators, more positive relations with teachers, and opportunities to work with teachers on professional development) unavailable to the other teacher leaders.
The third article, contributed by Goldring, Huff, May and Camburn, is representative of an ongoing study of the principalship. In particular, the investigation seeks information on the influences that determine how principals allocate their attention to the multitude of responsibilities in their schools. Principals completed end-of-day logs for a week and cluster analysis was used to categorise them according to the activities recorded therein. Three groups were identified - eclectic, instructional, and student leaders. Subsequent discriminant analyses revealed no individual attributes distinguished among the three types of principals. Only contextual variables predicted membership of the three leadership categories.
Following this is a conceptual article by Eacott in which the author examines our knowledge of strategy within the field of educational administration. Within the contemporary context of our field, the evolution of strategy as an educational construct, its definition, and its need in education are examined. The author then uses this information as a basis to identify key conceptual and methodological issues in current research. A valuable, extensive and eclectic reference list accompanies the article.
The next article is also a conceptual piece by Branson that draws on an eclectic review of literature from the fields of organisational change, organisational culture, philosophy, psychology, and values theory. The author develops and tests an hypothesis that successful organisational change can occur only when those affected by the change are able to commit willingly to an agreed set of values aligned with the accomplishment of the organisation’s new outcomes. The author proposes, in fact, that values alignment could be the bedrock upon which all successful organisational changes depend. A commendable, practical inclusion in the article is the presentation of a framework for achieving values alignment in an organization.
The final article by Abu-Raida Quader and Oplatka tell the stories of six female supervisors who have achieved this high-level position in the Bedouin educational system and who, in so doing, illustrate a connection between power and femininity in a patriarchal tribal society very different from the one constructed in western leadership literature. In spite of the inferiority of femininity in the traditional Bedouin society, the female supervisors perceived such to be an advantage and powerful, inter alia, in minimising tribal-professional conflict and taking on a social role in the empowerment of Bedouin women in all spheres of life.
Seven book reviews complete this issue.
A. Ross Thomas