GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE ON SCHOOL LEADERSHIP
This paper reviews the literature to determine the characteristics that are needed to meet the challenges of school improvement in global context (Boyd, 1992; Hord, 1992).
The paper begins with a brief review of some key leadership concepts. Next, there is a discussion of the characteristics found to be unique or common in effective educational leaders. Finally, this synthesis concludes with a discussion of the implications of leaders’ characteristics on implementing or initiating change within an educational system.
Objectives of the Study:
• provide a guide for identifying in oneself and companions the characteristics that are facilitating the innovation’s implementation;
• determine which leadership characteristics are most essential for their unique situation;
• encourage the acquisition of these characteristics and enhance the formation of these characteristics in educators;
School improvement is a complex undertaking for any school (J. Educ 2006) In the face of dramatic social change, transformation of society and institutions, a troubled sea of governance conflict in contemporary societies leadership becomes pivotal because authorities want a person,(Mortimore, Sammons, Stoll, Lewis, & Ecob, 1988) that can be held accountable and also because changes in society, make it important for communities like schools to be able to construct their identities in negotiating meaning and reducing complexity and in changing themselves (Mortimore, Sammons, Stoll, Lewis, & Ecob, 1988; Reynolds, 1976; Rutter, Maughan, Mortimore & Ouston, 1979).
... astray. Lastly, I believe one of the most underrated characteristics of leadership that I posses is enthusiasm. How can you inspire others ... . Year 2000 AD, I decided it was time for a change and started business for myself in the wireless industry and ... ), and La tonia (younger sister). I attended elementary and high school in Dickinson, TX. I have always had an entrepreneurial itch ...
Over 50 years ago, all the writing about leadership style focuses on how different styles affect the school improvement (Reynolds, 1976).When we question the conventional purpose of leadership and offer a different foundation, we get a very different conception of leadership. Until we recognize the need for a radical shift in perspective, our vision of leadership will remain stuck in the past (Bellon & Beaudry, 1992).
The new purpose of leaders is to ensure and create new and rapidly change futures for schools (Boles & Troen, 1992; Howey, 1988; Wasley, 1991; Waugh & Punch, 1987).
The role of school leaders is now more multifaceted. They need to both lead and manage (Manasse, 1986).
All schools now have two equally important tasks: to deliver today’s results and to create the future (Schley, & Schratz, 1998).The principle of division of labor suggests that we need two separate functions for these very different tasks (Bolam, 1993).
Management needs to be upgraded from a narrowly controlling, mechanistic function to take care of today’s business, leaving leadership to champion changes to enhance competitive advantage (McMahon, Pocklington, & Weindling, 1993; Caldwell & Spinks, 1992).
Institute of education, University of Management & Technology, Lahore
Educational Leadership and its Complexities:
We can understand the complex nature of educational leadership by a study of leadership Literature…
Those close to schools in challenging circumstances understand only too well that there are no ‘quick fixes’ to the problems that they face (Myers & Stoll, 1998).
It is also clear that leading schools in challenging circumstances is far from an easy option. The work of these school leaders is relentless, demanding and emotionally draining (Harris et al., 2006).
There is also a debate as to whether leadership occurs best when the leader has values which are congruent with the group he leads or when his values are different (Stegö, Gielen, Glatter, & Hord, 1987; Van Velzen, 1979; Van Velzen, Miles, Ekholm, Hameyer, & Robin, 1985).
... others. References Cynthia T. & Benjamin Tregoe. Analytical Processes for school Leaders. Alexandria. 2001. Tregoe Education Forum Inc. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy ...
Simple models (events make the man, charisma, a man for all seasons, the great man theory, etc.) do not adequately explain the individual or the character of leadership. (Peter M. Ribbins, 2006).Leadership cannot be examined in isolation from the organizations, forces and events that surround it. It should, however, be examined holistically and in context with history. Leadership has a historical framework of setting, a wholeness of meaning, and a diversity of influences. (Peter M. Ribbins, 2006).
One theory proposes that social evolution requires three forms of leadership; the formation of ideas, the articulation of those ideas, and finally, the building of those ideas (Krantz, 2000).
Many researches have been conducted to find out only whether leadership occurs best when the leader has values which are congruent with the group he leads or when his values are different. Some claim that leadership is possible only when values are similar, other researchers conceptualize that leadership cannot occur unless values are divergent (Altrichter, Schley, & Schratz, 1998; Bolam, 1993; Bolam, McMahon, Pocklington, & Weindling, 1993; Caldwell & Spinks, 1992; Dalin & Rolff, 1990; Fullan, 1991, 1992, 1993; Hopkins, Ainscow, & West, 1994).
Those who argue for similar values state that leadership is accepted when the leader is trusted and seen as the model of the group Bolam, McMahon, Pocklington, & Weindling, 1993; Caldwell & Spinks, 1992; Dalin & Rolff, 1990; Fullan, 1991, 1992, 1993)
Those who argue for different values say that leadership is the process of changing group values (Altrichter, Schley, & Schratz, 1998; Bolam, 1993).
Their position is that leadership cannot exist without change. Effective school administrators have been described frequently as valuing their co-workers’ efforts and contributions (Becker, et al. 1971; Bossert, et al. 1982; Crowson, 1989; Gorton & McIntyre, 1978; Hoy & Brown, 1988; Niece, 1989; Sarason, 1982).
Here again it may be possible that both are needed. The leader must articulate the values of the society, but at the same time have some personal values that go beyond his followers. (AASA, 1986; Bass, 1985; Bennis & Nanus, 1985; Coleman & La Roque, 1990; Kirby, Paradise, & King, 1992; Leithwood, 1992; Leithwood & Jantzi, 1990; Leithwood & Steinbach, 1991; Sergiovanni, 1989; 1990).
... research the practice of charismatic leadership in the workplace. Followers generally label their Charismatic leaders as one or more of ... sense of purpose - something that everyone needs. Charismatic managers also evoke a belief in their personnel, when people ... they put forth is important and noticed. Managers that practice charismatic leadership must recognize their personal responsibility as well. ...
Leadership is possible only if one has followers. One cannot have followers if his views and his values do not coincide with those of his followers (Burns, 1978, Bass, 1985).
But leadership is also the process of going beyond the status quo, exploring new ideas, and creating new forms. In education, leaders must be in tune with the values of their communities to hold their jobs (Murphy, 1988).
They must also contribute something from themselves to earn their pay (Murphy, 1988).
Scholars have also argued as to whether leaders are manipulative or sincere ( Mulford & Silins, 1998; Silins, Zarins & Mulford,1998).
Some state that the act of leadership is always manipulative, that the leader knows where he is going and manipulates others toward his objectives. Others claim that when leaders believe and are committed to their purposes, leadership is sincere. Sincerity is defined as the act of believing one’s own propaganda (Pocklington, & Weindling, 1993; Caldwell & Spinks, 1992; Dalin & Rolff, 1990; Fullan, 1991, 1992, 1993).
Since then, there have been literally thousands of empirical investigations of leadership, but no one theory of the leadership phenomenon has dominated perfect model and exact criteria for examining leadership(Bass, 1990).
It may be that leadership is so complex that, at best, we can only obtain clues, study a variety of styles, and partially understand it. We can feel it when it occurs; we know when it is not there (Dalin & Rolff, 1990; Fullan, 1991, 1992, 1993; Hopkins, Ainscow, & West, 1994).The complexities of leadership are such that conclusions are dangerous. There is no overwhelming consensus on how leaders became leaders and how they influence the direction of society (Crowson, Morris, 1990; Pitner and Ogawa, 1989).
There are, however, some things about leadership with which most students of the concept will agree.
Truths may help us to better understand leadership.
1. Studies attempted to identify “distinctive characteristics of the setting to which the leader’s success could be attributed” (Hoy & Miskel, 1987).
The situation usually helps to make the leader and at times, the leader happens to be in the right place at the right time. Harry Truman is a prime example. Hencley (1973) reviewed leadership theories and noted that “the situation approach maintains that leadership is determined not so much by the characters of the individuals as by the requirements of social situation” (Hoy & Miskel, 1987).
... situation arises. These situational charismatic leaders form characteristics similar to the following: 1) Crises 2) Task interdependence 3) Innovation 4) More receptive to change ... the history of charismatic leadership and its characteristics. Different charismatic leaders and their leadership characteristics are discussed. An explanation of the characteristics and behaviors of followers ...
This research focuses that a person could be a follower or a leader depending upon circumstances. Attempts were made to identify specific characteristics of a situation that affected leaders’ performance (Hoy and Miskel, 1987) listed four areas of situational leadership: “structural properties of the organization, organizational climate, role characteristics, and subordinate characteristics” (Etzioni, 1961).
Situational leadership revealed the complexity of leadership but still proved to be insufficient because the theories could not predict which leadership skills would be more effective in certain situations (Hoy and Miskel, 1987)
2. Researchers conceptualize that there is no single way to prepare leaders or to prepare for leadership. Leaders come from every segment of society and have a variety of styles. There is no set of characteristics which leaders posses and there is no single educational program which will produce individuals who posses leadership qualities (Slater and Doig, 1988).
In summary, the situation approach to leadership supported the contention that effective leaders are able to address both the tasks and human aspects of their organizations.
3. Leaders versus Managers.
“Managers are people who do things right and leaders are people who do the right thing” (Bennis & Nanus, 1985).
Burns (1978) claims managers as transactors and leaders as transformers. “Managers have subordinates—leaders have followers (Murray Johannes).
Managers concern themselves with the procurement, coordination, and distribution of human and material resources needed by an organization (Ubben & Hughes, 1987).
The skills of a manager facilitate the work of an organization with rules and regulations. The skills of a leader ensure that the work of the organization is what it needs to be (Bennis & Nanus, 1985,).
... There are only handfuls of authors that make an effective case against school vouchers. Among them is John Witte, who has ... Marcus). These two individuals are very respected in Florida educational circles, the fact that they can so assertively criticize ... characteristics, and are accountable only to their boards and clients (AFT). Teachers are also concerned with the fact that religious schools ...
History of leadership reveals that without followers there is no leadership act. The leader usually helps others to attain the goals of the group. He leads them to where they wish to go (Katz, 1974; Ubben & Hughes, 1987).
4. Leadership has ethical implications.
Scholars have also argued that even the best intentions may have adverse consequences on others. Sometimes doing what one considers right hurts other people. At the same time inappropriate leadership acts may have beneficial effects (Leithwood & Steinbach, 1991; Sergiovanni, 1989; 1990).
The leader must always consider the moral validity of what is done or not done. In the acts of people, the ethical dimensions are always present. (Katz, 1974)
5. Historical Figures of Leadership.
Early analyses of leadership, from the 1900s to the 1950s, differentiated between leader and follower characteristics. Finding that no single trait or combination of traits fully explained leaders’ abilities, researchers then began to examine the influence of the situation on leaders’ skills and behaviors. While studies of educational leadership have focused on leaders in administrative positions, recent studies are focusing on teachers as leaders (Bellon & Beaudry, 1992; Boles & Troen, 1992; Howey, 1988; Wasley, 1991; Waugh & Punch, 1987).
Leadership studies of the 1970s and 1980s once again focused on the individual characteristics of leaders which influence their effectiveness and the success of their organizations. The investigations led to the conclusion that leaders and leadership are crucial but complex components of organizations (Waugh & Punch, 1987).
Moreover, the study of historical figures helps us to understand underlying meaning of leadership, Socrates teaches us how to take the hemlock; Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi teach us passive moral resistance; and Thomas Jefferson instructs us on the imperatives of education (Wasley, 1991; Waugh & Punch, 1987).
B. Leadership Issues for the 21st Century
As we enter a new century, the issues that face educational leaders are as complex as ever and leadership continues to be recognized as a complex enterprise, and as recent studies assert, effective educational leadership is more difficult now than it has ever been. For those of you who aspire to take on the woe of a people, here is what you will be confronted by: (Hoy & Brown, 1988,).
... . Home Schooling. (Pros and cons) Educational Leadership May 1998: 85-86. Learning Around the Kitchen Table: Alternative Education. The Economist 347 June: 28 ... qualified professionals, homes often do not possess the resources of schools, home-schooled children tend to be isolated from their peers, and ...
Researchers & scholars have been continuously high lighted numerous issues, needs and demands those are being emerged with the changing of time as;
1. Support for alternative educational structures: charter schools, open enrollment, vouchers, choice (within and outside of public education), and home schooling (one of the most rapidly developing alternatives to public education (Henry, 2000; Johnson, 1996; Tingley, 1996; Bowler 2000; Czaja and Harman, 1997)
2. Increased demand for accountability for both academic improvement and preparation of a highly educated work force. You are to accomplish this with minimal increase in financial support and better utilization of current staffs (Tingley, 1996)
3. Increasing expectations to better educate children of a more pluralistic and troubled society, more special education children, more children whose primary language is not English, and a greater number of children who come from nontraditional families – all of which require money. (Bowler 2000; Czaja and Harman, 1997)
4. Increasing conflict in the governance of education, over the cost of educating special needs children, over appropriate curriculum, over safe buildings, over choice plans, over separation of powers, over teaching methods and etc… (Henry, 2000; Johnson, 1996; Tingley, 1996)
5. Pressure to use more and more technology to improve the quality of education, technology is contributing to greater differences between rich and poor as it is also influencing pedagogy and worldwide communications. The cost of technology for schools, however, will force the majority of schools to play catch-up for decades to come (Henry, 2000; Johnson, 1996; Tingley, 1996)
Unfortunately, accompanying the calls for change in school systems is an underlying assumption that the leadership needed to execute these changes will somehow emerge. As the reforms are implemented, the leadership skills of school administrators guiding these changes have received attention from researchers. Consensus exists on the critical role leader’s play (Caldwell &Spinks, 1992)
1- What types of individuals are these leaders who initiate and maintain successful educational changes?
2- Do leaders of educational change share similar characteristics? Which characteristics are unique to specific roles?
3- Do the leaders make the difference? What are the characteristics these people possess that enabled them to change their districts and schools?
This paper represents an initial attempt to identify the characteristics of leaders who initiate, guide, and provoke school change. This synthesis also sought to examine the literature to identify characteristics that appear to facilitate the implementation of school improvement in global perspective. The review of leadership literature has led to an initial identification of the following characteristics of leaders of educational change which are:
Needed Leadership Qualities
The studies investigated individual traits such as intelligence, birth order, socioeconomic status, and child-rearing practices (Bass, 1960; Bird, 1940; Stogdill, 1948, 1974).
Stogdill (1974) suggests six categories of personal factors associated with leadership: capacity, achievement, responsibility, participation, status, and situation but concluded that such a narrow characterization of leadership traits was insufficient: “A person does not become a leader by virtue of the possession of some combination of traits” (Stogdill, 1948,).
Faced with these difficult conditions, what do educational leaders of the future need in order to be successful? The qualities are needed can be divided into personal competencies and technical competencies (Stogdill, 1948).
Personal competencies are demanded by the nature of society and technical competencies and are demanded by the nature of the position of educational leadership (Caldwell &Spinks, 1992; Esp, 1993; Glatter, 1987; Jirasinghe & Lyons, 1996; Jones, 1987; Leithwood & Montgomery, 1986; Morgan, Hall, & Mackay, 1983).
1. Personal Competencies
Studies attempted to identify personal competencies such as ability to listen effectively – understanding both content and feeling, to validate the accuracy of information received, to speak frankly and clearly and to speak directly to the issue, to be positive about life, about self, and about one’s work. Ability to understand and to articulate learning processes, to keep current, to synthesize knowledge, and to utilize research, to receive satisfaction and reinforcement from one’s work, to motivate self and to inspire colleagues (Westley and Mintzberg 1989).
Ability to try new ideas, takes risks, and encourages others to do so, to articulate purpose, to establish a vision, to inspire confidence in schools (Bass 1989 and 1990, Henry, 2000; Johnson, 1996, Tingley, 1996, Bowler, 2000).
2. Technical Competencies
Professional and Ethical Leadership, Information Management and Education, Curriculum, Instruction and Learning Environment, Professional Development and Human Resources, Student Personnel Services, Organizational Management, Interpersonal Relationships, Financial Management and Resource Allocation, Technology and Information Systems (Blase, Anderson, & Dungan, 1995)
D. Imperatives of Leadership
Effective leaders “lead by example, by force of ideas, by devotion to fairness and justice.” (Fred M. Hechinger).
Abraham Lincoln said that “no man is good enough to govern another man without the other’s consent.”Educational leadership in the future will take the quantum leap into a society based on people and not things. (Herman Kahn).
Rather than from positions, leadership will emanate from knowledge, from wisdom, from the ability to persuade, and from a personal commitment to fairness and justice (Aplin, 1984; Crowson & Morris, 1990; Kohan, 1989; Mahoney, 1990; Schmuck and Schmuck, 1989; Wilson, 1980).
Leadership will be established “through the consent of the governed,” from a basis of ethics, ideas and persuasion. (Blase, Anderson, & Dungan, 1995)
Conclusion: This paper began with a brief review of key leadership concepts and this literature revealed that effective leadership in an organization is critical. These attempts led to the conclusion that no single characteristic can distinguish leaders from non-leaders (Hopkins, West, Ainscow, 1996; Huber, 1999b; Huberman, 1992; Joyce, 1991; Leithwood, 1992a; Reynolds et al. 1996).
Situational leadership revealed the complexity of leadership but still proved to be insufficient because the theories could not predict which leadership skills would be more effective in certain situations. The contingency models focused on the fit between personality characteristics, leaders’ behaviors, and situational variables but did not clarify which or what combination of these determines effective leadership (Altrichter, Schley, & Schratz, 1998; Bolam, 1993) The comparison of effective and non-effective leaders revealed that effective leaders were high performers in both. The situation approach to leadership supports the contention that effective leaders are able to address both the tasks and human aspects of their organizations (Bellon, Beaudry, 1992; Boles, Troen, 1992; Wasley, 1991).
The research base on leadership shows quite clearly that there is a powerful relationship between leadership and school development (Hallinger & Heck, 1998).
The pivotal role of the school leader as a factor in effective schools has been corroborated by findings of school effectiveness research in recent decades. (Sammons, Hillman, & Mortimore, 1995) It is also clear that effective leaders exercise an indirect but powerful influence on the effectiveness of the school and on the achievement of students (Leithwood & Steinbach, 2002).
Consequently, it would be expected that the quality of leadership in schools in challenging circumstances would be particularly important. Studies on school development and improvement also emphasize the importance of school leaders, especially from the perspective of the continuous improvement process
targeted at an individual school ( Altrichter, Schley, & Schratz, 1998; Bolam, 1993;
Bolam, McMahon, Pocklington, & Weindling, 1993; Caldwell & Spinks, 1992; Dalin Rolff, 1990; Fullan, 1991, 1992, 1993; Hopkins, Ainscow, West, 1994; Huberman, 1992; Joyce, 1991; Leithwood, 1992a; Reynolds et al. 1996; Stegö, Gielen, Glatter, Hord, 1987; Van Velzen, 1979;Van Velzen, Miles, Ekholm, Hameyer, & Robin, 1985).
Horace Mann stated that “one should be ashamed to die until he has won some victory for mankind.” Henry Kissinger said, “The task of the leader is to get people from where they are to where they have not been.” If we are to win some victories for mankind, we must move people from vested interest to the public good, from bigotry to tolerance, from hostility to peaceful co-existence. The only vehicle to do that is education and that challenge is yours. Studies on school development and improvement also emphasize the importance of school leaders, especially from the perspective of the continuous improvement process targeted at an individual school (Altrichter, Schley, & Schratz, 1998; Bolam, 1993; Bolam, McMahon, Pocklington, & Weindling, 1993; Caldwell & Spinks, 1992; Dalin & Rolff, 1990; Fullan, 1991, 1992, 1993; Hopkins, Ainscow, & West, 1994; Hopkins, West, & Ainscow, 1996; Huber, 1999b; Huberman, 1992; Joyce, 1991; Leithwood,
1992a; Reynolds et al. 1996; Stegö, Gielen, Glatter, Hord, 1987; Van Velzen, 1979; Van Velzen, Miles, Ekholm, Hameyer, Robin, 1985).
In the Euro-Education ’96 conference held in Denmark on May 22nd-24th, the Danish Minister of Education stated it well, “To lead in education, you need to express idealism and practicality. An idealist is one who sees the goal, but who is also willing to provide solutions to the concrete problems which prevent the attainment of the goal. Victory is not achieved by rhetoric; it is attained by getting your hands dirty, by hard work, by support for teachers, by confrontations with hostile forces, and by occasionally facing the possibility of taking the hemlock. Educational leaders have always been positive people – almost missionary in their belief in the perfectibility of the human race. They never wavered in their strong understanding of the efficiency of schools and education (Bellon, Beaudry, 1992; Boles, Troen, 1992; Wasley, 1991).
Being an educational leader is difficult. It is complex. It is rarely honored in song and book (Bass, 1960).
But when the final chapter is written, it will be education and educational leaders who will have contributed most to the protection of democracy, to equity, to justice and to human dignity (Bass, 1960; Bird, 1940; Stogdill, 1948; 1974).
If you are willing then to take on the woe of a people, to lead by the force of ideas, and to govern through the consent of the governed, you will be honored and respected as an effective educational leader. You will share in the glory of knowing that you have made a difference and will be praised in the volumes of educational history to be written in the future. (Bass, 1960; Bird, 1940; Stogdill, 1948; 1974, Stogdill, 1974)
Implications for further research:
Although this paper represents an initial effort to examine the personal characteristics of educational leaders that appear to facilitate the implementation of school improvement, it has also fostered questions regarding the personal characteristics needed of the leaders involved in these efforts. The following questions are implications for further research.
1. Do the characteristics discussed represent a composite picture of leaders of educational change or are there other characteristics that have not surfaced?
2. Is there a unique formula for these characteristics that educator attempting to implement an educational innovation or a systemic change at the school?
3. Does having congruent values between a community and a school leader promote and encourage school improvement?
4. What is the influence of leaders’ values and beliefs on their leadership skills?
5. Can these characteristics be learned or are they innate? If they can be acquired, how does this occur?
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