Sunday, September 11, 2011

Teacher Evaluation

Discuss how teacher evaluation is "a golden opportunity" to improve teacher and student performance?

Teacher evaluation is a "golden opportunity" to improve teacher and student performance because it provides a forum to discuss best practices in teaching and learning. Continuous learning and growth should be the purposes of evaluative procedures, not just for remediation purposes, but for extending practices. Evaluation allows for the meta-cognition of teaching to help formulate the "why we do" behind the "what we do.". Through this exploration is the opportunity to address deficiencies and to celebrate achievements, and establish a process for growth.

As Anthony Alvarado said, teacher learning is the key to improving student achievement. Students learn from teachers, so the more teachers know then the more students can achieve from their interactions with their teacher.

According to Danielson and McGreal, traditional evaluation models are flawed. What then are the “best practices” for supervision and evaluation to improve student learning?

Traditional evaluation models are flawed because of the evaluative judgments inherent in the process. The judgments can be inaccurate, inconsistent and not based on evidence, and may differ depending upon who is evaluating. These traditional forms of evaluation also do not differentiate for varying levels of experience and expertise. Danielson and McGreal recommend a differentiated approach to evaluations: new teachers are evaluated using criteria specific to their needs for growth; experienced teachers using criteria to professional growth initiatives; and teachers in need of improvement using criteria that establishes core knowledge and skills required for effective teaching.

Effective Instruction

What does the literature describe as the components/domains of effective instruction?
Effective Instruction takes on many shapes and forms, but essentially it is practices inclusive of challenging curriculum that both respect and engage learners. According to Danielson, the domains of effective instruction include planning and preparation, classroom environment, instruction, and professional responsibilities. Planning and preparation encompass the foundational knowledge of curriculum, instructional practices and resources required for the lesson. The classroom environment domain encompasses the classroom management systems the develop a culture of learning. The instructional domain includes the active practices of communicating, engaging, assessing, and responding. The professional responsibilities domain includes the efforts towards continuous improvement and development of the class, the families, the school, and the profession through reflection, communication, and self-learning.

How do you know effective teaching when you see it?
To see effective teaching, first one must be knowledgeable of the curriculum, resources and relationships within the environment. from there, the evaluator can assess the instructional practices being employed and the reflective engagement of the learners within the context of the lesson. The four domains provide a framework for engaging learners in lessons where the taught-curriculum best aligns with the learned-curriculum, that translates into achievement based on the assessed curriculum. Through observing the process and building the relationships with the instructional staff, the evaluator can know effective learning because they can have appropriate knowledge of what is taught, see how it is taught, and reflect on the process based upon the results of formative and summative assessment to determine the learning.

In what way might the presence of teacher leaders require a differentiated approach to supervision?
As the authority of leaders moves along the continuum from bureaucratic, to personal, to professional, then to moral authority, the amount of differentiated supervision needed increases. At the bureaucratic level, all teachers are held to the same requirements, and evaluated accordingly in a directive supervision approach. At the personal level, there is an understanding and empathic approach that sees others more individually, thus taking into context the needs and strengths of the teacher in a directive informational approach. Further, at the professional level, not only are teachers viewed for their strengths and needs, but their ability to self-address those strengths and needs increases, requiring the evaluator to become more facilitator and collaborator within the professional collegial relationship. Lastly, approaching the moral level, the school community takes a flattened approach to the hierarchy of evaluation and supervision and looks not just to the classroom, but to the greater, non-directive, mission driven approach to the vocation.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Ethical Issues of Moral Supervision

What are the ethical issues of moral supervision?
Supervisors, due to their position within the school, are in a position to exert great influence over the development of the learning community. They are in a position to determine the structures of learning and processes of the school. They have the responsibility to act with integrity demonstrating respect for the rights of others, act fairly with impartiality and sensitivity, and act ethically by making and explaining decisions based on ethical or legal foundations.

Nature and Obligations of Supervisory Leadership

What are the moral nature and obligations of supervisory leadership?

The moral nature of leadership is that of relationships with teachers and relationships with students. The relationship with the teacher needs to be respectful and based on trust, where both the supervisor and teacher can feel open for honest interchange. The relationship with the student needs to be based on the moral activity of learning, and the development of a community conducive to learning.

The supervisor has the moral obligations to promote a moral community, ideals and virtues of teaching, and the character of learning and teaching. In promoting a moral community, the supervisor ensures that institutional procedures do not become more important than the people being served. In promoting the ideals and virtues of teaching, the supervisor commits to practice in an exemplary way, practice toward valued social ends, develop not only one's practice but to the practice itself, and a commitment to the ethic of caring. In the character of learning and teaching, the supervisor promotes the relationality of learning, a dialogue between learner and the reality under study.

Sources of Authority for Supervisory Leadership

What are the sources of authority for supervisory leadership?

Bureaucratic Authority relies on roles, rules and regulations to support the authority of the leader. Supervisors provide descriptions of expectations and then manage others toward those ends, following the policy of "expect and inspect."

Personal Authority relies on the motivational skills of the leader, where others want to accomplish the vision of the school for the leader. This form of authority is usually associated with the large leaders and follows the policy of "what gets rewarded gets done."

Professional Authority relies on the expertise and skill of the leader to provide authority for decisions. Professional authority is based on the expertise of teaching and the respect that fellow educators have for the values and skills of the leader to guide the school.

Moral Authority relies on the shared values of the school as a community, where all of the staff feel responsible to the achievement of the vision.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Supervision and Evaluation

Similarities and differences between supervision and evaluation
Some may feel that supervision and evaluation go hand in hand, where supervisors perform evaluations and that evaluations are performed by supervisors. In actuality, the purpose of supervision is to coordinate efforts that contribute to student achievement. Evaluations are just one component of the efforts used to develop a culture of student achievement.

Evaluations are the activities that observe practice and stimulate change and development. Monitor and adjust. Observations and evaluations are not the sole responsibility of supervisors. To be most effective, evaluations should be from various roles, such as peers and coaches, and incorporate a varied breadth of environments.

Knowledge, skills, attitudes and values do effective supervisors possess
Effective supervisors possess knowledge, skills, attitudes and values that contribute to the effectiveness of the organization and it's ability to teach and prepare students. The supervisor develops a shared vision with the school. This vision is then promoted and reinforced, encouraging a culture where knowledge and expectations of the organization are known and lived by all. The culture includes elements of instructional development for effective learning tied to professional development for continuous learning. The leader manages the organizations resources, and collaborates with community for further resource development. Finally, the leader establishes credibility within the educational environment by leading with integrity and incorporating the larger vision of education.

Roles supervision and evaluation play in the foundation of a learning community.
Both supervision and evaluation are means to achieve an ends that encourage the vision and culture of the school. Supervision coordinates the efforts and activities that increase student achievement, and evaluations determine accountability to the culture towards that end.

When I served as assistant principal, I supervised many elements of the school, from recesses, cafeteria, discipline and assessments to staff. The supervision part of the role was like a quarterback on a football team, distributing resources and making sure people were in the right position. But evaluation was a large part of the position as well, evaluating instructional practices in the classroom, evaluating PBS data for school discipline issues, evaluating lunch and recess procedures for efficiencies. Supervision is responsibility and evaluation is accountability.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Evidence Based Research

With the advent of No Child Left Behind, and the increased emphasis on Scientifically Based Research as a measuring stick for effective programs and practices, the field of education leadership research has tended more towards quantitative research as opposed to qualitative research because of the underpinning scientific foundation of cause and effect within quantitative research. The aspect of quantitative research that deals with causal relationships by exploring independent and dependent variables along a hypothesis is what associates quantitative research with the "evidence based" term.

This type of search is preferred to qualitative research because qualitative research have tendencies towards bias, and has a focus on attitudes that do not provide an accurate cause/effect relationship when faced with replicating the study or implementing the practice/program. Quantitative studies seek the relational evidence that can be easier replicated and implemented because specific variables are studied and experimented for proving relationships.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Factors that Effect Variances in Student Academic Achievement

The Coleman Report explores many factors that impact student achievement, and the effects of variances within those factors. Through my review of those factors, I classified the factors into two categories: Input factors and Output factors.

The input factors would be factors related to differences that students have as they enter into educational situations. These differences vary from sociology-economic situations, friends, and history of quality teachers. While reading many of these factors, the one that stuck out would be the differences in student experiences over the summer, where students who have experiences that enhance their educational growth tend to experience greater growth during their school experience, while those who lack the experiences tend to have less growth. I contribute this to the enhancement of contextual experiences upon which to apply educational instruction. for example, a student who is unfamiliar with the Taiga biome is at a disadvantage from the student who just vacationed to that part of the world and is already familiar with the flora and fauna of the biome. Good, bad or indifferent, it is a difference that expresses itself and can impact student growth. I feel that this factor can be impacted by educational organizations through the integration of summer learning experiences, similar and including summer school. One school in the St. Louis area (where I have previously worked) provides organized trips to national parks for learning experiences tailored to upcoming student curricular topics that the tea hers can use to build upon the context of the summer learning experience. But to a more mainstream extent, this factor provides evidence to support summer enrichment and experiences for students.

Output factors would be those factors that educational organizations are expected to produce from the students. NCLB provides normative targets that districts are expected to meet, and ties the achievement of meeting those targets to funding, therefore forcing schools to modify their learning experiences to accommodate the testing that provides the indicators. (Sometimes excessively so, take the recent Atlanta situation). However, there are opportunities and trends that account for student input differences, and explore value added models of assessing achievement. This model shows more respect for student, teacher and organization, and focuses on growth of students of various and dynamic input differences.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Science of Education

Many people feel that education needs to become more "scientific" in their approach to student achievement. Science and education have both similarities and differences in their approaches. Education and science differs because science often focus on the results of an experiment, while education tends to concern some question about schools and looks at data from other studies to address the concern. However, the two fields are similar in that they both use research as a means to make better decisions about practical problems.

The fields of education and medicine, specifically, are similar in that they deal with professional approaches to achieving better results to concerns. As a professional it means that there is a large body of knowledge in the field as a foundation for action, there is mastery of that knowledge, and they practice their profession.

In the medical field, doctors ask question, take baseline samples and assess the situation, and then apply their knowledge to determine a course of action to address the situation. Education should be similar, using assessment to determine a course for learning. While I disagree with the term "cure"', educators need to differentiate instruction to meet the particular needs of each student based on assessment of student needs coordinated with learning targets. Instruction can then be prescribed to move the student towards the target.

To move the field of education towards more science and medicine approach, it is important to include in the field of knowledge that is the foundation of the profession research that is based in science and experimentation. With the inclusion of "scientifically based research", educators are able to choose from rigorous programs known to be effective rather than recreate research to achieve improvement. While not a guarantee that implementing these programs will achieve great improvement, the confidence in past performance can provide guidance towards desired results through the implementation of the program.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Elements of Diversity

Among the most populous of diverse students are those with physical or learning disabilities. These students may require adaptations in the process or product, but vigilance needs to be made not to simplify or change the curriculum, as these students both need and want to work with their peers. One of the philosophies that address the social needs of students with disabilities is inclusion; teaching students in the mainstream classroom as much as possible as opposed to pulling the student out for specialized instruction. This not only meets the students' education needs, but also the social and interpersonal aspects of their education experience.

Public education mandates a separation of church and state in the education of students, but this disregards a major passion that exists for many students. Litigation also dissuaded schools from addressing religious differences and education in schools. However, religious diversity should be seen as an opportunity to develop tolerance and understanding between members of varying religious backgrounds. To include students with diverse religious backgrounds, it is important to remember that in public education that you can teach religion, not preach religion, and this knowledge will build understanding.

Students with ethnic diversity are possibly the most observable form of diversity, yet possibly the least likely indicator of academic risk. Students of ethnic diversity are susceptible to stereotypical bias and bigotry, but background experiences may be heterogeneous with other members of the community. Ethnic differences may include cultural elements, skin and speech habits, and social interactions. Students with ethnic diversity tend to gravitate towards other members of their ethnic community, and self-isolate at times.

Sociology-Economic Status
Sociology-economic diversity is a major factor for schools, as this diversity impacts contextual experiences that students bring with them to school. The larger the diversity of status, the greater the differences in experiences and relations that these groups may have in common, which makes personalizing an educational experience for all students difficult for the teacher to provide. These students may also feel self-conscious about their monetary state, and compensate with actions that might provide disruption to the community.

Sexual Orientation
Students with diverse sexual orientations are often the targets of isolation and bullying activities from their peers. The stresses these students experience can have an adverse impact upon their education experience. These students seek community and associations with others to both express their diversity and to seek refuge from the stresses of their situations.

National Origin
Immigrant students and students with English language proficiency issues are a growing segment within the diversity element that schools must address. these are students who may also have diversity of religion and ethnicity, but due to the limitations with the English language, they have difficulty acclimating to schools, let alone perform proficiently of educational issues.

Gender is an element of diversity in schools where bias or limitations are imposed upon the group due to perception of abilities. An example of this diversity would be the membership of girls into STEM classes and fields. Generally girls are underrepresented in those areas because of the perceived limitations in those fields.

The issue of obesity in education is a recent element in which schools need to have awareness. Many issues have been associated with the trending group, from inactivity to food choices, but students with diverse body images are often isolated, bullied, or can suffer from adverse health effects from their size.

Thoughts on Diversity

My district is very much like many other districts in that we have elements of diversity, and those areas seem to always expand. As those learners from diverse backgrounds expand, assessment seems to cause the focus to narrow on those sub-groups. Schools, like mine, have become reactive to measures of accountability on assessments rather than accountability on student achievement in society. Instructional programs need more than half-measures reactive to policy, they need professional development programs that explores the underlying differences and that differentiates to provide contextual learning experiences for our students.

My district incorporates several programs, experiences, and personnel that address diversity in our school. We use the home-visit program, where staff visit the homes of at-risk students to make connections with the families and see the lives and backgrounds of their students. This program provides context for the teachers, and aids in their understanding that all students are different, have different backgrounds and situations, and require different actions for success.

Our school also allows for field trip experiences and technology resources that provide context for students. Since students come from many backgrounds, many do not have similar background experiences. By taking students on field trips, the school provides a similar experience for all students that the teacher can build upon. Similarly, technology resources in the classroom provide an opportunity to build context outside of the walls of the school. Some students take vacations or have family experiences that they can draw upon in school. Providing those resources to all students allows the students to personalize that learning.

My district also employs specific personnel to provide additional resources for students. Some of the teaching assistants roles provide reading and math supplement to students who display needs. These experiences are for all students, but a majority of the students are students with diverse needs. My district also have personnel for students with disabilities, and students with English Language Learner needs. These teachers have a strong desire to help all students, and specifically students they feel they have skills to assist.

The district leader has a responsibility to provide an educational environment and experience for the success of all students. By dedicating resources to meeting the needs of all students, the leader ensures that students have opportunities to achieve success. Leaders also must provide professional development opportunities for all teachers so that they can explore topics of diversity and the impact upon their instruction, and continue to grow in their performance and perceptions.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Diversity in Education

The United States has historically been a melting pot of cultures, and public education is an accurate representation of that diversity. Public education is defined by the aspect that education is a right for all people. Along with the right of public education for all comes the responsibility to educate all in public education. This element of diversity can either be accommodated as a public policy issue or celebrated as a representation of humanity. Either way, it is the responsibility of the educational leader to create a culture that promotes social justice and educational context development for all students.

It is not enough to be color blind in education; educators need to see the differences in each other, determine the needs of each student, differentiate instruction to educate each student, and provide opportunities to develop appreciation for diversity amongst the school and community. Gary Howard, in his article As Diversity Grows, So Must We, describes five phases that schools go through to embrace diversity in education: building trust, engaging personal culture, confronting issues of social dominance and social justice, transforming instructional practices, engaging the entire school community.,-So-Must-We.aspx

Friday, June 10, 2011

Moral Leadership Chapter 7 Collegiality as a Professional Virtue

  • There is widespread agreement that collegiality among teachers is an important ingredient of promoting better working conditions, improving teaching practice, and getting better results.
  • Understood as a form of professional virtue, collegiality is another powerful substitute for leadership.
  • Barriers to achieving collegiality in schools are both structural and attitudinal.
  • Contrived collegiality, by forcing people together, can take a toll on a teachers' time and compromise their professional autonomy.

The Dimensions of Virtue
  • There are two dimensions of collegiality as professional virtue. The first involves the fulfillment of obligations that stem from memberships - in the case of the school, membership in the teaching profession and in the school as a community.
  • The second dimension of collegiality has to do with why one behaves collegially.
  • What makes two people colleagues is common cause, shared professional values, and a shared professional heritage

Collegiality and the Control Paradox
  • Every organized human activity ... gives rise to two fundamental and opposing requirements: the division of labor into various tasks to be performed and the coordination of these tasks to accomplish the activity.
  • One way to solve the control paradox is through collegiality as a substitute for leadership.
  • The six strategies are
1. Directly and closely supervising teachers
2. Standardizing the work of teaching
3. Standardizing the outcomes of teaching
4. Emphasizing professional socialization
5. Emphasizing purposing
6. Structuring for collegiality and natural interdependence
  • If the strategy does not fit the level of complexity, the level of complexity will change to match the strategy
  • If form does not follow function, function will be shaped to fit the form.

Direct Supervision
The simplest way to control the work of people who have different responsibilities is to have one of those people take responsibility for the work of others.

Standardized Work Processes
Standardized work processes represent a form of coordination achieved on the drawing board before work is actually undertaken.

Standardized Outputs
Standardized outputs as a form of control are achieved when everyone is required to produce similar products or reach the same level of performance

Professional Socialization
In relying on professional socialization, one need not standardize either work processes or outputs to solve the control paradox. The term professional socialization means the upgrading of the knowledge base forteaching and an emphasis on teachers' professional obligations

Purposing and Shared Values
As a form of control, purposing and shared values can provide the substance of symbol management, furnishing the "glue" that binds people in a loosely connected world.

Collegiality and Natural Interdependence
When collegiality and natural interdependence are used, the control paradox can be solved through informal communication and the need for people to cooperate in order to be successful.

  • As work gets more complex, the emphasis must shift, from direct supervision to standardized work, standardized outputs, and emphasis on professional socialization, purposing, collegiality, and natural interdependence
  • Complex structures result in simple behaviors, and simple structures result in complex behaviors.

Collegiality can be another substitute for leadership, as the organization works for one another because of attachments that are made working towards the same goals. Collegiality can be strategists in six steps: direct and close supervision, standardization of work, standardization of outcomes, emphasizing professional socialization, emphasizing purposing, and structuring for collegiality and natural independence. These strategies work toward developing a set of behaviors that range from simple to complex, and can be modified to meet the complexity level of the organization.

This chapter attempts to describe collegiality and the effects that it has as a substitute for leadership. Collegiality is the professional socialization of the organization towards a goal. As the organization develops goals and visions, it will migrate across a continuum of complexity. The issue is that there are multiple communities within the organization that mint be at various levels of complexity and collegiality, and some leaders or members of the organization cross-section those communities, so their collegiality level may be different through their various interactions. I specifically think of staff that may work part time in a middle school and part time in the high school; the organizations may have differing approaches to collegiality and followership which may add emotional stresses.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Moral Leadership Chapter 3 The Sources of Authority for Leadership

  • When we base our leadership practice on bureaucratic authority, teachers respond appropriately or face the consequences.
  • Psychological authority is expressed in the form of motivational technology and human relations skills. When we base our leadership practice on psychological authority, teachers are supposed to respond to our personality, and to the pleasant environment that we provide, by behaving appropriately and collecting the rewards we make available.
  • Principals' being instructional leaders and basing their practice on teaching-effectiveness research or school-effectiveness research: in other words, rely on technical-rational authority. Technical-rational authority exists in the form of evidence derived from logic and scientific research.
  • Expect teachers to respond in light of what is considered to be true.
  • The true leader is one who builds in substitutes for "follow me" leadership, which enable people to respond from within.
  • "Follow me" leadership, in other words, is management-intensive.
  • It tends to induce a state of subordination among teachers
  • Professional authority, in the form of seasoned craft knowledge and personal expertise
  • Teachers can be expected to respond to common socialization, accepted tenets of practice, and internalized expertise
  • Moral authority- duties derived from widely shared values, ideas and ideals
  • Teachers can be expected to respond to shared commitments and felt interdependence
  • What to follow: the shared values and beliefs that define us as a community
  • Why: because it is morally right to do so
  • Whom should we follow: Ourselves as members and as morally conscious, committed people
  • expect and inspect
  • Most school administrators tend to see knowledge and skill about how to motivate, apply the correct leadership style, boost morale, and engineer the right interpersonal climate as representing the heart of what school administration is- the "core technology" of the educational administration profession
  • Psychological leadership cannot tap the full range and depth of human capacity and will
  • There are better motives for teachers', students', and parents' involvement than the leader's personality or psychological rewards
  • Being a successful administrator depends not on the adequacy of one's view, not on the educational policies that one adopts and how reasonable they are, and not on how successful one is in communicating these reasons to others.
  • Like other professionals, teachers cannot become effective by following scripts. Instead, they need to create knowledge in use as they practice - becoming skilled surfers who ride the wave of the pattern of teaching
  • Professional authority as a basis for leadership assumes that the expertise of teachers is what counts most
  • When there is conflict, knowledge yields
  • Professional authority is a very powerful force for governing what teachers do. For it to take hold, however, we need to increase our investment in teacher preparation, professional development, and other efforts to upgrade teaching
  • We can do much to advance leadership by moving moral authority - the authority of felt obligations and duties derived from widely shared professional and community values, ideas and ideals - to center stage.
  • We must direct our efforts to creating learning communities in each school.

This chapter focuses on the sources of authority that leaders have to influence the school: bureaucratic, psychological, technical-rational, professional and moral. These 5 sources of authority elicit different outcomes based on the level of followership. The main purpose of exercising authority is to provide development and increase instructional practice.

I feel that these stages are relatively appropriate through professional authority. Once entering into the phase of moral authority, the emphasis on leadership shifts from the leader in the professional phase, where the leader becomes facilitator to the organization. Moral authority to me seems to be tricky because control is left to the shared values of the organization. where this can be a drawback is if the organizational values shift over time and are out of perspective with the goals of the organization. In this case, the leader must employ various other sources of authority to steer the organization, which might cause some alignment issues.

Once an organization is at the professional and moral authority stages, there seems to be a connectedness between the leader and organization, so much so that any change in leadership might disturb the organizations maturity. A new leader entering an organization at an advanced phase needs to observe and flow for a while while gauging where the organization is at, and then contributing to the organization. In this sense, it is extremely important for the organization to hire for that leadership position based on the qualifications of the leader and the direction of leadership and goals for program improvement, but also for the followers in the organization to have input. Once an organization reaches the professional/moral levels, the leader is both authority and follower, and must have comfort and skill (and experience) in leading from this position.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Practice of Purposing

In his book Moral Leadership, Thomas Sergiovanni describes the stages in the process of purposing: say it, model it, organize for it, support it, enforce it, and express outrage. This process is beneficial when planning for a change within the school. This practice associates with the bureaucratic authority model, because it is management intensive and directed by the leader. However, when implementing a change, this might be the developmental level of the school for accepting a change; thus it seems that it could be the appropriate practice to achieve meaningful change.

The process the leader would use to direct the change would be to make the purpose known by implicitly stating the purpose for the change. Then the leader would model the change by walking the talk. By organizing for the change, the leader insures that resources such as human, monetary, and time resources are available. Once the resources are organized, they are provided as a support for those whom the change would effect. As activities are underway, monitoring of progress needs to be made to insure that the staff are incorporating the change and the leader enforces the process of change. Finally, the leader needs to express outrage at any non-compliance with the change to reinforce the magnitude and necessity of the change, and the importance that it makes to the leader and the organization.

Through the implementation of the practice of purposing, though management intensive, the process can achieve change results that shift the focus of the organization towards a path that can lead towards an intended outcome.

"Leadership for meaning, leadership for problem solving, collegial leadership, leadership as shared responsibility, leadership that serves school purposes, leadership that is tough enough to demand a great deal from everyone, and leadership that is tender enough to encourage the heart -- these are the images of leadership we need for schools as communities." (Sergiovanni, 1996/1997)

Works Cited
Moral Purpose, Community Must Guide School Reform, Says Sergiovanni. (1996/1997, Dec/Jan). The Developer.
 Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Servant Leadership

In John Barbute's article Becoming a Servant Leader: Do You Have What it Takes, he details characteristics of servant leadership developed by Robert Greenleaf and Larry Spears. These are characteristics that are observable in most leaders who demonstrate servant leadership. These characteristics are: Calling, Listening, Empathy, Healing, Awareness, Persuasion, Conceptualization, Foresight, Stewardship, Growth, and Building Community.

Servant leaders have many of these characteristics inherent, and can develop some of the characteristics, but their ultimate goal as servant leader is to develop those traits in others within the organization, becoming both a leader of leaders as well as servant of servants. When exploring this list of 11 characteristics, I feel that five of these characteristics may play a particularly important role in educational organizations: calling, empathy, stewardship, growth, and building a community.

A calling is an internal pull towards something, a drive or desirous feeling that moves one to seek an answer. When someone is called to education, their calling is to teach, or serve, their students and to develop a greatness in others. A calling is not something that a leader can cultivate in others, you either have a calling to education or you don't. What the leader can do however is to develop the awareness in whether one is called to serve others in education or not. A calling is a passion, and one cannot be a great teacher without being passionate. By helping others to hear their calling, the leader can ensure that passionate teachers are in their schools.

Empathy is an important trait in educators because of the realization that all students are at different places and have different backgrounds. All of their stories are different, so there is not one "right" way to teach something. Through demonstrating empathy, teachers can get to know their students and understand their thoughts, and then adjust their instruction. Empathy is another trait that is difficult for a leader to cultivate, the leader can maintain point of view and perception of various ideas as they plan with their organization. Through modeling empathy in their interactions, the leader can encourage and motivate others.

Stewardship is what the leader displays to demonstrate that they are willing to aid in the development of the organization, and not it self-interest. Stewardship is the understanding that the organization is the focus of efforts, and that others will step in afterwards to continue to movement. Through realization that one is not indispensable within the organization, then one can commit their efforts to maintaining and continuing the efforts being made. The leader can help develop stewardship in the staff through the use of grade move-ups, where the teacher moves grades with the class, or providing opportunities for staff to switch grade levels. These situations allow teachers to see continuity in curriculum amongst grades, but also to realize that they are not just grade level teacher, but a teacher within the school, of and for all students.

Schools are in the business of teaching and learning, and learning is growth. Growth is something that should be stressed and analyzed. Focusing on learning within instruction will lead to the need for proof of learning. Proof of learning illustrates growth. Leaders can use this in two ways to cultivate in the school. Leaders can use growth data to analyze school and grades successes and needs. Leaders can also encourage self-growth and development in teachers, to perfect practice and increase knowledge.

Building community
The ultimate goal of any servant leader is to create a community, a team of professionals working together, for one another, to achieve a vision. The leader can cultivate community in the school by providing opportunities for staff to work together, to identify goals, to identify solutions, and to work together to achieve those solutions. If one person pushes a rock, when the person stops pushing the rock stops rolling. But when a leader can get everyone to push the rock, people can become interchangeable, come and go, yet to rock will continue to roll. When the rock is rolling, more are likely to join in and lend a push. The community pushes the rock, the leader makes sure the rock is rolling in the right direction

Through the development of these characteristics in the organization, the leader can transform the school into a learning and growing organization that serves one another and the students.

Sources of Authority

Thomas Sergiovanni defines the sources of authority in his book Moral Leadership as Bureaucratic, Psychological, Technical-rational, Professional, and Moral. Each of these sources has purpose, depending on where the organization is on a developmental level. If one were to look at these sources as a continuum, then selecting the correct source of authority might depend on where on the continuum the organization lies, with the note that selecting the incorrect level might have adverse effects on organizational effectiveness. Selecting a bureaucratic source when the organization is at a professional or moral level might make the staff feel micro-managed, while selecting a professional source when the organization is at a bureaucratic level might make the organization feel that the leader is aloof and not connected. To achieve the most effectiveness, it is important to use influence at the level of the organization to achieve the most impact.

When exercising influence at the bureaucratic level of authority, the leader manages the organization and provides direction for the organization. To improve instruction, curriculum and assessment at this level, the leader would be working with teachers, providing guidance and monitoring for followership. Attendance at workshops and development opportunities will be directed by the leader based on where the leader feels the organization and teacher needs to go. The leader has expectations and the organization must know their roles to achieve those expectations.

When leaders employ the psychological source of authority, they are working to make the organization a positive place to work, using their interpersonal skills to motivate the organization. When the organization wants to work for the leader and towards the leaders goals, they will follow the suggestions of the leader to improve teaching and learning.

When employing the technical-rational source of authority, the principal is the instructional leader, having more knowledge and skill, and expecting the organization to follow their authority because they have more training. This style can achieve increased teaching and learning if the leader actually does have more skills and knowledge of curriculum and assessment, they are willing to share that knowledge, and the staff are willing to learn.

As the organization demonstrates professional authority, the leader has experience and the staff have developed expectations. A word I use for this type of organization is a mature organization, on that has been together and developed together. the leader in this organization is a member of the organization on a flatter level, rather than hierarchical authority. To improve teaching and learning using professional authority, the leader has knowledge and expectations of the organization, but the organization has knowledge and expectations of the leader, forming a team approach to further their collective development.

The moral source of authority is a continuation of the professional source, but matured further, to the point of seeing the truth behind the work. The organization not only seeks to do the work correctly for teaching and learning, but seeks to do the right work for students and their development. The leader can increase teaching and learning using this form of authority by fostering discussions that delve deeper into the meaning of education, seek to expand what the organization can do for the students, and encourage teachers to take an active role in seeking solutions. The leader is among leaders, and their authority is derived from the knowledge that they are supportive and willing.

Moral Leadership Epilogue

  • Strong medicine is good medicine only when used properly
  • When administrators "minister" to the needs of the school, what appears superficially to be managerial and routine communicates meaning in context.
With great power comes great responsibility. It is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that people are not a means to an end, and that the organization serves the moral purpose for student success.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Classroom Instruction That Works

In the book Classroom Instruction that Works, Robert Marzano details nine instructional strategies that correlate to increased student learning. By examining instructional practices and integrating elements of these strategies, teachers will increase the rate of student learning.

To introduce these strategies to a staff as a plan to increase student learning, it would be best to begin by examining current results and practices to determine areas of strength and weakness. Many times, the disaggregated data from state tests provide scores broken down by the various strategies being assessed, and through that analysis the staff can determine areas where improvements can be made. Next, using the research from Marzano's book and the correlated percentile increases associated with the strategies, the staff can determine which focus strategies would provide the best return on investment. Once the strategies are selected, it is important for the school leader to provide resources that the teachers can use to develop their increased use of the strategies. Resources could be protected time for PLC, learning resources, mentoring opportunities with high flyers, or physical resources to aid in the implantation such as technology tools.

Here is an analysis of the strategies and curricular areas where these strategies can address.

Similarities and Differences
This strategy includes classifying information, organizing informational into representations that make meaning, and summarizing the qualities of each as they relate to one another. This is a great strategy to use in language arts for character comparisons from literature studies or for use in science to classify traits and behaviors of mammals.

Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition
This strategy includes developing ways to provide opportunities for student work to be displayed or published, thus increasing their intrinsic motivation towards quality work and effort. This trait transcends many curricular areas, but examples could include posting artwork from fine arts classes in art shows around the region or displaying as exemplar thesis paper through use of document camera for analysis of positive elements within the paper.

The use of questioning allows for the cueing and recognition of prior knowledge, and also includes graphic organizers to chunk the information for recall. Curricular areas where this can have an impact would be in social studies when discussing causes of the Civil War or through the use of Socratic questioning to lead the class towards enlightenment about a topic related to the causes of the war.

Homework is used to reinforce material learned to increase retention and transfer, and also as a means to introduce a topic that will be developed upon later. A curricular element would be in literature class when requiring reading prior to class so that the class can extend past the required reading. Math classes are also a great example, as teachers often require homework to reinforce the topics discussed during class and aid in the retention and recall of those processes.

Hypotheses involve the application of inductive and deductive reasoning. Science classes focus on hypotheses as they work with experiments in physics courses to determine outcomes and make associations. Hypotheses are also used in algebra courses to test the formulas.

Nonlinguistic Representation
Nonlinguistic Representations provide a framework for organizing or interpreting information in diverse ways, either from physical representations such as models or multimedia resources such as video clips or clip art. This strategy can also be integrated into multiple curricular areas, such as journalism class where students create graphics to associate with their presentations, or in science class when multimedia clips are presented to provide contextual understanding prior to developing a topic such as adaptations of animals in the Taiga biome.

Setting Objectives
Objectives are possibly the most fundamental strategy, as it provides the foundational understanding for the entire lesson. This sets the goals for the lesson and focuses the feedback towards specific direction. Objectives should be used in every lesson so that students know the target for learning, and the feedback can direct the students and keep them on target. Objectives should be specific enough to focus the learning, but also allow for differentiation of product or process based upon student readiness.

Summarizing is a skill where students take the information presented and chunk it into meaningful portions that can be detailed back to the teacher or class. Summarizing is an important skill in language arts classes when taking a selection of reading and condensing it for main ideas. Summarizing is also evident in Social studies classes when students present in class on topics related to the culture of ancient Egypt.

Cooperative Learning
This strategy employs the use of grouping to provide multiple influences and interpretations on a topic through the type of grouping, whether formal, informal, or base grouping. Groups are important in language arts/reading classes, as students of similar abilities can read in a group and synthesize the material on a similar reading level. those same students can also be grouped in multiple-ability groups so that students can experience and extend their understandings of the selections from a different point of view and interpretation.

Several of these strategies can be implemented within instructional practice to increase student learning. Professional development opportunities that seek to increase the utilization of these strategies should focus on professional learning communities, where teachers can use Marzano's book with a book study and share best practices with these strategies to provide resource to one another as they work to implement these strategies into their professional practice.

I have personally also developed professional learning opportunities associated to the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works by Howard Pitler. This book follows Marzano's nine strategies and describe how to use 21st century tools within those strategies. I provide the training as a summer course, where teachers can self-select the course, which already tells me that the teacher is both motivated to incorporate technology into instruction and willing to evaluate and improve their instructional practice through focusing on high impact strategies for student learning. The strategies are described individually with resources that compliment those strategies being detailed. Teachers also offer their own practices to share with the group. At the conclusion of the course, teachers will know about the strategies, understand how to integrate technology tools for addressing those strategies, and contribute a successful integration during the following school year.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

School Leader's Influences on Student Learning: The Four Paths

Dr. Kenneth Leithwood recently authored an article about four paths where leaders can illustrate influence for student learning. This article describes the act of influence on the part of the school leadership as it applies to four areas, or paths: Rational, Emotional, Organizational, and Family. Each path has attributes where effective leadership can impact student learning through selecting correct variables to impact student learning and then proper application of influence.

The Rational path includes the knowledge and skills needed throughout the school to impact student learning. There are specific variables, such as instructional strategies, that can impact student achievement. Other variables relate to the school climate, and how visionary leadership contributes to the culture of success for the school. Professional learning has a large impact for student learning, but it is important to realize that it is not just professional development, but also the development of people.

The Emotional path is a very powerful path for improving student learning. Emotions correlate to cognitive processing because as the learner feels safer and more trusting in their environment, they are better able to process and integrate learning. As teachers feel that they have the ability to make a difference, they are more willing to work to achieve those ends.

The Organizational path includes the policies and procedures that coordinate the educational infrastructure of the school. Part of The focus on variables that make an impact is to explore which variables have the greatest impact, and in the organizational path possibly the variable with the largest impact on student learning is instructional time. As leaders develop policies and procedures, protecting and ensuring instructional time is imperative, and can be accomplished by lessening distractions from teachers such as discipline issues and administrative tasks.

The Family path is one of the areas of lesser focus historically, therefore it has possibly one of the largest impacts due to it's relative absence from inclusion in traditional variable exploration. Through the provision of school/parent interactions, such as home visits, meaningful committees, and parent volunteering, the leader has the opportunity to establish a culture of familial expectations that impact student learning. The key to this path for the leader is vision and communication, as parents will follow a leader they can understand and trust.

To achieve progress towards increasing the influence the leader has upon the variables within the four paths, it is important to establish a culture of distributed leadership, where teachers have the efficacy to make a difference, parents have the trust to participate actively, and leaders have the vision and knowledge to realize which variables make the greatest impact and to exert influence to impact student learning.

How Leadership Influences Student Learning - Dr. Kenneth Leithwood from ULethbridge Faculty of Education on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Responsibilities of the Instructional Leader

There are many factors that contribute to the instructional program of a school. It is the responsibility of the leader to make a positive impact upon the instructional program of the school through knowledge and involvement with the factors that most directly impact curricular design, classroom instruction, instructional practices and professional development.

The factors that have the most impact on the instructional process are broken into three categories: School-level factors, Teacher-level factors, and Student-level factors. Leaders must realize that they have the ability to actively influence each of those factors for increased teacher instruction and student learning.

As it applies to School-level factors, the school leader has a direct influence upon the outcome of the factors. When it comes to curriculum, the leader can guarantee a viable curriculum through their knowledge and involvement in the establishment and application of the curriculum. Ensuring time for teachers to map grade-level curriculum and establishing vertical teams between grades can determine the scope and sequence of curriculum. Through visibility in the school the leader has the ability to have knowledge of teachers instructional practices, and they can provide instructional based goals for the school to increase achievement and seek and provide feedback upon the progress towards achievement of the goals. Using various means of communication, the leader solicits parent and community involvement in the school, either through volunteering in the day to day activities of the school or serving on decision-making committees. The leader formulates efficient processes and procedures for a safe and orderly school environment through the development of positive behavior and character development. By developing a culture of trust and distributed leadership, the school leader fosters a sense of collegiality and professionalism. These are all factors where the school leader is directly responsible.

When involving Teacher-level factors, the school leader has more of an indirect influence. By demonstrating and communicating knowledge of instructional strategies, the school leader can encourage teachers to use effective instructional strategies, either through professional development opportunities or through the use of mentoring with effective teachers. Principals can also encourage proven classroom management procedures that provide an effective learning environment in the classroom. The principal can also establish an environment where teachers serve in professional learning communities to design consistent curriculum design for the grade. These are factors where the teacher must have direct influence to be effective, but the leader needs to exert their influence towards proven practices.

The school leader has a complimentary influence on Student-level factors. By complimentary influence, I mean that the leader can encourage and influence, but how neither direct nor indirect control of the outcomes. The leader can communicate factors related to a home environment conducive to student learning, but it is essentially the parents responsibility and efforts that determine whether it gets done. Learned intelligence and background knowledge is respective of students all coming to school with different backgrounds and contextual knowledges. The leader can compliment this experiential knowledge by providing extra-curricular opportunities for students and providing technologies that have the modal ability to provide context to the curriculum. The leader also has the ability to influence a student's motivation by providing opportunities for students to contribute to the community or society through service learning, or other forms of extension of their schooling, so that they have awareness of society beyond the school walls and how the student will participate and contribute to that society. Even without the direct or indirect influence towards the outcome, it is still the leader's responsibility to use the influence they have to encourage the outcomes needed for positive student experiences.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Marzano's 21 Responsibilities of the School Leader

These 21 Responsibilities of the School Leader are taken from Marzano's book "School Leadership that Works."  These are the results of his study to determine effective practices for school leadership and a description of each responsibility.

1.  Affirmation
When one mentions affirmation, one can describe it as communication of accountability.  The school leader has the responsibility to praise and celebrate accomplishments, but yet must still have the courage to address negatives.

2. Change Agent
It is the responsibility of the school leader to challenge the status quo, to challenge the practices that are in place and to push towards new practices.  Similar to Zygotsky's Zone of Proximal Development, the leader's responsibility is to take the staff out of their comfort zone in an attempt to develop new and better practices.

3.  Contingent Rewards
This responsibility is reflective of Transactional Leadership, or the swapping of rewards for performance.  It is fairly common to compliment groups, but isolated when recognizing individuals, and the leader needs to understand that not everyone should be treated equally.

4.  Communication
Communications seems to possibly be the most important responsibility because it is integrated into most aspects of leadership. 

5.  Culture
Culture is the shared values, beliefs, and feelings of a community, and is evident in the artifacts and symbols that illustrate those priorities.  Culture, like communication, is evident in many theories of leadership, and establishing a culture of achievement in the school might be one of the most important responsibilities of the leader.

6.  Discipline
Discipline refers to protecting teachers from issues and influences that would detract from their instructional time or focus. (Marzano, 2005)  Instructional time is paramount to teaching; more time on task, more learning, theoretically.  The principal has the responsibility to decrease the amount of distractions that impact instructional time.

7.  Flexibility
Conflict:Change.  Flexibility is about realizing, or creating, chaos, and then adjust to it.  Leaders realize the situations and adapt their behaviors to address the situation.  These traits also evident in the change agent responsibility.

8.  Focus
Focus is similar to discipline in that it also associates with lessening the distractions to instructional time.  Focus is the leader's ability to communicate and reinforce the goals and vision, and to minimize the distractions to those ends.

9.  Ideals/Beliefs
It is the leader's beliefs which shape the culture of the school, and creates followership. 

10.  Input
A school's effectiveness correlates to the amount, and type, of input that teachers have into the running of the school.  This input builds shared sense of purpose and consensus.

11.  Intellectual Stimulation
Learning about learning and inspiring the organization to grow is all about professional development.  Providing the research and theories allows the staff to implement and experiment with new strategies.

12.  Involvement in Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
The involvement of the leader in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment is critical to the concept of instructional leadership.  (Marzano, 2005)  The leadership should be hands on with curriculum and instruction so that knowledge of strategies and resources can be shared.  Assessment practices are also important because maintaining consistent and focused assessment allows for adjustment of instruction  for the content for greater student achievement.

13.  Knowledge of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment
Having knowledge of curriculum, instruction, and assessment allows the leader to provide specific, research-based strategies to teachers for improved instruction.  While the Involvement responsibility is "hands on", the Knowledge responsibility involves maintaining current research and theories about those areas.  This also allows the leader to prescribe specific professional development opportunities for staff to increase areas of need.

14.  Monitoring/Evaluating
Monitoring and evaluating are important because of the specific feedback they provide to teachers.  Through this process, the feedback provided can be specific and focused to aid in achievement.

15.  Optimizer
The Optimizer responsibility is the positive, inspirational emotion that the leader brings, especially when confronted with a meaningful change.

16.  Order
Order is the set of processes established to allow for the flow of work to be standardized.  Efficient procedures allows for effort to be focused on areas of greater importance, such as student learning.

17.  Outreach
The leader is an advocate for the school and the students to the various stakeholders in the community.  Communication  and partnerships are required for the school to achieve in a complex environment.

18.  Relationships
Relationships is central to the achievement of many other responsibilities.  It is with face-to-face connections that one can build the credibility with other people.

19.  Resources
It is imperative for efficient operations that one have the right tool for the task, and it is the responsibility of the leader to not only ensure that the tools are available, but that the teachers are trained to utilize the tool effectively and efficiently.  "Resources" can include physical resources (stuff), monetary resources (money), and human resources (people). 

20.  Situational Awareness
Situational awareness is knowledge of what is going on in the school, feelings and emotions, day to day activities.  This will allow the leader to anticipate any issues, or be better prepared should a situation arise.

21.  Visibility
 Visibility is the extent to which the leader is in classrooms and available throughout the school.  By being available, the leader shows that they are interested in what goes on in the school.  The leader is also able to communicate more informally with the teachers about classroom practices.

Works Cited
Marzano, R. J. (2005). School Leadership that Works. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Categorizing Leadership Philosophies

In my leadership course that I am taking, I am being presented with various philosophies of leadership in an attempt to describe the various purposes of each style.  But as i read the descriptions and the traits, there are many similarities between many of the philosophies.

In an attempt at oversimplification, I propose that all leadership philosophies fall into one of two categories:  Leading from the front and Leading from behind.

Leading From the Front
Audie Murphy, among others, popularized the phrase, "Lead from the front."  To me, this form a leadership connotates an active leadership.  Moving forward, pushing, developing and striving.  This seems like an autocratic type of leader, who maneuvers and manipulates to get things done.

The Total Quality Management and Positional leadership philosophies seem to fit this definition.  With TQM, if the leader is not active in supporting every part of the system, then the system will fail.  In a position of authority, the leader mandates/dictates the direction of the organization.  Neither position is bad, per se, so long as the personality of the leader enhances that style.  Leaders like Vince Lombardi and General Patton are active leaders, up front and decisive.  They lead the way.  Follow or get out of the way.

Leading From Behind
Leading from behind was described by Nelson Mandela as,"It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur."  This typifies a service or transformational form of leadership that distributes the power of the organization to the members of the organization.  The leader provides the shared vision, and then supports and celebrates those doing the work, creating a shared leadership.  The leader transforms from a leader of followers to a leader of leaders.

Without the reliance on a central figure head to destine success/failure of initiative, the organization leads tha initiative.  Great leaders of this style would be Bill Belichik from the New England Patriots, who develops a team where the whole is more significant that the individual, and that the individual contributes to the whole.  The superstar on the team is the team.  Another leader is Bill Walsh, from the San Francisco 49ers.  He has supported and developed his team by distributing leadership to his fellow coaches, and allow them the opportunity to succeed.  You can see the successes of this style in the genealogy of coaches that have been successful after being part of his family. 

Final Thoughts

There are times when these leadership styles are appropriate, but there are also times to adjust the style based on the situation.  Good leaders know how to be flexible in their delivery and communicate their vision.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Moral Leadership Chapter 9 Leadership as Stewardship: "Who's Serving Who?"

The leadership that counts, in the end, is the kind that touches people differently. It taps their emotions, appeals to their values, and responds to their connections with other people.

Stewardship in Practice
In the end, it is servant leadership, based on a deep commitment to values and emerging from a groundswell of moral authority, that makes the critical difference in the lives of Blaine's students and their families.

The Many Forms of Leadership
  • If command and instructional leadership are practiced as dominant strategies, rather than supporting ones, they can breed dependency in teachers and cast them in roles as subordinates, with the consequences discusses in chapter six.
  • Command leaders and instructional leaders alike are being challenged by the view that school administrators should strive to become leaders of leaders.
  • Successful leaders of leaders combine the most progressive elements of psychological authority with aspects of professional and moral authority.

Servant Leadership
  • People's confidence is strengthened by their belief that the leader makes judgments on the basis of competence and values, rather than self-interest
  • It is best to let those who will be served define their own needs in their own way
  • All members of a community share the burden of servant leadership
  • The more crucial role of the principal is as head learner, engaging in the most important enterprise of the schoolhouse - experiencing, displaying, modeling, and celebrating what it is hoped and expected that teachers and pupils will do

Practicing Servant Leadership
  • Purposing- that conscious stream of actions by an organization's formal leadership which has the effect of inducing clarity, consensus and commitment regarding the organization's basic purposes
  • Empowerment- derives it's full strength from being linked to purposing; everyone is free to do what makes sense, as long as people's decisions embody the values shared by the school community.
  • Leadership by outrage- it is the leaders responsibility to be outraged when empowerment is abused and when purposes are ignored... As important as leadership by outrage is, it's intent is to kindle outrage in others

Power Over and Power To
  • Power over emphasizes controlling what people do, when they do it, and how they do it.
  • Power to views power as a source of energy for achieving shared goals and purposes.
  • Myers understands the difference between charting a direction and giving people maps, between providing a theme and giving teachers a script

The Female Style
  • Female principals need to feel free to be themselves, rather than have to follow the principles and practices of traditional management

Servant Leadership and Moral Authority
  • Moral authority relies heavily on persuasion
  • Servant leadership is practiced by serving others, but it's ultimate purpose is to place oneself, and others for whom one has responsibility, in the service of ideals
  • One theme of this book is that administrators ought not to choose among psychological, bureaucratic, or moral authority; instead, the approach should be additive.

  • The rights and prerogatives inherent in the administrator's position move to the periphery, and attention is focused on duties and responsibilities- to others as persons and, more important, to the school itself.

Successful leaders of leaders combine the most progressive elements of psychological authority with aspects of professional and moral authority. the people trust that the leader will use their influence for the benefit of the organization, and not self-interest. When an organization gets to the moral level, leadership is flattened and widened across the organization, and the organization becomes the servant of one another. In this situation, authority is spread across the organization. Therefore the leader is responsible to make the choice from power over others to power to empower others. This empowerment and sense of purpose are the hallmarks of schools of virtue with moral purpose for student success.

This concept of wider, flatter leadership within the organization is not new, it is shared amongst many other leadership philosophies. But the association of moral purpose to the leadership and virtue in the organization are what distinguish this theory. Achievement and success are not the end goal, but a byproduct of the accomplishment of becoming a virtuous school. If you do things the right way, positive results will follow.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Moral Leadership Chapter 8 The Virtuous School

  • Although virtue is a justifiable end in it's own right, the evidence from research on school effectiveness and school culture increasingly suggests that effective schools have virtuous qualities that account for a large measure of their success.

Focus Schools
  • Autonomy over budgets, schedules, educational programs, hiring, and other factors was effective only if it directly facilitated the establishment of purpose and social contract.

Building a Covenant
  • When purpose, social contract, and local school autonomy become the basis of schooling, two important things happen. The school is transformed from an organization to a covenantal community, and the basis of authority changes, from an emphasis on bureaucratic and psychological authority to moral authority.
  • The family has always been one of the most important kinds of communities. Families inspire deep loyalty. Family members work together and benefit one another, supplying economic and social needs. Tradition and social rules are passed along from parents to children.

The Moral Imperative
  • Moral imperative refers to what is good; the term managerial imperative, to what works.
  • The virtuous school seeks to operate on the basis of both what is good and what is effective.
  • Like individuals, schools can be thought of as having character.

Moral Principles
  • The principle of justice is expressed as equal treatment of and respect for the integrity of individuals.
  • The principle of beneficence is expressed as concern for the welfare of the school as a community
  • Kant- Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only
  • Over the long term, the leader's influence should not be directed at providing teachers with answers or solutions but rather with helping them invent their own answers and solutions.
  • The heart of the school as moral community is it's covenant of shared values.

Guidelines for Deciding
  • Private schools can handle the problem by publicly declaring their purposes and values.
  • Public schools generally have little control over the teachers to be employed or the families to be served. One option is for them to build, within the larger school, smaller communities that function as semiautonomous schools.
1. relationships with other people create obligations of various kinds, and these should be honored unless there is compelling reason not to do so.
2. Certain ideals enhance human life and assist people in fulfilling their obligations to one another.
3. The consequences of some actions benefit people, while those of other actions harm people.
4. Circumstances alter cases.

  • Covenants must be built from the bottom up, as each school (or school within the school) strives to complete the transformation from organization to community.
  • Statements of values are intended to provide direction and inform decisions

A Personal Perspective
1. The virtuous school believes that, to reach it's full potential in helping students learn, it must become a learning community in and of itself.
2. The virtuous school believes that every student can learn, and it does everything in it's power to see that every student does learn.
3. The virtuous school seeks to provide for the whole student.
4. The virtuous school honors respect.
5. In the virtuous school, parents, teachers, community, and school are partners, with reciprocal and interdependent rights to participate and benefit and with obligations to support and assist.
  • Rules should be viewed and understood as a constitution, which comes complete with a rationale shared with students and other members of the school community.
  • Hawthorne effect - when people believe their talents are valued and they are important, everything works; when they do not, nothing works.
  • As servant, the school fully accepts it's responsibility to do everything it can to care for the full range of needs of it's students, teachers, and parents.
  • Respect is a form of empowerment. It invites people to accept higher levels of responsibility for their own behavior and for the school itself.
  • The virtuous school respects diversity.

effective schools have virtuous qualities that contribute to their success. Virtuous schools move from bureaucratic and psychological to professional and moral authorities when purpose, social contract and local school autonomy become the standard practices, which develops a covenantal relationship, doing what is both good and effective as a moral imperative. As Kant says,"Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another, always as an end and never as a means only."

I agree with many of the assumptions that moral authorities are inherent in virtuous schools, but the mention was made that private schools have an easier case to establish a virtuous school than public schools. It was said that private schools hire staff focused on the already established morals of the community, while public schools often have issues with this because there is not as much say in the hiring process. I feel that both organizations face similar issues related to the establishment of virtuous schools based on moral principals, but schools that have longevity of leadership and purpose, with leaders willing to lead leaders, are the organizations that have an easier ability to sustain moral imperativity. Private schools with inexperienced leadership or focus will have similar issues hiring and retaining staff as does public schools. However, due to the nature of the private schooling, I agree that the morals are more clearly established, and people may seek to work in that environment. Also, possibly the issue of tenure may be a hurdle that public schools face which private schools do not when dealing with the removal of ineffective staff. But the stages of organizational development to achieve a gift us state that emphasizes moral authority is inherent in all schools.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Moral Leadership Chapter 6 Followership First, Then Leadership

  • Beyond a certain point, the more professionalism is emphasized, the less leadership is needed; the more leadership is emphasized, the less likely professionalism is to develop.
  • Leadership becomes less urgent and less intensive once the wheels of professionalism begin to turn by themselves.
  • Professionalism has a way of encouraging teachers and principals to be self-managers
  • The term professionalism was derived from the religious setting, where it pertained to the public statement of what one believed and was committed to.
The Old Leadership Recipe
  • If self-management is our goal, then leadership will have to be reinvented in a fashion that places "followership" first
  • Leadership is about two things: trying to figure out what needs to be done to make the school work and work well, and trying to figure out how to get people to do these things
  • The standard management recipe was based on two kinds of authority: bureaucratic and psychological
From Subordinate to Follower
  • A major theme of Value-Added Leadership (Sergiovanni, 1990) is the importance of building followership in the school, as an alternative to subordination
  • Subordinates do what they are supposed to do, but little else, and what they do is often perfunctory
  • If we want sustained and committed performance from teachers, then we must think about leadership practice that helps teachers transcend subordination - one that cultivates followership
  • Followers work well without close supervision, assessing what needs to be done when and how, and making necessary decisions on their own. Followers are people committed to purposes, a cause, a vision of what the school is and can become, beliefs about teaching and learning, values and standards to which they adhere, and convictions.
  • Neither the managerial mystique nor the messiah syndrome can form the basis of the kid of followership needed in schools.
  • When followership and leadership are joined, the traditional hierarchy of the school is upset. It changes from a fixed form, with superintendents and principals at the top and teachers and students at the bottom, to one that is in flux. The only constant is that neither superintendents and principals nor teachers and students are at the apex; that position is reserved for the ideas, values, and commitments at the heart of followership.
Leadership Through Purposing
  • True change involves looking at what we are doing from a vantage point other than that of doing something because that's what teachers (or students or principals or board members) want. We must be able to give reasons for what we do, not only to others but to ourselves. And we must be able to see the connection between why we do what we do and some larger purpose. If we can't see the connection, then maybe we're doing the wrong thing.
  • Contracts are a small part of the relationship. A complete relationship needs a covenant... A covenantal relationship rests on a shared commitment to ideas, to issues, to values, to goals... Covenantal relationships reflect unity ad grace and poise. They are expressions of the sacred nature of the relationships.
The Practice of Purposing
  • Say it.
  • Model it
  • Organize for it
  • Support it
  • Enforce it and commend practices that exemplify core values
  • Express outrage when practices violate the core values
Purposing and the Stages of Leadership
  • Leadership by bartering helps get things moving when the goals and interests of the leader and those of the followers are not he same
  • Leadership through building... He focused his attention on providing the kind of climate and interpersonal support that enhanced opportunities for fulfilling the needs for achievement, responsibility, competence and esteem
  • Leadership through bonding allows the use of moral authority as a basis of leadership
  • Only when strategies evolve from purposes, however, do they become powerful substitutes for leadership, enabling people to be driven from the inside.
  • Use enough style to build an interpersonal climate characterized by trust, and demonstrate enough knowledge of and commitment to issues of substance to build integrity.
  • Motivational technology, change theory, and the skilled application of leadership styles certainly all contribute to the success of ventures like this one. Ultimately, however, it is not just personality that counts. At least equally important is the leader's ability to establish a climate of trust and a sense of integrity in the ideas being proposed. Key to this effort is something worth following. Without ideas, values, and commitments, there can be no followership. Without followership, there can be no leadership. In this sense, the most basic principle of leadership is "followership first, then leadership."

Professionalism requires less management. If less management is the goal, then leadership needs to put followership first. A follower is not a subordinate, a follower believes in the vision and goals of the leader and chooses to follow. A subordinate is forced to follow through bureaucratic or psychological means. This changes the leadership format from hierarchal to a flatter, wider leadership. Purposing can be used to illustrate important concepts or goals to an organization by reinforcing the important values of the organization by say it, model it, organize for it, support it, enforce it and express outrage about it.

I feel that the purposing format is valid in bureaucratic leadership styles, but for an organization that is professionalism and moral, purposing seems to me to be a form of manipulation rather than facilitation. This seems to me to be a way that the leader forces change, and if a professional or moral organization creates shared values together, it seems like this process can seem more dominant than servant based, but depending on the growth of the organization purposing might be required for maturation.

In my organization, I have employees whom I trust and who shares an organizational vision for our team. My style supports their efforts to do what is right, similar to the moral and professional levels. Conflicts arise at times when leaders of other departments attempt to provide direction to my employees, because their style might demonstrate bureaucratic authority style that expects followership due to position, while my employees are beyond that style as they are self-directed, and the bureaucratic style connotes orders, lack of professional respect, and grates on their emotional impact. This illustrates that, even in the same organization, different departments can work with different levels of authority and motivation, and leaders need to realize those difference when interacting with the other communities within the community.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Moral Leadership Chapter 5 Creating a State of Flow at Work

  • We humans are driven not only by self-interest but also by our emotions, values, and beliefs, and by the social bonds that emerge from our identification with and membership in various groups.
  • It has also been argued that the failure of leadership can be linked directly to our obsession with self-interest and to our resulting neglect of emotion and social bonds.
  • By focusing on performing for someone else's approval, corporations create the very conditions that predestine them to mediocre performance.
  • School leaders have a moral obligation to do whatever they can to arrange the context of work in a fashion that allows teachers and students to be meaningfully involved.
What is Rewarding Gets Done
  • Two fairly independent sets of job factors that seemed to be important to workers
    • One set of factors affects whether people are dissatisfied with their jobs
      • If administrators take care of these factors, so that they are no longer sources of dissatisfaction, workers' performance will improve to the level of "a fair day's work for a fair day's pay."
    • The second set of factors, called motivators, seem not to cause dissatisfaction or poor performance if neglected or even absent
      • The motivators, however, seem to motivate people to go beyond the "fair day's work for a fair day's pay" minimum contract
  • Three psychological states believed to be critical in determining whether a person will be motivated at work:
    • Experienced meaningfulness: "The extent to which a person perceives work as being worthwhile or important, given her or his system of values."
    • Experienced responsibility: "The extent to which a person believes that she or he is personally responsible or accountable for the outcomes of efforts."
    • Knowledge of results: "The extent to which a person is able to determine on a regular basis whether or not the outcomes of her or his efforts are satisfactory."
    • (Hackman, Oldham, Johnson, and Purdy, 1975, p.57)
  • When the three psychological states are present, people are likely to feel good, perform well, and continue to perform well, in the effort to experience more of these feelings in the future.
Experiencing Flow at Work
  • The key to intrinsic motivation is an optimal experience that he calls flow, "the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it"
  • To experience flow, one must be convinced that one's skills and insights are strong enough to cope with the challenges at hand. The matching of skills to challenges is critical, for this is a condition of growth.
  • Few teachers following a script are challenged to work anywhere near their abilities.
  • If we want to harness the power of the work itself as a substitute for leadership, then teaching jobs will have to be redesigned, and systems of support will have to be developed in a way that helps teachers work in conditions of job enrichment.

When we work for someone else's approval, we destine ourselves to mediocrity. To raise the performance, the conditions must exist where people in the organization do the work for intrinsic reasons, professionalism and moral obligation. This can be developed by addressing two factors: making sure the environment is positive and motivators that encourage growth. Leaders have an obligation to encourage this meaningful involvement in the environment by creating meaningfulness, encouraging responsibility, and communicating out the results of the efforts. This creates a state of flow, where people work for the love of the job.

I feel the concept of Flow in this example can be synonymous with confidence, as described by Rosabeth Moss Kanter. She describes confidence as the state of the organization when leadership is shared amongst the organization. She describes confidence as the development of three traits: promoting responsibility, cultivating collaboration and encouraging initiative. These traits create successes, which when strung together build to a state of confidence. Flow is similar to this concept, in that motivation and meaningful involvement encourages the organization to work as a team, stringing wins together so that the people in the organization do the right things because the culture says the right things must be done, breeding a confidence in one another and the organization.

Works Cited

Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.