Journal of Educational Administration

ISSN: 0957-8234

Publication date: 1 February 2011


Ross Thomas, A. (2011), "Editorial", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 49 No. 1. https://doi.org/10.1108/jea.2011.07449aaa.002

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 49, Issue 1

Editorial Advisory Board

It is with regret that I have to announce the retirement from the Board of long-serving member Professor Flora Ortiz. Flora Ortiz has given dedicated service to the Journal since joining the Board in 1988. In particular her contributions as advisor to the Editor and reviewer of submitted manuscripts are greatly appreciated.

I welcome to the Board Professor Pamela Sammons of the Department of Education at the University of Oxford. Pam Sammons brings to the Journal extensive practical and scholastic experience in our field. Her particular interests in school effectiveness and improvement, leadership and equity in education, policy evaluation and research methodology will be of immense value to the Journal.

After four years as Book Review Editor Professor Anthony Normore is relinquishing this position. I offer my deepest thanks to him for his outstanding accomplishments in this role. Readers of the Journal will have observed that, during this period, the number of book reviews published has steadily increased: in Volumes 45-48 (2007-2010) 86 reviews have been published, an average of 21 per volume and an average of five in each general issue. This achievement has been due entirely to Tony Normore’s efforts and dedication. While I naturally regret his departure from the role of Review Editor I note with pleasure that he has agreed to remain a member of the Editorial Advisory Board.

I welcome Professor Gaetane Jean-Marie of the University of Oklahoma as the Journal’s new Review Editor. Professor Jean-Marie has published both article and book review in the Journal and is thus fully conversant with the standards of publication demanded.

This issue

Articles in this, the first issue of Volume 49, have been contributed by authors in Australia, Finland, Sweden and the USA. Four of these relate to leadership practices in schools and school systems and one addresses an issue of increasing concern to leaders in institutions of higher education.

The first article by Dan Riley, Deidre J. Duncan and John Edwards reports on the authors’ extensive analysis of bullying among teaching staff in Australian schools. Using an online survey approach, the authors collected data from 800 teacher respondents in both primary and secondary schools across the continent. All had experienced bullying of one form or another during their employment much of which was exercised by fellow teachers. The study reveals the many and varied practices that bullying may take and the personal damage that such can inflict on teachers. Several extremely important implications for school leaders are drawn from the study.

Leadership practices of school principals are examined in the following article by Karen Leigh Sanzo, Whitney H. Sherman and Jennifer Clayton. Against a backdrop of leaders’ accountability and their association with and responsibility for academic achievement in schools, the authors report on the outcome of intensive interviews with a sample of K-12 principals in Virginia. Emerging from the authors’ analysis of data is a most useful framework by which other principals may model their practices. Fundamental to such practices are the desiderata of sharing leadership, facilitating professional development, leading with a strong orientation towards improved instruction, and acting openly and honestly.

In recent years worldwide surveys and analyses of comparable data have revealed the many strengths of education in Finland. It is thus significant for the Journal to publish an article from this country. School reform and development are the themes of this report contributed by Kirsi Phyältö, Tiina Soini and Janne Pietarinen. As in the preceding article, the authors have used a largely open-ended approach, although via survey questionnaire, to illuminate the themes of their study. Noteworthy findings are the variations in importance afforded school reforms by different levels of leadership. Principals, for example, consider the core of school reform to be pedagogy whereas chief education officers regard technical and financial factors more often as the critical bases of reform. The authors argue that more attention should be paid to activating collaborative learning environments for students, teachers and educational leaders at all levels.

From Finland we move to Sweden as setting for the next article by Erik Lindberg and Timothy L. Wilson. Herein is a report of a longitudinal study of the perceived consequences of the (compulsory) introduction of a management by objectives program into upper secondary schools. Principals were questioned in 1998 and 2008. Although, overall, they perceived the effects of MBO to have diminished through this decade, there were some possibly conflicting – certainly challenging – results. No improvement in student performance was identified – thus challenging the effectiveness of the practice – although there was a possible improvement in the efficiency of staff performance. Although principals reported greater frustration in their schools it appeared that teachers were feeling less stressed at the conclusion of the decade.

The final article addresses disruption and violence on the campuses of institutions of higher education. The authors, Eileen Weisenbach Keller, Stephanie Hughes and Giles Hertz, point out that the problem is not confined to colleges and universities in the USA; it has been witnessed in several countries. Overall, there appears to have been an increase in violence and disruption to the extent that institutions should plan their responses to such events. Accordingly, the authors have completed a comprehensive review of planning literature located in primary and secondary schools as well as in colleges and universities, literature on risk and threat assessment, literature on “whistle blowers”, and contemporary reports of institutional violence. The resulting model to assist in assessing and mitigating threats on college campuses is presented in the hope that its plausibility will be investigated and that successful plans will emerge.

Six book reviews complete this issue.

A. Ross Thomas