The author describes his own mixed feelings regarding The American School Superintendent: Leading in an Age of Pressure.
How do values of "learner-centeredness" get
played out in schools? How do leaders work within their schools to
build community? How are norms and structures built and sustained
that keep a school focused on students' lives and their learning? What
does it take to build commitment and motivate teachers to become an
inquiring community? How do leaders think about and act on their
own individual interests and concerns while dealing with the collective
work of running a school? How do they cope with the distractions of
daily problems as they struggle to improve the quality of life and
learning in the school?
To find answers to these questions we held individual and group
interviews with both the current and past school directors, made a series
of observations in their schools, and studied the documents produced by
the schools. These research efforts provided us with an opportunity to
learn not only about issues of leadership, but also about how these
schools were created, and how norms, values, and practices have been
maintained through successions of leadership and variations in style.
Despite the failure of SDM to live up to its hype, there is something intrinsically appealing about the notion that school administration derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, at least the adult governed. At a time when industry has moved toward greater worker participation in management, it seems only fair that teachers, too, have a say in conditions that affect their work lives.
The purpose.of this chapter is to show how teacher leadership
emerges, what teacher leaders do, and how teacher leaders think about
themselves as they take on new roles. Data for the study were collected
through written responses to questions, interviews, observation,
and analysis of documents.
In this chapter I report on Aguilar Elementary School's rather remarkable story,
using numerous quotations taken from taped records of my group
sessions with the faculty. Then I reexamine teacher leadership
through the lens of Aguilar; its case offers fresh insights on the
problems and possibilities for educational change.
In this volume, the authors wrestle with the changing contexts that
surround the work, the roles, and the responsibilities of educational
leaders for the next generation of children and youth. What we have
learned and are learning about children, their families, their teachers,
their schools, their communities, and about how children learn and
how they are taught is important for how we plan to organize and
administer tomorrow's schools. The focus is on how educational
leadership relates to ideological, institutional, and individual transformations
that occur in abundance as society evolves. It is a volume
where the authors audit some dimensions of the human condition
relevant to teaching and learning and extract meaning and significance
for those who expect to lead and administer our schools.
I am interested in how images of loss, belonging, and becoming are
shaping social policy and school reform in late twentieth-century
America. In particular, I want to explore what challenges the collusion
and collision of these three themes place on educational leaders for
tomorrow's schools. Thus, this chapter is organized as follows: (a) a
critical explanation and examination of loss, belonging, and becoming
as central themes in human development and social policy for public
education; (b) a look at the implications of these three themes on how
we govern, administer, and operate public schools; and (c) a
discussion of how recent social policy and school reform responses to
loss, belonging, and becoming relate to the sociohistorical pursuit of
educational equity and excellence.
We believe there are
problems in how schools relate to different family structures, in how
schools fit into diverse communities, in how schools perform their
roles, and in what the proper roles are. Thus this chapter is a critical
essay rather than a comprehensive review of research literature on
families, communities, and their relationships with schools.
Essentially, three questions guide our excursion on the nature and
status of school, family, and community relations.
I. Where did our current conceptions of the family and the
community originate, and how do these idealized concepts relate to
the political, social, and demographic realities of the 1980s and 1990s?
2. What are meaningful indicators of family, community, and
3. What is meant by the terms "school-community relations" and
This chapter is based on the assumption that the relationship
between teachers and principals is at the crux of school restructuring)
Moreover, it is assumed that the notion of "principal" will not
disappear in the immediate future. The American public school
system is too much a conservative social institution to expect a radical
departure from traditional structures of authority and accountability.
However, it is assumed that the concept of educational leadership will
evolve dramatically over the next decade. In other words, tomorrow's
schools will have principals, but the schools will be led in a much
A high school administrator adopts a feminist approach to administration.
This article considers the implications of teacher empowerment for school leadership.
Using faculty recollections of Burton Blatt's tenure as Dean of the School of Education at Syracuse University, this article considers how Blatt was able to have such a powerful impact on his faculty, and what can be learned about the concept of leadership of academic organizations from his legacy.
This chapter is devoted to an explication of how
school principals would promote curriculum work if the metaphor of
teacher as classroom executive were used as a basic guide for
leadership. Research evidence to support the use of this metaphor is
included. The chapter ends with a set of recommendations about how
principal preparation programs might be reconceptualized to make the
use of the classroom executive metaphor more prevalent in schools.
This article cautions that prescriptive announcements for school improvement currently in vogue are not all clearly justified by research on school effectiveness.
The methods of evaluating a teacher's effectiveness are many, yet all assume instructional intentions on the part of the teacher. This paper examines Socrates in order to identify his pedagogical aims and whether his intentions or lack thereof make a difference in explaining why he does what he does.
This article responds to the twin calls for teacher leadership and collaboration between schools and universities made by the Holmes Group and the Carnegie Forum.
This paper explores from an organizational theory point of view issues related to standards for entry into teaching, differential staffing models, and school management. The focus is on the central issue of control versus autonomy in the organizational structure of schools.
A call to consider assertive forms of school leadership.
Teachers are in the awkward position of exercising authority, yet have dubious control over the conditions within which they do so. The ideal teacher role is authority exercised in good faith and a commitment to the burdens and uncertainties of educational authority.
A strong conservative current underlies much of what is currently said about authority in schooling. Educational authority should be rooted in the ideal of democratic social transformation, a function it cannot have when conceived of more narrowly in terms of institutional heirarchy and stability.
All educational authority is not contained within the schoolyard fence. Education and re-education are processes in which the authority underlying not just knowledge of things, but value orientations and even self-identity, should be created by communities that are much more enclusive than the profession of education.
As we have seen in the
preceding essays, the term has varied meanings even among professional
humanists. Although this variability makes little difference in
most discussions, it is a critical factor when turning attention to school
improvement. Schools, unlike the more separate settings of universities,
exist in communities and under the close supervision of lay school
boards. The language of the school must be one that is clear to the
community. The term "humanities" is not now a part of that common
Many guidelines for school improvement have emerged from recent research and experience. The connected issues of school improvement and staff development are explored. Guidance for staff development as a part of school improvement is delineated.
Quality of work-life issues are described in relation to a changing labor force. Organizational issues affecting work motivation include opportunity and power. An integrated approach is taken to productivity and quality of work life.
This yearbook has evolved out of discussions and experiments
carried on by the Board of Directors of the National Society for
the Study of Education, beginning in 1964. Nothing like it had
been done before, and the board had to explore a number of questions
before it could actually approve the yearbook project.
An autobiographical fragment & a biographical commentary.
A humble autobiography.