Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 49, Issue 4
I shall retire from the Editorship of the Journal of Educational Administration as from the submission of the manuscript for the final issue of the current volume. I am pleased to announce that my replacements will be Professors Allan Walker and Philip Hallinger of the Hong Kong Institute of Education.
Both are scholars of international renown, both have supported the JEA through their frequent publications in it, and are thus sensitive to its standards, procedures and expectations. Each has served individually as Guest Editor of a special, thematic issue of the JEA and also in this capacity with other journals in our field. Philip Hallinger has twice won the JEA Outstanding Paper Award and Allan Walker has been a member of our Editorial Advisory Board since 2000.
The Journal will be in good hands.
During the forthcoming annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association in New Orleans I shall convene a meeting of the Editorial Advisory Board. A report on this meeting will be included in the next issue (No. 5, 2011) of the Journal.
The issue contains five articles, all submitted initially in 2010, and four of which deal specifically with aspects of the school principalship. The countries of the authors serve again to provide a pleasing international dimension to the scholarship of the Journal: the United States, Israel, Pakistan and New Zealand.
In the first article Adams and Jean-Marie use diffusion theory to assist in understanding leadership reform. The authors focus on the diffusion or “spread” of a collective leadership model, specifically monitoring the differences in instructional capacity in a sample of 36 urban and near-urban American Title I elementary schools. Diffusion of the leadership model was supported inter alia by strong principal leadership, frequent and open communication, and commitment to collective responsibility and shared influence with in the schools. Each indicator of instructional capacity was more prevalent in those schools that had diffused the leadership model to the mentoring and sustaining stages.
Richardson, McLeod and Garrett Dikkers next report on their survey of the perceptions of 105 human resource directors in K-12 school districts in the USA. Many of their findings will be of interest (and perhaps concern) to employing authorities and institutions offering online qualifications. For example, the majority of respondents believed that (in comparison with the traditional face-to-face format) online courses and online degrees directed at principals required less work, were of lower quality, and could not adequately prepare principals to address state-specific matters. Respondents in urban districts were even more critical of online approaches.
In the next article, set in Israel, Eyal, Berkovich and Schwartz report on their study of 52 participants in principal training programs. Data were gathered via a purpose-designed ethical perspective instrument that draws on multiple ethical paradigms. The study examines the extent to which multiple ethical considerations can be taken into account simultaneously as well as identifying the prevailing values that come most frequently into play. Among several significant relationships the authors identify “critique” as the value most widely adopted by educational leaders to solve ethical dilemmas (followed by “care” and “profession”).
Pakistan is the setting for the next article by Salfi who describes a study somewhat similar to those of many recent articles in the JEA that investigated successful schools. From a sample of 1,050 head teachers and teachers in government secondary schools the author extracts data that reveal several important relationships, many of which are in accord with findings from other countries. For example, the majority of head teachers in successful schools developed a common and shared school vision, while also promoting a culture of collaboration, support and trust. They distributed leadership activities throughout their schools, involved different personnel in decision making, involved communities, and encouraged their own as well as their teachers’ professional development.
In the final article Bendikson, Hattie and Robinson report on their development of a simple but fair system to assess the relative performance of secondary schools in New Zealand where the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) assesses student achievement through a combination of criterion-based and external assessments. The nature of NCEA means that school-level results reflect not only student achievement but also the ability of leaders to organise, deliver, and monitor a curriculum relevant for students. The methodology employed by the authors offers several advantages: its ability to be used with any publicly-available standards-based achievement data, its validity as an indicator of leadership and organisational performance, and its ability to track trends in school performance over time.
Five book reviews complete this issue.
A. Ross Thomas