Teaching Leaders to Lead Teachers: Volume 10


Table of contents

(26 chapters)

To Saran's mama, Maggie Shaw, and Richard's loving wife, Margo; we are very grateful for your sacrifice and dedication. We greatly appreciate your unwavering support and encouragement.

Today, the public schools are in crisis with various sectors of society questioning their performance and ability to provide the quality of education needed to maintain our nation's pre-eminence in the world economy. We organized the book into three sections, which examine the complex issue of public education and suggest that increasing the role teachers and others play in delivering public education will enhance and improve schools. The first section focuses on the academic processes prospective school leaders must go through before entering an administrative position. Chapters in this section discuss issues such as those who train, hire, and aspire to become school leaders. The second section examines issues affecting administrators while serving in the role of school leader. Topics discussed include using community cultural values to create a positive school climate and environment, various issues affecting teacher leadership, and the politics of school administration. The final section of the book encourages both active and potential school leaders to re-examine themselves as leaders and encourages practitioners to consider their perspective on school administration and their rise to the position.

For the last decade, policy makers and boards of education have been mandating and searching for school leaders who are knowledgeable about curriculum and instruction or what the reform literature terms instructional leadership. The recognition that expertise in teaching and learning is critical to the achievement in our schools, however, has often been overwhelmed by the management functions of administration and programs in educational administration, which continue to support the role of manager, and provides little, if any, substance for the kinds of knowledge and skills necessary to lead a school instructionally. Recent studies of the instructional leadership contend that the content that has been neglected in the training of administrators is an understanding of subject matter and how an educational leader must transform the theories, ideas, and practices of a subject or discipline into the everyday understandings of classroom teaching. Although the new construct of Leadership Content Knowledge (LDK) provides a new understanding about what leaders need to know about teaching and learning in order to effectively perform the role of instructional leader, the studies of LDK have not yet provided a process for becoming a leader of content knowledge. The author describes a framework for how an educational administrator would become a “Leader of Content Knowledge.”

This chapter explores the concept and application of learner-centered leadership. The exploration of learner-centered leadership requires rethinking the purposes and actions of school leaders, and its application implies new knowledge and skills for aspiring administrators and new models for professional development for those already on the job. The chapter explores foundational concepts on leadership and their application to a U.S. Department of Education funded project on administrator preparation and professional development.

This chapter presents a crosswalk of the International Society for Technology Standards for Administrators commonly referred to as NETS*A, the Interstate School Leaders Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) Standards for Administrators and the Educational Leadership Constituent Council (ELCC) Standards. This crosswalk will serve as a framework for a discussion of how the administrative standards have evolved to their current state and how administrators can best shift dispositions and knowledge and skills to get the maximum impact of technology in their standards-based leadership activities. The chapter finishes with practical advice as to how administrators can proceed to assess their environment and use appropriate technology to facilitate meeting the requirements of the revised standards.

Recognizing the need for a pool of diverse future administrators, the Los Angeles Unified School District entered into a partnership with the Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at California State University, Northridge to prepare the next generation of leaders. The process to develop the program and produce the cadre of candidates is a study in the facilitation of the transition of educators from teachers to administrators. This chapter examines the issues encountered and the processes established to create a rigorous, accessible master's degree/Administrative Credential Program that met the needs of the students and the school district.

The aim of this qualitative study was to determine what makes school principals successful. The study obtained data through interviews, both face-to-face and via e-mail correspondence. Content analysis provides the framework for analyzing the data. The data revealed that successful school principals have three different, but interrelated competencies, which are personal, administrative, and leadership competencies. The study also indicates that those successful principals gave priority to human relations, they see the school as their home where principals created a warm atmosphere, communicated effectively with all stakeholders, committed themselves to their schools, managed schools in a democratic way, solved problems on time and effectively.

One of the most challenging issues facing building level administrators is the supervision of special education programs in their schools. This chapter outlines the role of the building administrator in overseeing the implementation of special education laws and policies from the initial process of referring students for special education services through the implementation and monitoring phases of service delivery at the building level. Detailed topics include dealing with parents, regular education staff, and student privacy issues. This text examines student discipline and due process complaints as well as strategies for dealing with outside agencies, such as child welfare departments and law enforcement officials. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the No Child Left Behind Act, and its impact on special education services at the building level.

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the basic ideas behind human and social capital, relate those ideas to teacher education and staff-development activities, and then summarize key literature regarding faculty evaluation methods with an eye toward building the human and social capital within schools. The probable outcome of targeted professional development for special educators is enhanced collective efficacy across the entire school community. The chapter concludes with the application of situational leadership, a model that appears to have particular utility toward building the human and social capital of a school.

While facing challenges and crises in the leadership of schools, school administrators need to have three vital characteristics: up-to-date knowledge, relevant skills, and sound dispositions. Self-referent dispositions that refer to thoughts and feelings about one's knowledge and skills play a key role in the success of professionals in carrying out day-to-day activities. One self-referent construct is self-efficacy, which pertains to a person's confidence in their knowledge and skills. This chapter discusses social cognitive theory, in general, and self-efficacy, in particular, to describe how the self-efficacy construct is relevant to school administrators’ ability to lead schools.

This chapter is on teacher leadership and how principals can improve schools by increasing the role teacher's play in school operations. The author maintains that principals and teachers must work together if schools are to achieve higher levels of student performance, especially those who serve high concentrations of minority students. Various leadership theories are presented, as well as recommendations of how principals and teachers can work together to enhance the leadership abilities of both.

This paper is based on the conviction that school principal leadership varies considerably in accordance with the level of credibility they develop with the groups with which they interact. To become better leaders, school principals must adopt a proactive approach and develop the means of consolidating their credibility. Readers will understand that school principals have potential levers at their disposal, which can serve to enhance their credibility. We identified these levers by interviewing experienced school leaders. For each lever, we propose a series of actions and provide concrete examples. The text concludes with an overview and questions designed to guide readers in formulating their own individual action plans.

Dynamics of social and symbolic capital within diverse school settings affect how stakeholders (i.e., administrators, teachers, parents, students) influence, interpret, and/or implement the complex demands of education leadership. Educational leadership, as simultaneously possessing both constant and fluid tendencies, is fundamental to establishing benchmarks to successfully impact the educational experience. Having the requisite social and symbolic capital serves as a conduit for accessing quality networks as well as the signification of having gained reputable, legitimate schooling experiences. Notwithstanding, the transferability of those forms of capital provides the venue for K-12 administration to ‘teach effectively’ and ‘lead responsibly’ within leadership contexts, particularly given this era of accountability. The intersection of the theoretical (teaching) and applied (leading) functions of educational leadership lends a democratic model for managing the resulting politics and generating leadership strategies as representative of social and symbolic capital.

In the constant crisis of educational administration, teacher leaders may no longer be ignored as qualified individuals to help lead schools. Who better to teach leaders to lead teachers than teachers? In this chapter, I use an Assumptive Worlds framework to analyze the micropolitics of 12 secondary mathematics teacher leaders. The qualitative data comes from a larger study that explored secondary mathematics teacher definitions, perceptions, and enactments of teacher leadership. As viewed through the Assumptive Worlds framework, teacher leaders can help bridge the divide between teachers and administrators so schools work better for kids.

This chapter presents a critical analysis of administration and its dysfunctional relationship to teaching and learning. Researchers conducted an ethnographic study over the course of 2 years. The reflective narrative (Nielsen, 1995) is of an iteration of Smith and Geoffrey's (1968) insider–outsider technique revealed systemic dysfunction, professional deference, and disregard. It provides the framework from which to view the dysfunctional behavior of both teachers and administrators. The critical analysis provides a research to practice component, which informs the preparation of future administrators through the revelation of the study's administrative challenges and expectations in the field of education.

Education is experiencing a serious time of crisis with the many demands and restraints of the No Child Left Behind legislation (NCLB) coupled with the dissatisfaction of public education in general. As society and various legislative bodies find fault with the current educational model, school leadership is under siege and in danger of failure by default. Districts will need to tap their greatest resource, the collaborative strengths and passion of each educator in the building to survive. Schools need the strongest and best educators to pick up the gauntlet of leadership: Leaders wanted, apply inside!

Issued in 2005, the Levine report challenges the current way that colleges and universities prepare pre-service administrators to lead elementary and secondary schools. The reforms recommended by the report include shifting attention away from educational research in favor of a more practical focus. Although we support the idea of making school leadership programs more practice-oriented, we disagree with the suggestion that students receive little or no research training. This chapter discusses how learning and conducting educational research can benefit those preparing to lead schools in the educational environment of the 21st century.

Faculty study groups offer one means for encouraging teachers to lead other teachers. As a popular staff-development delivery model, faculty study groups can promote school success while encouraging a climate of teaching and learning leadership to be fostered. At issue, however, are issues of choice and empowerment with respect to teachers’ readiness to embrace imposed initiatives. This site-based investigation reports teachers’ perceptions of the benefits and disadvantages of the mandated study-group process. Mixed results with respect to compulsory professional development are described in the areas of growth and collegiality, student achievement, emotional support, time restraints, and personality conflicts.

The district leader is in a position to use the budget process to achieve success in leadership. The school budget has increased in importance since the era in accountability has gained momentum with the implementation of NCLB (2001). A functional budget allows for a picture of the purpose and goals of each school and the district as a whole. If leaders view the budget as an enabling document, then the pre- and post-budget processes as well as the actual budget can be part of the tools of leadership for the district. The successful district leader has to be an astute fiscal leader who is prepared to be flexible in a dynamic setting, especially as both input and output of education are people who are themselves volatile. The national, political, and social settings can influence and be influenced by the outcomes of the education process and the successful leader can make a mark in all these arenas by the way the district budget is developed and managed.

The rise of managerialism in the 1990s entrenched bureaucratic practices as core education and training for educational administrators. As the educational divide between those who achieve and those who fall short continues to problematize the success of educational reforms, the work of administrators becomes critical to review. The current challenge for educational administration is to provide an environment that genuinely serves the interests of complex diversity and social justice in education systems by building the frameworks that respects differences, protects the weak, and regulates the strong. By taking a more prosocial stance with issues relating to cultural diversity, equity, and democracy, educational administration can transform society, the school, and the classroom, through humanistic and interpretive management practices, and influencing pedagogy, curriculum, educator training, and the socio-political system.

Surprisingly, urban principals seldom learn transformative leadership in their administrator preparation programs, thus missing out on its value in redefining the moral and ethical imperatives to improve with effective leadership and teaching, poor and minority students’ academic learning outcomes and performance on NCLB-mandated high-stakes accountability tests for professional learning communities. This chapter historicizes contexts and analyzes kaleidoscopic reflections of newly practicing urban school principals to illuminate chaos that often forces them into survival-mode managing rather than leading transformatively with structural reforms, and to make them aware of “equity traps” resistant to leadership intent upon radically transforming schools into productive and socially just learning communities.

Australia has to find solutions to a critical shortage of school principals, and to this end, governments are spending millions of dollars on the development of leadership standards and professional learning programs. This article focuses on the ‘disengagement’ problem and examines the disincentives for aspirants to undertake the role and for incumbents to continue in the role. Various responsive measures are critiqued, and alternative proposals that arise out of discussions with principals are discussed.

The dislocation between what people are and what they have to do produces an erosion in values, dignity, spirit, and will (Maslow, Stephens, and Heil (1998)). For educators in the new millennia, these are trying times. The lack of prestige and autonomy combined with exponentially increasing demands contributes to the high rate of attrition, stress, and burnout. To stay the course and remain vibrantly engaged in the profession will require an extraordinary degree of self-care. This chapter offers a lens for viewing systemic factors affecting the educational landscape and underscores the need for educators to employ individual and collective strategies to preserve health and well-being.

To benefit from reflective and reflexive actions there is a need to contrast these terms to understand each one. Each term is linked to self-development. For instance, to be reflexive is to self-examine, to consider your internal conversation, and use this voice to guide, support, and enhance your work. Reflexivity is linked to introspection and the moment of action. Reflection is the act of looking upon the action after it has passed. The term reflexivity is less common yet there are several forms of reflexivity. Becoming aware helps all of us to make sense of their own reflexivity and reflections.

Sadegül Akbaba-Altun, PhD, EdD, is currently an associate professor of Educational Administration at Baskent University, Faculty of Education in Turkey. Dr. Akbaba-Altun's educational background includes a BSc in Guidance and Counseling and an MSc in Educational Administration and Supervision, both from METU; a PhD in Institute of Social Sciences with an emphasis on Educational Administration and Supervision from Ankara University; and an EdD in Curriculum and Instruction with the emphasis on Elementary Education from the University of Cincinnati. Her research areas include Chaos Theory, Leadership, Integrating Computer Technologies Into Education, and Supervision.

Publication date
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Advances in Educational Administration
Series copyright holder
Emerald Publishing Limited
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