Pathways to Excellence: Developing and Cultivating Leaders for the Classroom and Beyond: Volume 21
Table of contents(21 chapters)
List of Contributors
Leadership and management are concepts regularly used in organizational change and reform literature. This is particularly evident in educational settings and oftentimes understood as interchangeable. The school administrator is considered a leadership position, as is department chair in an institution of higher education. Yet, most are engaged daily in management tasks with little to no time spent on leadership (Bush, 2008). In higher education, the complex role of department chair necessitates a multi-task oriented individual (Hecht, Higgerson, Gmelch, & Tucker, 1999) who can both serve and coordinate multiple constituencies and ultimately balance the role of chair with the continuing roles of teacher and scholar. Although they are pulled in many directions there may be no more important leadership position in the institution for those interested in affecting the future of young people as well as their colleagues. In this chapter we discuss the commonalities and differences between leadership and management across the PreK-16 continuum; present the general roles and responsibilities of school-based administrators and university-level department chairs, and; compare leadership readiness and transition processes of school-based and university-level department chairs. Implications for theory and practice are presented.
A vast array of leadership dispositions associated with school and student success is well-documented in extant leadership development literature. However, persistent challenges face practitioners as they attempt to measure leader dispositions and apply what is known about dispositions to hiring, selection, development, and retention of school leaders. We begin this chapter with an exploration of the essential leader dispositions which surfaced through an exhaustive cross-disciplinary review of literature, in concert with a review of disposition tools and frameworks in use in a variety of practical settings. Next, we illuminate significant challenges associated with reliably measuring school leader dispositions and explore promising emergent innovative strategies for assessing disposition development. Though difficult to measure, we argue that dispositions are too important to ignore and conclude with practical recommendations for using research on leader dispositions to cultivate outstanding school leaders.
In Ontario Canada, being a vice principal is not considered a career goal. Rather, school principals are drawn from the ranks of practising vice principals. Potential administrators must first pass the principal qualification program and spend several successful years in the interim position of vice principal (known as assistant principal, deputy principal, and assistant headmaster in other countries) before applying for the principalship itself. The current system appears to be replete with inherent challenges both for vice principals and the educational stakeholders they serve. Administrator training is based on a quantitative paradigm, but the vice principal role is highly qualitative in nature, requiring strong interpersonal skills to address conflict for which no training is provided. The current system addresses the dual role of management and leadership but from the perspective of the principal, not the vice principal. Training also favors management over leadership, yet hiring processes for vice principals place a high value on demonstrated leadership. Facility with ethical decision-making is central to the vice principal role yet absent from qualification programs. Qualification programs use classroom-based learning with no “in-role” field experience. Mentoring systems designed to provide new vice principals with help are inadequate for supporting daily tasks. As a consequence, newly appointed vice principals find themselves in a role for which they have not been trained.
How to Love Change and Lead It
We challenge the belief that people resist change while embracing the idea that change is necessary to lead. Cultivating leaders to orchestrate conflict with deliberate intention is a skill leaders can learn. Yet, skill alone is insufficient to lead. Using three models, Communicative Intelligence, Adaptive Leadership, and Adaptive Schools, we tell the story of how we developed leaders to think adaptively and communicate authentically to collaborate across diverse communities to bring their visions to fruition. This chapter describes the models and their integration from three perspectives illustrating how we focused the cultivation of leaders. First, the personal development of their dispositions related to communication, collaboration, and systems thinking. Second we worked on developing the skills to build relationships and think politically. And third, we focused on identifying and implementing systems to address the critical issues facing their schools.
Despite many well-intentioned efforts to improve student achievement in chronically low-performing schools, there is little evidence of significant progress. A new and different kind of data; however, is providing a fresh perspective on the problem: According to recent studies, research-based instructional strategies – those strategies that have been proven to increase the likelihood that students will be able to retain, recall, and apply what they have been taught – are not consistently used in classrooms. Irrespective of the many changes that occur in schools, student achievement will not significantly improve until teachers consistently use and school leaders consistently promote research-based instructional strategies. The purpose of this chapter is to prepare school leaders to assess the use of research-based instructional strategies in their school, and then use the data to promote more effective instruction. This chapter will provide user-friendly tools and strategies for collecting, organizing, and analyzing classroom observation data; case studies; sample data sets; findings and conclusions drawn from sample data tables; a step-by-step process for collecting the data; samples of research-based instructional strategies; and references for identifying research-based instructional strategies.
Great schools are created and thrive as a result of great leadership. Great school leaders are prepared in carefully designed preparation programs. Carefully crafted school leadership programs prepare leaders who are ready to lead. What is it that must be taught and learned in order to prepare leaders who are ready to lead? It is certain that school leadership must be clearly articulated, taught, and measured. With research clearly highlighting the impact of school leaders on school success, preparation programs have the responsibility to prepare new leaders to be skilled in leadership (Seashore Louis et al., 2010). It was with this in mind that the development of the Charter and Autonomous Leadership Academy (CASLA) program was created. CASLA was specifically built for an underserved population of administrators and future leaders in the charter world. By delivering the program using a hybrid format, cultivating a strong community component, and implementing a field-based project requiring students to use all that they learn in the program, CASLA is creating a pathway that ensures competency in all aspects of leadership, not just management (Issa Lahera & Normore, 2012). Crafting a relevant, rigorous, and thorough program proved to be a heroes journey. This chapter will provide an overview of CASLA: the leadership preparation program that claims to graduate leaders who are “Ready to Lead.”
One of the critical factors that separate great organizations from good organizations is leadership (Collins, 2001). To support this statement, find a school that consistently has high performance, regardless of the students’ socio-economic background, and there will be present a talented, highly effective leader. Effective school leadership is a major, if not the major, key to our overcoming the morass of failure in our schools. School leadership, especially in independent charter or autonomous schools, is complicated by the fact that schools are irrational organizations (Patterson, Purkey, & Parker, 1986) that require legislative (relational) rather than executive (direction from the top) leadership (Collins, 2001). For many years, the author has been examining school leadership through his experiences: as a leader, reading, studying leaders, and producing tools to select talented people to lead schools. It has become apparent to the author that the key to successful leaders is not found in personality or style but originates in something much deeper – the leader’s core values or mental models (Covey, 1990; Senge, P. (1990). The Fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday) and how these translate into transformative leadership beliefs and behaviors or attributes. In this chapter, the author will share some of the attributes he and others have found to set great school leaders apart. The rationale for, and implementation of the structured interview in a charter school setting are described. Challenges and outcomes of the implementation of the structured interview are detailed as well.
Curriculum design is an essential task that is complex, painstaking, thought provoking, and cognitively demanding. Often, educators leave curriculum design up to the “experts,” such as textbook makers, program directors, and curriculum leaders. Although deference to “experts” can be perceived as the more efficient way to approach curriculum design, it removes the power from the instructors to exert their expertise, content knowledge, pedagogical artistry, and ability to address the needs of their specific students. In turn, students’ learning and ultimate generalization and application of that learning may not be fully realized. This chapter seeks to challenge that deference of power and illustrate that curriculum design should be a fundamental component to any course design and implementation. This chapter will illustrate considerations that instructors must keep at the forefront of their thinking when designing curricula; specifically, the provision of relevant content that serves as a basis for sustained and successful employability and addressing diverse student learning needs. This chapter will also provide reasonable, practical frameworks for educators to use to embark on executing this critical component of teaching and learning.
With 1,130 schools serving 500,000 + students, California has the largest number of charter schools of any state in the country. The rapid expansion of charters over the last decade has prompted the development of quality charter school leadership preparation programs in southwestern California (Benjamin-Edwards, R. (2012). The new reality for charter and autonomous school leaders. In K. B. Hughes & S. A. M. Silva (Eds.), Identifying leaders for urban charter, autonomous and independent schools: Above and beyond the standards (Vol. 18, pp. 315). Advances in Educational Administration. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited.). Charter school leadership programs from Loyola Marymount and Fielding University as well as in-house leadership programs developed by large charter management organizations like KIPP and Green Dot provided the foundation for the Charter Autonomous School Leadership Academy (CASLA), which opened in 2011 at the California State University Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) in Carson, CA. This chapter will capture reflections from sitting administrators who graduated from CASLA about the impact of that program on their practice. It will highlight the specific components of the preparation program that these leaders identify as most strongly influencing their work. The chapter will include a discussion of components such as the leadership framework, field based project, and analysis of leadership dispositions including description of how learning in these areas assists work in charter and autonomous schools.
Similar to other urban centers, many of the school districts located in California State University Dominguez Hills’s (CSUDH) geographic region struggle to provide their K-12 students with quality teachers. This is particularly true in the areas of Special Education, Math, and Science (California Department of Education, 2012; United States Department of Education, 2013). In CSUDH’s efforts to produce quality teachers, mitigate severe teacher shortages and assist school districts in meeting federal legislative mandates stemming from The No Child Left Behind Act (2001) and The Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (2004), an Alternative Certification Credential Route program based upon precepts of the Professional Development School model was developed, implemented, and funded through a Transition to Teaching (TTT) Federal Grant. These authors hold that this unique TTT SPED program is a viable means of easing SET shortages where they are greatest urban centers. In doing so, these authors suggest a model that other universities striving to meet the needs of K-12 students in urban centers can implement. As such, this program overview seeks to add to the extant teacher preparation and ACR literature, specifically in the context of SPED teacher preparation.
According to the classic text by Haberman and Post (1998), teacher leaders in urban schools must possess many characteristics, including “relationship skills… empathy…” (p. 98), skills for “coping with violence,” a capacity for “self-analysis,” and the ability to function “in chaos” (p. 99), among others. Further, they state, the process of recruitment and selection of high-quality teachers who will become teacher leaders relies upon the ability of a teacher certification program to effectively identify “those predisposed” “to perform the sophisticated expectations” (p. 96) of urban teachers. Recruiting and selecting candidates who will be effective, over the long run, in challenging environments may in fact be the most consequential phase of the entire teacher preparation process. Traditional methods of recruitment and selection vary widely and are typically less strategic (Guarino, Santibañez, & Daley, 2006) than the model described by Haberman and Post (1998). This chapter describes the recruitment and selection process employed by three CSUDH alternative routes to certification that aim to place highly effective teachers in high-needs urban secondary schools.
This chapter highlights the development of the 21st century teacher leader through experiential learning environment of the Transition To Teaching Lab School (TTT), a California State University Dominguez Hills alternative route to certification program in partnership with Cal State Teach and several high-need school district representing urban and rural areas across the state of California. The Lab School serves as a biome for perspectives of contemporary constructivists, revolutionary pedagogy, and practical application in a real-world school setting, whereby the teacher-leader can ultimately expand his or her perspective of potentially enlarging their sphere of influence beyond the classroom, and to the community and society.
Through the perspectives of a project director/principal investigator and external evaluator, this chapter explores the methods, strategies, and processes used to design and conduct ongoing, comprehensive evaluation of the Math and Science Teacher Initiatives at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Initiatives include an undergraduate program for students interested in STEM teaching careers, multiple alternative route programs to teacher certification in math and science and a fellowship program for master science teachers. Using a collaborative evaluation framework (O’Sullivan, 2004), the authors highlight the benefits of conducting multiprogram evaluation from a collaborative lens and describe the systematic processes used to engage stakeholders, from the design phase of the evaluation through data collection, analysis, and reporting of participant impact and outcomes. The strengths of the program and evaluation approach, along with specific strategies and methods utilized, will be explored. The chapter will conclude with challenges, lessons learned, and best practices, as well as implications for the field of teacher education and leadership within a STEM context.
About the Authors
- Publication date
- Book series
- Advances in Educational Administration
- Series copyright holder
- Emerald Publishing Limited
- Book series ISSN