Leadership Administrative Practices Research Proposal

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Leadership (Administrative) Practices

The postmodern challenge to the theory and practice of educational administration> Taken at http://www.ccthomas.com/ebooks/9780398073824.pdf

There can be no claim to support a knowledge base for a profession without a bona fide theoretical framework to define and support the derivative professional practice. The challenge of postmodernism to the prevailing theories in educational administration is that it is a theoretical, that is, it proffers no theory to center any specific practice, but rather is open to consider all claims and the theories which may define and support them."

Postmodernism is about understanding that a posture of exclusivity is rejected, that is, the idea of their being one right way or one right science or one right method of inquiry to pursue truth as it is constructed (not discovered). So postmodernism isn't about replacing one version of truth or science with another. It is about challenging and opening up the central premise that only one set of borders are possible to define and support professional practice."

Postmodernism is about constructing a way of looking at the world of ideas, concepts and systems of thought through the historicity of context and the shifting nature of linguistic meaning and symbols as they are manifested in discursive practices which run through educational administration and related fields. Discursive practices represent all forms of human communication, verbal and non-verbal, and the context and culture in which they are embedded."Buy full Download Microsoft Word File paper
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Research Proposal on Leadership Administrative Practices Assignment

Postmodernism's greatest enemy is certitude. By this is meant a claim, posture, or practice that rests upon one method, one model, or one idea of a singular, universal truth. Since the beginning of the enlightenment in the Renaissance, Western science has come to be the be all and end all of the establishment of theory. Theory has come to be a positional practice of pursuing truth and basing claims of certainty on that pursuit. I posit that from the writing of Descartes through positivism and the Vienna Circle, including critical theory (Marxism and Neo-Marxism), that the term modernism embraces the full panoply of theories at work in educational administration today. Each of these frames or "turns," to borrow a concept from linguistics, debunks the ones that came before and positions itself as "the answer" supported by a new certitude. Postmodernism calls all of these claims into question. It poses a new criticism, exposes the hegemonic nature of where any and all such claims come to rest, and seeks to erase or at least open the foundations upon which certitude is defined. Postmodernism is not so much interested in the answers as the questions. The postmodernist seeks to show that there are always a plurality of options, approaches, and possibilities in a multiplicity of probabilities."

The denial of certitude does not constitute an affirmation of anything. The postmodernist's denial of certitude is open to many expressions of thought and theory as long as none of them seek to suppress, silence, marginalize, humiliate, denigrate or erase other possibilities. Everything can be considered, except any claim for exclusivity which would subordinate everything else."

Joseph Murphy. (2003). Reculturing Educational Leadership: The ISLLC Standards Ten Years Out. Taken at http://www.npbea.org/Resources/ISLLC_10_years_9-03.pdf

Over the last quarter century, the field of school administration has experienced considerable turmoil as it has struggled to grow out of its adolescence. During the last half of that time period, in ways that were rarely seen earlier in our profession, a good deal of energy has been invested in coming to grips with the question of what ideas should shape school administration in a post-theory era inside the academy and a post-industrial world for education writ large."

The research revealed portraits of effective leaders who had a deeper understanding of and who were much more heavily invested in the core business of schooling -- learning and teaching -- than was the norm in the profession (McNeil, 1988). It surfaced a narrative of leaders who were concerned with nourishing the educational as well as the managerial arteries of influence. It provided a picture of school administrators who had a gift for "infus[ing] organizational routines with educational meaning (Rallis, l989, p. 201). Thus answers to this question again led the Consortium to conclude that the organizing animus for school administration should be student learning and that the professional spotlight should shine on outcomes in this area. or, as Evans (1991) so nicely captures it, "the deep significance of the task of school administration is to be found in the pedagogical ground of its vocation. It is the notion of education that gives the idea of leader its whole purpose" (pp. 17, 3)."

In the area of learning and teaching, from the cognitive sciences ISLLC participants saw the emergence of a new theory of learning, a regrounding of education around principles of learning (rather than around teaching strategies), and an explicit acknowledgment of the cultural and social dimensions of learning. The Consortium also perceived a deepening of instructional perspectives (and accompanying views of assessment) beyond the transmission and delivery models of teaching that had proven their worth in helping youngsters master basic skills. They foresaw a more pronounced place in the pedagogical portfolio for constructively grounded perspectives (e.g., scaffolded instruction, cognitively guided instruction)."

Ronald H. Heck and Philip Hallinger. (2004). Testing a Longitudinal Model of Distributed Leadership Effects on School Improvement. Educational Administration and Policy, College of Education.

A prominent line of inquiry in leadership research has focused on understanding the contributions that leadership makes to organizational norms, structures, and routines. Often this research is framed in terms of illuminating the relationship between leadership and performance outcomes. A common approach in this research has been to collect survey data that describe the behaviors and activities across a sample of leaders and analyze relationships with selected organizational variables and measures of performance or effectiveness."

The same approach cannot, however, be employed when the research questions of interest turn to leadership and organizational improvement. Improvement, by definition, requires the assessment of change in the state of the organization's performance over time. Yet, temporal relationships between variables (e.g., leadership and performance) cannot be adequately modeled through data collected at a single point in time. Theories that seek to explain change in social phenomena typically focus on two or more variables that are proposed to change concomitantly over time."

This suggests that the analysis of leadership and organizational change requires the collection and analysis of longitudinal data. However, the conduct of longitudinal studies on a scale sufficient to assess the impact of leaders across organizations poses resource, logistical, and technical challenges for researchers. In particular, scholars have highlighted the stringent data requirements and need for analytic techniques with the capability to model change among multiple variables, across organizational levels, over time. Nonetheless, in the view of current scholarship, the constructs of leadership and organizational change are so intimately linked that there is little choice but to persist in the search for conceptual models and research methods that offer leverage for understanding their relationship."

Increasingly, educational systems throughout the world are holding the leadership of primary and secondary schools accountable for student performance results. Not surprisingly, and despite acknowledged limitations, student achievement has become a key performance indicator favored by education policymakers from Hong Kong to Sydney and New York to London. Given the centrality of student learning in national accountability systems and increased investments in the development of achievement-directed school leadership, this study framed student achievement in reading and math as the main focus for measurement of the performance outcomes of schools."

Andy Hargreaves. (2003). The long and short of educational change. Taken at http://www2.bc.edu/~hargrean/docs/Long_Short_Education_Change_07.pdf

Against the short-termism that is rife in the educational reform regimes of the Anglo-Saxon countries, Dean Fink and I have argued for a less wasteful and impatient approach that brings about more sustainable improvement instead."

Putting learning first, before achievement and testing -rather than equating achievement with tested attainment in literacy and math in which Canada, ironically, already excels."

Distributing leadership widely and wisely so improvement becomes a shared professional responsibility rather than the object of top-down government control."

Ensuring improvement lasts beyond the tenure of one school leader or the government of the day's temporary election agenda."

Encouraging schools to work together, helping rather than competing against each other in the quest to raise achievement standards."

Connecting future changes to past achievements of which experienced educators can be proud, rather than rushing through short-term reforms that dismiss or demean the past, so governments can claim control of the future."

Kenneth Leithwood, Teresa Menzies, Doris Jantzi. (1994). Earning Teachers' Commitment to Curriculum Reform. PJE. Peabody Journal of Education. 69: 4.

In sum, motivational theory redefines the objects of teacher commitment and engagement (e.g., to the school, to student learning, to one's discipline) as personal goals. It also identifies conditions that must prevail if such goals are to energize action toward school change. These conditions include:"

Adoption, as personal goals, of at least a significant proportion of the goals adopted by the school's change initiatives. Commitment to such initiatives will depend, in… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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