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School principals should see themselves as social justice leaders, who have the ability to allow all students to succeed, regardless of their characteristics and…
School principals should see themselves as social justice leaders, who have the ability to allow all students to succeed, regardless of their characteristics and backgrounds. At the same time, school principals are also called upon to demonstrate instructional leadership, which emphasizes the teaching and learning aspects of school principalship. The purpose of this paper is to examine the relations between these two roles of today’s school principals.
To investigate the relations between social justice leadership and instructional leadership, this paper adds the question of the goal of schooling to the mix. After identifying possible goals of schooling, the paper conceptualizes social justice leadership and instructional leadership, respectively, while also examining their relations with schools’ major goals. Possible commonalities and contradictions between social justice leadership and instructional leadership are discussed.
The prevalent expectation that school leaders should give top priority to ongoing improvement of teaching quality and academic outcomes may be seen as reducing school leaders’ involvement in some aspects of social justice leadership, such as nurturing students’ active citizenship.
This paper opens new research avenues. Based on the findings of this paper, the connection between principals’ perceptions regarding the goals of schooling and their leadership behaviors should be explored.
It seems advisable to discuss the interplay between social justice leadership and instructional leadership with prospective and current principals, as well as with other school stakeholders.
Insofar as the relations between social justice leadership and instructional leadership have not been explored so far, this paper narrows a gap in the available knowledge.
This article investigates goal pursuit practices in a sample of 31 New Zealand high schools. It examines goal knowledge of middle and senior leaders, the alignment of this…
This article investigates goal pursuit practices in a sample of 31 New Zealand high schools. It examines goal knowledge of middle and senior leaders, the alignment of this knowledge and factors related to improvement.
Goals from schools' annual improvement plans were identified and counted at the beginning of the academic year. Senior and middle leaders were asked to recall their school's academic goals from memory. Responses were scored against the goals in the schools' plans to produce an accuracy score for each leader and for each middle and senior leadership team (SLT). At the end of the academic year, leaders recounted their goals and rated and commented on their SLT’s goal focus. Data analysis examined goal knowledge, alignment of middle and senior leaders' goal knowledge and SLT's goal focus. Comments were analyzed thematically in regard to the number and clarity of the goals and how goals were communicated, enacted and monitored.
Our findings show a lack of goal clarity, persistence across the year and effective strategy hampered the majority of schools in their goal pursuit. Only a few schools had a strong and aligned goal focus. Factors influencing perceived improvement included: fewer and greater clarity of goals, engagement of middle leaders in setting goals, establishing sound supporting structures and regular monitoring of progress.
While annual improvement plans outlining multiple goals are often compulsory for schools, little is known about their impact on practice. This research clarifies the state of goal pursuit in a sample of high schools.
Comparative education has typically focused on differences across countries and sought to explain these differences as a function of differences in historical legacies, in…
Comparative education has typically focused on differences across countries and sought to explain these differences as a function of differences in historical legacies, in societal prerequisites (as in variants of functionalist analysis), or in internal patterns of competition and conflict across social classes and status groups. In these studies the independent and the dependent variables of interest are endogenous characteristics of national societies. The latter are presumed to operate mostly as “closed systems” with their past trajectories (think path dependencies) and their present states (think present system needs or current power configurations) shaping the educational outcomes of interest. These endogenous characteristics may depict properties of the economy, e.g. degree of industrialization, the polity, e.g. democratic versus authoritarian regimes, the culture, e.g. Confucian group centric versus Protestant individual oriented, etc. or the educational system itself, centralized versus decentralized. The latter, of course, may be viewed both as a dependent variable influenced by the degree to which the polity is centralized or decentralized as well as an independent variable, influencing the growth of enrollments. In the classical Collins (1979) formulation the comparatively greater growth of post-primary enrollments in the United States was an outcome of status competition which itself was made more likely by a decentralized educational system. The latter in turn reflected and was shaped by a decentralized political system.
In this chapter, we utilize qualitative and quantitative data from a yearlong study in four urban Chinese middle schools to investigate the learning environments for girls…
In this chapter, we utilize qualitative and quantitative data from a yearlong study in four urban Chinese middle schools to investigate the learning environments for girls at these schools; the behavior and performance of girls and boys in these environments; and what factors impact that behavior and performance. This study particularly focuses on socialization through moral education and the examination system as two sources of authority motivating students’ behavior and performance in school. In the analysis, girls attending three co-educational schools are compared with girls attending one single-sex school, and outcomes for girls are also considered alongside those of boys in the co-educational institutions. Findings indicate that although moral education is particularly emphasized by teachers at the all-girls school, female misbehavior and engagement with teachers is no different for girls attending the single-sex school compared to girls in co-educational schools. Furthermore, differences in outcomes between females and males across schools transcend school-level differences for misbehavior and engagement. However, at the same time, girls at all co-educational schools report higher Chinese and English grades compared to their math and science grades, whereas all-girls school students report no such differences in grades. In regression analysis, socialization variables appear to explain more about students’ misbehavior, whereas the desire to progress to higher levels of schooling explains more about grades and engagement with teachers. That said, socialization variables including moral attitude and attachment to teachers matter more for girls’ math and science grades and their engagement with teachers as compared to boys. This research provides a rare comparative look at education for urban Chinese students and offers new insights about what matters most for girls’ behavior and performance in school.
Discusses the concept of “school effectiveness” and thetheories behind the research reported in the literature – which isreviewed. Both the so‐called scientific approach…
Discusses the concept of “school effectiveness” and the theories behind the research reported in the literature – which is reviewed. Both the so‐called scientific approach and the multi‐paradigmatic approach have limitations; an “evolutionary epistemology” is preferred.
Restructuring schools as a means to quality improvement in education is one of the major challenges facing education in Malta. This article calls for a critique of school policy‐making and planning processes. Attention is directed towards school‐based development with focus on the school as the unit of change. School development is described as a process by which a school develops the capacity for reflective action. It is a planned, continuing effort, with personnel committed to a search for increasing school effectiveness and expresses a commitment towards professional growth. The article stresses the need for policy and decision makers to fundamentally rethink the way schools function at present by shifting attention towards establishing a professionally oriented structure which gives educators at school level more responsibility, accountability and professionalism.
Successful school reform requires a paradigm shift which begins with unlocking the school’s existing culture before attempts are made to integrate reform variables…
Successful school reform requires a paradigm shift which begins with unlocking the school’s existing culture before attempts are made to integrate reform variables. Reengineering, and rethinking and radical redesign of internal processes calls for discarding current practices and reinventing better ways to supply products and services. Holistic thinking, cross‐sectional configurations, proactive behaviour patterns, reward for innovation and creativity, and the demise of traditional infrastructures are essential for facilitating fluid social, economic and political trends into the 21st century. Educators must think differently about the purpose of schools and their delivery and redesign infrastructures which are built on shared values and beliefs, multiple interacting linkages and teamwork. School leaders are the catalysts for change and, working with the school’s power agents and modeling expected behaviours, motivate teachers to replace the old culture with new processes of schooling. Shared ownership of case values, realistic and achievable goals and collaboration places the responsibility for creating a reengineered delivery system on teachers themselves.
Entrepreneurial approaches to public mass education are not easily developed or managed by public sector institutions. Instead, private sector entities are often…
Entrepreneurial approaches to public mass education are not easily developed or managed by public sector institutions. Instead, private sector entities are often responsible for the development and implementation of innovative and entrepreneurial education. Part of the reason may be the resistance to change that isomorphism in mass education engenders, but the involvement of privately-funded, organized, and managed organizations plays a significant role as well. Private sector-driven educational change has become the dominant mode of entrepreneurship in 21st century national educational systems, but there are challenges and obstacles to privately managing public sector institutions such as education and the activities or curricula that comprise its core. To understand this phenomena the promises and challenges for innovation and entrepreneurship are discussed through an institutional framework.
Our chapter examines the ways national developments in Australia and New Zealand over the past two decades reflect distinctively antipodean understandings of educational…
Our chapter examines the ways national developments in Australia and New Zealand over the past two decades reflect distinctively antipodean understandings of educational leadership and management. Our interest is twofold. We are concerned about the extent to which these understandings are reflected in strategies designed to enhance the quality of school leadership. We are also concerned about the extent to which these strategies represent progress towards achieving ‘sustainable’ school leadership. We define sustainable leadership in terms of both building leadership capacity within the organisation and embedding lasting organisational change (Fink & Brayman, 2006; Hargreaves & Fink, 2006; Spillane, 2006). The concept used here implies both models of distributed or shared leadership and leadership succession.
The central job thrust for principals has been redirected in recent years from school maintenance to instructional leadership. School districts have responded to the job…
The central job thrust for principals has been redirected in recent years from school maintenance to instructional leadership. School districts have responded to the job expectations of the 1980's by directing the principal's leadership to managing instruction. Simultaneously the research community has studied effective schools to learn what principals and teachers do that influences student achievement gains. Numerous studies have now verified that the principal indeed is a key factor in the school's attempt to alter achievement norms. In the article, we shall first synthesize the results of effective schooling characteristics that have been identified by numerous researchers. Second, we shall discuss the development of a diagnostic instrument used to assess the training needs of principals in relation to instructional leadership tasks: school planning, staff and program development, and evaluation. Finally, the results of a recent study assessing principals' perceptions of their training needs will be reported.