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d or always people-oriented.

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In the two-dimensional approach to understanding leadership, greatemphasis was given to leadership style. For example, one commonly hearscomplaints that educational leaders in the past emphasized the task, ormanagerial, dimension of leader behavior—which is often called theautocratic leadership style—and few emphasized the considerationdimension—which defines the democratic style of leadership. Thus,individual styles of various leaders were described as tending to beautocratic or democratic, task-oriented or people-oriented, directive orcollegial, and one could adopt a leadership style thought to be appropriateto the leader’s personality, on the one hand, or the situation in which theleader works, on the other. All of this emanated from efforts to reduce thestudy of leadership to a science, and therein lay its weakness. In educationtoday, recognition is rapidly growing that leadership cannot be reduced toformulas and prescriptions but must be attuned to the human variables andconfusions that normally abound in busy, complex, and contradictory—thatis, messy—human organizations.

For readers who want to learn more about some of the most popular two-factor theories of leadership, we suggest the following theories and theprimary authors associated with each theory:

The Ohio State Leadership Studies and the Leader Behavior DescriptionQuestionnaire (LBDQ) (Hemphill & Coons, 1957; Stogdill, 1974)The Managerial Grid (Blake & Mouton, 1978)Situational leadership theory (Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson, 1996)Contingency leadership theory (Fiedler, 1967)

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For a thorough description of these and other leadership theories, werecommend Peter Northouse (2010). Northouse’s book is about ascomplete a listing of leadership theories as you can find, and it includescases and questionnaires for each major theory.

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Leadership As A RelationshipWith FollowersWhenever we try to lead people, we become part of their environment andtherefore part of their equation for organizational behavior, B = f (p • e).Thus, leaders are not merely concerned with the leadership style andtechniques that they intend to use but also with the quality and kinds ofrelationships that they have with followers. Leadership is not somethingthat one does to people, nor is it a manner of behaving toward people; it isworking with and through other people to achieve organizational goals.

What distinguishes leaders from other authority figures is the uniquerelationship between leaders and followers. Leaders relate to followers inways that

Motivate them to unite with others in sharing a vision of where theorganization should be going and how to get it there.Arouse their personal commitment to the effort to envision a betterfuture and then create it.Organize the working environment so that the envisioned goals becomecentral values in the organization.Facilitate the work that followers need to do to transform the vision intoreality.

How do leaders accomplish these tasks? That depends, first, on what theythink leadership is, which is defined in terms of the character and quality ofthe relationship between leader and follower. This rapport arises from thebedrock assumptions that the would-be leader holds about people and the

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world in which they work, the world from which all our cultural beliefs andvalues arise.

Using Douglas McGregor’s concepts, one who accepts Theory Xassumptions about followers tends to think about leadership pretty muchas the stereotype of the traditional boss overseeing a gang in the field or onthe shop floor: issuing orders, checking up, and prodding to keep thingsmoving. One who accepts Theory Y assumptions about people at worktends to think about leadership more in terms of collaborating with othersto reach organizational goals and achieve the organization’s mission,sharing enthusiasm for the work to be done, providing help in solvingproblems, and supporting and encouraging. In the United States today,people working in education who subscribe to Theory X assumptionscommonly mask them behind the kind of Theory X soft behavior, whichwas discussed in Chapter 1 , so they can avoid appearing insensitive andundemocratic. Theory X soft behavior by the leader poses some seriousmoral and ethical problems, which we will discuss later in this chapter.

The key to understanding leadership, then, lies in understanding your ownconcept of the human nature of followers and how leaders relate to them.For example, Niccolo Machiavelli’s assumptions about human nature wereset forth in his advice to a young man of the ruling class in the fifteenthcentury. Machiavelli’s treatise, The Prince, once was required reading forstudents in educational administration and is still widely admired today. Ittaught that the exercise of leadership by those who inherit positions ofpower as a privilege of membership in a dominant elite social classrequired the ruthless exercise of position power, the use of guile anddeception when expedient to achieve the leader’s personal agenda, andindifference to the concerns of others.

This Machiavellian view of leadership is still very prevalent although itusually is expressed obliquely in cautious terms and is usually disguised in

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Theory X soft behavior to appear reasonably adapted to the democraticdemands of our time. The central idea is that leadership consists largely ofcommanding and controlling other people. Consider, for example, thisobservation intended for a mass audience of readers from themanagement ranks of corporations:

A leader is a leader only insofar as he [sic] has followers. If we want oursubordinates to do something and they do not do it, then, plainly, they have notfollowed our lead. Likewise, if we want our charges to accomplish something,quite apart from how they go about it, and they do not accomplish it, then, againthey have not followed our lead. Now these are the only two ways that we can beleaders: we can want certain actions and we can want certain results. The degreein which we get what we want is the measure of our leadership.

A follower is a follower only insofar as he [sic] does what a leader wants in orderto please the leader . . . we are all social creatures, and so we want to please theboss . . . Work is done for the boss. We grow for our parents, learn for our teacher,win for our coach. Even the most independent of us presents his [sic] work as agift for the boss.(Keirsey & Bates, 1984, p. 129)

This statement says a great deal about the writers’ assumptions about thehuman nature of followers and how leaders relate to them. On the otherhand, consider this statement of assumptions about leadership from amodern military perspective by General H. Norman Schwarzkopf (as citedin Galloway, 1991):

When you lead in battle you are leading people, human beings. I have seencompetent leaders who stood in front of a platoon and all they saw was a platoon.But great leaders stand in front of a platoon and see it as 44 individuals, each ofwhom has hopes, each of whom has aspirations, each of whom wants to live,each of whom wants to do good. (p. 36)

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This quote expresses a very different view of human nature than wasembodied in Max Weber’s now classic work on bureaucracy. Weber’s workfirst appeared in the early years of the twentieth century and became knownin the United States only after World War II when translations from theGerman were published in English. We discuss Weber’s views in thefollowing section.

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Your Understanding of Human Nature IsCritical

At the turn of the twentieth century, the emergence of giant industrialcorporations was transforming society in Europe. Max Weber saw that theold aristocracies could not provide the new kinds of leadership required inthe expanding government, business, and industrial organizations of theday. To replace the absolute power inherited by privileged social classes,which was enjoyed by members of the German Junkers of Weber’s day andThe Prince of Machiavelli’s day, and to reject the exercise of traditionalautocratic rule in modern industrial, commercial, and governmentorganizations that were then emerging around the world, Weber supportedthe rise of a disciplined and orderly organization composed of officesarranged hierarchically, with legally assigned power and authoritydescending from the top to the bottom. As discussed in Chapter 3 ,Weber approvingly gave this kind of organization a name: bureaucracy.

In contrast to autocratic rule, the “law” of the bureaucratic organization liesin its written rules and regulations, official standard operating procedures,written memos, chain of command, and acceptance of the concepts ofhierarchical superordination and subordination. It is a vision of organizationthat is rational, logical, impersonal, formal, predictable, and systematic,and it reflects beliefs about the nature and needs of the human beings whopopulate the organization. Bureaucratic theory generally holds that peopletend to be motivated by the lower levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs(Chapter 5 ) with emphasis on pay and benefits, job security, andadvancement in rank.

Weber’s work has had enormous influence in establishing and maintainingbureaucracy as the most pervasive and credible organizational concept in

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the world. Yet few who are taught the virtues of bureaucratic organization intheir universities understand or even know that it was the same Max Weber,sociologist and theologian, who also wrote powerfully on the Protestantwork ethic as a defining characteristic of human nature. Weber wasconvinced, and convinced many other people at the time, thatProtestantism was undergirded by certain fundamental moral and ethicalimperatives that were played out in the world of work, the so-calledProtestant work ethic, in ways that were superior to those of non-Protestantcultures. Thus, in reality, Weber viewed bureaucracy as embodying andcodifying in the world of work certain views of human nature that hebelieved were inherent in Protestant theology. The two were, in his mind,closely linked.

Let us return to the concept of organizational behavior in which B = f (p • e).In exercising leadership, the leader has an array of options from which tochoose in influencing the nature and quality of the organizationalenvironment with which members interact in the course of their daily work.How one chooses depends on one’s understanding of what kinds ofbehaviors are desirable and sought, on the one hand, and how they arelikely to be elicited in the organization’s environment, on the other. If, forexample, you think that Machiavelli understood the realities of moderneducational organizations, then his advice on leadership will be appealingand appear practical. If, on the other hand, you think that schools are bestunderstood as bureaucracies, then you will do your best to create abureaucratic environment for people to work in.

However, if you think of people in Theory Y terms, then you will try to createthe organizational environment likely to elicit and support the highmotivation and high levels of effort that they will find satisfying in theirwork. Such an environment is growth-enhancing and engages the membersof the organization in personal growth and development as well as inorganizational growth and development—that is, a healthy state of

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increasing ability to identify and solve its own problems in an ever-changing world. An important part of such an organizational environment isthe type of leadership that James MacGregor Burns described astransforming (Burns’s original term, later called transformational ortransformative).

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Transformational LeadershipThe idea of transforming, or transformational, leadership wasconceptualized by James MacGregor Burns (1978) and has directlyinfluenced the thinking of scholars ever since. Burns’s insights were laterdeveloped and elaborated by Bernard Bass (1985). They have subsequentlybeen used as the basis of research, such as that of Warren Bennis and BurtNanus (1985), Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1983), and Judy B. Rosener(1990), each of whom studied corporate leaders, while ThomasSergiovanni (1992) used the ideas of transformational leadership toorganize a critique of school reform.

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Transformational Leadership Comparedand Contrasted with TransactionalLeadership

The heart of Burns’s analysis was to compare and contrast traditionaltransactional leadership with the newer idea of transforming leadership.Having explained that leadership is different from simply wielding powerover people, Burns went on to explain that there are two basic types ofleadership. In the most commonly used type of leadership, the relationshipbetween leader and followers is based on quid pro quo transactionsbetween them. Transactional educational leaders can and do offer jobs,security, tenure, favorable ratings, and more in exchange for the support,cooperation, and compliance of followers.

In contrast, “the transformational leader looks for potential motives infollowers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of thefollower. The result of transforming leadership is a relationship of mutualstimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and mayconvert leaders into moral agents” (Burns, 1978, p. 4). This evokes a third,and higher level of leadership—the concept of moral leadership that beganto receive so much attention in education in the 1990s.

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Moral Leadership

The concept of moral leadership comprises three related ideas:

First, the relationship between the leader and those who are led is notone merely of power but is a genuine sharing of mutual needs,aspirations, and values. The genuineness of this sharing is tested bywhether the participation of followers is a matter of choice that iscontrolled by the followers.Second, the followers have latitude in responding to the initiatives ofleaders: They have the ability to make informed choices about who theywill follow and why. As we shall explain more fully, the concept oftransforming leadership means that followers voluntarily involvethemselves in the leadership process. Among other things, followersvoluntarily grant power and authority to leaders and are free to withdrawthat grant. Therefore, in the highest level of transforming leadership,which is moral leadership, the followers must have access to alternativeleaders from whom to choose, and they must have knowledge ofalternative plans and programs they can embrace.Third, leaders take responsibility for delivering on the commitments andrepresentations made to followers in negotiating the compact betweenleader and followers: “Thus, moral leadership is not mere preaching, orthe uttering of pieties, or the insistence on social conformity. Moralleadership emerges from, and always returns to, the fundamental wantsand needs, aspirations, and values of followers” (Burns, 1978, p. 4). Inthis sense, moral leadership is very different from the thin veneer ofparticipation that administrators frequently use to give theirrelationships with followers some patina of genuine involvement whilecontrol remains firmly in the administrators’ hands.

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A Progression

A progression is clearly inherent in the concept of transforming leadership:

At the lowest level of functioning is the exercise of power to exact thecompliance of followers, which is not leadership at all.At the entry level of leadership is transactional leadership, wherein theleader and followers bargain with each other to establish a “contract”for working together.At a higher level of functioning is transforming leadership, in which theleaders and followers mutually engage in common cause, joined bytheir shared aspirations and values.At the highest level is moral leadership, which demands motivatingemotional stimuli, such as a shared mission, a sense of mutualpurpose, and a covenant of shared values interwoven with the daily lifeand practices of ordinary people to inspire new and higher levels ofcommitment and involvement.

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A Process of Growth and DevelopmentThrough Instructional Leadership

The levels in this progression in transforming leadership increasingly drawon the higher levels of the motivations of followers and, in return, offerincreasing opportunities for followers and leaders to grow and developincreasing capacities for effective organizational behavior. Thus,transforming leaders engage the aspirations of followers, tap theirmotivations, energize their mental and emotional resources, and involvethem enthusiastically in the work to be done. This kind of leadership doesnot merely obtain the compliance of followers; it evokes their personalcommitment as they embrace the goals to be achieved as their own, seeingthem as an opportunity for a willing investment of their effort. It transformsthe roles of both followers and leaders, so they become nearlyinterdependent; their aspirations, motives, and values merged in mutualcommitment to achieve the shared goals. Burns’s focus was politicalleadership, not educational leadership, and he used Gandhi as one well-known exemplar of both transforming and moral leadership. One alsothinks of the leadership of Martin Luther King, Jr. But such leadership is notlimited to those who appear larger than life on the world stage. Manycoaches, in various sports ranging from football to tennis, illustrateeffective leadership in their work. Indeed, the metaphor of the coach ispopular in speaking of leadership in many kinds of organizations. Manywho have followed Burns’s scholarly lead have described how readily hisconcepts of transforming leadership apply to realms other than politics,such as education and business. Increasingly, one finds literature thatdescribes the behavior of people in high-performing schools as beingconsistent with transformational leadership.

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We know that members of educational organizations thrive on theexperience of being part of an organization that is constantly growing in itscapacity to detect and solve its own problems. A school having suchcharacteristics is seen by teachers as a successful and effective place inwhich to work. For example, a substantial body of research, such as DanLortie’s classic Schoolteacher (Lortie, 1975), tells us that teachers arehighly motivated by feeling successful and effective in their teaching. Themore recent body of work by Linda Darling-Hammond (2006; Darling-Hammond & Bransford, 2007; Darling-Hammond & Richardson, 2009)tells us that teachers are successful when they are provided with thenecessary resources, such as extensive professional development; andschool structures, such as professional learning communities and commonplanning times. Darling-Hammond also supports National BoardCertification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards(NBPTS) (Sato, Chung Wei, & Darling-Hammond, 2008), a process thatemphasizes a commitment to students and their learning, knowledge in theuse of assessment practices, teachers being active members of learningcommunities in their school, and teachers participating in sustainedprofessional development.

From such studies of teaching and learning, one can conclude that aneducational leader in a school might seek to foster a culture that facilitatesteaching and enhances the likelihood that one will be successful at it, thatenergizes and applauds the efforts of teachers, that rewards and supportssuccess in teaching, and that celebrates teaching as a central value in thelife of the school. This is the result of instructional leadership at its finest.Such a school is likely to have a history that stresses the importance ofteaching, heroes who epitomize achievement in teaching, and rituals andceremonies that celebrate teaching and the successes of teachers. Theseare likely to be prominent characteristics of the school that are emphasizeddaily at all levels of the organization. Thus, one can exercise leadership byworking with and through teachers to transform the culture of the school

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and, in the process, transform the very ways in which the leader and theteachers relate to one another. It is widely believed that the vehicle forbringing about such a transformation is a vision of the future that is better,more desirable, more compelling, and more personally fulfilling than thereality of the present.

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ImplementingTranformational and MoralLeadershipEducational leaders need to be aware of several important concepts whenimplementing their theory of practice in educational organizations. Theseconcepts should be helpful in providing practical applications oftransformational and moral leadership. These concepts are distributedleadership, professional learning communities, parent involvement, andsustainable leadership. We then end this chapter with a discussion of thestudy of leadership by Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005) that hasreceived wide acceptance in providing direction to educational leaders.

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Distributed Leadership

Most organizations to some degree empower members to makedecisions. For example, they may have committees that function for aparticular purpose, and they are given some level of decision-makingauthority. In a traditional hierarchical organization, this authority level isminimal. They may have “recommending” authority only, and the officialleaders make the decision. The term distributed leadership is used todescribe the type of leadership that is used in organizations thatpurposefully empower teams and individuals to make important decisions.Distributed leadership is defined or used in various ways by researchers,but we like the following definition by Spillane and Diamond (2007) todescribe the distributed leadership perspective:

Leadership refers to activities tied to the core work of the organization that aredesigned by organizational members to influence the motivation, knowledge,affect, or practices of other organizational members. (p. 4)

This definition does not tie leadership to specific individuals in formalleadership positions, such as a school principal. The distributed leadershipperspective is a framework for studying leadership and managementbehaviors and interactions that are “tied to the core work,” which in schoolsis teaching and learning, and the activities are understood from the contextof the leaders, the followers, and the situation in which they occur. A keycomponent of this definition is that leadership is “designed byorganizational members:” That is, these activities are purposeful anddeveloped by many, not only by the designated leader, and there is broad-based participation of teams and individuals that is not just simpledelegation.

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Professional Learning Communities

From a practical standpoint, we believe it is best to implement distributiveleadership by using the concept of a professional learning community(PLC). Peter Senge (1990) popularized the notion of a learning organizationin his book The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the LearningOrganization. Senge focused on organizations as systems in which leadersseek to bring people together to collaborate on ways to achieve theorganization’s goals. Implementation of his five disciplines—personalmastery, mental models, shared vision, team learning, and systemsthinking—is the bedrock of a learning community. These concepts havebeen described for applications in schools most notably by RichardDuFour and Robert Eaker (1998). Professional learning communities are ameans to distribute leadership throughout the school and they have thefollowing characteristics

1. Shared mission, vision, and values2. Collective inquiry3. Collaborative teams4. Action orientation and experimentation5. Continuous improvement�. Results orientation

Using these characteristics as a guide, all organizational members togetherdevelop or revise the mission, vision, and values of the school that resultsin a collective commitment to its principles and future direction. Then,individual PLCs are formed around common interests to promote the visionand mission. In schools, these common interests may be grade-levelteams, cross-departmental teams to work on interdisciplinary curriculum,subject area teams, and so forth. The PLCs work collaboratively to askquestions about what they are doing, where they are going, and how they

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will get there. Members of PLCs learn together and build the capacity of theschool. They question, experiment, collect data, and use results tocontinually improve the teaching and learning processes that willimplement their mission and lead them toward their vision.

So how are schools transformed into PLCs? DuFour and Eaker (1998) tellus that transformation can be achieved through a focus on “the three Cs ofsustaining an improvement initiative—communication, collaboration, andculture” (p. 106).

Communication involves the use of many different forms of media andbehaviors that inform constituents about the following:

What do we plan for? Focuses attention on current goals and activities.What do we monitor? Identifies what will be monitored and how datawill be collected, and shares data with everyone.What questions do we ask? These are the tough questions that focuson the mission and vision, such as the following: Are we working on theimportant learning processes that help students achieve?What do we model? Everyone models what is important, e.g., theprincipal actively engages in collaborative teamwork.How do we allocate our time? Time is set aside for the importantaspects of a PLC, such as time to collaborate.What do we celebrate? Celebrations broadcast what is valued.What are we willing to confront? Everyone must be willing to confrontthose who behave in ways that undermine the mission and vision of theschool.

Collaboration, the second C, is deliberative. The school’s formal leadersmust provide opportunities for groups to work together by building timeinto the school day. Providing collaborative opportunities is perhaps not themost difficult aspect of developing PLCs, but it is the most important.

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Without collaboration, teachers are isolated in their classrooms, andinteraction opportunities occur only in the teachers’ lounge or workroom.Collaborative teams, as indicated above, can be formed according to gradelevels or subject areas, on the basis of students who are taught by a groupof teachers, by areas of schoolwide emphases, or by areas of professionaldevelopment.

The third C, culture, is a focus on the values, beliefs, traditions, and normsof the school. Four strategies for affecting and shaping school cultureinclude the following:

1. Articulating, modeling, promoting, and protecting the shared valuesthat have been identified

2. Systematically engaging staff in reflective dialogue that asks themto search for discrepancies between the values they have endorsedand the day-to-day operation of the school

3. Inundating staff with stories that reflect the culture at work4. Celebrating examples of shared values and progress in the

improvement process with ceremonies and rituals (DuFour & Eaker,1998, p. 148)

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Parent Involvement

One of the values that should be part of any school is the importance ofparents or guardians in the involvement of their children’s education.Parents should be partners with the school and with their children in theeducational experience. Researchers have shown that parent involvement isimportant in improving their children’s achievement. Parents can helpmotivate their children and help reinforce at home what is important inschool. No matter what educational level parents have attained, they can bean important part of the process. Two meta-analyses of 104 researchstudies on parent involvement confirm the importance of parentinvolvement. One study of parent involvement at the secondary school levelfound that family involvement related with higher student achievementacross both the general population and minority students (Jeynes, 2007).In another meta-analysis, elementary and middle schools students whoseparents were involved in their education

earn higher grades and test scores and enroll in higher level programs, are morelikely to be promoted, pass, earn credits, . . . attend school, have better social skills,demonstrate improved behaviors, graduate and pursue post secondary education.(Henderson & Mapp, 2002, p. 7)

These positive results were consistent across all demographic subgroups.

It is clear that parent involvement in schools, including PLCs, is critical, sohow should parents be involved? That is, what is meant by parentinvolvement? One of the national leaders in the movement to involveparents in schools is Joyce Epstein. Her model for parent involvement hassix components; we have provided one implementation example for eacharea:

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1. Parents as providers of the child’s basic needs. Provide parenteducation classes or encourage parents to complete their generaleducation diploma (GED).

2. Communication between the school and the home. Conference withparents when report cards are distributed.

3. Parents as volunteers at the school. Establish school and classroomvolunteer programs.

4. Parents as instructors in the home. Inform parents of homeworkpolicies and encourage parents to ask children about theirhomework.

5. Parents involved in school governance. Actively recruit a crosssection of parents to serve on the Parent-Teachers’ Association(PTA) and to PLC decision-making school teams.

�. Parents working in collaboration with the entire community. Provideparents with information on community resources and services thatare available to them, such as health services, social services,recreation, and others. (Epstein, Sanders, Simon, Salinas, Jansorn,& Van Voorhis, 2002)

DuFour and Eaker (1998), in their work on PLCs, emphasized promotingand supporting parenting skills and ensuring that parents are involved indecisions that affect their children. The process of involving parents is notan easy task. Michael Fullan (2005) found in his work with schools thatdeveloping ways to involve parents was one of the most difficult problemsto solve. But it is worth the effort because once parents are involved in theirchildren’s education in meaningful ways, the PLC process is complete. Thequestion then becomes the following: After schools have developedsuccessful PLCs that distribute leadership, involve parents, and begin theimprovement process, how do they sustain this process over time?

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Voices from the Field Utilizing Effective School ResearchThrough Professional Learning Communities

Jim GasparinoPrincipal, Pelican Marsh Elementary School, Naples FloridaChanging demographics in schools, such as a wider variation insocioeconomic status of students or increases in the level of ethnicdiversity, are often associated with declining school performance.Pelican Marsh Elementary School faced such changes when we becamea Title I choice school allowing students from Title I schools, deemedto be “failing” by the state accountability system, to attend our school.With the arrival of this new group of students, as well as changes ofattendance zones, our school faced significant increases in the numberof free and reduced lunch students and minority students within thespan of a couple of years. We were worried about our studentachievement test scores.

In our situation, standardized test scores actually improved as our freeand reduced lunch population and diversity rose significantly fromabout 8% to 33%. Our school had been an A school every year and hadconsistently scored among the top performing elementary schools inthe district and state. So, being faced with this challenge, I had to find away to bring about changes within the school to meet these newexternal challenges successfully. It was equally important to recognizethat some values and beliefs must never change, such as establishingand maintaining high expectations and believing that all children arecapable of meeting those expectations. What did need to change washow we helped our students meet those expectations.

Principals cannot mandate change from their offices, and if they do,they potentially face reluctant teachers. School leaders must be able todevelop and communicate their vision of the school so that others may

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grow to share that vision. With our new student population, we couldonly work collaboratively—teachers and community—to recognize thatour reality had changed and to examine new ways to meet the newreality. There were no new mandates, directives, or programs at ourschool. What did occur was discussion, examination, and sharedprofessional learning. We did come to recognize that we had to meetour challenges on two fronts—examining both our school culture andinstructional strategies, which could only be accomplished successfullythrough promoting a sense of collective responsibility.

In a culture that seeks to promote collective responsibility, it mustfollow that if one teacher has a problem, all do. School leaders can onlypromote collaboration through modeling it and enabling teachers toexperience it. We recognized that teaching can be an isolatedprofession with limited opportunities for consultation among peers. Wealso recognized our collective knowledge was greater than any oneeducator’s abilities. However, there was no structure, and little time, towork together.

Professional learning communities or PLCs, based on the work ofRichard DuFour, presented an opportunity for teachers to support oneanother and work together to improve student learning. After an initialintroduction, a cadre of teachers, our informal leaders, attended trainingon PLCs with the principal. It was considered critical that as manyteachers as possible receive the same training. We also shared theresponsibility of training our colleagues. In addition to the train-the-trainer approach, grade- level teams modeled PLC meetings for otherteams as well.

PLCs have provided our teachers with the means to promote andimplement focused grade-level planning based on the analysis ofstudent performance data and to develop a better understanding of the

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state standards and benchmarks. The PLCs at Pelican MarshElementary represent an interdependent team effort to maintain highexpectations for all learners and ensure academic achievement andgrowth. This team concept is met through collaboration and sharedresponsibilities, and each team has a learning community facilitator, ateam leader, and assigned roles for each team member based onteacher strengths. Each team develops protocols and norms (seeexample below) to guide their work. Additionally, a member of theadministration/leadership team is assigned to each PLC.

The school leadership must recognize their responsibility to provide thelearning community with the necessary resources to be effective. Tothis end, each grade level has a shared, common planning time.Classroom teachers are given a duty-free schedule. Administrators andnon-instructional support staff also provide coverage for teachersduring assemblies, giving them additional planning time.

We view PLCs as a means to provide the structure necessary forcollaborative planning, analysis of student performance, unpackingstandards and benchmarks, and promoting conversations aboutteaching and learning among teachers. This process is accomplished ina cyclical process of assessment, data analysis, examining thestandards, changing instruction as needed, and then back toassessment. Teams use the information they gain to help comparestrengths and weaknesses across the grade level and discussinstructional strategies, drawing on their collective expertise rather thansitting alone in a classroom.

It is also critical for the school leader to celebrate the work and successof the students and teachers. Recognizing the efforts of all members ofthe school family serves to sustain a positive, collaborative schoolculture. PLCs helped us achieve continued success.

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Example Norms: 5th Grade PLC Team—Norms

Be on time (9:15 am) and try not to schedule any other meetings duringPLC time. If you are going to miss a meeting please let PLC facilitator(Segal) & assigned administrator (Laurie) know

Stay engaged and be an involved memberStay on topicCome prepared: bring binder every week, if there is a spreadsheetdue please have it filled out in advanceDon’t take the data personallyLet the team know if you would like to be put on the agendaLast Thursday of every month is MTSS (math or writing)Roles: Kristin-secretary, Marlana-task master, Julie-co-facilitator,Sharon-production, and Laurie-public relations

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Example Protocol

Standards Focused Planning

TEAM MEMBERS PRESENT (X or √ after name)


School: Pelican Marsh Elementary Date:_________ PLC Facilitator:___ Team/Grade: Grade

Leadership Member Present: _______________________

A. Getting To Know Your Standards

Strand/Body of Knowledge:

Standard/Big Idea:


What do students need to do to demonstrate mastery of thestandard?

Prerequisite Skills/General Knowledge:

Critical Thinking Skills/Real World Application:

B. Show Your Knowledge of the Standards ( Cut and paste workproduct here once created. )

Diagnostic Rubric for Assignment:



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Red/Major Intervention:

C. Analyze Student Achievement ( Use ASA forms as needed. )

Date and Agreed Upon Actions for Next Meeting:

Leadership Member: _________________Learning Team Facilitator:______________

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Sustainable Leadership

Sustainable leadership has its origins in the sustainable environmentmovement that was brought to world attention by the report of theBrundtland Commission (formerly the World Commission on Environmentand Development and renamed for its chair Gro Harlem Brundtland).Established by the United Nations in 1983, the commission was chargedwith developing long-term strategies for sustainable development andrecommending ways for countries to cooperate in economic and socialdevelopment. The Brundtland Commission released its report in 1987 andin the foreword, Gro Harlem Brundtland stated the following:

The Commission has completed its work. We call for a common endeavour andfor new norms of behaviour at all levels and in the interests of all. The changes inattitudes, in social values, and in aspirations that the report urges will depend onvast campaigns of education, debate and public participation.

To this end, we appeal to “citizens” groups, to nongovernmental organizations, toeducational institutions, and to the scientific community. They have all playedindispensable roles in the creation of public awareness and political change in thepast. They will play a crucial part in putting the world onto sustainabledevelopment paths, in laying the groundwork for Our Common Future.(UN Docu

Ray writers

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