Global Perspectives on Educational Leadership Reform: The Development and Preparation of Leaders of Learning and Learners of Leadership: Volume 11


Table of contents

(26 chapters)

A growing concern among education reformers and their communities is whether emerging and practicing education leaders are prepared to face political, economic, cultural, and social pressures and create schools that advocate for education that advances leadership for learning. Schools are thrust into the realistic notion that they must prepare children and communities for participation in a multicultural, multiethnic, multireligious, multiability, and a multinational society. Research suggests that leadership development and preparation programs ought to engage in innovative ways that promote a broader and deeper understanding of issues related to reforming educational leadership for learning and learning for leadership (Brandt, 1998; Darling-Hammond, LaPointe, Meyerson, Orr, & Cohen, 2007; Jean-Marie, Normore, & Brooks, 2009; Knapp, Copland, & Talbert, 2003).

The United States of America and England are countries that have embraced neo-liberalism, and have been at the forefront of the neo-liberal restructuring of public education. Both of these countries can be considered as laboratories for neo-liberal policy, hence their focus in this chapter. Primarily conceptual in nature, this chapter seeks to connect what happens ‘Up There’ with what school leaders do ‘Down Here’ (Bell & Stevenson, 2006). The authors intend to demonstrate how global politics and policy are linked with the everyday practices of school leaders. Furthermore, the chapter illustrates how values and practices of individual school leaders are shaped by the systems values implicit in policy. We recognise that debates which pose structure against agency are debates ultimately about balance and relativities. It is not that as individuals we are free agents, or have no agency, but about understanding how structure and agency interplay in ways that constrain and shape what we do. Moreover, we believe that by having a more sophisticated understanding of how structural factors constrain our actions, we are better able to maximise the opportunities provided by our agency. This is not about over-stating the potential for agency, but it is about seeking to maximise the ‘spaces and interstices’ (Dale, 1982, p. 158) within which agency may be exercised. In presenting this work the authors draw on a number of different traditions, not all of which sit comfortably with each other. However, taken together they shed some light these complex issues.

Many researchers, educational practitioners, business leaders, and schools of education have weighed in on the essential attributes or characteristics of “good” leaders. Two characteristics that are often assumed to exist in good leaders are that: (1) they are reflective practitioners and (2) they have the skills to create change in others. Educational leadership programs of all types, including teaching master's and doctoral programs, often embed reflective activities into their coursework and offer courses that are intended to teach future leaders the concepts related to “change management.” Yet at the same time we claim to be building reflective practitioners who can enact change, we fail to create programs that are likely to produce these reflective practitioners who have the skills and content knowledge to create that change we seek in the public K-12 educational arena. This chapter argues for creating leadership development programs that are more intentional about creating practitioners who have the skills necessary to cause other adults to change their practices and improve instruction. It also outline the elements that are essential for any leadership program to create leaders who will be able to profoundly change public K-12 education from the classroom to the principalship to the district level administration.

In September 2009, a special committee of the Israeli Institute of School Leadership has published its final report in which new perspectives, contents, and teaching strategies are suggested to replace old, traditional forms of principal preparation programs in this country. The purpose of this chapter is to describe, first, the new construction of leadership development programs in Israel and its underlying principles and historical background, and, second, to raise some ponderings into its applicability and its quality in terms of practical suggestions and expected teaching strategies. The chapter includes the following elements: a brief introduction of the current principal preparation programs in Israel (briefly), the special committee, the aims of this chapter, importance, and organization of the chapter; the theoretical background based on the research on principal preparation programs worldwide, its shortcomings, and impediments; a historical debate of principal training in Israel – the current state, American influences, weaknesses, rational, basic principles, the new model, purpose, contents, and instructional methods; and critical and future considerations including the weaknesses of the new model, the “chances” to apply this report into the Israeli (or any) educational system, and the potential facilitating versus impeding factors.

More than 25 years, researchers have observed that an insufficient understanding and mastering of related concepts to leadership and lifelong learning has not much contributed to the much-desired development in higher education. This chapter discusses the way in which past reforms of higher education in Democratic Republic of Congo have been conducted, and how its development was jeopardized by deep misunderstanding of the concept and principles of leadership and lifelong learning. Preliminary findings from the analysis of the experience of reforms in higher education may suggest strategies that could successfully apply to any future reforms of the higher education system in Democratic Republic of Congo. Leaders could also learn from a lifelong learning process that ought to exercise a strong political will and courage to shift from the model inherited from a colonial system.

International research data unambiguously correlates effective educational leadership with improved student learning. Such leadership not only improves the professional performance of teachers but also models learning excellence. Undoubtedly, students learn so much from what they observe others doing. But how can educational leaders model what they have not experienced, themselves? How can today's educational leaders model learning excellence when there is an ever-increasing disparity between contemporary improvements in pedagogical approaches and the lived reality of leadership? To prepare world class educational leaders of learning, it is essential that the process for learning about leadership is closely aligned to what is now considered to be best practice in promoting student learning. If enactivism is the new bench mark in pedagogical practice, how could it be applied to the preparation and practice of leaders? This chapter applies the assumptions and intentions of enactivism to the context of leadership. Although this process enables educational leaders to resume their pivotal place as models of learning excellence, it has profound implications for leadership expectations and accountabilities.

This chapter focuses on how leaders of learning and learners of leading are developed and prepared to address and advance powerful and equitable student learning. Discussion focuses on several areas identified in the literature as critical including: leading and learning in context (Knapp, Copland & Talbert, 2003); leaders’ response to changing expectations and learning agendas, and professional development of leaders of learning (Normore, 2004). Earlier research by Knapp, Copland, and Talbert (2003) and the socialization processes of leaders of learners (Browne-Ferrigno & Muth, 2004; Leithwood, Steinbach, & Begley, 1992; Normore, 2007, 2004) will serve as the foundation for several areas of action identified by these researchers including: establishing a focus on learning by persistently and publicly focusing leaders own attention and that of others on learning and teaching; professional and organizational socialization processes; what leading for learning looks like in practice (Darling-Hammond, LaPointe, Meyerson, Orr, & Cohen, 2007); professional development including pre-service preparation, field-based learning, and personal and professional formation (Daresh, 1997; Gross, 2009; Normore, 2004); and creating coherence by connecting student, professional, and system learning with one another and with learning goals (Knapp et al., 2003).

This chapter will discuss how the traditional role of principal, as the lead learner of schools, is both challenged and complemented by the cultural and epistemic values of Aboriginal communities in publicly funded school across Ontario in light of the Ministry of Education's Ontario First Nation, Métis, and Inuit Framework (2007). Leadership, in this context, is redefined to create a positive working environment. The authors also address the social impact of large-scale assessment programs on the standards for Aboriginal students, including the respective challenges for principals and teachers in Ontario schools.

The chapter outlines a collaborative project between colleagues within a New Zealand teacher education program who have an ongoing commitment to work together and grapple with issues of cultural relevance and emergent leadership within their preservice teacher education program. Here the authors revisit the form, content and delivery of an undergraduate course in curriculum drama to consider how to engage Māori student teachers, be culturally relevant, and yet challenge some preconceptions about drama as a learning area and a pedagogy. The chapter describes the conversations that took place, the strategies that were tried, the responses of students and teachers, and the shifts in understanding that were reported by those involved. Rather than offering any suggestion of objective “hard data,” this is a story told as honestly as possible, by participants in an exchange. It is a story, we suggest, of quiet nurturing (poipoia – supporting in growth) and unfolding (kia pūāwai – blossoming and unfolding) and the fostering of leadership at various levels.

This chapter examines the perceptions of school leaders of the School Improvement Zone (SIZ), a landmark intervention program intended to advance student achievement while eliminating low performance in 39 geographically noncontiguous low-performing schools in a large urban district in the United States. Primary components of the initiative include (a) a core literacy program that extends from pre-kindergarten through grade 12 and is consistent across all Zone schools, (b) a structured curriculum and instructional strategies that build across grade and school levels, (c) an extended day and school year, (d) the provision of extensive professional development activities for Zone school teachers and administrators, partnerships with universities and community groups, and (e) Student Development Teams to bring together social workers and psychologists to focus on prevention strategies rather than treatment for struggling students.

Te Kotahitanga is a New Zealand school reform project aimed at improving the educational achievement of indigenous Māori students and intended to reduce the disparities of this traditionally marginalized group of students. In these schools, an iterative, research, and development model is used to implement an Effective Teaching Profile. This profile, constructed from the experiences and discourses of Māori students, calls for teachers to implement a culturally responsive pedagogy of relations. This chapter briefly backgrounds the Te Kotahitanga reform, introduces the elements of the Effective Teaching Profile and the implementation model, and then provides an in-depth look at the pedagogical theorizing and practice of three, quite diverse teachers in one Te Kotahitanga school. Through on-going in-school implementation processes, these teachers now stand out as pedagogic leaders in this school. One teacher participates as a colearner, carefully crafting lessons toward students’ prior knowledge and experiences and maximizing students’ culture and love of music in the teaching of social studies. Another uses the physical environment and daily circle talk to access students’ voices, thus creating a community of learners. The third teacher establishes clear routines and high expectations of learners who contribute as both learners and teachers. Pedagogical leadership such as this is modeling school reform at the classroom level, promoting staff collaboration, and contributing to marked changes in Māori student participation and achievement.

In this chapter the authors explore what it means to be an inclusive school leader through a discourse that focuses on “out of the box” approaches in preparing future school leaders to push the envelope of inclusive leadership practice. The purpose of this chapter is to (a) define inclusive education and leadership; (b) describe prevailing theoretical frameworks for leadership in inclusive education and build on emerging theories of inclusive psychology and inclusive pedagogy; (c) identify promising practices for leadership in inclusive education; (d) identify emerging understandings of leadership roles in inclusive education; and (e) suggest recommendations for policy, practice, and leadership preparation. In both the USA and the UK, contrasting and polarizing discourses that focus leaders’ attention on attainment and performance for pupils and appear to compete with the leadership role in including (i.e., effectively educating) those students who are known to have achievement gaps (e.g., those with disabilities). Alternative perspectives are offered that frame leadership for inclusive education in terms of broader concepts such as “leadership for learning.”

There is a lack of empirical evidence to support the claim that zero-tolerance policies decrease violent incidents in schools or improve school safety. The message behind the policies clearly indicates that violence in schools is not tolerable under any circumstances; however, there is no correlation between the message and the outcomes from policy implementation. The literature on school order and safety suggests that zero tolerance is the simplest and least effective approach with a myriad of unintentional consequences that have a negative impact on education, not just for an individual student but for the system as a whole (American Psychological Association, 2006; Casella, 2003). This chapter examines the role of the school leader, the historical background of school safety, the role of the school leader as a learner, the legislative events that led to the development of zero-tolerance policies, and outline the unintended consequences of zero-tolerance policies in relation to leadership and learning. An alternative approach to school discipline is proposed – namely a restorative justice approach, which may work towards alleviating many of these unintended consequences.

In recent years, a number of significant Australian initiatives in schools have focused on a deeper understanding of the process and the role of leadership in cultivating and promoting the core work of the school – teaching and learning. This chapter reports the research findings of the Leaders Transforming Learning and Learners (LTLL) Program (2004–2009) and in particular on how teachers experienced the changed approaches to leadership and the resultant ownership and commitment to the various learning projects utilized to implement a new framework for learning. The purpose of the project was to develop and implement with nine schools a professional learning program to assist schools and teachers transform their teaching and learning processes through leadership practices that emphasised sharing. The program was premised on a strong view that transformative learning must be the objective of all schools and a critical element of the responsibilities of leaders in those schools. A framework for leadership and learning highlights the importance of moral purpose for learning innovations, teacher leadership as the core imperative for school change and the critical elements of authentic learning and educative leadership that contribute to successful linking of learning and leading.

Leadership in education begins with the establishment of a strong link between education and a healthy society. In the world's poorest areas, too often formal education systems have been imported with little thought as to how they integrate with the life of local communities. As a result, development projects aimed at education focus on inputs to schools – teachers, school buildings, textbooks, or exams rather than rethinking the larger question of how education is integrated into the larger purposes of community life, work, and identity. Korea, a new member of OECD's Development Assistance Committee (DAC) desires to take a different approach that reflects the success of its own development and supports local values and structures. A project being designed for Zambia is conceived as an education project yet calls for a modest initial donor investment in agricultural inputs to boost agricultural output in the community. University students from Zambia and Korea will serve as project managers initially, rotating between university classes and field work. At the same time, data will be gathered on how the community learns and grows. This research will begin to build a body of literature on how such projects succeed. The proposed project addresses many of the concerns of development projects and lifelong learning approaches to economic growth. Education is community-supported and directed. Community learning involves the adults individually and collectively.

The focus of this chapter is to compare and contrast two Master of Education programs, one in Louisiana, United States, the other in Ontario, Canada. Our discussion addresses program design including focus of the graduate degree; admission requirements; number of instructor contact hours; nature and dimensions of course content; culminating activities such as e-portfolios, Master's Research Projects, field experiences, internships, and theses; professional and program standards; as well as assessment procedures and accountability requirements. The ongoing pressure to improve our schools in an increasingly competitive global environment has heightened educational standards and expectations as never before (Cowie & Crawford, 2007). In these times of increased accountability and financial strain for publicly funded universities, this analysis of contemporary trends and processes may provide some relevant insight into current practices for those presenting graduate programs.

This chapter reports on a study of the benefits of the Integrated Education in Agricultural Entrepreneurship (IEAE). IEAE substantially covers the transfer of knowledge, skills, and attitudes that will allow in each farmer-learner to plan, to launch, and to manage his/her own business and it should be approached from leadership perspective and as a life-long learning process. Entrepreneurship constitutes an important factor that determines the level of economic growth, competitiveness, employment, and social prosperity of a small country such as Greece (Spanoudaki, 2008). For purposes of this chapter agricultural entrepreneurship is defined as an effort developed individually or collectively for the exploitation of resources that the individual or the team allocates for the production of useful agricultural products, services, or goods connected with the production of agricultural products and their distribution in the market, satisfying market needs. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (Bosma & Levie, 2010), entrepreneurship is conceptualized as each effort for building a new business or a new activity, such as the free profession, where the creation of a new business, or the extension of an existing one, is done by an individual or by teams of individuals, from public institutions or from established private businesses.

This chapter targets the learning of middle leaders working in the rapidly expanding international school sector in the Asia-Pacific Region. It draws on three externally commissioned impact studies of Leading Upstream (LU) – a purpose-designed 12-month part-time, leader learning program. The program runs in Hong Kong for middle leaders from 20 primary and secondary schools that make up a semigovernment education system. The main aim of the program was to scale up individual, team, and school capacity through a structured learning network design. Since 2005/2006, the program has completed four cohorts. The authors present an analysis of the impact of a connected series of the same program to draw insights that may inform program development for middle leaders. The heart of the chapter focuses on the authors’ attempts to synthesize the outcomes of the three impact studies. Data patterns from across the studies were analyzed to identify common patterns. Patterns determined were divided into personal, team/school, and system impact. Among the former is ‘increased confidence in self as leader” and the later the fragility of even moderately broad networks when learning hits the realities of school.

The range of tasks and demands placed on a school principal can seem to change daily, and indeed, this appears to be a defining element of the role. Leadership in an education setting is special. Fortunately there are specific purposes associated with education that school leaders can employ as guides to action. One of these key purposes relates to ideology and socialization. School principals are responsible for defining and shaping the culture of their institutions in ways that will model and reflect the needs and priorities of the community. In recent years, this has come to include recognizing and responding to the ever-growing concern for our environment. One way this social justice issue has manifested itself in schools is through a trend known as the green school movement. To define and further understand how green school leadership might be different from that of traditional school leadership, research was carried out to investigate how principals lead and manage in green schools and how the environmental missions are promoted and advanced on a daily basis by school based advocates in administrative roles. To conduct such an inquiry, five school principals were observed and interviewed on multiple occasions to gain an understanding of how they lead and influence their schools through their role as a principal.

The growing knowledge society has caused a change in the meaning of knowledge and learning. In Dutch schools, this creates a demand for evidence-based innovation and school development and a need for working with data. This chapter focuses on leadership in changing schools including the difference between management (organizing, structuring, and budgeting things that already work); leadership (adapting things that do not run smoothly, stimulating, motivating and empowering people, and communicating vision); and relationship with interactional and transformational leadership. Consequently, inquiry-based leadership is becoming the center of interest internationally (Geijsel, Krüger, & Sleegers, 2010; Luo, 2008). The author presents a conceptual framework for deeper understanding of school leadership in the 21st century – that to be effective in their roles, they must learn how to create inquiry-based cultures in their schools and to continuously learn from data. Finally, the author identifies some challenges for school leaders in coming years and proposes ways that help strengthen their leadership including the professionalization for all leaders oriented to instructional leadership, inquiry-based leadership, higher order thinking and distributed leadership.

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Advances in Educational Administration
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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