Contextual analysis of leadership and management

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Introduction

The model of school leadership is based mainly based on bringing together different and divergent components that include staff, students, parents, the community around the school and other education authorities together. Leadership and proper management of an institution brings about coherency and bonds together all this components so that it can operate as a single unit to meet a final goal which is to pass and gain an education. Leadership also enables not just the giving and receiving of education from books but also offers mental growth. Every component mentioned above is important in building the leadership role and all have an impact on the education system as a whole.

This means each component has an important role in the smooth leadership and management. There are many different factors that affect leadership and management in schools. These factors may include cultural, economic, social and political. All these factors affect not only leadership in school but also all the components and this has an impact on the whole system. Leaders must understand that leadership systems are building from the bottom up and not set. As explained above leadership in an education system is build by many different factors that have been mentioned above. Leadership is dynamic and not static. (Gerald, 1995)

So as to have perfect and coherent management and leadership leaders in the education system must:

Have a personal understanding of all this factors that affect leadership and the school as a whole.

Leaders must be able to understand fully the leadership systems in place in an institution. These involve understanding their work and their jurisdiction and the understanding of the leadership hierarchy in an institution and understand the work of their fellow leaders so as to be able to understand what other departments in a school deal with.

They have to understand the social, cultural and political influence that their leadership position exerts on the school.

Leaders in a school system must understand the history of the school so as to learn from the mistakes or achievements of the past.

They must also be visionaries so as to be able to know and understand what they want as the future of the school (Herman, 2010).

Understanding the systems of leadership

The leader must be able to understand how a good or bad level of understanding of the leadership system which is in place affects their practice. Leaders in a school should be able to understand clearly what their job entails and their jurisdiction. (Schneckenberg, 2008).

They should be able to understand how their job affects the practice. By having a concise understanding of their job ensure that their work and knowledge of what the school system entails is vital in the decision making of the school (House of Commons papers, 2005). For example student leaders in a school must understand that their job is to lobby for students rights and thus they should stick to their job so as to have a coherent system. If leaders do not have a clear description of their work it will lead to the poor management and leadership of the school. Leaders must be able to understand the leadership hierarchy of the system in place and also understand the work of the fellow leaders. By understanding the hierarchy of the system there is efficient flow of information in the system. This will also lead to proper decision making. (Burnham, 2003).

Decision making will also be faster due to fast and free flowing information in well understood education system by the various leaders who make up the education system. By understanding the system a leader learns that the context of their practice is build up by many different factors. (McCaffery, 2004)

Understanding the social and cultural factors

This involves the leader showing understanding that the practice is build and consists of various factors and components. Leaders should be able to understand the society in which the school is located in. the leader must understand how the work they undertake is viewed by the society in which the school is in. the leader must be able to understand how society affects their practice. A leader must clearly understand the society for example a good understanding of the society by the school staff will lead to a better and easier interaction between them and the parents from that society (Great Britain: Parliament, 2007).

If a leader understands a society they will be able to know what the society love and what may offend the society. By avoiding offensive behavior interaction becomes easier as discussed above. Good understanding of the society leads to the leader understanding the diversity of a social group and its values. Poor understanding of social factors may lead to a leader judging the society in which the school is situated in by the external and superficial characteristics. Closely related to social factors are cultural factors of the society. By having a perfect understanding of the cultural values of the society. This will ease the interaction between the leaders and the society. (Ellison, 1997).

Understanding political influence

Understanding political influences in the school involves the leader demonstrating an understanding that the practice is build and composed of various factors and components. So as to be in the knowing of the operation of their job leaders must know political or power shifts and struggles that go on in the school (World Bank. Human Development Network, 2008). Some staff members would maybe want to gain promotions in the school leadership system. So as to be able to manage and lead the school effectively leaders must be able to understand such struggles and be cautious in dealing with them.

Good understanding of political influences involves the leader knowing that there have to be power struggles in a school. A leader must be aware of all political changes require power to take effect. Changes may be from the top of the hierarchy to the bottom or the other way round. Poor understanding of political influences leads to a leader having a very poor interpretation of power struggles. With poor understanding major decisions that involve political change are always taken as static since the leader may not know how to interpret or implement the political changes in the school (William, 2005)

Understanding of the history of the school

Understanding the history of the school involves the leader demonstrating an understanding that the practice is build and composed of various factors and components. The understanding of the school’s history is very critical and essential for the proper management and leadership of the school. The leader must have a good understanding of the history of the school (Wong, 2007)

History of the school is important since the past is the best place to learn from. The leader should be able to learn from the mistakes made by the school in the past and also learn from the achievements of the school in the past. Student leaders could use this so as to identify the mistakes of the past so as to make the school better. A good leader must be able to understand and interpret the past trends of the school so as to better the present. Poor understanding of the past may lead to mistakes of the past happening again. This may also work in the reverse by the leader no knowing how the school excelled in the past. (Duignan, 2007)

Understanding of the future of the school

By understanding future of the school the leader demonstrates a great understanding that the practice is build and composed of various factors and components. Understanding the future involves the leader showing innovation, focus and being visionary. Understanding the future shows the willing nature of the leader to be able to come up with good and quality solutions to the schools problems. It shows the leader having the capability of growth both for them as a leader and an institution. With a good understanding of the future the leader is able to come up with goals for the school. By having a good understanding the goals that the leader comes up with are very good and attainable by the school. This gives rise to great innovation in the school. The teaching staff could use this to motivate students. (Boske, 2009).

Poor of understanding the future of the school involves leaders who only focus on the present. The leader does not look beyond the present day. The leader chooses to deal with only present problems without worrying about the future which is very dangerous. ( Philip, 2002).

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