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Leading curriculum innovation in primary schools Mark Brundrett and Diane Duncan Management in Education 2011 25: 119 DOI: 10.1177/0892020610387957 The online version of this article can be found at: http://mie.sagepub.com/content/25/3/119

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MiE Leading curriculum innovation in primary schools

Management in Education 25(3) 119–124 ª 2011 British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS) Reprints and permission: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0892020610387957 mie.sagepub.com

Mark Brundrett Liverpool John Moores University Diane Duncan Liverpool John Moores University

Abstract This article reports on a study of 40 primary school leaders from ten very successful primary schools who were interviewed in order to find out the skills, processes and practices that are required for the leadership of successful curriculum innovation in primary schools. Findings suggest that school leaders need to create an ‘ethos for change’ if successful innovation is to take place. A new four-stage model of curriculum innovation is offered. Keywords primary, curriculum, curriculum innovation, leading change

Introduction The primary school curriculum in England has undergone multiple, complex and overlapping reforms in the last twenty years during which time there has been related debate on the relative efficacy of a strong emphasis on basic skills when compared to a broader, more integrative curriculum (Burton & Brundrett, 2005). This ferment has been reinvigorated in recent years and we suggest that there have been few periods when school leaders have faced greater challenge in undertaking curriculum innovation since we are witnessing a time of strategic review of educational priorities at both national and local levels. This article offers a brief report on a major research project that was funded by the National College for the Leadership of Schools and Children’s Services which sought to examine the leadership challenges posed by the implementation of curriculum innovation in primary schools. In order to examine fully such challenges the research project reported in this article was constructed with two main dimensions which included analysis of: 



the skills, processes and practices that are required in leadership for successful curriculum innovation in primary schools; and the extent to which schools are currently prepared for the curriculum innovation.

The project employed a blended methodology based on interviews, observations and documentary analysis in ten schools in order to produce rich data. All the institutions involved were highly successful primary schools, as defined below, which had recently embarked on ambitious and varying programmes of curriculum innovation.

Context to leading curriculum change in primary schools in England We have argued elsewhere that it has become a truism in education that we are good at initiating change but we are far less successful as seeing it through (Burton & Brundrett, 2005: 84). Indeed, there are dangers in embarking on innovation because the process of inducing change can be challenging, difficult and even painful. Moreover, as Everard et al. (2004: 285–6) have pointed out, all too many initiatives produce only a facade of change followed by a gradual sinking back into old ways of working. It is important to note that there is a broad and expanding literature on change in education much of which emphasises the complexity of this challenging issue (Morrison, 1998). For instance, the influential work of Fullan (1993, 1999, 2001, 2003) has emphasised the importance of collaboration among staff, community engagement, trust building and strategic planning within a pattern that includes initiation, implementation, continuation and outcome. Good strategy ‘involves the whole organization in a holistic way’ (Fidler, 2002: 9) and values and vision must inform operational planning (Davies & Davies, 2005: 12). Such notions key into more recent conceptions of distributed leadership (Spillane & Harris, 2008) and relate closely to the UK government agenda for target setting and planning dating back over the period of a decade (see, for instance, DfEE, 2001). Thus we may note that during the late 1990s and early 2000s primary education in England was dominated by the

Corresponding author: E-mail: M.Brundrett@ljmu.ac.uk

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government’s drive to raise standards in English and mathematics through the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies (NLNS), implemented in the majority of primary schools in 1998 and 1999 respectively. Head teachers expressed concern about the potential problems of overload as a result of the strong emphasis on literacy and numeracy. By the early 2000s Ofsted’s evaluation of the NLNS revealed that the breadth of the curriculum, particularly within subjects, had often been affected adversely by a combination of the two strategies, including ‘catch-up’ programmes and the requirement on schools to meet increasingly demanding performance targets as measured by the national tests. Ofsted noted some schools which were not providing sufficient depth in their teaching of the noncore foundation subject (Ofsted, 2004). The University of Toronto, which was commissioned by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES) to provide an external evaluation of the NLNS, also noted concerns from many head teachers about the strategies squeezing out other crucial programmes and experience (OISE, 2001). The annual report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) for 2002 also referred to the pressures on the primary curriculum and their impact on breadth and balance which represented a ‘serious narrowing of the curriculum’. Nonetheless, by 2009, Ofsted found that head teachers had clear and high expectations, not only of what should be taught, but how they set these out in a detailed teaching and learning policy that was followed by all staff so that the school’s principles were translated into practice. The result was consistent approaches to teaching in all classes and good progression in pupils’ learning. The curriculum was enriched by first-hand experiences, including visits locally and further afield, contributions from adults with knowledge and skills that could enhance pupils’ learning, and an extensive range of extra-curricular activities (Ofsted, 2009). Most recently, a survey of 44 highly successful schools which used creative approaches to learning found that most teachers felt confident in encouraging pupils to make connections across traditional boundaries, speculate constructively, maintain an open mind while exploring a wide range of options and reflect critically on ideas and outcomes. This had a perceptible and positive impact on pupils’ personal development and on their preparation for life beyond school (Ofsted, 2010: 3). Thus we may aver that, although the advent of the National Curriculum brought with it concerns that the subject-based approach which it required would lead to more formal or teachercentred pedagogic methodologies, ‘child-centred’ and integrative learning was not abandoned and the influence of national strategies such as the ‘primary strategy’ (DfES, 2003) and the Every Child Matters (ECM) agenda (HMG, 2003) encouraged such approaches. The Rose Review was commissioned by the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) under the aegis of a Labour government in 2008. After taking evidence from a wide range of stakeholders, the review subsequently recommended a change from a subject-based curriculum to one that embraces six areas of learning including: understanding English, communication and languages; mathematical

understanding; scientific and technological understanding; historical, geographical and social understanding; understanding physical development, health and well-being; and understanding the arts (Rose, 2009: 16). The review was influential in leading to proposed alteration of the national curriculum from September 2011 (DCSF, 2009) but the UK general election and subsequent change of national administration in spring 2010 to a Conservative/ Liberal Democrat coalition meant that this initiative was cancelled. In a more wide-ranging review, the Cambridge Primary Review (Cambridge Primary Review, 2010), led by Professor Robin Alexander, challenged the conceptions of the Rose review and posited a more complex formulation which argued for a depoliticisation of schools and an end to a ‘state theory of learning’. The Cambridge Review’s solution to the problems that face primary schooling in England is to extend the foundation stage to age six, prioritise disadvantaged pupils and develop a curriculum based on 12 recommended educational aims and eight domains of knowledge, skill, inquiry and disposition (Alexander, 2009: 261–77). It has been indicated that the primary curriculum will become arranged around subjects such as English, Maths, Science and History, alongside a set of broader commitments to create a new generation of small schools, give every existing school the chance to achieve academy status and ensure that Ofsted adopts a more rigorous, targeted inspection scheme with more unannounced inspections (Conservative Party, 2010). What is clear is that the primary curriculum in England is experiencing a period of unprecedented change with correlative challenges to the leadership of teaching and learning.

Method Data gathering in the project as a whole has two main dimensions: 



Phase 1: three initial two-day visits during January and February 2010, the data from which has been analysed as a scoping exercise in order to develop an interim report on initial findings by March 2010 and in order to inform the content of the questionnaire to be implemented in dimension 2. Phase 2: a further seven visits to schools during March–June 2010.

This report focuses on data derived from visits to ten schools and includes: qualitative interviews with the head teacher, deputy head teacher, curriculum coordinators and practitioners in ten primary schools (a total of four interviews in each school); observation of lessons; and collection of curriculum plans and other curriculum documentation. Research instruments took the form of carefully developed and trialled interview schedules and observation schedules. Data analysis relied on coding, categorising and identifying key themes and patterns. A purposive sample was developed which took into account school factors such as type, size, social background of pupils, geographical location and system of governance.

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Schools were selected by recommendation from key primary networks, QCDA, the National College, Local Authorities, Higher Education Institution placement managers and by reference to Ofsted reports. Each interview was approximately 40 minutes in length and those interviewed included the head teacher, an assistant or deputy head, a curriculum leader and a classroom teacher. Classroom lessons exemplifying what the school considered to be current best practice were observed in each school and relevant curriculum documentation was gathered and subsequently analysed. Several of the schools are located in areas of considerable social deprivation according to the IDACI (Income Deprivation Affecting Children Index) and each has significant numbers of children who are working below national averages.

Findings: towards a new model of curriculum innovation The project revealed that curriculum innovation is more likely to be successful when: 

 

  



teachers and school leaders see the potential benefit for pupils, their professional satisfaction and for the school and community as a whole; all school personnel are committed to and believe in its underlying values; all teachers and leaders are involved in the process of innovation from the initial idea to its implementation and review; teachers trust and respect the leadership team; all school staff are able to see the benefits and gains made by pupils; it is integral and closely interrelated to the short-, medium- and long-term aims of the School Development Plan as well as the school’s CPD programme; it is school created and school driven and is less likely to be sustained when it is derived from published schemes of work, materials or programmes of learning which are external to the school.

It is clear that leadership structures positively impact upon learning in the classroom. Effectively led curriculum innovation improves standards of achievement and increases children’s enjoyment and engagement in learning. Thus successful innovations are more likely to be sustained if leaders ensure that research into a range of possible curriculum models is carried out before changes are trialled and implemented. For instance, best practice in one school involved an action research project on theme-based learning with its Year 6 pupils. Curriculum change was not implemented until its leadership team had evaluated the outcomes of the project and satisfied themselves that the results were favourable for both pupils and teachers. It is also apparent that a key leadership skill in curriculum innovation is the judicious and strategic use of all staff in a joint endeavour directed towards the implementation of any revised curriculum. When all members of staff feel involved in a collective enterprise, curriculum innovation

is more likely to serve the needs and interests of children and those of the wider school community. Correlatively, a clear steer is required if the important work schools have carried out with respect to planning, tracking and monitoring progress is not to be lost. Teachers valued explicit guidance in constructing new formats which captured crosscurricular approaches to learning as well as the skills and knowledge to be covered in specific subject areas. The opportunity to trial and review planning and recording formats was seen as central to this process of change. Working across phases within the school is helpful in creating the ethos noted earlier. Equally, working in collaboration with other schools in order to share good practice in curriculum innovation is seen as an important method of enhancing curriculum innovation. Visits, staff exchanges and the sharing of strategies between schools which have begun to experiment and trial new approaches to curriculum innovation seem to offer a powerful set of tools that will assist in the achievement of curriculum change and improvement. Schools also need to be provided with advice on strategies that assist in acknowledging and recognising areas of the curriculum which need strengthening. Engaging the expertise of others in classroom workshops and whole-school INSET programmes is also seen as being important. Allied to this, robust systems of assessment and monitoring which are capable of tracking progress across thematic as well as subject-based curricula are essential. Such systems should be proactive in identifying failing and vulnerable children as well as giving leaders and teachers a detailed understanding of what they need to do at the end of each Key Stage in order to ensure progress. Well developed assessment systems should also provide accessible and user-friendly data to help teachers advance within-year progress. Curricular themes or projects should identify a clear progression of skills, understanding and knowledge which is capable of being tracked and recorded. Regular meetings to discuss and evaluate children’s work as well as check on progress and quality need to involve teachers and all levels of leadership in order to ensure the widest constituency of knowledge on standards, assessment and monitoring. Once the decision has been taken to undertake major curriculum change it is important that innovation has a clear and understood timeline for implementation which is made explicit in the School Development Plan. The steps and stages between the initial innovatory idea and its eventual implementation need to be lucid and comprehensible from the outset and communicated to everyone concerned. Within this process regular points for ongoing evaluation, review and modifications in the light of experience are clearly identified and acted upon. Curriculum innovation is also founded upon a detailed knowledge of the school, its parents, community, history and social context. It takes careful account of the capabilities, needs and interests of its pupils as well as the strengths and expertise of its staff. It builds on the successful work which the school has undertaken so far in ways which facilitate change as well as ensure continuity and curriculum coherence. Undoubtedly, the maintenance of a core curriculum and rising standards in literacy and mathematics continues to be

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1. Researching Environment scanning to build up detailed knowledge of the school, its parents,

community, history and social context, taking account of the capabilities, needs

change as well as ensure continuity and curriculum coherence. Research into a range of possible curricula models before changes are trialled and implemented.

Visits, staff exchanges and the sharing of strategies between schools which have begun to experiment and trial new approaches to curriculum innovation.

2. Ethos building Creating an ethos for change which allows freedom for experimentation, supported risk-taking and the trialling and piloting of curriculum innovation. Support for newly qualified and less experienced teachers part of the portfolio of responsibilities for both middle and senior leaders. Middle leaders, particularly where they have responsibility for the whole curriculum rather than a specific subject or group of subjects, given status and value by the head, reinforced by their inclusion at senior leadership team meetings.

3. Trialling Opportunity totrial and review planning and recording formats is central to the process of change. Use of the Early Years Foundation Stage as a model for cross-curricular learning. Working in collaboration with other schools in order to share good practice is

seen as an important method of enhancing curriculum innovation.

4. Implementation Clear and understood timeline for implementation which is made explicit in

A culture of adult training is built into head teachers’ vision for school staff. Regular high-quality continuing professional

Building on successful work which the school has undertaken so far to facilitate

development is provided for all staff including teacher assistants.

Maintenance of a core curriculum and rising standards in literacy and mathematics continues to be perceived by head teachers

as a core part of their leadership role.

and interests of pupils as well as the strengths and expertise of its staff.

the School Development Plan. Steps and stages between the initial innovatory idea and its eventual implementation need to be clear from the outset and communicated to everyone concerned. Evolutionary and dynamic change proceeding from small, achievable

beginnings to more widespread changes which are constantly reviewed, modified and adapted to changing circumstances and requirements.

Implementation of agreed change allied to assessment and review

Evaluaon and review based on targets set out in strategic plan and adjustment of innovaon.

Figure 1. Model of curriculum innovation

perceived by head teachers as a core part of their leadership role regardless of the type, form or model of curriculum innovation chosen for implementation. Throughout the process of curriculum innovation, effective leaders ensure that

struggling staff are supported sensitively. Guidance and support is more effective when it is not ad hoc but structured into programmes of training and development. In the larger schools, support for newly qualified and less

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experienced teachers was part of the portfolio of responsibilities for both middle and senior leaders. In one school the well-being of both pupils and staff was an active and integral part of a values-led curriculum. In another, curriculum leaders set up regular clinics whereby staff could come and discuss ongoing problems and queries during the innovatory stage. This was highly valued by teachers and is cited here as an example of particularly effective and workable leadership support. Middle leaders, particularly where they have responsibility for the whole curriculum rather than a specific subject or group of subjects, are given status and value by the head. This is reinforced by their inclusion at senior leadership team meetings. If innovation is to be successful, a culture of adult training is built into head teachers’ vision for school staff and regular high-quality continuing professional development needs to be provided for all staff, including teacher assistants (TAs). The involvement of the latter is particularly important in schools where TAs are used increasingly to assess and monitor children with special educational needs. In some of the larger schools, especially those with a complex range of social challenges, TAs outnumber the staff. So their involvement in the school’s CPD programme is likely to have a number of positive outcomes both for them, teacher colleagues and pupils. In one school the head was keen for the school to provide CPD sessions of a consistently high standard whether they were in-house or external speakers. As a way of ensuring quality all sessions were evaluated and recorded in staff learning logs. These served as useful records and evidence of professional development. In some cases, CPD was part of a responsibility brief for either assistant heads or deputy heads, thus underlining its significance in the school’s ongoing development. It requires a clear steer by the head teacher and CPD programmes are identified in advance in the School Development Plan. In the best examples of good practice, children were an essential part of the process with respect to decisionmaking and involvement in the early stages of innovation. Heads and school leaders were united in their view that to fail to canvas the opinion of children and to listen seriously to what they were saying would be missing an important opportunity and might risk the success of the innovation project. Overall, best practice in the leadership of curriculum innovation ensures that the process of innovation is seen by staff as an opportunity to do things differently, to think laterally and creatively. In one example, teachers were asked to consider whether they were using teaching time in the most effective way. One outcome of this was the use of blocks of time like whole days, weeks or half days rather than regular short periods of time. This gave children the chance to work at a more intensive and sustained pace and increased the likelihood of children succeeding in completing work. The latter was identified as a key concern particularly with older pupils. In Figure 1 we offer a model of curriculum innovation based on a four-stage process of: Researching, Ethos building, Trialling and Implementation. Throughout this process a focus on the core

curriculum is maintained and a culture of adult learning runs alongside developments in the pupil curriculum so that the skills of leaders at all levels are increased in order to meet the demands of the new and revised approaches to learning and teaching.

Conclusion Within the model of curriculum innovation that we present, change is evolutionary and dynamic and proceeds from small, achievable beginnings to more widespread changes which are constantly reviewed, modified and adapted to changing circumstances and requirements. Strong leaders have a clear sense of when they need to pull back and slow down as well as when to drive things forward at a faster rate. Primary school leaders, at all levels, welcome the freedom to innovate and change the curriculum and it may be that the new freedoms that appear to be embodied in a commitment to a looser control over the curriculum as whole will be received positively by many who see curriculum renewal and innovation as central to their professional identity. References Alexander, R. (2009) Children, Their World, Their Education: Final Report and Recommendations of the Cambridge Primary Review. London: Routledge. Burton, N. & Brundrett, M. (2005) Leading the Curriculum in the Primary School. London: Sage. Cambridge Primary Review (2010) Cambridge Primary Review. Online at: http://www.primaryreview.org.uk/ (March 2010). Conservative Party (2010) Mending Our Broken Society. London: Conservative Party. Davies, B. & Davies, B. (2005) ‘Strategic leadership’, in B. Davies (ed.), The Essentials of School Leadership. London: Paul Chapman, pp. 10–30. DCSF (2009a) Changes to the Primary Curriculum: A Guide for Parents and Carers. Nottingham: DCSF. DCSF (2009b) Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum: Final Report. Nottingham: DCSF. DfEE (2001) Supporting the Target Setting Process. London: DfEE. Online at: http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/ts/pdf/ DfES_065_2001.pdf DfES (2003) Excellence and Enjoyment – A Strategy for Primary Schools. London: HMSO. Online at: http://www.dfes.gov.uk/ primarydocument/ (accessed 5 March 2010). Everard, K.B. & Morris, G. (2003) Effective School Management. London: Paul Chapman. Fidler, B. (2002) Strategic Management for School Development: Leading Your School’s Improvement Strategy. London: British Educational Leadership, Management and Administration Society/Paul Chapman. Fleming, P. and Amesbury, M. (2001) The Art of Middle Management in Primary Schools. London: David Fulton. Fullan, M. (1993) Change Forces: Probing the Depths of Educational Reform. London: Falmer Press. Fullan, M. (1999) Change Forces: The Sequel. London: Falmer Press.

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Fullan, M. (2001) The New Meaning of Educational Change. London: RoutledgeFalmer. Fullan, M. (2003) Change Forces with a Vengeance. London: RoutledgeFalmer. HMG (2003) Every Child Matters. London: HMSO. Morrison, K. (1998) Management Theories for Educational Change. London: Paul Chapman. Ofsted (2002) The Curriculum in Successful Primary Schools. London: HMSO. Ofsted (2004) Annual Report of Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector of Schools. London: Ofsted. Ofsted (2009) Twenty Outstanding Primary School: Success Against the Odds. Manchester: Ofsted. Ofsted (2010) Learning: Creative Approaches That Raise Standards. London: Ofsted.

OISE (2001) Watching and Learning 2: OISE/UT Evaluation of the Implementation of the National Literacy and Numeracy Strategies. London: HMSO. Rose, J. (2009) Independent Review of the Primary Curriculum: Final Report. Nottingham: DCSF. Spillane, J. and Harris, A. (2008) Distributed School Leadership. London: Routledge.

Biographies Mark Brundrett is a former teacher and head teacher and is currently professor of educational research at Livepool John Moores University. Diane Duncan is a former teacher, head teacher and university lecturer who is now an independent researcher and writer.

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Beginning elementary principals around the world José María García-Garduño, Charles L. Slater and Gema López-Gorosave Management in Education 2011 25: 100 DOI: 10.1177/0892020611403806 The online version of this article can be found at: http://mie.sagepub.com/content/25/3/100

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MiE Beginning elementary principals around the world

Management in Education 25(3) 100–105 ª 2011 British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS) Reprints and permission: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0892020611403806 mie.sagepub.com

Jose´ Marı´a Garcı´a-Gardun˜o Universidad Auto´noma de la Ciudad de Me´xico Charles L. Slater California State University Gema Lo´pez-Gorosave Universidad Auto´noma de Baja California

Abstract The paper explores the different circumstances of newly appointed principals around the world. It is a literature review that examines articles from both English-speaking and non-English-speaking countries. Being a novice principal is stressful and even traumatic. Principals appear to feel unprepared for their role. The problem most common to all countries is interpersonal conflict. Principals have to serve as a sort of buffer to reduce shock due to contact. They gain tacit knowledge and become more confident as they learn on the job, but they do not necessarily become instructional leaders.1 Keywords leadership, international, beginning principals, preparation, programmes, interpersonal conflict

Since the early 1980s, school effectiveness research has claimed that the leadership of principals has played a key role in a school’s success. Recently, new studies have determined more precisely the influence of principal leadership on learning. Leithwood et al. (2008) point out that ‘school leadership is second only to classroom teaching as an influence on pupil learning’ (p. 27). Moreover, due to global economic competition, the political agenda of most educational systems has concerned itself with raising quality thorough educational reforms. The principal has the key role in the success of these reforms. The role of the school principal is undergoing tremendous change among inconsistent political agendas and unprecedented cultural shifts (Cheung & Walker, 2006). School principals are under more pressure, which is even greater for novice principals. The study of principals has traditionally been an Anglo-Saxon phenomenon (Oplatka, 2004) that has started to spread to other parts of the world. However, research on principals newly assigned to the role is still more recent; the first studies were published in the late 1970s (Greenfield, 1977a, 1977b). Recently, study of these new professionals has been undertaken through the creation of two international research networks, the International Beginning Principal Study, created in 1999 by Forrest Parkay (Parkay, 2003) and the International Study of Principal Preparation (ISPP), created in 2005 by Charles Webber and Mike Cowie (Webber & Scott, in press). The purpose of this paper is to explore the different circumstances of newly appointed principals around the world and consider the implications for principal preparation. Most research in educational administration has been

conducted and reported in English. We wanted to review this research but also avoid the danger of over-generalising to other areas of the world. What does the literature suggest are the similarities and differences between new principals in English-speaking countries and principals who speak other languages? What are the implications for principal preparation? The first section briefly addresses administrative challenges in selected English-speaking countries: Australia, Canada, England, Scotland and the United States; the second section looks at China, Mexico, Korea, Spain, South Africa, Thailand and Turkey; and the third section discusses the implications for principal preparation.

Challenges faced by novice principals in English-speaking countries The role of the newly appointed principal is considered stressful and even traumatic. Several metaphors express the difficulties experienced by first-time school principals: ‘balancing at the top of a greasy pole’ (Walker & Qian, 2006); ‘sitting in the hot seat’ (Weindling & Dimmock, 2006); ‘the pain outweighs the gain’ (Howley et al., 2005); ‘jumping off the deep end and swimming against the tide’ (Armstrong, 2004). Hobson et al. (2003) have identified the challenges faced by newly appointed principals in the US, the UK and other parts of Europe: Corresponding author: Charles L. Slater, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA E-mail: cslater@csulb.edu

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feelings of professional isolation and loneliness; dealing with the legacy, practice and style of the previous head teacher; dealing with multiple tasks, managing time and priorities; managing the school budget; dealing with (e.g. supporting, warning, dismissing) ineffective staff; implementing new government initiatives, notably new curricula or school improvement projects. (p. ii)

In England, Weindling (2000) found that the main problems for new principals were related to interpersonal issues, mainly with staff, and the image of the school. They included:       

difficulties caused by the style and practice of the previous head; the school buildings; communication and consultation with staff; creating a better image of the school; coping with a weak member of the SMT (school management team); dealing with incompetent staff; low staff morale. (p. 8)

In Australia, Quong (2006) adopted and implemented a learning methodology and kept a journal during his first year as principal. He faced the following problems: improving student behaviour, conflicts between staff, parent complaints, critical incidents and achievement of improved literacy and numeracy results. The feelings of unpreparedness and the complexity of work obligated principals to tackle different dilemmas. Quong phrased the main dilemmas in this way: ‘(1) Judge: when should I intervene? (2) Confront: am I ready to confront? (3) Learn: what do I need to learn in order to deal with this, and what can I learn from this experience?’ (p. 384). Wildy and Clarke (2008) illustrated the vastness of the role and quoted a new Australian principal’s feelings of isolation and loneliness: ‘This is a small school, which should make it easier for me to keep on top of things. However, I never know whether I’m doing the right things, day-to-day and weekby-week. You are on your own. The school is 60 kilometers from the nearest town so the physical isolation could get you down. What I feel more keenly though is the professional isolation. The district director only comes down when it is time to review the school. I do not even have a deputy to give me advice. In fact, I rely heavily on my registrar, a local resident who has been here for ten years.’ (p. 734). In the United States, recently appointed principals feel unprepared to take up the new role; the two main areas of concern are technical expertise and interpersonal relations (Daresh, 1987). The legacy of the previous principal is also a problem in the United States. One new principal interviewed by Greenfield (1985) pointed out:

The former principal, who is now superintendent, was a very lenient person. She tends to value friends, relationships, above and beyond what is accomplished. I tend to be the other way around. I tend to value what you can accomplish and get done for people, above and beyond friends and relationships per se. (p. 8) In Canada principals also felt unprepared to take up the position. Walker et al. (2003) found the work of new Canadian principals to be quite different from that which they had envisioned prior to becoming principals. These principals found unanticipated challenges in the amount of work and time required, mediation for and between staff, administrative tasks, parent and school board issues and the interpersonal skills required. In summary, the main problems of novice principals in Anglo-Saxon countries are: feelings of unpreparedness, unanticipated issues, the legacy of the previous principal, interpersonal relations with and among staff and feelings of isolation. Now, we turn to the challenges faced by principals in other parts of the world to find similarities and differences.

Challenges faced by novice principals in other countries around the world Although new principals in other countries face similar problems to those in English-speaking countries, there are peculiarities. Leadership is a cultural construct; it is a way of interacting with individuals and organisations (Tierney, 2006), and leadership practices may vary across cultures. Problems faced by principals are generally similar, but cultural context does cause some variation. In this section we will explore the preparation and appointment of and problems faced by principals in several countries, Most of these countries do not have formal principal preparation programmes like those in England, Scotland and the United States. For this reason it is especially important to understand the appointment process and how these principals come to their positions. The criteria and methods for selecting and appointing principals vary from country to country. Appointment is carried out mainly by educational authorities, local authorities and colleagues based on seniority and teaching performance. In China, principals are appointed by a local board of education or a local Communist Party committee based on their seniority and performance as teachers (Li & Parkay, 2006; Lin, 2005). In Turkey principals are appointed by authorities of the Ministry of Education. To be selected, a new principal must have a positive administrator evaluation and undertake a centralised exam on Turkish language, history and law, as well as an interview focused on appraisal skills, attitudes, culture and views on education (Cowie et al., 2007). Spain is one of the few countries that follows the democratic selection and appointment of principals. Candidates may be self-proposed or put forward by peers. If a candidate does not have a majority of votes, educational authorities are entitled to appoint the new principal (Diez et al., 2006). In Africa, principals are appointed by educational

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authorities and their selection depends on their record of success as a teacher (Bush & Oduro, 2006). In Mexico new principals are appointed by the authorities based on a career ladder (Comisio´n Nacional de Escalafo´n). The rank of the candidate is public, based on a composite of professional development, seniority and teaching experience. Yet professional development activities are not directly related to the principalship. Korea is different from other countries in that it has a highly selective system and a requirement for certification. Only a few teachers may aspire to the principalship. To become a principal a teacher must have teaching experience, good performance evaluations, in-service training, service in remote areas and administrative experience (Kim & Parkay, 2004). Those teachers are selected by the Ministry of Education to attend a principal training program; if they succeed, they receive certification, but only a few of those teachers are appointed as principals the same year; others must wait several years. After being appointed, principals are entitled to be in the post for four years with the possibility of extension for another four years (Kim & Parkay, 2004). As in Anglo-Saxon countries, interpersonal relationships with school staff are one of the main causes of concern for new principals in other parts of the world, yet there are peculiarities among the countries surveyed. One of the main concerns of a new principal in China is the added pressure which stems from educational reforms (Li & Parkay, 2006). The transit from a socialist to a mercantile system has exerted more demands on schools and added further complexity in the handling of curriculum reforms (Lin, 2005). Other areas of difficulty for new Chinese principals are inadequate professional development and a disregard for the basic working rights of teachers, which leads to instability of personnel. In Korea the main concerns of new principals are teachers’ lack of motivation and the strong influence of teacher committees on school decisions; principals are also concerned about criticisms from unions and the maintenance of school buildings (Kim & Parkay, 2004). In Thailand, the main problems faced by recently appointed principals are: conflict resolution and consensus building, communicating with multiple audiences, dealing with multiple tasks, local school boards and parent organisations (Sanrattana et al., 2003). In Spain recently appointed principals’ problems are feelings of unpreparedness to assume the responsibility of the post, insecurity over the support of administration, staff support and the legacy of the previous principal (Diez et al., 2006). In South Africa, new principals face the most daunting challenges (Bush & Oduro, 2006). For example, in Kenya the hardest problems are those of insufficient teaching materials and financial resources. Kitavi & Van der Westhuizen (1996) found the most serious problems to be: students who cannot afford school fees or books, shortage of school equipment, shortage of physical facilities and residential accommodation. New principals in Mexico also face a daunting challenge. The main problems are with teacher absenteeism, medical leave, the burden of administrative work and the

managing of school improvement projects. The teacher’s problem might be even greater than in other countries due to the protectionism given by the union (Garcia-Gardun˜o et al., 2010). Problems experienced by recently employed principals in other countries are similar to those experienced by their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. These include the difficulties that arise from interpersonal relationships with staff, local boards and authorities, and feelings of unpreparedness to take up the responsibilities of the job. The pressure exerted by educational reforms and the burden of administrative tasks seem to be more severe. Teacher absenteeism and motivation are especially problematic.

Implications for principal preparation A first response to the challenges of novice principals might be to address each of the challenges in a preparation programme to ease the prospective principal into a new position. The challenge of interpersonal relations could be met with a formal course on the theory and practice of working with people in difficult situations, teamwork and collaboration. Feelings of unpreparedness might be addressed through seminars in which prospective principals could talk about their feelings with colleagues and with veteran principals. The pressure of reform and administrative work could be addressed directly through school internships in which they had opportunities to carry out a variety of administrative tasks. These issues are, to some extent, addressed in the National Professional Qualification for Headship (NPQH) in England, which has a national programme, and in Scotland in which the Scottish Qualification for Headship (SQH) is managed by university consortiums. In the United States, courses in these areas are part of preparation programmes carried out in four-year colleges and universities (Cowie et al., 2007). Teacher absenteeism and motivation, however, were mentioned as problems more frequently in Mexico, Asia and Africa. An administrator preparation programme might not be the right venue for principals to cope with these issues. Fierro (2006) found that veteran principals in Mexico overcame problems with teachers but at the expense of attention to students. Questions have been raised as to whether university preparation programmes in the United States make a difference to the practice of principals. Arthur E. Levine, the president of Teachers College, Columbia University, reviewed several programmes and concluded that benefits to administrators were minimal and the effects on schools negligible (Levine, 2005). Several authors have suggested that problems faced by new principals are less intense after some years in the post. Studies on the socialisation of new principals (e.g. Weindling, 2000; Day & Bakioglu, 1996) asserted that the first two to three years of the job are the most difficult. Why did recently appointed principals consider the problems to be more serious than experienced principals? The difference between a novice and an experienced principal

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in this regard is tacit knowledge. St Germain & Quinn (2005) investigated novice and expert principals in the United States. Their comments are worth quoting at length to show the kind of tacit knowledge that experienced principals gain: ‘The obstacles faced by novice principals etched a portrait of inexperience. Novice principals actually perceived situations differently than did expert counterparts. When novice principals actually thought about their strategies in a metacognitive format, they did so after a disruptive incident rather than before or during the incident. They often chose to wait to address problems rather than confront and resolve them. When novice principals did think about the incidents as they transpired, they lost perspective and reacted emotionally . . . ’ (p. 81). ‘Expert principals had developed a sufficient repertoire of response to unanticipated obstacles so that they were handled with ease. Furthermore, expert principals knew which problems required forceful resolution and which could be solved best with diplomacy. Most importantly, expert principals seemed to possess a greater understanding of the social demands and repercussions of their actions’ (p. 84). Kitavi & Van der Westhuizen (1996) found similar results in Kenya. Problems were perceived to be less serious by experienced principals; tacit knowledge helped principals feel more at ease when handling these problems. If problems faced by beginning principals are handled more easily with time, one could ask whether preparation programmes are needed at all. Principals might simply learn what they need to know on the job. St Germain & Quinn (2005) note that not all principals gain this tacit knowledge and suggest that it should be considered when designing preparation programmes. More importantly, the types of skills the experienced principal gained appeared to be primarily managerial. They were able to determine whether forceful resolution or diplomacy was required, and they understood the social demands and repercussions of their actions. What we do not know is whether these skills were put to use in the service of students and their learning. Over time most principals gain the necessary management skills to survive and mediate conflict but they are not necessarily pushing forward a student agenda.

Conclusion Throughout the world, principals face similar challenges. The principal is a sort of buffer to reduce shock due to contact. School principals act as a buffer in many situations absorbing the pressure and responsibility stemming from problems among teachers, students, parents, supervisors and the community. The management of most conflicts in schools comes under the principal’s purview. What might vary across different cultural settings are the relevance, intensity, consequences and methods of handling conflicts. We investigated the question: ‘What are the similarities and differences between literature on new principals in English-speaking countries and newly emerging research on principals who speak other languages?’ It now appears that the findings of Hobson et al. (2003) can be extended

to other countries. Problems experienced by recently employed principals in other countries are similar to those experienced by their Anglo-Saxon counterparts. Difficulties that arise from interpersonal relationships with staff, local boards and authorities rise to the top of the list in almost all countries. In non- English-speaking countries, particularly Mexico, there is a serious problem of motivating teachers and assuring attendance and punctuality. Although newly appointed African principals face the hardest problems, as ascertained by Bush & Oduro (2006), it seems that all around the world principals new to their role experience added pressure which diminishes with experience. Being a novice principal is stressful and even traumatic in some cases. Principals appear to feel unprepared for their role whether or not they took part in a preparation programme. They also appear to learn enough on the job to feel more confident after the first year. The majority of countries of speakers of languages other than English do not have principal preparation programmes prior to the job. They may learn to survive, but on-the-job experience is not likely to give them the grounding to develop an educational agenda, reform the curriculum and lead teachers. After some experience in the post, principals begin to perceive the difficulties of the role to be less intense than they did initially. The tacit knowledge that principals acquire allows them to handle problems in a less conflictive and more effective way. Tacit knowledge, however, is not enough to make principals into instructional leaders. Lo´pez-Gorosave (2010) found that principals learned to survive and cope with the problems of teachers, but they did not focus their attention on the needs of students. She concluded that there was a large gap between ideal practices and real practices in Mexican educational leadership. Administrator preparation programmes may have an important role to play in moving principals beyond management and toward ideal practices in educational leadership. After a qualitative study of novice principals in Scotland, Cowie and Crawford (2008) concluded ‘That preparation for headship can help to develop the professional identity of aspiring headteachers, broaden their outlook, and develop confidence and self-belief . . . What we do not yet know is the extent to which the SQH (Scottish Qualification for Headship) is developing principals with the strength of purpose required to challenge prevailing orthodoxies and work towards schools centered on educational values.’ (pp. 687–8) Note 1. This report presents partial findings of the research project ‘Los directores de escuela primaria: retos, problemas y sus mejores practicas’, funded by Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologı´a, Grant No. 62281, de la Convocatoria de Investigacio´n Ba´sica 2006.

References Armstrong, D. (2004) ‘Constructing moral pathways in the transistion from teaching to administration’. Values and Ethics in Educational Administration, 3(1), 1–8.

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Bush, T. and Oduro, G.K. (2006) ‘New principals in Africa: preparation, induction and practice.’ Journal of Educational Administration, 44(4), 359–375. Cheung, R. & Walker, A. (2006) ‘Inner worlds as outer limits: the formation of beginning school principals in Hong Kong’. Journal of Educational Administration, 44(4), 389–407. Cowie, M. & Crawford, M. (2008) ‘‘‘Being’’ a new principal in Scotland’. Journal of Educational Administration, 46(6), 676–89. Cowie, M., Crawford, M. & Turan, S. (2007) Principal Preparation in England, Scotland and Turkey. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, April. Daresh, J. & Trevor, M. (2000) ‘Crossing the border into leadership: experiences of newly appointed principals British headteachers and American principals’. Educational Management Administration Leadership, 28, 89–101. Daresh, J.C. (1987) The highest hurdles for the first year principal. ERIC Document ED280136. Day, C. & Bakioglu, A. (1996) ‘Development and disenchantment in the professional lives of headteachers’. In I. Goodson and A. Hargreaves (eds), Teachers’ Professional Lives. London: RoutledgeFalmer, pp. 205–77. Diez, E. J., Terro´n, E. & Anguita, R. (2006) La cultura de ge´nero en las organizaciones escolares: Motivaciones y obsta´culos de acceso de la mujer a los puestos de direccio´n. Madrid: Instituto de la Mujer; Barcelona: Octaedro. Fierro, C. (2006) Conflictos morales en el ejercicio de la funcio´n directiva del nivel ba´sico. Tesis de doctorado. CINVESTAV, Departamento de investigaciones Educativas, CINVESTAV, Me´xico. Garcı´a-Gardun˜o, J. M., Slater, C. & Lo´pez-Gorosave, G. (2010) ‘El director escolar novel de primaria: problemas y retos que enfrenta en su primer an˜o’. Revista Mexicana de Investigacio´n Educativa, 15(47), 35–57. Greenfield, W. Jr (1977a) ‘Administrative candidacy: a process of new-role learning – Part I’. Journal of Educational Administration, 15(1), 30–48. Greenfield, W. Jr (1977b) ‘Administrative candidacy: a process of new-role learning – Part II’. Journal of Educational Administration, 15(1), 170–93. Greenfield, W. Jr (1985) Being and Becoming a Principal: Responses to Work Contexts and Socialization Process. ERIC Document ED254932. Hobson, A., Brown, E., Ashby, P., Keys, W., Sharp, C. & Benefield, P. (2003) Issues for Early Headship. Problems and Support Strategies. National College for School Leadership. Online: http://www .nationalcollege.org.uk/issues-for-early-headship-problemsand-support-strategies.pdf (retrieved 12 November 2010). Howley, A., Adrianaivo, S. and Perry, J. (2005) ‘The pain outweighs the gain: why teachers don’t want to become principals’. Teachers College Record, 107(4), 757–82. Kim, M. & Parkay, F. (2004) ‘Beginning principals in the Republic of Korea: the challenges of new leadership’. Journal of Educational Policy, 1(1), 85–97. Kitavi, M. W. & Van der Westhuizen, P. (1996) Problems Facing Beginning Principals in Kenya. ERIC Document, ED396393. Leithwood, K., Harris, A. & Hopkins, D. (2008) ‘Seven strong claims about successful school leadership’. School Leadership & Management, 28(1), 27–42.

Levine, A. (2005) Educating School Leaders. The Education Schools Project. Available: http://www.edschools.org/pdf/ Final313.pdf, retrieved, June 10, 2010. Li, Q. & Parkay, F. (2006) ‘Beginning elementary principals in the People’s Republic of China: an analysis of their concerns and priorities’. Pacific Asian Education, 18(1), 19–133. Lin, J. (2005) ‘Perception of Principals in the Southern, Urban U.S. and Eastern, Urban China Regarding the Selection, Preparation and Professional Development of Elementary Principals’. Unpublished dissertation, Texas A & M University. Lo´pez-Gorosave, G. (2010) ‘Practicas de direccio´n en los primeros anos en el puesto: estudio sobre las acciones para resolver los problemas en las escuelas primarias pu´blicas’. Unpublished dissertation, Instituto de Investigacio´n y Desarrollo Educativo, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Ensenada, Mexico. Oplatka, I. (2004) ‘The principalship in developing countries: context, characteristics and reality’. Comparative Education, 40(3), 427–48. Parkay, F.W. (2003) Leaders for a global society: Western and Eastern perspectives on the professional induction of beginning elementary principals. Symposium proposal presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Assocation (AERA) Chicago, April. Petzko, V. (2008) ‘The perceptions of new principals regarding the knowledge and skills important to their initial success’. NASSP Bulletin, 92(3), 224–50. Quong, T. (2006) ‘Asking the hard questions: being a beginning principal in Australia’. Journal of Educational Administration, 44(4), 376–88. St Germain, L. & Quinn, D. (2005) ‘Investigation of tacit knowledge in principal leadership’. Educational Forum, 70, 75–90. Sanrattana, W., Parkay, F.W, and Phanphruk, S. (2003) The Beginning Primary-School Principals in Thailand: a National Survey of Their Priorities and Concerns. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago, April. Tierney, W. G. (2006) ‘The changing nature of organizational leadership and culture in academic work’. Journal of Research on Leadership Education. Online: http://www.ucea.org/storage/JRLE/pdf/vol1_issue1_2006/Tierney.pdf (retrieved 10 May 2010). Walker, A. & Qian, H. (2006) ‘Beginning principals: balancing at the top of the greasy pole’. Journal of Educational Administration, 44(4), 297–309. Walker, K., Anderson, K., Sackney, L. & Woolf, J. (2003) ‘Unexpected learning by neophyte principals: factors related to success of first year principals in schools’. Managing Global Transitions, 1(2), 195–213. Webber, C. F. & Scott, S. (in press) ‘Mapping principal preparation in Alberta, Canada’. Journal of Education and Humanities. Weindling, D. (2000) Stages of Headship: A Longitudinal Study of the Principalship. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New Orleans, EDRS 451591, April. Weindling, D. & Dimmock, C. (2006) ‘Sitting in the ‘‘hot seat’’: new headteachers in the UK’. Journal of Educational Administration, 44(4), 325–40.

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Biographies Jose´ Marı´a Garcı´a Gardun˜o received a licenciado in Clincial Psychology and a Masters in Educational Administration from the Universidad Iberoamericana and a PhD in Education from Ohio University. He has been a professor at the Universidad Iberoamericana, Universidad Auto´noma de Estado de Morelos, Universidad Auto´noma de Baja California, and the Universidad Auto´noma del Estado de Hidalgo. He is currently a professor at the Universidad Auto´noma de la Ciudad de Me´xico. He is a member of the International Study of Principal Preparation and his research interests are in educational administration and organization, educational evaluation, and curriculum. He has published diverse articles in books and journals. Charles L. Slater received his BA from the University of Minnesota, his Masters in teaching from Occidental Col-

lege and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin. He has been a superintendent of schools in Texas and Massachusetts and a professor at Texas State University. He is currently a professor of educational leadership at California State University Long Beach. He is a member of the International Study of Principal Preparation. His research interests are in educational leadership in Mexico and the United States. He has participated in the establishment of several doctoral programs and has published in a variety of journals. Gema Lo´pez-Gorosave has a licenciatura and Masters degree in Education and recieved her dotorate from the Ciencias Educativas del Instituto de Investigaciones y DesarroIIo Educativo of the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, where she is currently a professor. Previously she taught in elementary, secondary, and normal school and was director of the Escuela Normal Estatal in Ensenada. She is a member of the International Study of Principal Preparation. Her research interests are in the formation of teachers and directors and evaluation of faculty. She has published in diverse books and journals.

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Re-culturing a university department: a case study David Giles and Russell Yates Management in Education 2011 25: 87 DOI: 10.1177/0892020611403805 The online version of this article can be found at: http://mie.sagepub.com/content/25/3/87

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Re-culturing a university department: a case study David Giles and Russell Yates

Abstract At a time when any number of academics might be forgiven for being distracted by performance-based accountability regimes, some stories and experiences can be found of strong relational and collaborative cultures existing within educational institutions. Indeed, the relational ethos and team priority developed within a particular university department has not only stood the test of time, but is seen as helpful in enabling the individual and collective responsibilities of academic staff. This paper explores leadership re-culturing practices that seek to further enable this continuing relational endeavour. Using a case study approach, the perceptions and experiences of faculty members were drawn on specific re-culturing practices and their influence on the formation of a relational culture within the department. These practices often involve a degree of improvisation and are formed as both proactive and reactive responses to the present ideological context and challenges. What appears to be sustained aspirationally is the leadership’s intent to establish a relational organisational culture which underpins the department’s educational endeavour. This paper seeks to identify a range of leadership practices that influences and re-cultures academics’ individual and collective endeavour within a university department. Such leadership practices focus on open collegial dialogue towards the priority and practice of collaborative relational endeavour in higher education. Keywords organisational culture, re-culturing, educational leadership, higher education, professional practice

Introduction Educational contexts worldwide continue to be shaped and influenced by the prevailing neoliberal ideology. Indeed, the influence of a dominant ideology is always felt across educational sectors from early childhood education, through primary and secondary schooling, to teacher education and in adult and tertiary sectors (Cochran-Smith & Boston College Evidence Team, 2009; Darling-Hammond, 2006; Snook et al., 1999). Increasingly, educational contexts and leadership practices appear to exhibit the signs of a culture primarily focused on evidence that measures operational practices and students learning in a reductionist manner (CochranSmith & Boston College Evidence Team, 2009; Greenfield, 2004; Zander & Zander, 2000). In the process, what counts as evidence of the quality of educational contexts and activity involves narrowly prescribed forms of knowledge and demonstrable skill development (Thrupp & Lupton, 2006; Thrupp & Willmott, 2003), character and disposition being problematic to the quantitative priorities of neoliberalism. Such concerns are described as soft evidence in contrast to the hard evidence yielded through quantitative priorities (Thrupp & Lupton, 2006). The educational experience for leaders, teachers and learners often shifts to an outcomes focus as this is said to show the performance of the individual. Indeed a particular consequence of policies and practices arising from the neoliberal ideology is the amplification of individualism within educational practice. In contrast to collegial and collaborative

expressions of educational practice, compliance and performativity concerns have changed the behaviour of those within education towards a rampant individualism (Bennett, 1998). The point here is that concerns for greater individual accountability have shifted the experiential and pedagogical processes of education to privilege the individual over the team or collective, be this in specific learning approaches, leadership practices or research funding in the academy (Aronowitz & Giroux, 1985; Giles, 2010; Hare, 2005). Within this prevailing ideology, educational leadership is manoeuvred and re-cultured as a ‘political and value-laden endeavour’ (Cooper, 2009: 697), invariably reduced to a form of managerial leadership (Alphonce, 1999; Thrupp & Willmott, 2003). As such, the focus of leadership practice frequently centres on the attainment of prescribed outcomes in the guise of standards (Fullan, 2008). Such leadership practice described above stands in stark contrast to critical and humanistic approaches to education that advocate for the centrality of relationship and a sensitivity to local context (Bottery, 2004; Senge, 1996; Stoll & Louis, 2007). ‘Relationships are crucial’ (Fullan, 2001: 49). Rather than leadership ‘doing’ their task for the sake of a performance measurement, these relational and transformative approaches advocate for critical discernment and

Corresponding author: David Giles, School of Education, Flinders University, GPO Box 2100, Adelaide, SA 5001 E-mail:dlgiles1@gmail.com

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intentional engagement of educational leaders. The contexts leaders find themselves in insist they focus on both their way of being and that of others. People come first and the stewardship of people is critical (Greenleaf, 2002; Hernandez, 2008). Indeed, such an approach suggests that leadership is not just the province of the people at the top and that organisational concerns are a matter of process rather than structure (Bass & Riggio, 2006). In this process, aspects such as appropriate ways of energising the life of the organisation as opposed to seeking greater efficiency enable new systems of relationship as well as new forms of expression (Wheatley, 2001, 2005). From this energy, new forms of relationship and expression show leadership to be a collective concern and leadership development to be a matter for everyone (Bass & Riggio, 2006). Leadership practice should be morally, ethically and critically disposed rather than preoccupied with technical efficiencies (Fullan, 2003; Sergiovanni, 1992; Starratt, 2004). In addition to a holistic concern for individuals (Zubay & Soltis, 2005), educational leadership that embodies a humanistic and critical way of being needs to become increasingly attuned to more collective relational contexts (Wheatley, 2001, 2005). The pressing concern then is an imperative for educational leaders to re-culture their contexts towards ensuring greater equity and voice for all the participants (Shields, 2009). This involves an ongoing change agenda where ‘transforming the culture – changing the way we do things around here – is the main point’ (Fullan, 2001: 44); alternatively, ‘reculturing is the name of the game’ (Fullan, 2001: 43). This is not a re-culturing towards a ‘culture of evidence’ (Cochran-Smith & Boston College Evidence Team, 2009: 457), rather ‘a particular kind of reculturing . . . that activates and deepens moral purpose . . . ’ (Fullan, 2001: 44). Future educational leaders need to be catalysts of cultural change who have the bigger picture in mind (Fullan, 2001). To do this educational leaders need to draw upon a range of practical strategies to influence educational endeavours in their local contexts. Critically important here is the dialogue engendered by those in leadership (Cardno, 2010). Dialogue that emerges from safe relational spaces aids the re-culturing of educational communities and assists in the ideological clarity within the organisation (Brown, 2004; Giles, 2005; Sytsma, 2009). Responsive and relationally sensitive leaders appreciate that leadership is not only the application of theory to practice as their practice is lived out beyond the rules of engagement (Cammock, 2003; Giles, 2008, 2010). In the act of re-culturing, leaders improvise towards solutions that work for those involved (Brown, 2004; Murphy, 2002; Sytsma, 2009). Finding the way at times can be like building the bridge as you walk on it (Quinn, 2004). This paper will report on a case study which explored some practical strategies for re-culturing a large university department in response to the current neoliberal context.

that has 42 academic staff, of which nine are part-time staff, and a further twelve staff are sessional assistants. Demographic details of the faculty show that several staff members, including the chairperson, have been in the department for over 15 years. Similarly, the faculty is made up of staff with significant experience as school principals, deans of education, middle management and curriculum leaders. The chairperson considers the staff to be stable and experienced, albeit that the composition of the faculty is likely to change each semester. The majority of faculty are in tenured positions. The department offers a range of undergraduate preservice teacher education, and postgraduate educational courses to more than 2,000 students (approximately 750 equivalent full-time students). Teacher education courses are offered in early childhood education, primary and secondary school, bilingual and Maori education, as well as in-service and postgraduate education and educational leadership courses. Courses are delivered in a face-to-face mode, as block courses (i.e. weekend or vacation courses), and in an online delivery mode. The authors of this paper are faculty in the department. For the purpose of this research they are insiders to the inquiry. Russell brings his substantive knowledge of the history of the department, the intricacies of the department’s development and the wider neoliberal and tertiary context. David brings his phenomenological abilities and his recent experience within the department to the inquiry. While we seek to represent the data, we also acknowledge that we bring our informal observations of the department. The important point here is that this paper is our representation of the data while readily acknowledging that, consistent with a critical approach to education, there is seldom complete agreement on any experience. We would argue, however, that the organisational culture in this department is increasingly relational and influenced towards collective responsibility.

Interviews and questionnaire The data for this inquiry was gathered through interviews with the chairperson of the university department and responses from a questionnaire distributed to the academic and administrative faculty within the department. The interviews with the chairperson and the questionnaire focused on the history of the department, challenges and enduring features, and practices that give the department a sense of purpose. Ethical approval for the inquiry was gained from the Faculty of Education’s ethics committee. Data from the interviews and the questionnaire were analysed for emergent themes that directly related to enduring attributes of the department as well as strategies and practices within the department that show a critical discernment and intentional re-culturing of the organisational culture on the part of the leadership.

Research approach Case study

Research findings

The context for this inquiry is a department within a faculty of education in a medium-sized university in Australasia

A range of emergent themes were evident in the data that focus on the intentional nature of leadership, the aspiration

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for a relational culture and the desire to engender critical discourse, as well as a range of inclusive practical strategies that involve re-culturing the department within a neoliberal tertiary environment.

Intentional leadership praxis The leadership practice of the department’s chairperson is seen as exemplary by many staff and particularly by those who have been in leadership roles prior to their appointment within the department. As an example of intentional leadership practice, the chairperson is seen as having a proactive stance in response to the challenges the department faces, albeit at times in a manner that can become a personal cost to the chairperson in terms of time and workload. The chairperson is intentional in providing opportunity for faculty to take responsibility within the department’s committee structure or in managerial roles associated with the delivery of an academic programme. Opportunities for leadership match the spoken rhetoric that everyone is viewed as a leader (Bass & Riggio, 2006), not necessarily in positional terms, but in the sense that their voice and contribution are critical to enabling the wider department to stay vibrant for faculty and students alike. Such an approach affirms the appreciative and strengths-based dispositions of those in leadership roles. A particular characteristic of the department’s leadership is their physical presence on a daily and consistent basis. These interactions range from very warm and humane greetings to pausing to assist with a staff member’s questions or the pressures they are under. Such leadership practice embodies a humanistic concern for the collective good of others (Bottery, 2004). Moreover, such leadership ‘walk the talk’ that people matter (Giles, 2008; Greenleaf, 2002; Stoll & Louis, 2007). At a time when the managerial and administrative requirements of leadership are escalating, the faculty in this department experience leadership practices that respond to the political context and affirm that people matter; ‘we’ is the essence of a team culture (Fullan, 2001; Zander & Zander, 2000). Performance-related goals have the potential to usurp the formation of a humane and relational culture. In the chairperson’s view, ‘how’ we arrive is as important as the ‘way’ we arrive; organisation is a process not primarily a structure (Wheatley, 2001, 2005). Current challenges are seen as obstacles which need to be addressed in a collective way. Present neoliberal and managerial regimes are quick to set goals for performance and productivity but this department appears to respond to such goals in both a personal and a collective manner. Ironically, in an increasingly prescriptive educational climate that appears to ‘script’ the educational process, the leadership and culture within this department seek to craft a collaborative way through the uncertainty for the greater good (Brown, 2004; Murphy, 2002; Shields, 2009; Sytsma, 2009). More specific details on some of the re-culturing strategies and practices are included in the following sections.

A relational organisational culture This department gives priority to building a relational culture among academic staff, administrative staff and students alike. The notion that relational connectedness is essential to educational experiences is not only taught but practised in the interactions among many faculty (Gibbs, 2006). Similarly, the nature of relationships has been a particular research focus for some staff in the context of teacher education (Giles, 2008), the nature of relational and narrative pedagogy in educational leadership (Giles & Morrison, 2010) and the mentoring opportunities for emergent educational leadership. Relational organisational cultures generally privilege face-to-face interactions over written and electronic means of communication. To emphasise this, the daily sharing and involvement between faculty and leadership seeks to build trust (Giles & Yates, 2010). A particular practice within this department is an activity affectionately known as the ‘corridor party’. This activity occurs after hours to celebrate particular achievements or to say farewell to departing staff members. Symbolically these events occur in the ‘place’ where the presence of the educational leadership can be found on a daily basis. A further expression of the face-to-face interactions can be seen in the location of teaching team meetings. Often these meetings are held in a university cafe closest to the department’s offices. More than a good idea, the relocation of meetings to the cafe has become symbolic of a round-table dialogue – dialogue that is collegial, critical and the public face of trust. The important point here is that the ‘daily business’ of the department is carried out in a manner where people and relationships matter contrary to a neoliberal ideology.

Engendering critical dialogue The demographic details of faculty attest to the breadth of experience and rich histories of many staff members. This being so, the faculty still teach primarily in teams of between two and ten and on the basis of weekly administrative and planning meetings. These meetings are compulsory and seen as critical to the development of shared understandings in relation to the course content (Earl & Ussher, 2010). Staff experiences suggest that these meetings engage staff in a form of critical dialogue where content is contested, arrangements are challenged and new staff ask questions that challenge taken-for-granted understandings that might have existed formerly and with a different membership (Ussher & McRae, 2010). As a consequence, staff may co-present lecture material and co-construct tutorial content from student feedback and collegial dialogue (McRae & Edwards, 2010). Informal observations and personal experiences show that staff members draw others into the dialogue during a team meeting. While time-consuming, the critical dialogue within team meetings is integral to the wider organisation of the department and is significant in enhancing the relational culture.

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A further example of a practical strategy involved focused meetings and rigorous dialogue focused on the development of enduring understandings and essential questions for each of the undergraduate compulsory courses offered by the department in primary pre-service teacher education. Championed by some very passionate staff and invigorated by an opportunity to focus on the enduring nature of these academic courses, staff engaged in a series of meetings that might be referred to in hindsight as a watershed experience (Earl & Ussher, 2010). While shared understandings in relation to particular academic courses were achieved, faculty and leadership also refer to the richness, depth and transformative nature of the dialogue. This is another example where the process of being with other staff is seen to be as important as the outcomes of the dialogue (Earl & Ussher, 2010). The re-culturing of the organisational context is seen in the shared ownership by new and established faculty and the ongoing manner with which dialogue is sustained in weekly team meetings. These practices show a collective culture that appears to value productive conversations (Cardno, 2010).

Re-culturing practices Practices that develop or re-culture an organisational context intentionally or otherwise can range from a series of meetings through to informal strategies that more subtly change the way relationships are valued and experienced. In this case study, departmental leadership appear mindful that the organisational culture, ‘the way we do things around here’ (Fullan, 2001), is more than the seen or spoken activity. As such, engendering a relational culture requires constant attention and attentiveness (Cardno, 2010). Specific events, such as colleagues-in-support, the annual professional development day and mentoring towards research and publication have been further signals of the leadership’s intent to involve faculty in dialogue relating to the collective praxis of the department. Colleagues in support. Review of professional goals is an important aspect of faculty professional and academic life but is also an opportunity for relational dialogue. Known as ‘colleagues in support’, this approach is not hierarchical and involves staff working in pairs or threes and requires staff to engage in professional dialogue to review and critique each other’s professional and academic goals, followed by a report to the department chair. In a department meeting, a discussion emphasised how important the activity was for personal and professional goals. The benefits from greater collegiality and mutual support far outweighed any compliance requirements. Annual professional development day. A further example of the way re-culturing can occur is through activities such as a ‘professional development day’. Across the years various activities have been organised that, at times, have involved a degree of mystery and humour, from walking and reflective activities, to facilitated contemplative sessions travelling on a bus, to a shared meal. Invariably this

day involves an expression of appreciation and gratitude from the chairperson regarding the effort given by faculty throughout the year along with the encouragement to improve the positioning of the department institutionally and nationally. Opportunity is afforded for critical dialogue and shared experiences that become part of the department’s history and continuing culture. Mentoring towards research and publication. Like many other educational providers this particular university department has ongoing pressure to increase its performance. The specific context is in relation to research and publication. It is not that the department is below standard but rather a reflection of the prevailing compliance discourse that associates outcomes within the context of institutional competition for contestable funds rather than a strong relational culture. Faced with such pressures, the leadership of this department called together a group of staff who were either able publishers or writers, or both. In this context, the chairperson described his concerns and the associated pressures with the current edicts. An invitation was extended to the group to work together to enable faculty within the department. From the outset, pressures were shared and vigorous dialogue ensued to find a way forward. While different strategies were discussed and the various staff would approach this challenge differently, it was agreed an informal conversation would be held with all departmental staff on at least a monthly basis. Some faculty took the opportunity to co-write and publish with less experienced faculty as a way of mentoring. Other faculty got together in small groups to check on each others’ research and publication activities over the month. One group were soon to be referred to as the breakfast club. Regardless of the strategy, a small group of experienced staff shared a collective responsibility with the departmental chairperson to informally encourage an awareness of and support for research and publications. Subsequent meetings of the small group and the leadership over the state and progress of various faculty evolved into a rich dialogue in the best individual and collective interests. The departmental dialogue has been re-cultured towards a proactive and collegial response to compliance and performance pressures. That is not to suggest that the issue of production for publication has been resolved. Rather it is one of acknowledging there is an issue which needs to be resolved and collectively finding a way to approach it. The examples above are illustrative of the practical strategies employed by leaders to develop and re-culture a particular context where individual and collective relationships are seen as mattering. Similarly, the embodied nature of leadership shows a way of ‘being’, and a way of decision-making, that appears to evoke collective responsibility and care.

Key messages and possible implications While this study is presented in a university context we argue there is relevance for a wide range of educational contexts. The key messages and possible implications include the following:

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Leaders require a ‘proactive stance’ in the face of changing and challenging ideological contexts. Leadership invites faculty to participate, take responsibility and be involved in the activities of the department. When everyone is viewed as a leader, practices that enable an individual’s expression are essential. ‘We’ is the essence of a relational culture. Re-culturing educational organisation is a process not a structure. Being a leader may mean we need to improvise at times. Collegial, critical and public dialogue supports diversity and inclusiveness.

Conclusion While dynamic and in flux, it is an imperative of educational leadership that educational contexts are shaped and re-cultured towards humanistic ideals even within the prevailing neoliberal context. The challenge for educational leadership is the need not only to sustain a concern for the emergent organisational culture, but also to embody its aspirational intent in an authentic manner (Newman, 2000). An educational leader’s way of being matters, just as the individual and collective relationships matter, whether we attend to them or not (Giles, 2008). The difficult task of leadership is to act ‘with the intention of making a positive difference’ (Fullan, 2003: 23) through a sensitivity to the relational context as it is and as it might be (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2005). References Alphonce, N. (1999) Teachers, educational reforms and the credo of managerialism: from professionals to pedagogic technicians. Delta, 51(2), 13–26. Aronowitz, S. & Giroux, H. A. (1985) Education Under Siege: The Conservative, Liberal and Radical Debate Over Schooling. Boston: Bergin & Garvey. Bass, B. & Riggio, R. E. (2006) Transformation Leadership, 2nd edn. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Bennett, J. B. (1998) Collegial Professionalism: The Academy, Individualism, and the Common Good. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx. Bottery, M. (2004) The Challenges of Educational Leadership. London: Paul Chapman. Brown, K. (2004) ‘Leadership for social justice and equity: weaving a transformative framework and pedagogy’. Educational Administration Quarterly, 40(1), 77–108. Cammock, P. (2003) The Dance of Leadership: The Call for Soul in 21st Century Leadership, 2nd edn. Auckland: Pearson Education. Cardno, C. (2010) ‘Focusing educational leadership on creating learning conditions that sustain productive relationships: the case of a New Zealand primary school’. Leading & Managing, 16(1), 40–57. Cochran-Smith, M. & Boston College Evidence Team (2009) ‘Re-culturing teacher education: inquiry, evidence, and action’. Journal of Teacher Education, 60(5), 458–68.

Cooper, C. (2009) ‘Implications for expanding transformative leadership performing cultural work in demographically changing schools: frameworks’. Educational Administration Quarterly, 45(5), 694–724. Darling-Hammond, L. (2006) ‘Constructing 21st-century teacher education’. Journal of Teacher Education, 57(3), 300–14. Earl, K. & Ussher, B. (2010) Teaching and Learning Together: Using Enduring Understandings to Focus on What Is Important. Paper presented at the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) conference, Townsville, Australia, July. Fullan, M. (2001) Leading in a Culture of Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Fullan, M. (2003) The Moral Imperative of School Leadership. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Fullan, M. (2008) What’s Worth Fighting for in the Principalship, 2nd edn. New York: Teachers College Press. Gibbs, C. J. (2006) To Be a Teacher: Journeys Towards Authenticity. Auckland: Pearson Education. Giles, D. L. (2005) ‘Philosophy to ideological praxis: a component theory approach to developing an educational framework’. Journal of Christian Education, 48(3), 25–33. Giles, D. L. (2008) ‘Exploring the Teacher–Student Relationship in Teacher Education: A Hermeneutic Phenomenological Inquiry’. Unpublished doctoral thesis, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Giles, D. L. (2010) ‘Developing pathic sensibilities: a critical priority for teacher education programmes’. Teaching and Teacher Education, 26(8), 1511–19. Giles, D. L. & Morrison, M. (2010) ‘Exploring leadership as a phenomenon in an educational leadership paper: an innovative pedagogical approach opens the unexpected’. International Journal on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 22(1), 64–70. Giles, D. L. & Yates, R. (2010) A Relational Ethos Within a Department of Professional Studies: Enabling Collaborative Pedagogical Endeavour. Paper presented to the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) conference, Townsville, Australia, July. Greenfield, W. D. (2004) ‘Moral leadership in schools’. Journal of Educational Administration, 42(2), 174–96. Greenleaf, R. K. (2002) Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness, ed. L. C. Spears. New York: Paulist Press. Hare, S. Z. (2005) ‘The lehrergarten: a vision for teacher education’. In S. M. Intrator (ed.), Living the Questions: Essays Inspired by the Work and Life of Parker J. Palmer. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, pp. 197–209. Hernandez, M. (2008) ‘Promoting stewardship behavior in organizations: a leadership model’. Journal of Business Ethics, 80, 121–8. McRae, H. & Edwards, F. (2010) Teaching and Learning Together: Collaboration in Curriculum. Paper presented to the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA) conference, Townsville, Australia, July. Murphy, J. (2002) ‘Reculturing the profession of educational leadership: new blueprints’. Yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education, 101(1), 65–82. Newman, L. (2000) ‘Ethical leadership or leadership in ethics?’ Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 25(1), 40–5.

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Quinn, R. E. (2004) Building the Bridge as You Walk on It: A Guide to Leading Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Senge, P. (1996) ‘The leader’s new work: building learning organizations’. In H. Mintzberg & J. B. Quinn (eds), The Strategy Process: Concepts, Contexts, Cases, 3rd edn. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, pp. 413–21. Sergiovanni, T. (1992) Moral Leadership: Getting to the Heart of School Improvement. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Shapiro, J. & Stefkovich, J. (2005) Ethical Leadership and Decision Making in Education: Applying Theoretical Perspective to Complex Dilemmas, 2nd edn. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Shields, C. (2009) ‘Transformative leadership: a call for difficult dialogue and courageous action in racialised contexts’. International Studies in Educational Administration, 37(3), 53–68. Snook, I., Adams, P., Adams, R., Clark, J., Codd, J., Collins, G. & Harker, R. et al. (1999) Educational reform in New Zealand 1989–1999: is there any evidence of success? Delta, 51(1), 23–54. Starratt, R. (2004) Ethical Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Stoll, L. & Louis, K. S. (2007) Professional learning communities: elaborating new approaches. In L. Stoll & K. S. Louis (eds), Professional Learning Communities: Divergence, Depth and Dilemmas. Maidenhead: Open University Press, pp. 1–13. Sytsma, S. (2009) ‘The educational leader’s alchemy: creating the gold within’. Management in Education, 23(2), 78–84. Thrupp, M. & Lupton, R. (2006) ‘Taking school contexts more seriously: the social justice challenge’. British Journal of Education Studies, 54(3), 308–28. Thrupp, M. & Willmott, R. (2003) Educational Management in Managerialist Times: Beyond the Textual Apologists. Maidenhead: Open University Press. Ussher, B. & McRae, H. (2010) Teaching and Learning Together: Creating and Sustaining Opportunities for Critical Dialogue.

Paper presented to the Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA), Townsville, Australia, July. Wheatley, M. J. (2001) Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World, 2nd edn. Williston, VT: Berrett-Koehler. Wheatley, M. J. (2005) Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler. Zander, R. S. & Zander, B. (2000) The Art of Possibility. New York: Penguin. Zubay, B. & Soltis, J. (2005) Creating the Ethical School: A Book of Case Studies. New York: Teachers College Press.

Biographies David Giles is an Associate Professor in educational leadership and management at the Faculty of Education, Flinders University, South Australia. He has extensive teaching and leadership experience in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors. David has a particular interest in hermeneutic phenomenology and appreciative inquiry research methodologies as vehicles for exploring the relational and phenomenological nature of educational experiences and alternative pedagogical approaches. Russell Yates is an experienced teacher/teacher educator who has extensive leadership experience in schools and in the tertiary sector. As a senior lecturer he teaches professional practice in a range of undergraduate and graduate papers. Based on his teaching in rural areas of New Zealand, Russell’s recent teaching and research interests have centred on learning at a distance and educational leadership. He is also working closely with Solomon Islanders through NZAid, assisting with the development of a national teacher educator strategy.

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Editorial Linda Hammersley-Fletcher Management in Education 2011 25: 86 DOI: 10.1177/0892020611408282 The online version of this article can be found at: http://mie.sagepub.com/content/25/3/86.citation

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Editorial

As the Editor of MiE I have taken great pleasure in the increased interest shown by colleagues in developing themed and special editions of MiE. As a vehicle for enabling a variety of voices and perspectives to come forward around aspects of educational leadership and management this approach is proving very successful and has produced some interesting editions. This edition of MiE offers a variety of perspectives both in terms of nationality and sector. We begin with an Australian focus on the university sector. David Giles and Russell Yates urge academics to put aside notions of performance-based accountability in order to consider their shared responsibility and need for working within a relational culture. David and Russell report their study of one institution where shifts to relational cultures have been explicitly encouraged and supported. They comment upon the leadership approaches that offer a practical solution to enabling and embedding such a shift, despite prevailing neo-liberal agendas to reduce education to a set of accountability measures. We then move to Lorna Page who discusses the observation of teaching in further education. Lorna takes us through her reflections upon lesson observations and uses her experiences to raise questions about the value of such a process both in terms of improvement in practice and in terms of the validity of such an approach. She urges teachers to make better use of such opportunities to reflect on practice. The next article looks at teacher development in Colorado. Al Ramirez, Mike Lamphere, Jim Smith, Shelmon Brown and Jennifer Pierceall-Herman talk us through the approach adopted in Colorado to develop the professional approach of teachers. They question how supportive teacher evaluation is to the process of improving teaching and learning. Al, Mike, Jim, Shelmon and Jennifer also point to the similarities in policy approach adopted and question what this phenomenon indicates. We then move to look more closely at the leaders of schools. Jose´ Marı´a Garcia-Gardun˘o, Charles Slater and Gema Gorosave consider new school leaders and argue that from an international perspective one of the most common issues to deal with is conflict resolution. Jose´, Charles and

Gema highlight the ‘buffer’ role that head teachers/principals play in relation to a whole range of people from students, to staff, to parents and governors. They talk about the traumatic aspect of this responsibility and the need for appropriate support. Julius Jwan then discusses how leadership in Kenyan secondary schools can result in supporting the best interests of pupils. Through a study of two girls’ boarding schools Julius records some interesting and perhaps controversial results. He argues that while leaders valued corporal punishment and did not value student voice, the opposite was true of pupils. The final articles focus on the roles of teachers. An article by Ruilin Lin, Jingchen Xie, Yoau-Chau Jeng and Zheng-hong Wang focuses on the administrative load on teachers in Taiwan. Ruilin, Jingchen, Yaou and Zhenghong talk about the links between involvement in administrative responsibility and effectiveness. The complexity of this approach to teacher leadership is explored. Next Mark Brundrett and Diane Duncan talk about the processes around curriculum innovation in primary schools. Mark and Diane use their research to outline a four-stage model for the successful adoption of such change and also highlights the importance of values and trust within this process. They also highlight the need for leaders to make careful judgements about the pace of change. Lastly, Malini Mistry and Krishan Sood consider how school leaders can make a difference to the experiences of ethnic minority pupils particularly where English is an additional language. From their research Malini and Krishan argue that more creative and innovative work needs to be done to address gaps in the school experience. They argue that the school workforce needs high-quality professional development around language and cultural understandings. I hope that you enjoy this diverse set of articles that raise some key questions for looking at and considering what makes effective practice or indeed practice effective.

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Book review: T. Bush, L. Bell & D. Middlewood (eds) The Principles of Educational Leadership and Management, 2nd edn (London: Sage, 2010) ISBN: 0 978 1 84860 210 6; T. Bush, Theories of Educational Leadership and Management, 4th edn, (London: Sage, 2011) ISBN: 0 978 1 84860 191 8 Warren Kidd Management in Education 2011 25: 131 DOI: 10.1177/0892020611408342 The online version of this article can be found at: http://mie.sagepub.com/content/25/3/131.1.citation

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Book reviews

Reviewed by: Warren Kidd, Senior Lecturer, Cass School of Education, University of East London T. Bush, L. Bell & D. Middlewood (eds) The Principles of Educational Leadership and Management, 2nd edn (London: Sage, 2010) ISBN: 0 978 1 84860 210 6 T. Bush, Theories of Educational Leadership and Management, 4th edn, (London: Sage, 2011) ISBN: 0 978 1 84860 191 8 DOI: 10.1177/0892020611408342

While there is perhaps a seemingly disembodied distinction between in one volume ‘principles’ and in the other ‘theories’ of educational leadership and management, these two books nonetheless work exceedingly well – both as stand-alone texts and as companions. These two volumes – both from Sage – may well already be familiar to readers of Management In Education (MiE), at least in their earlier editions. Principles is a series of multi-author contributions, whereas Theories is a sole-authored book. Deliberately, Theories is a ‘textbook’ (or indeed a course book) but one for professional learning. As much as any one text ever can be, Theories does so well in its breadth and scope that it is very much a ‘one-stop-shop’ for those interested in an introduction to this field of practice. Both books are suitable for practitioners aspiring to leadership and management roles and for those formally undertaking higher academic and professional qualifications in this area. Both already successful texts are now revised and updated, with new materials added. If readers of this review are using these books for their own professional learning, they might question the need to replace older editions with these revised ones but there is certainly a range of new content and so would be recommended to do so. The edited collection Principles contains widespread additions – new contributions from both established experts and practitioners in the field alongside those from new(er) researchers. The fourth edition of Theories has been somewhat less revised than the Principles book as outlined above, but there is the addition of new and up-to-date case studies and the change in format – with the use of key words, summaries and end-of-chapter materials – genuinely helps to signpost to the reader the key ideas and themes of this field. These are much more than formatting or cosmetic changes – they really do help to structure the book and allow the reader to access materials easily. Perhaps most importantly, relevant legislative details have been fully updated and revised. The Theories’ emphasis upon international contexts and the recognition for

leadership theory and practice to become customised for ‘global’ situations and locations sits well with the underlying themes and philosophy of the book as a whole. The majority of the book gives way to the critical appreciation of six key models of educational leadership and management – formal, collegial, political, subjective, ambiguity and cultural. The depth of the discussion here, for what is essentially an introduction, is nothing short of breath-taking and a genuine tour de force. The edited collection Principles offers wide-ranging contributions, 15 in all, divided into the four themes/ sections of: principles and practice, developing leaders, leadership and learning, and leadership for inclusion. The collected expertise of the contributors makes this book relevant for a wide range of readerships from learners, practitioners, those currently involved in leadership and management and academics and those involved in policymaking and policy-shaping. The organisational structures for both books are sound – making them highly accessible and engaging for readers – both those experienced and inexperienced alike. Both books as a whole are very well crafted. Essential reading if you are interested in this field and of great interest, I am sure, to readers of Management in Education.

Reviewed by: David Wells, Senior Lecturer, Secondary ITE ICT, University of East London Dean Fink, The Succession Challenge – Building and Sustaining Leadership Capacity through Succession Management (Sage Publications, 2010) ISBN 978-1-84860-695-1 DOI: 10.1177/0892020611411800

The author, Dean Fink, has written various books, has spent more than thirty-four years in education, and is a former teacher, principal and senior official in Ontario, Canada. This book has proven to be a very interesting and perceptive read. It has very much stimulated my thinking regarding leadership and the complexities, influences and challenges surrounding the recruitment of our school leaders; and the successful, sustained development of leadership capacity. The readership for this book is wide. Aspiring head teachers (principals) would benefit from reading it, as would those who are already in this position, or those who recruit school leaders or judge and assess schools and their leadership. However, this book does not just apply to head teachers and senior education officials. There is significant learning gain

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Rethinking educational leadership to transform pedagogical practice to help improve the attainment of minority ethnic pupils: the need for leadership dialogue Malini Mistry and Krishan Sood Management in Education 2011 25: 125 DOI: 10.1177/0892020611401772 The online version of this article can be found at: http://mie.sagepub.com/content/25/3/125

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MiE Rethinking educational leadership to transform pedagogical practice to help improve the attainment of minority ethnic pupils: the need for leadership dialogue

Management in Education 25(3) 125–130 ª 2011 British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS) Reprints and permission: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0892020611401772 mie.sagepub.com

Malini Mistry University of Bedfordshire Krishan Sood Nottingham Trent University

Abstract This study aims to explore how leaders are helping to close gaps of attainment for minority ethnic pupils in English schools, and in particular those pupils who have English as an Additional Language (EAL) in the primary and secondary sector. This is a comparative study across selected schools using qualitative approaches to help gain an insight into current good practice embedded by leaders, to identify the future needs of EAL pupils and to show how this practice is helping to close the gap. The findings suggest that school leaders are making a difference in raising standards for pupils. However, we argue that schools need to do even more to close the gap, in particular for EAL pupils. Our conclusion is that leaders need to critique their own practice through effective dialogue to accelerate these pupils’ progress. Therefore the need for moral courage and conviction to challenge the norm is even more imperative. Keywords leaders, minority ethnic pupils, EAL, attainment, good practice

Introduction

Purpose

Educational practice has changed rapidly over the past decade and is continuing to do so at an incredible pace. Therefore the role of leaders in embedding change has become even more demanding, especially in managing turbulence through an ‘avowedly ethical approach to decisionmaking’ (Bush, 2010: 402). With the recent change of British government, the remit of the newly named Department for Education remains uncertain in terms of its educational priorities for the future. In schools, leaders have continually commented on the added pressure on them in terms of their leadership responsibilities, teaching responsibilities and corresponding paperwork. Hoyle & Wallace (2005) compare this to a lack of awareness or appreciation of leaders and practitioners and their individual contexts in many policy documents, especially in relation to minority ethnic pupils. This paper looks at examples of practice by leaders to promote the attainment of minority ethnic pupils generally, and pupils with EAL specifically. There have been numerous initiatives targeted at improving attainment (TDA, 2009; DCSF, 2010) of minority ethnic pupils. Some have discussed practice and some have been presented as developmental case studies. Such reports reflect sound pedagogical practices but are not grounded in critical research.

The purpose of this paper is to identify practice embedded by senior leaders that helps to close the gaps in attainment for pupils who have EAL in selected primary and secondary schools in the Midlands area in England. Our premise is that senior leaders are the lead teachers and need to continue to promote the vision and leadership capabilities of others to make change happen. There are many leadership theories, for example moral leadership (Leithwood et al., 1999) and ethical leadership (Stefkovich & Begley, 2007), but very few advanced theories of leadership for social justice (Shields, 2009). Quantz et al. (1991) (cited in Shields, 2009) offer a helpful insight, suggesting that schools are sites of cultural politics so the leadership in such schools need to demonstrate moral courage and activism requiring a ‘language of critique and possibility’ (p. 105). Our aims therefore are to identify what the learning gaps are for pupils who have EAL, to investigate how school leaders are closing these gaps and to reflect on the professional dialogue leaders are engaging in to promote good practice.

Corresponding author: Malini Mistry, University of Bedfordshire E-mail: malini.mistry@beds.ac.uk

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Literature The role of leaders arguably is ‘to secure societal justice, particularly for children, young people’ (Lumby & Foskett, 2010: 1) and, we would add, the workforce. Increasingly, research is focusing on leadership which promotes equity and societal justice that promotes ‘powerful motivators for human action and behaviour’ (Alavi & Rahimipoor, 2010: 424). It may be that the values of the professionals and the personal values of the learner conceal a conflict which may constitute an obstacle to ethnic minorities (Goddard et al., 2010: 6). This requires an ongoing debate in schools to develop a clearer understanding of the variously understood concept of social justice and how to better promote relationships with learners, school staff and their communities. Haberman’s (1995) psychological concept of prejudice and the steps to reduce it are relevant to this paper. Haberman’s five steps to overcome prejudice are:     

Firstly, to conduct self-analysis of one’s own prejudice and one’s own ‘ism/phobia’. Secondly, to seek answers to where this phobia has come from. Thirdly, to consider whether I am on the receiving end or how I benefit from holding these beliefs. Fourthly, to consider how one’s ‘ism/phobia’ may be affecting one’s work in education. Finally, to plan to check it or unlearn it and move forward.

Therefore, the ethical (E), social justice (SJ) and prejudice (P) reduction concepts offer a useful framework for analysis, which we call the ESJP model in this paper.

Languages (MFL) (DfES, 2005) placed high prominence on language development, and specifically the development of speaking and listening skills. In developing a teaching and learning policy that adheres to the principles of multiculturalism, mutual tolerance and respect and inclusivity, the cultural dimensions should not be overlooked.

Learning gaps for pupils who have EAL The term EAL describes pupils who already speak another language and are learning English in addition to this. The Narrowing the Gaps (NtG) initiative which has been given responsibility to create strategies to improve the outcomes for underachieving groups is currently being led by the National Strategies (DCSF, 2010). The change of language from narrowing the gap to closing the gap is a coalition government change rather than one initiated by the TDA. Perhaps this expresses an increased ambition of the current government over the previous Labour government. Personalised learning and individual pupil support seems to be emphasised in the White Paper (DCSF, 2009), but this falls short of suggesting exactly how the needs of pupils with EAL are to be met, and more importantly individualised, given the emphasis from Ofsted on narrowing the gaps (2010a). The National Strategies have identified a number of priorities in their NtG plan. Firstly, it is to support and extend the achievement of pupils who have EAL and children from minority ethnic groups, and secondly, to close the attainment gaps for pupils in this group, especially the most financially disadvantaged learners, in order to improve outcomes.

How are leaders helping to close the gaps? Learning and teaching of pupils who have EAL Learning is an essential purpose of schooling, and the argument of the traditional directive style of teaching and classroom management versus personalised learning continues to exercise educationalists (MacBeath, 2008). The different approaches to teaching and learning, such as VAK (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic), thinking skills, brain-based learning and assessment for learning, promoted by a substantial body of literature, appears to be treated as unproblematic. What is required is a more conscious and informed decision by leaders to critically analyse these learning approaches so that they are best mapped to meet individual pupils’ strengths and mode of learning. For pupils who have EAL, this additionally requires both a cultural and a linguistic awareness. Grant & Mistry (2010) examined how role-play activities enhanced the learning of children with English as an Additional Language (EAL) in the primary sector. They found that the ‘repetitive nature of role play allowed pupils who have EAL to practise and assimilate words and phrases more easily, therefore practitioners should consider the use of role play as a pedagogical tool to aid language development’ (p. 162). The framework for Modern Foreign

The new inspection framework (Ofsted, 2010a) places heavy judgment on attainment and the quality of pupils’ learning and their progress based on outcomes for individuals and groups of pupils. The drive of the new Ofsted framework is specifically focused on school data that captures attainment between groups of pupils, especially those who have EAL. The evidence in the inspection process therefore takes account of any important variations between groups of pupils and an analysis of the progress of minority ethnic groups. Findings from recent section 5 inspection reports (Ofsted, 2010a) suggest that the context of each school is crucial in making informed judgments on raising standards. Contextual aspects like barriers, challenges or advantages of each school are also considered important when assessing a school’s success in raising attainment and standards, which school leaders are taking into consideration in the identification of gaps for pupils who have EAL.

The challenges of change for leaders The challenge for leaders and the rest of the staff in schools is to know what exactly constitutes ‘appropriate’ data with regard to pupils who have EAL, and then to systematically

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Table 1. Responses from different leaders on how gaps are identified and closed and what remain leadership challenges Leaders with teaching responsibility What do you think the learning (primary/secondary gaps are for pupils who have EAL? Primary

Secondary

How do you help to close the What are the challenges gap for pupils who have EAL? for change?

Provide contextual child and Lack of experiences in play adult initiated play situations as some pupils are new opportunities. arrivals. Lower level of language which has an Lots of phonics related work using visual aids. obvious effect on curriculum learning. Systematic assessments through Making sure that all staff are monitoring and evaluation. using similar formats for assessments. Making contact with other Lack of knowledge of their home professionals in the local land, especially if they are new community who can help. arrivals. Isolated learners in our school are Need to have access to increasing. resources and people who can help with new languages. Lack of data for pupils who have Keep long-term records to EAL. track progress. Lack of understanding regarding Trying to have some training what the data means. sessions for staff including support staff. Greater teamwork to ensure Difficult to know the gaps of the regular communication child other than language as we about specific pupils. only see pupils for their subjects. Lack of cultural understanding. By having diversity days at our school. Sometimes due to other pressures, Trying to build relationships with the pupils and their we don’t know our EAL pupils parents. very well. Pupils who have EAL are still seen as Trying to identify some of these misconceptions durunderachievers by staff due to ing staff training/meetings. misconceptions.

analyse this for the support and development of each EAL learner. The National Strategies plan (Ofsted, 2010b) offers a useful model for analysing strategies for success for EAL learners. Here, the strategy is to start by knowing where and what the gaps are, then knowing how to narrow these gaps, followed by reviewing and critically reflecting on the data, and finally celebrating success and identifying further steps to meet the individual needs of pupils with EAL (Sood and Mistry, in press).

Method Our research was designed to encompass a broad range of stakeholder views in schools from a leadership perspective (head teachers and members of the senior leadership team). Participants were from ten different primary schools and five secondary schools, in which over 40 participants were interviewed across the selected schools within the Midlands area in England. In particular, the investigation focused on schools that supported, directly or indirectly, pupils who have EAL. Ethical procedures were followed to conduct the study. The research method used was

Play needs to be embedded in the rest of the school for pupils who have EAL. Money for resources, also encouraging all staff to use phonics in the school. Helping staff to understand the importance of carrying out these assessments, and what they actually mean. Difficult to access professionals and resources initially for new arrivals. Not knowing where to get help from for isolated learners of less common languages. Need whole-school specific data Issues of time, and money for training.

Trying to encourage all staff to be part of this collaborative culture. Trying to get all staff to embrace these events. Difficult as many of our EAL pupils walk to school and therefore difficult to see parents informally. Difficult to change misconceptions overnight! If pupils are seen to be underachievers, then, staff need to work harder.

primarily interviews with individuals and keeping field notes of these interviews to enable participant correspondence if supplementary data were required. The same protocol instrument was used for all interviews to ensure consistency of focus among the stakeholder groups. On completion of the writing up of the interview notes, their accuracy was confirmed by participants. We combined and analysed the interview data and survey feedback using a qualitative content analysis technique (Miles & Huberman, 1994). Using a stratified sample (Cohen et al., 2007: 111) allowed for an insight into different adults’ experience of how they supported pupils who have EAL, so this is not a claim for representativeness. We present the findings in the results section that follows.

Results The results in Table 1 are subdivided into three themes: 

learning gaps for pupils who have EAL in both the primary and secondary sectors from a leadership perspective;

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Management in Education 25(3) how leaders in school are helping to close these gaps; and the challenges they face.

face our unequal society, thus enabling them to be prepared to adapt their practice where benefits and improvements are identified.

Analysis

What are leaders doing to close the gap?

Here we focus our discussion to reflect our insight into current practice embedded by leaders to identify where the learning gaps are, what the likely future needs of EAL pupils will be and how this practice is helping to close the gaps. We use the ESJP conceptual framework model to analyse the data.

In the secondary sector, the leaders suggested there is less opportunity to build personal relationships with pupils who have EAL in contrast to the primary sector because of subject-centred silo provision. This implies that not only is the quality of teaching different but also the likelihood of some staff not accurately identifying the potential of such learners remains a challenge for leaders. This clearly points to the need for professional dialogue among the key personnel. In another school, one leader suggested that pupils who have EAL are underachievers, which could be interpreted as stereotyping the ability of such learners. This is supported by Blair & Bourne (1998), who suggest that an ethos of respect, high expectations and effective teaching can lead to higher levels of attainment among pupils who have EAL. Haberman’s (1995) notion of prejudice seems to be evident and a carefully planned professional development programme could start addressing some of these phobias. It emerged from our data that some leaders in one secondary sector had developed a tight framework for collecting data by enabling staff in their faculties/departments to collect and synthesise the data for strategic development. Ofsted (2010a) found that those schools which systematically collected the data to inform their practice were highly successful in achieving high standards. Our evidence showed that there was a policy in place in this school on what and how to collect data, how to synthesis it and how to analyse it, which all practitioners understood and adhered to. There was accountability which made each teacher responsible for the level of achievement of their learners. This made a difference to improving practice because staff were focused on collecting data that meant they could make a difference to their pupils. In contrast, a primary head teacher reported that data collection and analysis in their school took place by means of a wholeschool collegial approach which informed their school development plan and helped close the gaps for pupils who have EAL.

Learning gaps for pupils who have EAL The analysis is based on the sample schools in the geographical area identified, therefore the policy of EAL provision in schools by each local authority is likely to be different. Primary school leaders commented on the freedom they had in planning their curriculum, including the essential role of play in developing the cognitive and language capabilities of their pupils who have EAL. As one primary leader commented: ‘I use a lot of role play for pupils who have EAL to encourage learning.’ This is important as the practitioners can draw on a child’s home context sensitively to promote awareness of different cultural backgrounds. The secondary school leaders highlighted the development of subjectcentred rather than cross-curricular pedagogy as being their priority. As one secondary leader commented: ‘We are under so much pressure to get the best results from our pupils for their GSCEs that creativity in the curriculum is overlooked’, in contrast to the first-hand learning opportunities that formed the basis of primary practice. It can be argued that creativity in the curriculum arises from the diversity of pupils on roll, and where there are no visible minority ethnic pupils, links with the local community as well as global links can offer good educational opportunities to better equip learners to understand aspects of social cohesion and equity. The support that was available to pupils who have EAL was more focused and systematic in the primary phase (Ofsted, 2010a). The whole-school approach in developing practice that supported and developed pupils who have EAL was more evident in the primary sector than in the secondary. In such contexts, the whole school community tended to promote the same values of fairness, justice and responsibility through talking with the learners and modelling the language of social justice and ethics so that the learners became more aware. The evidence from secondary schools suggests that the leadership style leant more towards task orientation than the relationship orientation normally akin to the primary sector. Perhaps the task-oriented style puts emphasis on getting the job done (Hoy & Miskel, 2008). What might be more helpful is a creative and constructively critical approach towards addressing the fundamental concerns of social justice. Constructive dialogue can enable practitioners to gain an understanding and social awareness of different cultures and minority ethnic communities and the challenges that

Leadership challenges for change – the need for leadership dialogue Our evidence suggests that there are different working practices in the primary and secondary sectors in meeting the needs of pupils who have EAL in order to help close the gap. A primary leader commented: ‘We personalise our learning as much as possible to meet the individual needs of our EAL pupils.’ In comparison a secondary leader commented: ‘Personalised learning is something that we need to work on as its not seen to be common practice in our school yet.’ The evidence suggests that some effective practices that seem to be naturally undertaken in the primary sector could profit from being embedded in the

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secondary sector, thus ensuring that pupils who have EAL continue to make progress, for example knowing the pupils really well to aid personalisation. The challenge for leaders is to ensure that at the heart of the learning process is how pupils learn and develop, which appears to be a key feature of primary culture. By developing close relationships, such schools have demonstrated the importance of knowing individuals to better understand their background, and preparing teachers and leaders to acknowledge and cater for diverse cultural needs in the classroom. We believe that leaders have a huge commitment and belief that every pupil who has EAL can learn and succeed against all odds. This drive is based on a concern with social justice and the optimism that education makes a difference to every child (Davies & Brighouse, 2010). Creative leaders are thinking in new ways, creating new pedagogies and new leadership styles with regard to how best to provide high-quality educational experience for pupils who have EAL. As commented by one primary leader: ‘In our school we have links with other schools around the world to help get a better understanding of the culture which many of our new EAL arrivals have come from.’ This cannot be undertaken in isolation without considering staff attitudes, expectations and relationships (McMurdo, 2010), as supported by one primary leader: ‘In our school, the staff will try anything new to help our EAL pupils progress, but I am aware from my experience that not all schools have the same kind of ethos.’ What is expected is a method of critically analysing the interaction between these three factors. Of course this does not describe specific processes such as how relationshipbuilding will happen, but does suggest the need for dialogue to look at ways in which schools harness the beliefs, values and behaviour of all involved (Mortimore, 1999). Visionary leaders are very aware of their context and know how best to provide high-quality education for their learners. Through partnerships and collaborations with the community, the best schools are proactive in the community to channel resources that will give them the best chance of competing with others. Rethinking educational leadership to transform pedagogical practice that improves the attainment of minority ethnic pupils requires dialogue with different stakeholders internally and externally. Addressing the challenges in closing the gaps for minority ethnic pupils may still remain, but our evidence suggests there is the need for entrepreneurship, a real team effort, culturally aware staff, the clear setting of compelling direction, clear systems and structures for dealing with any form of prejudice and an enabling team structure as ways forward for achieving the very tangible benefits of education for the learners.

Conclusion In developing leaders to help make a difference in raising attainment for pupils who have EAL, we theorise that the school leaders of the future will need moral courage and practical ideas for meeting the needs of pupils who have EAL in more creative ways regardless of the setting.

This requires a deeper understanding of the different cultures and values of pupils, parents and communities. It also requires stronger partnerships with local authority officers, governors, staff and specialist support staff of pupils who have EAL in the understanding of data capturing and analysis techniques to make a difference to pupils who have EAL. The new Ofsted framework now requires accurate data on the progress of pupils who have EAL, and this remains the main challenge for leaders based on the findings of our study. A comprehensive professional development programme utilising members of the workforce with various skills in languages, the sharing of culturally diverse stories and experiences and team work can benefit both the learners and the staff. New leadership requires moral courage to tackle inequity in society and there is a need to have a continuous dialogue with the learners, teachers, paraprofessionals and communities to improve the lives and outcomes for the learners. With globalisation comes the need to address local policies and politics to meet the needs of a global citizen, if justice and fairness are to prevail. It is an inward focus together with, drawing on Haberman’s (1995) view, the necessity of examining one’s own beliefs and prejudices that reflective practitioners need to seek and ‘take responsibility rather than blame others for problems’ (Baker & Blair, 2005: 45). Acknowledgements The authors would like to thank all the leaders from the various research schools for their valuable time, comments and thoughts. They would also like to thank the University of Bedfordshire and BELMAS for their financial support. References Alavi, H. and Rahimipoor, T. (2010) ‘Correlation of managers’ value systems and students’ moral development in high schools and pre-university centers’. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 38(4), 423–42. Baker, C. and Blair, M. (2005) ‘High expectations, achieving potential and establishing relationships’. In M. Cole (ed.), Professional Attributes and Practice. London: Routledge. Blair, M. and Bourne, J. (1998) Making the Difference: Teaching and Learning in Successful Multi-Ethnic Schools. London: DfES. Bush, T. (2010) ‘Spiritual leadership’. Education Management Administration and Leadership, 38(4): 402–4. Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2007) Research Methods in Education, 6th edn. London: Routledge. Davies, B. and Brighouse, T. (2010) ‘Passionate leadership’. Management in Education, 24(1), 4–6. Department for Education and Skills (DfES) (2005) The Key Stage 2 Framework for Languages. Nottingham: DfES Publications. Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) (2009) Your Child, Your Schools, Our Futures: Building a 21st Century Schools System, White Paper. Online at: http:// www.ofsted.gov.uk (accessed September 2010). Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) (2010) Narrowing the Gaps for Minority Ethnic Pupils – Recent

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Findings from Ofsted. Paper presented by M. Simms, HMI, at the Narrowing the Gap for Minority Ethnic Pupils Conference, 22 March, Bristol. Goddard, J., Johansson, O. and Norberg, K. (2010) ‘Managing equity: experiences from Canada and Sweden’. International Studies in Educational Administration, 38(3), 3–17. Grant, K. & Mistry, M. (2010) ‘How does the use of role play affect the learning of Year 4 children in a predominantly EAL class?’ Education 3–13, 38(2), 155–64. Haberman, M. (1995) Star Teachers of Children in Poverty. West Lafayette, IN: Kappa Delta Phi. Hoy, W. & Miskel, C. (2008) Educational Administration: Theory, Research and Practice. New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education. Hoyle, E. and Wallace, M. (2005) Educational Leadership: Ambiguity, Professionals and Managerialism. London: Sage. Leithwood, K., Jantzi, D. and Steinbach, R. (1999) Changing Leadership for Changing Times. Buckingham: Open University Press. Lumby, J. and Foskett, N. (2010) ‘Editorial note’. International Studies in Educational Administration, 37(3), 1. MacBeath, J. (2008) ‘Stories of compliance and subversion in a prescriptive policy environment’. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 36(1): 123–48. McMurdo, A. (2010) ‘Venn and the art of school leadership’. Management in Education, 24(1), 14–18. Miles, M. & Huberman, M. (1994) Qualitative Analysis: An Expanded Sourcebook, 2nd edn. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Mortimore, P. (1999) The Road to Improvement: Reflections on School Effectiveness. Lisse, The Netherlands: Swets & Zeitlinger. Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) (2010a) Equalities in Action, Report ref. 080272. HMI, Ofsted. Online at: http:// www.ofsted.gov.uk (accessed May 2010). Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) (2010b) Narrowing the Gaps for Minority Ethnic Pupils – Recent Findings from

Ofsted. Paper presented by M. Simms, HMI, at Narrowing the Gap for Minority Ethnic Pupils Conference, 22 March, Bristol. Quantz, R., Rogers, J. & Dantley, M. (1991) ‘Rethinking transformative leadership: toward democratic reform of schools’. Journal of Education, 173(3), 96–118. Shields, C. (2009) ‘Transformative leadership: a call for difficult dialogue and courageous action in racialised contexts’. International Studies in Educational Administration, 37(3), 53–68. Sood, K. and Mistry, M. (forthcoming) ‘English as an Additional Language: is there a need to embed cultural values and beliefs in institutional practice?’ International Journal of Education 3–13. Stefkovich, J. & Begley, P. (2007) ‘Ethical school leadership: defining the best interests of students’. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 38(4), 402–4. Training and Development Agency (TDA) (2009) A Strategy for Development of the EAL School Workforce. London: TDA. Online at: http://www.teachingeal.org.uk/ (accessed September 2009).

Biographies Malini Mistry is a Senior Lecturer in Early Years Education & Professional Studies and Head of Year 2 at the University of Bedfordshire with research interest in English as an Additional Language. E-mail: malini.mistry@beds.ac.uk Krishan Sood is an MA Programme Leader at Nottingham Trent University with research interest in Leadership for Diversity and English as an Additional Language. E-mail: krishan.sood@ntu.ac.uk

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In the 'best interest' of the student: perceptions and implications for leadership practices in secondary schools in Kenya Julius Ouma Jwan Management in Education 2011 25: 106 DOI: 10.1177/0892020611398927 The online version of this article can be found at: http://mie.sagepub.com/content/25/3/106

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MiE In the ‘best interest’ of the student: perceptions and implications for leadership practices in secondary schools in Kenya

Management in Education 25(3) 106–111 ª 2011 British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS) Reprints and permission: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0892020611398927 mie.sagepub.com

Julius Ouma Jwan Moi University, Kenya

Abstract This paper discusses the contrasting views of what constitutes the ‘best interests’ of students and the implications of such perceptions for leadership practices in secondary schools in Kenya. The paper is based on a study conducted to establish the students’, teachers’ and principals’ perceptions of democratic school leadership – in line with the current policy requirement of the Kenyan government that students be involved in decision-making on some of the issues in school that directly affect them. The study was in two phases. The first phase included interviews with twelve school principals to explore their perspectives on democratic school leadership and provide a rationale for selecting the two case schools. The second phase was a case study of two schools. The findings suggest that the leadership practices perceived by most principals and teachers to be in the ‘best interests’ of students were contentious and in direct contrast to what the students considered to be in their best interests. Keywords best interests, perceptions, leadership practices, implications, secondary schools

Introduction The topic of this paper, in the ‘best interest’ of the student, is drawn from Stefkovich & Begley’s (2007) observation that it is a notion frequently used by ‘educators when discussing professional practice’ (p. 211) and policy-makers as a justification for their decisions. However, Stefkovich & Begley argue that there is a lack of clarity in the literature as to what specifically constitutes a student’s best interest. School leaders tend to interpret this phrase in different ways, often times disagreeing on what truly constitutes ‘in the best interest’ of the student. Nevertheless, Shapiro & Stefkovich (2005) view it to be at the heart of the ethics of the education profession. They emphasise that: Not all those who write about the importance of the study of ethics in educational administration discuss the needs of children; however, this focus on students is clearly consistent with the backbone of our profession. Other professions often have one basic principle driving the profession. In medicine, it is ‘First, do not harm.’ In law, it is the assertion that all clients deserve ‘zealous representation.’ In educational administration, we believe that if there is a moral imperative for the profession, it is to serve the ‘best interests of the student.’ Consequently, this ideal must lie at the heart of any professional paradigm for educational leaders. (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2005: 23)

These views are shared by Begley & Zaretsky (2004), Møller (2006), Starratt (1991) and Woods & Woods (2008). For example, Begley & Zaretsky (2004) contend

that the benefits of democratic leadership in schools occur when the value orientations of others are understood and leaders are provided with information on how they might best influence the practices of students towards the achievement of their social objectives in life. On their part, Stefkovich & Begley (2007) argue that a genuine regard for a student’s best interest influences a principal’s leadership practices in two ways. First, they point out that a principal’s valuation processes are heavily oriented towards a concern for the well-being of students. Second, Stefkovich & Begley observe that a principal’s response when dealing with ethical issues suggests that the best interests of students greatly influence their decision-making. Similarly, Shields and Mohan (2008) contend that if the purpose of schooling is not only to help students to achieve individual success and subsequent employment but also to become active members of the societies to which they belong, then schools must provide education that promotes change to a more equitable and just society. Therefore principals and teachers must strive to place the interests of the students at the core of their practices. This paper discusses leadership practices that were perceived by teachers and school principals to be in the best interests of students in secondary schools in Kenya but which, as argued by most students, did not serve their

Corresponding author: Julius Ouma Jwan, Moi University, PO Box 3900, Eldoret 30100, Kenya E-mail: jwanjulius@yahoo.co.uk

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interests and their voice was never taken into consideration when decisions were made within the schools. Although the study was conducted to establish students’, teachers’ and principals’ perception of democratic school leadership and how these perceptions influenced practices in the schools, this paper focuses on the specific practices in the schools that were deemed to be in the best interest of students.

Methods The study was conducted in two phases. Phase 1 involved interviews with twelve school principals to establish the rationale for selecting the two case schools. Phase 2 was an in-depth case study of two schools. Case 1 school is a public national boarding girls’ school located in an urban area which, during the colonial times, only educated white students. At the time of the study, it had over 70 teachers and about 800 students. Eight teachers and the principal were interviewed in this school while the observations focused on specific areas in the school such as the staffroom, school assemblies and classrooms. Before and after the formal interviews, I held informal conversations with the teachers to explore issues that emerged from my observations in the school. These informal conversations were noted down in a research journal soon after the conversations. I held the focus group discussions with the students in Forms Two (15 years), Three (16 years) and Four (17 years) and the prefects from those forms. Case 2 school is a public district girls’ boarding school with about 272 students and 18 teachers, located in a rural area. It is a young school started in 2001 with the support of the Catholic Church. Six teachers and the principal were interviewed while the observations were confined to the staffroom, school assemblies and classrooms. I held the focus group discussions with the students in Forms Three (16 years) and Four (17 years) and the prefects from the two forms. In both case schools, the interviews, observations, focus group discussions and informal conversations all focused on the practices in the school that the students, teachers and principals viewed as democratic and served the best interests of the students. The interviews and focus group discussions were audio-recorded and each lasted for about one hour.

Findings and discussion My findings suggest that there were several practices in the schools that the principals and the majority of teachers considered to be in the best interests of students but, which most students wanted done differently. These practices can be grouped into two main areas:  

corporal punishment; student voice.

Corporal punishment as a Christian doctrine Corporal punishment refers to intentional application of physical pain as a method of changing behaviour and includes a wide variety of methods such as hitting,

slapping, spanking, punching, kicking, pinching, shaking and shoving, among others (Middleton, 2008). It is the use of physical force with the intention of causing a child to experience pain, but not injury, for the purpose of correction or control of the child’s behaviour (Paolucci & Violato, 2004). In Kenya, the government banned corporal punishment in schools in 2001 and started to strongly champion an education that is ‘necessary for the development and protection of democratic institutions and human rights’ (Republic of Kenya, 2005: 1) and requires that schools adopt practices that respect the rights of children. This requirement was necessitated by the signing of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2001. The Convention on the Rights of the Child identifies the basic human rights of children who, without discrimination, ‘have the right to survival, to develop to the fullest, be protected from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation, and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life’ (Convention on the Rights of the Child, 1990: 1). As Stefkovich & Begley (2007: 215) observe, the Rights are essential to determining a student’s best interests. They point out that ‘standards set by healthcare, education, and legal, civil and social services protect these rights’ (p. 216). Stefkovich & Begley add that in addition to ‘these rights, the ‘‘best interests’’ model includes a right to dignity and protection from humiliation . . . the right to an education and the right to be free from bodily harm, which includes corporal punishment’ (p. 216). However, in my findings all the principals interviewed in Phase 1, except one, argued that the use of corporal punishment in schools was appropriate. They confirmed that they used it in their schools. The main reason for their use of corporal punishment appeared embedded in Christian indoctrination. In their view, the Bible states that one should not spare the rod and spoil the child – which they took literally to mean that they needed to cane or spank the students whenever the students ‘made mistakes’ so as to make them (students) better people in future. In this regard, the principals and the majority of the teachers claimed that most of the parents and some students also found the use of corporal punishment appropriate. For example, one principal claimed: As a Christian I find it difficult to advocate for full democratic dealing with the students because they can get spoilt. The Bible says ‘spare the rod, and spoil the child’. You see, some of these practices that may not be seen as democratic such as caning of students are also a symbol of authority for the teacher on duty. Even the Bible says in Romans 10 that, ‘respect those who are in authority, because authority comes from God and if the person in authority punishes you, accept it’. Some parents during the annual general meeting also come and whisper to some of the teachers, ‘ . . . I am allowing you to cane this boy if he misbehaves’. I have also seen situations where a student says, ‘I don’t want manual work – cane me instead then I go to class’. So, in that case you are doing what the student wants. (Principal 8)

To emphasise that the teachers supposedly acted in the ‘best’ interests of the students, the deputy principal of

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Case 2 school remarked that spanking students did not necessarily mean that the teachers did not care for them. He claimed that he had conducted an interview with the students on the type of punishment that they (the students) preferred and found that 99 per cent of the students preferred being spanked to being given other forms of punishment such as being sent home. Like the principals, he also cited the Bible to support his argument. These arguments, based on Christian doctrines, are consistent with literature which reveals that corporal punishment has received support for many years from the interpretation of ‘ . . . religious doctrines, including those beliefs based on Judeo-Christian and other religions even though this has been discarded in many parts of the world such as Europe and other Western countries as well as in Israel and Japan’ (Greydanus et al., 2003: 2). Similarly, Owen (2005) points out that no culture or religion can be said to ‘own’ corporal punishment and all societies have a responsibility to disown it, as they have disowned other breaches of human rights that were part of their traditions. Equally, studies demonstrate that corporal punishment is ineffective and often fails to suppress negative behaviour or teach pro-social behaviour (Robinson et al., 2005). Robinson et al. maintain that in many instances the student who receives corporal punishment receives it repeatedly over time, indicating its ineffectiveness. Unlike the teachers, most students in both case schools argued that corporal punishment was not appropriate and they did not want to be caned or spanked – thus, putting into doubt the claims by the deputy principal of Case 2 school that most students preferred being caned or spanked. For example, one student stated that: I don’t like corporal punishment. I think it is not appropriate. You know some people prefer being corrected politely. For example, in class, let’s say we are given an assignment then you fail. I feel that it’s not fair that a teacher comes and canes the student. I think they should come and explain to the student what they did wrong and how it can be done better. (Student: C2-FGD1)

Nevertheless, the literature reveals that the use of corporal punishment has persisted in the whole of Africa. For example, Harber (2002) argues that schools in Africa have traditionally tended to promote authoritarian values and practices in line with the local traditional culture. Giving the example of Botswana, Harber (2002) observes that schools tend to be authoritarian and corporal punishment is widespread. In his earlier work, Harber (1997) noted that in some countries such as Nigeria and Kenya, secondary schools ‘have regularly experienced violent student disturbances’ (Harber, 1997: 8) as a result of the authoritarian organisation of schooling which sometimes leads to poor communication and poor decisions based on insufficient consultation. In his view, problems arise when issues occur in school which make students anxious and because there is no participatory structure or democratic culture, students resort to violence to vent their frustrations and disagreement. Similar arguments have been advanced by Lacey

(2006) who observes that in Africa, governments have been banning corporal punishment in recent years, in some cases after signing international human rights treaties – however, it has neither stopped its use nor appreciation of it. In Kenya, McIvor (2005: 15) points out that the Children’s Act of 2001, which bans corporal punishment, ‘does not indicate what steps should be taken to combat corporal punishment in homes and school’. He argues that most people in Kenya do not know about the Act and it is therefore difficult to hold them responsible for something of which they are unaware or have not taken time to acquaint themselves with. Although ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law, this probably explains why these violations of children’s rights are never taken to the courts by the parents. As revealed in this study, a number of the students and teachers mentioned that the students were being subjected to corporal punishment in their homes as well. This brings into question the ability of the school principals, who are charged with spearheading the implementation of government policy, to decide on what constitutes the best interests of the students. It also brings into focus the necessity to broaden the training for school teachers and principals on the need to respect the rights of children as enshrined in Kenyan law and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to which Kenya is a signatory. This could be done during the in-service courses that the principals attend for two weeks during the school holidays at the Kenya Education Staff Institute (KESI) and during workshops for teachers. To this end, while making sure that the schools and teachers in my study remained anonymous for ethical reasons, I submitted a summary of my findings and a copy of the thesis to the Ministry of Education as required by law so that the Ministry of Education could investigate further the issues on corporal punishment with a view to taking appropriate action in conjunction with other government agencies such as the police. Equally, as McIvor (2005: 15) points out, in Kenya it should become mandatory for all circulars which affect the welfare and development of students to be disseminated to teachers, parent-teacher associations (PTAs), boards of governors and support staff as well as the public. He maintains that all authorities which handle children should be educated on all aspects of the Children’s Act and it should be given due recognition at all levels of society and made available to all citizens.

Student voice The discussion on the students’ voice is pegged on the practices that were observed within the schools. These are: grooming and making the students appear equal, the running of the school canteen, students’ meals and the need for hot water. In all these areas, the findings revealed that the student voice was never taken into consideration. Yet, as Angus (2006) reviewing the literature on students’ voice in Australia and the UK argues, facilitating students’

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participation in decision-making in school requires that teachers and leaders reach out to students, rather than expecting the students to do so. The idea of entrenching students views in decision-making in the long term captures their interest and has the potential to enable them to express what they consider to be important and valuable about their learning (Smyth, 2006). This requires leaders to learn to listen to students and ‘speak with the students rather than speak for them’ (Cook-Sather, 2006: 349). Yet, as Cook-Sather (2006) argues, the culture of schooling that keeps students captive to dominant interests and practices prevents practitioners from listening to students’ own creative ideas about how systems can meet their needs. Allowing students the opportunity to speak their minds can also improve a range of skills, identify learning needs and improve the students’ confidence (Leren, 2006) and thus take care of their ‘best interests’. As Mitra (2006) emphasises, partnering with students to identify school problems and possible solutions provides an insight into students’ unique knowledge and perspective about their schools and therefore should not be ignored. It also makes the students feel that their views are reflected in the decisions that are made in the school (Angus, 2006) and enhances the advancement of their interest. Fielding (2006) observes that it is because of these benefits of involving young people in decision-making that the governments in Australasia, North America and the UK are paying more attention to the views of young people in schools. In my study the findings reveal that the student voice was hardly considered in decision-making. For example, in trying to make the students appear equal in both case schools, all the teachers asserted that they made every effort to make the students appear equal regardless of their background. They did this by not allowing students to have more than one hundred Kenya shillings (about eight pounds) at a time. The students kept the rest of their pocket money with the schools’ bursars. The teachers explained that this encouraged students who came from ‘rich’ backgrounds ‘not to flash money around’ because it could encourage theft in the schools. But most of the students argued that they wanted to keep their own pocket money so as to learn to be responsible. Similarly, in Case 1 school students were not allowed to treat their hair with chemical hair relaxers. The teachers argued that allowing students to apply chemical hair relaxers would make those students who could not afford to buy them feel left out. In Case 2 school students were not allowed to keep long hair. However, in Case 1 school the students expressed the desire to apply chemical hair relaxers and in Case 2 school they wanted to keep long hair. For example, one student remarked that: I think the school is too strict in the way we are supposed to treat our hair. I think we should be allowed to use chemicals relaxers on our hair. Like me I come from the coast,1 it’s very difficult to keep this African type of hair. So when you come here, it’s like a burden, it’s a tormenting experience to us. (Student: C1-FGD3)

The irony of the teachers’ claims is that while they believed they were trying to make the students appear equal, they were denying the students the right of choice. This argument raises a potential tension between the schools’ policies and the students’ interests, and the question of who is best placed to determine what is best for students in schools. Another case in point where the students felt that their views were not taken into consideration was their wish to be involved in the management of the schools’ canteens, an area in which, they argued, the teachers never allowed them to get involved. In both case schools, the students felt that they should have more control over the items sold in the schools’ canteens instead of the teachers making the decisions without consulting them. For example, in Case 1 school, the teachers did not allow the sale of sweets and biscuits in the school canteen because they claimed that these items were not healthy for the students. The students, on the other hand, wanted these items sold in the canteen. In Phase 1 of the study, similar views were expressed by most principals. In one school, the principal stated that she had refused to grant the students’ request to have a school canteen because, according to the principal, the students were given enough food in the school and did not need the canteen – thus assuming that students could only buy food from the canteen. On students’ meals, the majority of students argued that the amount of food they were given in the school was not adequate. However, in Case 2 school the teachers insisted that if the students were given what one teacher termed as ‘too much food’ then they (the students) would get lazy. The students also mentioned that they had communicated in vain to the teachers the need for hot water for taking a shower in the morning. As one student in Case 1 school remarked: . . . We don’t have hot water to bathe. Yet, I’m sure the school can afford. Sometimes it is very cold to bathe with that cold water. I know heaters can be expensive alright but, what about the instant heaters to be put on the showers? That is cheap and I’m sure the school can afford. We keep telling them but they don’t tell us anything. (Student: FGD1)

In this regard, one teacher commented that it would amount to giving the students ‘too much luxury’ to shower with hot water. Another teacher claimed that when the students shower with cold water in the morning, it makes their minds alert and sets them ready for lessons. These arguments from the teachers bring out the patriarchal nature of Kenyan and many other African societies where the role of the male as the primary authority figure is central to social organisation. In Kenya, for example, children are socialised to listen to and take instructions from adults. They are not expected to challenge any authority at the homestead which largely resides with the father. Both young people and women are expected to express divergent views in a manner that does not threaten the authority of the men. Nangoli (2002: 89) explains that:

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‘Children are not expected to talk back at adults in African society. It’s a cardinal sin for a child to engage in arguments or cross words with his elders.’ The same applies to girls who are considered ‘temporary’ members of their families because they are expected to get married and leave their homes, and also because their place is traditionally exclusively in the kitchen (Nangoli, 2002). As Otula (2007) observes, such cultural practices are changing with time, but their traces are still strong in many organisations, including schools. Many school principals and teachers in general still disapprove of any challenge from students who they expect to obey their orders without questioning. These patriarchal orientations could explain why the teachers and principals did not find it necessary to consider the views of the students in making decisions in the belief that, as adults, they knew better what was in the best interests of the students. The foregoing practices in the two schools, supposedly in the students’ ‘best’ interests, highlights the fact that students’ views are hardly ever taken into consideration when decisions are made in schools. This confirms the arguments by Oerlemans (2007) that in many instances adults do not believe that students have the ability to make good decisions on issues that affect them in schools. Oerlemans contends that it is ‘those in the policy elite who exert the most influence, using their power and status in order to sustain and propagate particular versions of schooling, leaving students submerged in a ‘‘culture of silence’’’ (p. 19). Similarly, Mitra & Gross (2009) contend that this assumption denies the students the very basic element of the voice of being heard. Yet research seeking student perspectives on educational change efforts indicates that ‘giving students a voice in such reform conversations reminds teachers and administrators that students possess unique knowledge and perspectives about their schools that adults cannot fully replicate without this partnership’ (Mitra & Gross, 2009: 523). Providing youth with opportunities to participate in school decision-making that will shape their lives and the lives of their peers and increasing the student voice in schools offers a way to re-engage students in the school community (Mitra & Gross, 2009; Mitra, 2004). Mitra (2004) observes that students’ participation in matters that are of interest to them in school also increases their attachment to their schools, which in turn correlates with improved academic outcomes. In case studies Mitra & Gross (2009) conducted on different aspects of students’ voice in schools in the US including ‘the youth sharing their opinions of their school experience with researchers’ (Mitra & Gross, 2009: 525), they found that ‘frustration, anger, fatigue, and angst, mixed with hope, sincerity, and confidence were evident, along with a declared need to be understood’ (p. 529). The same could be said of my study where the students seemed frustrated that their views on issues such as the need for hot water for bathing, the amount of food to eat as well as the items to be sold in the canteen were not taken into consideration.

Conclusion In this paper I have discussed the practices in secondary schools in Kenya that the teachers and principals consider to be in the best interests of students but which the students view differently. The paper highlights the fact that some of the practices such as corporal punishment do not conform to government policy raising the question of the need for training for school principals and teachers that takes into consideration respect for children’s rights. Another issue that emerges from the findings is the tendency of teachers and principals to make decisions that affect the students without taking the students’ views into consideration. This confirms what has been found in other studies that often adults tend to think they know better what is good for young people but which directly contrasts with what the students want. It can therefore be concluded that, although principals and teachers attempt to treat students in a manner that they perceive to be in the best interests of students, the practices seem to satisfy school policies more than the students’ interests. Thus the question of what constitutes the best interest of students remains unanswered. Notes 1. Most people who live in the coastal region of Kenya are of Arab descent and have different type of hair from the rest of the Kenyans.

References Angus, L. (2006) ‘Educational leadership and the imperative of including student voices, student interest, and students’ lives in the mainstream’. International Journal of Leadership in Educational, 9(4), 369–79. Begley, P. T. & Zaretsky, L. (2004) ‘Democratic school leadership in Canada’s public school systems: professional value and social ethic’. Journal of Educational Administration, 42(6), 640–55. Bennett, N. & Anderson, L. (2003) ‘Introduction: rethinking educational leadership – challenging the conventions’. In N. Bennett & L. Anderson (eds), Rethinking Educational Leadership. London: Sage, pp. 1–8. Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990) Online at: http:// www2.ohchr.org/english/law/crc.htm#part1 (accessed 1 November 2010). Cook-Sather, A. (2006) ‘Change based on what students say: preparing teachers for a paradoxical model of leadership’. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 9(4), 345–58. Fielding, M. (2006) ‘Leadership, radical student engagement and the necessity of person-centred education’. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 6(4), 299–313. Greydanus, D. E., Pratt, H. D., Spates, C. R., Blake-Dreher, A. E., Greydanus-Gearhart, M. A. & Patel, D. R. (2003) ‘Corporal punishment in schools: Position Paper of the Society for Adolescent Medicine’. Journal of Adolescent Health, 32(5), 385–93. Harber, C. (1997) School Effectiveness and Education for Democracy and Non-Violence. Human Rights Education, UNESCO-2005. http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0011/001112/ 11122eo.pdf accessed 5 July 2009.

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Harber, C. (2002) ‘Education, democracy and poverty reduction in Africa’. Comparative Education, 38(3), 267–76. Lacey, M. (2006) ‘Spare the rod and spoil the country, a Kenyan warns’, New York Times, online at: http://www.nytimes.com/ 2006/06/04/world/africa/04kenya.html (accessed 20 October 2010). Leren, T. H. (2006) ‘The importance of student voice’. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 9(4), 363–7. McClure, T. E. & May, D. C. (2008) ‘Dealing with misbehaviour at schools in Kentucky : theoretical and contextual predictors of use of corporal punishment’. Youth & Society, 39(3), 406–29. McIvor, G. (2005a) Ending Physical and Humiliating Punishment Against Children: Kenya. Sweden: Save the Children. Middleton, J. (2008) ‘The experience of corporal punishment in schools, 1890–1940’. History of Education, 37(2), 253–75. Mitra, D. L. (2004) ‘The significance of students: can increasing ‘‘student voice’’ in schools lead to gains in youth development’. Teachers College Record, 106(4): 651–88. Mitra, D. L. (2006) ‘Student voice from the inside and outside: the positioning of challengers’. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 9(4), 315–28. Mitra, D. L. & Gross, S. J. (2009) ‘Increasing student voice in high school reform: building partnerships, improving outcomes’. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 37(4), 522–43. Møller, J. (2006) ‘Democratic schooling in Norway: implications for leadership in practice’. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 5(1), 53–69. Møller, J. (2009) ‘Approaches to school leadership in Scandinavia’. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 41(2), 165–77. Nangoli, C. M. (2002) No More Lies About Africa, 2nd edn. Birmingham, AL: A. H. Publishers. Oerlemans, K. (2007) ‘Students as stakeholders: voices from the antipodes’. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 39(1), 17–32. Otula, P. A. (2007) Mastery of Modern School Administration. Nairobi, Kenya: World Link Publishers. Owen, S. S. (2005) ‘The relationship between social capital and corporal punishment in schools: a theoretical inquiry’. Youth and Society, 37(1), 85–112. Paolucci, E. O. & Violato, C. (2004) ‘A meta-analysis of the published research on the affective, cognitive, and behavioural effects of corporal punishment’. Journal of Psychology, 138(3), 197–221.

Republic of Kenya (1999) Totally Integrated Quality Education and Training (TQET). A Report of the Commission of Enquiry into the Education System in Kenya. Nairobi: Government Printers. Republic of Kenya (2001) Report of the Task Force on Student Discipline and Unrest in Secondary Schools. Nairobi: Jomo Kenyatta Foundation. Republic of Kenya (2005) Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2005 on a Policy Framework for Education, Training and Research. Nairobi: Government Printers. Robinson, D. H., Funk, D. C. Beth, A. & Bush, A. M. (2005) ‘Changing beliefs about corporal punishment: increasing knowledge about ineffectiveness to build more consistent moral and informational beliefs’. Journal of Behavioural Education, 14(2), 117–39. Shapiro, J. & Stefkovich, J. A. (2005) Ethical Leadership and Decision Making in Education, 2nd edn. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Shields, C. M. & Mohan, E. J. (2008) ‘High-quality education for all students: putting social justice at its heart’. Teacher Development, 12(4), 289–300. Smyth, J. (2006) ‘Educational leadership that fosters ‘‘student voice’’’. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 9(4), 279–84. Starratt, R. J. (1991) ‘Building an ethical school: a theory for practice in educational leadership’. Educational Administration Quarterly, 27(2), 185–202. Stefkovich, J. & Begley, P. T. (2007) ‘Ethical school leadership: defining the best interests of students’. Educational Management Administration and Leadership, 35(2), 205–24. Woods, G. & Woods, P. A. (2008) ‘Democracy and spiritual awareness: interconnections and implications for educational leadership’. International Journal of Children’s Spirituality, 13(2), 101–16.

Biography Julius O. Jwan holds a PhD in Educational Leadership & Management and MSc in Research Methods (The Open University, UK). He also has a MPhil in Education Communication & Management (NLA, Bergen, Norway) and a MPhil in Linguistics (Moi University, Kenya). He is Senior Lecturer of Educational Leadership & Management and Research Methods at Moi University, Kenya.

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Just four little grades: 1, 2, 3 or 4? Lorna Page Management in Education 2011 25: 93 DOI: 10.1177/0892020610387959 The online version of this article can be found at: http://mie.sagepub.com/content/25/3/93

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MiE Just four little grades: 1, 2, 3 or 4? Lorna Page Teaching and Learning Unit, Lincoln College

Management in Education 25(3) 93–94 ª 2011 British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS) Reprints and permission: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0892020610387959 mie.sagepub.com

Abstract Teacher observation takes on a myriad of forms and serves a multitude of purposes. Within UK further education (FE) colleges, lesson observations play a vital role in monitoring a college’s provision for the purpose of its annual self-assessment report; this in turn lays the foundations for its overarching quality improvement strategies. This short ‘thought piece’ identifies some of the current problems with the system of observing and grading teachers within UK FE colleges as viewed by a lecturer in teacher education for in-service teacher training programmes. Problems include observation validity, grading consistencies and teacher anxieties. It poses questions of observation reporting and whether what is seen by observers is a true reflection of a teacher’s practice. Furthermore, it considers some of the wider unseen consequences and implications that being observed can create. It concludes with the notion that more research needs undertaking if teachers and observers are to fully appreciate, celebrate and learn from observations. Keywords observation, teacher, lesson, grades, further education Inbox (1 new message): ‘This is your three weeks’ notice of lesson observations.’

Another round of observations is imminent. The tears, the triumphs, the tantrums, I have seen them all, the burden of observation and the resulting consequences. But why do the words ‘lesson observation’ emit such varied responses from teachers? Surely observation should be, at least from a teacher’s viewpoint, an opportunity to self-evaluate and develop professionally using feedback from an ‘expert teacher’? Instead, teachers seem to take great issue with being observed, seeing it as an intrusion into their practice and an invasion of their professional autonomy; they’re appearing in their own Big Brother mini-series without auditioning. It was only recently that my colleagues and I were observed by our college’s quality department. ‘How was your observation?’ I enquired of a teacher currently undertaking a teacher education course. ‘Brilliant, I received a beyond outstanding.’ As is the custom, I smile and congratulate as appropriate. To another experienced colleague I pose the same question; the response was less enthusiastic: ‘I got a 3.’ Here I had one teacher, barely ‘qualified’ in the formal paper sense achieving a ‘beyond outstanding’ grade and a colleague who has been teaching for over twenty years receiving a ‘satisfactory’ Grade 3 – so who is the better teacher and who is best serving the interests of their students I ask? Is it possible that observation grades are not a true reflection of a teacher’s performance; that they are little more than staged performances meticulously rehearsed and executed by skilled ‘actors’ and that accountability from them is little more than hearsay? What would happen if I didn’t receive a Grade 1? I have often wondered if I would be summoned into the corner office to ‘explain myself’ given that I am a lecturer

delivering initial teacher education programmes. As yet it hasn’t happened, but I was struck recently by a colleague who, through much effort and preparation achieved, in his words, ‘only a Grade 2’ after being a Grade 1 the previous year. ‘Only’ a Grade 2 should be a cause for congratulations, but it wasn’t. Here a teacher believed he was being inadequate – how can a teacher go from being ‘outstanding’ one year to ‘good’ the next? No wonder he felt dejected. When a teacher reaches the glorious heights of ‘outstanding’ what is next? If an aim of observation is to demonstrate improvement there is a linked notion here that with improvement professionalism materialises. If achieving a Grade 1 makes us more ‘professional’ the bigger picture suggests that going down a grade de-professionalises teachers. I was intrigued by a comment another colleague made: ‘Next year I won’t do anything different.’ Oops, are teachers admitting that they teach differently during observation, that they prepare lessons according to what they think the observer wants to see? Indeed I believe they are, and I am happy to admit I behave differently too. Of course, I can’t afford to get a ‘good’ all the time I have been ‘outstanding’ so I stick with what I know and aim to tick all the boxes I believe observers are looking for. So what is all this telling us about observation and what is being observed doing to teachers? Take the trainee teacher coming into a typical FE college. This teacher has secured their first teaching job and will be starting their inservice teacher training programme, possibly the Diploma in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector (DTLLS) qualification straight away – what next? Without discussing

Corresponding author: E-mail: LPage@LincolnCollege.ac.uk

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the demands of starting teaching and focusing just on the demands of being observed, this trainee will engage with myriad forms of observation over their first two years of teaching: DTLLS observations – eight of these plus one microteach observation; mentor observations – let’s say two of these; peer observations – one per year; quality observations – one per year; appraisal observations – maybe one per year; and lastly there is the possibility of an Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) observation. The grand total is a staggering 18 possible observations. Surely there must be a more reliable and less subjective method of reporting on learning provision? In 1999 the tragic suicide of a primary school teacher in Cheshire was reported. The coroner stated the personal stresses invoked by an imminent Ofsted inspection was a contributing factor in this teacher taking their own life. So it should be asked, how much additional pressure, either real or perceived, is there during ‘observation week’? While the teacher’s suicide was an isolated case it does highlight the often unreported outcomes of observation anxiety. When observation week finally arrives, teachers speculate on when the observer will walk into their classroom. Each teacher has their own ‘preferred’ observation lesson, the one they believe will best showcase their talents. Yet invariably it is the lesson nobody wants that the observer

walks in on, the lesson where the students will ‘behave differently’. All week teachers feel anxious, wary and fearful. Teachers are alert to e-mails that are darting between inboxes. In all the mayhem teachers become their observers’ observers, detailing the whereabouts of observers when they and their clipboards are on the move. In the staffroom the only conversation is ‘have you been done yet?’ The smugness of Monday morning observees (sic) is almost unbearable for those that come Friday are still awaiting their fate. What is the answer? Perhaps there is none, not yet at least. More research is essential, the pressures of being observed need to be understood. The forms of observation and how they are conducted require examination. The reasons for observing teachers must be justified and a culture of building trust between observers and observees key. Teacher observation is, so it appears, here to stay; let’s not fight it, hide from it or play games with it, but use our teacher heads and learn from it. Biography Lorna Page is a Lecturer in Teacher Education and Course Coordinator for the Certificate in Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector at Lincoln College, Lincoln, Lincolnshire.

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The relationship between job involvement and school administrative effectiveness as perceived by administration teachers Ruilin Lin, Jingchen Xie, Yoau-Chau Jeng and Zheng-Hong Wang Management in Education 2011 25: 112 DOI: 10.1177/0892020610392434 The online version of this article can be found at: http://mie.sagepub.com/content/25/3/112

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MiE The relationship between job involvement and school administrative effectiveness as perceived by administration teachers

Management in Education 25(3) 112–118 ª 2011 British Educational Leadership, Management & Administration Society (BELMAS) Reprints and permission: sagepub.co.uk/journalsPermissions.nav DOI: 10.1177/0892020610392434 mie.sagepub.com

Ruilin Lin Chienkuo Technology University Jingchen Xie Yoau-Chau Jeng National Changhua University of Education Zheng-Hong Wang

Abstract The purpose of this study is to explore the relationships between ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ as perceived by junior high school administration teachers. The findings are as follows. (1) The current status of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ as perceived by administration teachers is positive. (2) The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ significantly differs with ‘age’, ‘marital status’, ‘educational background’, ‘seniority of concurrent post’, ‘concurrent post’ and ‘school size’. (3) ‘Job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ as perceived by administration teachers are significantly and positively related. Keywords administration teacher, teachers’ job involvement, school administrative effectiveness, junior high school, self-involvement

Introduction Education is the foundation and cornerstone of a nation. Over the past decade, all countries have been devoted to education reform or other related issues in the hope that of improving nationals’ qualities with the fruit of success, leading the nation towards a progressive and affluent society with the added advantage of further potential for development. However, with regard to policies, education reform requires a suitable education programme designed in accordance with the current conditions and characteristics of educational development in Taiwan. Furthermore, issues such as whether ‘school administrative effectiveness’ can be manifested or whether the implementation of policies/programmes is well executed need more of our attention (Lick, 2006). Moreover, the implementation of all of the school administrative policies/programmes depends on their promotion and execution by administration teachers. The responsibility of finding a way to carry out measures drawn up by schools and improving ‘school administrative effectiveness’ rest on their shoulders. The school administration teachers’ ‘job involvement’ is the key factor in whether ‘school administrative effectiveness’ can be manifested. The purposes of this research are: 

to understand the current status of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ as perceived





by junior high school teachers who hold administration jobs concurrently (administration teachers for short below); to compare the perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers with different backgrounds (such as gender, age, etc.); to analyse the relationship between ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ as perceived by administration teachers.

Literature review The idea of job involvement The word ‘involvement’ in ‘job involvement’ originated from the concept of ‘self-involvement’ in Allport (1947), who believed that individuals look for their own and others’ dignities at work in their working circumstances. It is a psychological phenomenon of being involved in their jobs. Subsequently, Dubin (1965) put forth the concept of the ‘center of life and recreation’. Lodahl & Kejner (1965) extended these two concepts and came up with another: Corresponding author: linrl@ctu.edu.tw

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‘job involvement’. ‘Job involvement’ in this study refers to the enthusiasm among administration teachers for their job, their concentrated and responsible attitude, and the psychological identification of being able to voluntarily participate and make a contribution to their job, so that they can devote themselves to their work, derive pleasure from their work and, through personal experience, understand the importance of the job to the individual. Vroom (1964) believed an individual’s tendency to taking a particular action is influenced by two variables: whether that action can lead to a particular expected result, and how attractive that result is to the executioner of that action. Among much of the research related to individual job involvement, a lot of influential factors have been found. Rabinowitz & Hall (1977), having summarised all kinds of definitions and models, came up with the idea that ‘job involvement’ is influenced by personal and environmental factors. In other words, individual job involvement is the result of the interaction of personal factors and environmental factors (Babin & Boles, 1996). According to other related discussions and opinions from scholars, it is multi-layered and has breadth. The blend of personal emotions and the degree of concentration are both manifestations of personal characteristics. Factors which influence ‘job involvement’ can be categorised in three ways:

emphasising a reduction in costs from the aspect of administrative matters through a consideration of economics (Jacobson et al., 2005). For an organisation, efficiency does not equate to effectiveness, and what effectiveness covers is more important than efficiency (Carmeli & Schaubroeck, 2007; Huang, 2006). Moreover, Shen (1994) believed that school effectiveness includes:



    





‘job involvement’ is influenced by personal characteristics such as gender, age, educational background, marital status, seniority and personality; ‘job involvement’ is influenced by working circumstances including leadership, participation in decision-making, organisation size, etc.; ‘job involvement’ is a result of the interaction of individuals and circumstances.

Thus ‘job involvement’ is influenced by the orientation of personal values and working circumstances, such as achievement, personal growth, meaning of work, etc. It is an emotion of or attitude toward work, and involves a process of acquiring self-values and respect from working. Most scholars consider jobs as multi-layered working attitude. In short, in this study the meanings of ‘job involvement’ can be categorised into:    

job identification job concentration job pleasure job responsibility

as the framework for ‘job involvement’ as perceived by junior high school administration teachers.

The idea of school administrative effectiveness Effectiveness is the degree to which an organisation’s goals are correctly achieved bearing in mind the demands from both internal and exterior environments. Efficiency is one link in the process of pursuing organisational goals,

   

schools’ teaching leading; communication involvement; course and teaching design; the manifestation of students’ behaviours and school work.

School effectiveness is an indication of the extent to which school principals, teachers, parents and students can all achieve the goals which the schools have set. However, school administration is involved in factors such as internal or exterior operations, thus specific goals are required as core, through planned action programmes, with support and approval from related personnel, to achieve the goals organisations expected (Hsu, 2006; Ravasi & Verona, 2001; Wu, 2005). To summarise the above points, in this study it is believed that ‘school effectiveness’ is the goal set by the administrative leaders of schools through their leadership strategies to help schools reach certain achievements across the board, including: performance in administrative leadership; satisfaction among school faculty; communication, coordination and atmosphere; students’ overall performance; parents’ acceptance and the eventual achievement of the goals which the organisation expected.

Administration teachers have teaching jobs themselves, while at the same time having to shoulder the responsibility of administrative matters. And job content differs with their characters. Furthermore, school administration is complex and with lots of little details. The administration teachers on the front line are the directors and chiefs of all the offices and departments. With regard to superiors, they have to execute the school’s development policies initiated by the principal; with regard to subordinates, they have to handle pressures arising from teaching and dealing with students’ problems. Administration teachers’ ‘job involvement’ has therefore become an important indicator of whether the goals of national education have been reached (Di et al., 2006). In this study, the results of the literature review showed that the research variables used were mostly: leadership performance, communication, students’ performance, school timetable arrangement, school/organisation atmosphere, school equipment and resources, etc. To summarise the research of other scholars and in accord with the purpose of the present research, school administrative effectiveness can be summarised as:  

performance in administrative leadership satisfaction in administrative jobs

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Administration teachers’ background variables

Teachers’ job involvement 1. Job identification 2. Job concentration 3. Job pleasure 4. Job responsibility

1. Gender 2. Age 3. Marital status 4. Educational background 5. Seniority of concurrent post 6. Concurrent post

School administrative effectiveness

School environment variables 1. School size 2. School location

1. Performance in administrative leading 2. Satisfaction in administrative jobs 3. Administrative communication and coordination 4. School equipments and resources 5. Students’ overall performance 6. School administration atmosphere

Figure 1. Research framework

   

administrative communication and coordination school equipment and resources students’ overall performance school administration atmosphere

as the framework for ‘school administrative effectiveness’ as perceived by junior high school administration teachers.

Research methods Research structure The purpose of this study is to explore the relationships between the variables of teacher background, school environment, teachers’ job involvement and school administrative effectiveness. The research structure is shown in Figure 1.

Research subjects The sampling population comprises 1,955 administration teachers from 147 public and private junior high schools in Taichung County, Taichung City, Changhua County, and Nantou County, as announced by the Ministry of Education (2007) in Taiwan. A total of 285 administration teachers from 19 schools, including 8 in Taichung County, 3 in Taichung City, 5 in Changhua County and 3 in Nantou County had been selected by stratified simple random sampling. Of the questionnaires retrieved 257 were valid with a response rate of 90.2 per cent, this result being for pre-testing questionnaires. Pre-testing questionnaires were revised into formal questionnaires after tests for reliability and validity. Stratified simple random sampling was conducted according to the proportions. A total of 593 administration teachers from 52 schools were selected for questionnaire surveying, while

of the 719 questionnaires that had been sent out 593 were retrieved. The response rate was 82.5 per cent, this result being for formal questionnaires.

Research tool and implementation By referencing related documentation, the self-designed ‘questionnaire for ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ perceived by junior high school administration teachers’ was used as the tool for measurement (Chen, 2005; Cheng, 2005; Hsu, 2006; Huang, 2006). Teacher background variables include:      

gender; age; marital status; educational background; seniority of concurrent post; concurrent post.

School environment variables include:  

school size; and school location.

The questions were presented using a five-point Likert scale of ‘strongly agree’ (5 points), ‘agree’ (4 points), ‘no comment’ (3 points), ‘disagree’ (2 points) and ‘strongly disagree’ (1 point). The questions were answered according to teachers’ feelings. Higher scores represented stronger feelings held by teachers about their job involvement and school administrative effectiveness. The data from retrieved pre-testing questionnaires was analysed using the statistics package SPSS 12.0. Item

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analysis was conducted. At first, according to the correlation analysis, the product-moment correlation coefficient between question score and total score must be over 0.3, with significance level p < 0.01, and according to the criterion of internal consistency, assigning pre-testing subjects with total scores in the first and last 27 per cent into high-scoring and low-scoring groups. Then tests for average differences were conducted. Only questions with critical values over 0.3 and significance level p < 0.01 can distinguish the subjects’ degrees of reactions. Unsuitable questions were removed so that the value of Cronbach’s a of this questionnaire became higher. PCA was then conducted and factors with eigenvalues over 1 were selected for Varimax factor analysis. Questions with factor loading over 0.5 were extracted. The result shows that the total explicable variation of the scale for ‘job involvement’ perceived by administration teachers is 57.81 per cent, and that of the scale for ‘school administrative effectiveness’ perceived by administration teachers is 67.59 per cent, both with good construct validities. With regard to the aspect of questionnaire reliability, Cronbach’s a was used to test the internal consistency between facets. The values of a for each item of the ‘job involvement’ are in the range of 0.74*0.86. The overall a coefficient is 0.92. The values of a for each item of the ‘school administrative effectiveness’ are in the range of 0.85*0.93. The overall a coefficient is 0.96. This means the internal consistency of this questionnaire is quite high. This questionnaire had been reviewed by experts and then revised. The expert validity is very good.

Results and discussion The results of the teacher background variables summarised with data from effective questionnaires in this research are:  

 





gender: 338 male (57.0 per cent), 255 female (43.0 per cent); age: 88 under 30 years old (14.8 per cent), 269 from 31 to 40 years old (45.4 per cent), 177 from 41 to 50 years old (29. 9 per cent), and 59 above 50 years old (9.9 per cent); marital status: 457 married (77.1 per cent), 136 single (22.9 per cent); educational background: 166 had graduated from general universities (28.0 per cent), 137 from normal universities (23.1 per cent), 40 from graduate schools or above, 290 from credit classes (48.9 per cent); seniority of concurrent post: 268 under 4 years (45.2 per cent), 166 5–8 years (28.0 per cent), 76 9–12 years (12.8 per cent), 83 over 13 years (14.0 per cent); concurrent post: 170 directors (28.7 per cent), 423 chiefs (71.3 per cent). The results of school environment variables:



school size: 98 under 15 classes (16.5 per cent), 177 16– 36 classes (29.8 per cent), 175 37–57 classes (29.5 per cent), 143 over 58 classes (24.2 per cent);



school location: 227 Taichung County (38.3 per cent), 121 Taichung City (20.4 per cent), 156 Changhua County (26.3 per cent), 89 Nantou County (15.0 per cent).

Analysis of the current status The current status of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ perceived by administration teachers is positive. For ‘job involvement’, the best perception is of ‘job responsibility’. For ‘school administrative effectiveness’, the best perception is of ‘school equipment and resources’.

Gap analysis Teacher background variables. The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers does not differ with ‘gender’. The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers differs with ‘age’, with older people having better perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’. The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers differs with ‘marital status’, with married teachers having better perception than unmarried ones. The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers differs with ‘educational background’, with teachers graduated from general universities having better perception than those from normal universities. The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers differs with ‘seniority of concurrent post’, with teachers of high seniority having better perception than those of low seniority. The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers differs with ‘concurrent post’, with directors having better perception than chiefs. School environment variables. The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers differs with ‘school size’, with teachers from large schools having better perception than those from small schools. The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers does not differ with ‘school location’. The difference is insignificant.

Correlation analysis This study explores the relationship between ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ as perceived by administration teachers. From the statistics analysis result, they are positively related (r ¼ 0.68) and the difference is significant (p < 0.01). Which means the perception of ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers in the middle area of Taiwan differs with their perception of ‘job involvement’. The ‘job identification’, ‘job concentration’, ‘job pleasure’ and ‘job responsibility’ of ‘job involvement’ are positively related to every

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variable of ‘school administrative effectiveness’. The relation with ‘satisfaction in administrative jobs’ is the strongest. Generally speaking, the better the perception of ‘job involvement’ by administration teachers, the better perception of ‘school administrative effectiveness’. 

Conclusions and suggestions Conclusions Current status. The current status of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ as perceived by administration teachers is positive. For ‘job involvement’, the best perception is of ‘job responsibility’. For ‘school administrative effectiveness’, the best perception is of ‘school equipment and resources’. Differences  Gender. The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ by administration teachers does not differ with ‘gender’. The difference is insignificant.  Age. Older administration teachers have a better perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ than younger ones. It is probably because older teachers have spent more time doing administration jobs, therefore having more administration experiences.  Marital status. Married administration teachers have a better perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ than unmarried ones. This is probably because married teachers prefer steady jobs and believe that ‘job involvement’ can help with their personal performance and family income and also help them to be recognised by superiors.  Educational background. Administration teachers with better educational background have a better perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ than those whose educational background is not so good. It’s probably because those with better educational background also have more professional knowledge, confidence and a higher salary. Furthermore, those graduated from general universities have a better perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ than those from normal universities. This is probably because they need to make their way into their jobs, and this fact makes them cherish the opportunity of doing administration jobs.  Seniority of concurrent post. Administration teachers with higher seniority have better perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ than those with lower seniority. It’s probably because having higher seniority means being deeply involved in their jobs. They are familiar with how things work at schools and therefore can handle and deal with administration matters well.  Concurrent post. Administration teachers whose concurrent posts are as directors have a better perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative



effectiveness’ than those whose concurrent posts are chiefs. It’s probably because directors had worked as chiefs before, their seniority of administration posts is higher, and their involvement in the matters between school administration subdivisions is deeper. School size. Administration teachers from large schools have a better perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ than those from small schools. This is probably because there are more faculty and staff in large schools, which implies less teaching hours per teacher. School location. The perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ does not differ with administration teachers’ ‘school location’. The difference is insignificant.

The correlations of teachers’ perception. ‘Job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ as perceived by administration teachers are positively related and the difference is significant. This means the better the perception of ‘job involvement’ by administration teachers, the better the perception of ‘school administrative effectiveness’. 







Job identification. ‘Job identification’ of ‘job involvement’ as perceived by administration teachers is positively related to ‘school administrative effectiveness’ and its constituent parts as perceived by administration teachers. The difference is significant, which means the better the perception of ‘job identification’ by administration teachers, the better the perception of ‘school administrative effectiveness’ and its constituent parts. Job concentration. ‘Job concentration’ of ‘job involvement’ as perceived by administration teachers is positively related to ‘school administrative effectiveness’ and its constituent parts as perceived by administration teachers. The difference is significant, which means the better the perception of ‘job concentration’ by administration teachers, the better the perception of ‘school administrative effectiveness’ and its constituent parts. Job pleasure. ‘Job pleasure’ of ‘job involvement’ as perceived by administration teachers is positively related to ‘school administrative effectiveness’ and its constituent parts as perceived by administration teachers. The difference is significant, which means the better the perception of ‘job pleasure’ by administration teachers, the better the perception of ‘school administrative effectiveness’ and its constituent parts. Job responsibility. ‘Job responsibility’ of ‘job involvement’ as perceived by administration teachers is positively related to ‘school administrative effectiveness’ and its constituent parts as perceived by administration teachers. The difference is significant, which means the better the perception of ‘job responsibility’ by administration teachers, the better the perception of ‘school administrative effectiveness’ and its constituent parts.

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Suggestions Education units  Encouraging administration teachers to pursue further education. ‘Job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ as perceived by administration teachers are positively related. It was also found that those with a better educational background have a deeper involvement in their jobs. Education organisations should be urged to budget for encouraging administration teachers to pursue further education, in order to promote and improve professional knowledge and school administrative effectiveness.  Hiring more faculty and staff. Administration teachers from smaller schools have a worse perception of ‘job involvement’ and ‘school administrative effectiveness’ than those from larger schools. It is probably because there are not enough school administrators. It is necessary to reorganise school faculty and staff in smaller schools in order to reduce the burden on teachers and improve school administration effectiveness.  Holding seminars or social activities. It is suggested that educational institutions should offer periodical seminars or social activities, so that administration teachers will have the opportunity to meet other teachers with similar job descriptions. They can then discuss their problems with each other and share thoughts and experiences, so that any bottlenecks or dilemmas they have encountered can be resolved. School principals  Valuing and recognising administration teachers’ job involvement. It is suggested that principals should value and recognise administration teachers, so that they receive more support and encouragement at work and are willing to put more effort into school administration matters. At the same time school administration effectiveness will be improved.  Looking after young, unmarried and low-seniority administration teachers. It is suggested that school principals should pay more attention to young, unmarried and low-seniority administration teachers and support them, providing them with the proper assistance, so that they can gain more successful experiences at work and become more confident and more involved in their jobs. As a result, school administration effectiveness will be improved. Administration teachers  Participating more in related activities. It is suggested that young, not-so-well-educated and low-seniority administration teachers should join some study groups or participate in more experience-sharing activities in order to improve their professional knowledge and get more deeply involved in their concurrent administration jobs. As a result, school administrative effectiveness will be improved.  Taking the initiative. Administration teachers holding concurrent jobs as chiefs should take more initiative.

It is suggested that administration teachers whose concurrent posts are chiefs should voluntarily consult those whose concurrent posts are directors more often, in order to gain more practical experiences to make up for their insufficiency at work. As a result, the overall performance of school administrative effectiveness will be even better. Future research directions  Research subjects. Because of the limitations in time and manpower, the research subjects – junior high school administration teachers – had been selected only from the middle area of Taiwan. Private schools and schools from other counties were not included. In future, if research subjects can be selected from other areas as well and if private junior high school administration teachers can be included, there will definitely be a more detailed and accurate result from the research, and a more complete research dataset could be created.  Research methods. A questionnaire survey was conducted for this study but the answers to self-report questionnaires can easily be influenced by respondents’ subjective feelings or by their guesses when they don’t understand the questions. In order to make the research more complete with deeper insight, besides a questionnaire survey, in-depth interviews could also be conducted. Through qualitative researches such as field observation, the results from the research could be made more accurate.  Research tool. A self-designed questionnaire was used for this study. The content of the questionnaire did not cover all the items in the previous research. It is suggested that in the future, according to actual demands, the questionnaire could be revised so that the discussion of the issues will be more complete and detailed.  Research variable. There are a lot of factors which have an influence on ‘job involvement’. In this study, the discussion concentrated only on the variables of administration teachers’ background and school environment. In the future, it is suggested that variables regarding teachers’ personal qualities (internal and external locus of control, working values, etc.) or school history could also be considered. References Allport, G. W. (1947) ‘The ego in contemporary psychology’. Psychological Review, 52(4), 117–32. Babin, B. J. & Boles, J. S. (1996) ‘The effects of perceived co-worker involvement and supervisor support on service provider role stress, performance and job satisfaction’. Journal of Retailing, 72(1), 57–75. Carmeli, A. & Schaubroeck, J. (2007) ‘The influence of leaders’ and other referents’ normative expectations on individual involvement in creative work’. Leadership Quarterly, 18(1), 35–48. Chen, Y. H. (2005) ‘A Study on the Relationship Among Work Values, Role Conflict and Job Involvement of Elementary School Administration Teachers’. Unpublished masters thesis,

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Graduate Institute of Educational Administration of National Pingtung University of Education, Taiwan. Cheng, K. N. (2005) ‘The Study on the Relationship Between the Principals’ Change Leadership and the Teachers’ Job Involvement in the Elementary Schools’. Unpublished masters thesis, Department of Education of National Taichung University, Taiwan. Di, F. A., Majer, V. & Taralla, B. (2006) ‘Correlatifs de la Teacher Self-Efficacy: caracteristiques personnelles et attitude envers le travail’. Psychologie du travail et des organisations, 12(4), 263–77. Dubin, R. (1956) ‘Industrial workers’ worlds: a study of the central life interests of industrial workers’. Social Problems, 3(1), 131–42. Hsu, C. W. (2006) ‘A Study on the Relationship Between Total Quality Management and Administrative Effectiveness in the Elementary Schools in Pingtung’. Unpublished masters thesis, Graduate Institute of Educational Administration of National Pingtung University of Education, Taiwan. Huang, X. Y. (2006) ‘A Study of the Relationship Between Principals’ Transformational Leadership and School Administration Effectiveness in Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli Region’. Unpublished masters thesis, Department of Industrial Education of National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan. Jacobson, L., LaLonde, R. & Daniel, G. S. (2005) ‘Estimating the returns to community college schooling for displaced workers’. Journal of Econometrics, 125(1–2), 271–304. Lick, D. W. (2006) ‘A new perspective on organizational learning: creating learning teams’. Evaluation and Program Planning, 29(1), 88–96. Lodahl, T. M. & Kejner, M. (1965) ‘The definition and measurement of job involvement’. Journal of Applied Psychology, 49(1), 24–33. Ministry of Education (2007) Individual Data of Junior High Schools and Elementary Schools in Academic Year 1996– 1997. Online: http://www.edu.tw (accessed May 2007). Rabinowitz, S. & Hall, D. T. (1977) ‘Organizational research on job involvement’. Psychological Bulletin, 84(2), 265–88. Ravasi, D. & Verona, G. (2001) ‘Organising the process of knowledge integration: the benefits of structural ambiguity’. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 17(1), 41–66. Shen, T. L. (1994) ‘A Study of the Relationship Among Teachers’ Professional Growth, Teaching Commitment and School

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Biographies Ruilin Lin received her BS in Industrial Design from National Yunlin University of Science & Technology in 1997, her MS in 1999, and her PhD from the Department of Industrial Education and Technology at National Changhua University of Education in 2005. Dr Lin has served as an assistant professor in the Department of Commercial Design at the Chienkuo Technology University. Jingchen Xie received his BS in Industrial Design from National Yunlin University of Science & Technology in 1995 and his MS from National Cheng Kung University in 2002. Currently he is pursuing a doctorial degree in industrial education and technology at the National Changhua University of Education. Yoau-Chau Jeng is a professor in the Department of Industrial Education and Technology at the National Changhua University of Education (NCUE), Changhua, Taiwan. He received his PhD in Industrial Education and Technology (1988), and his MS in Mechanical Engineering (1982) from Iowa State University. He received his ME in Industrial Education from the National Taiwan Normal University in 1982. Zheng-Hong Wang has been a teacher in Tan Xiu Junior High School in Taiwan.

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