Leadership In Groups And School Effectiveness Education Essay

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A number of the most significant outlines of professional learning as well as problem solving in both learning and teaching process happen in group settings inside schools. Organized groups within the school and outside tend to give the social contact that frequently deepens the learning, teaching along with the interpersonal sustenance and the synergy essential for innovatively resolving the difficult problems of learning and teaching. Some of the James (1974) recommendations from researchers on how to resolve problems related to both learning and teaching have advocated for increased teamwork among teachers along with administrators in formulation of lessons, critiquing student work-this helps to identify where a lot of concentration is demanded for, and analysing diverse types of educational data to enhance student improvement, among other responsibilities, it is very important that teaching and learning be aimed at improving the quality of collaborative work in education.

The significance of head teacher's leadership, besides that of head of departments or class teachers may be very sensitive to school organization (Hord 1997). However, past studies show that the involvement other staff teachers in decision making at school and the incorporation of professional authority in the process of teaching as well as learning predicts that success of leadership in school settings. Indeed, effective leadership in schools is always firm and purposeful. Although the recent studies have shown that in some institution the head teacher has been seen as the agent of change, especially those with central leadership; depend on a role of one key person like the headmaster to affect school effectiveness.

Constraints on leadership effectiveness

The most commonly listed constraints from the recent case studies on leadership effectiveness in schools were;

Inadequate funding

There is scarcity of funds in schools which make operational activities more difficult. Lack of enough funds to pay staff as well as motivate them, poor educational facilities have bee a hindrance to leadership effectiveness.

Time taken when dealing with problems related to students, and

Less time has been allocated for teachers to guide and counsel students in education related issues. This has made the problems of student to persist due to lack of a profound structure to help them solve both academic and social related matters. The continuity of all this has led to poor performance and caused much pressure on school leadership.

Inadequate physical facilities.

Majority of schools lack physical facilities for student to use. This has made the schooling system to be only a reading environment without exercises being undertaken. Lack of exercise in student fraternity makes them to be unproductive in classes. When student fail exams more blames will be on teachers and school administration for not planning for the success of students.

Factors which constrain school effectiveness

One of the key complicated tasks that tend to constrain school effectiveness is constructively controlling the inconsistency that unavoidably happens when teachers and policy makers in education sector confer their essential beliefs concerning teaching as well as learning and search for the most excellent ways of improving student achievement. Several schools have dealt with conflict through routing away from contentious concerns or acting as if the major disagreements does not subsist.

Selfish motives in the side of teachers, has also contributed to difficulties in attaining school effectiveness. This may be as a result of the different school cultures that fail to incorporate collective responsibility for both teachers and student learning.

Factors that should be considered for Effective Schools

a) Professional Leadership

This is a key issue in conveying revolutionize. Leaders, who have a tendency of being practical in their roles, partake and allocate leadership activities to their juniors, and have authentic information of what happens in the classroom.

b) Shared Vision and Goals

Majority of effective schools construct agreement on the aims as well as values of the school, in addition they build up a sense of neighbourhood. These tend to generate a unity of purpose and steadiness of exercise.

c) A learning Environment

The collective vision and values establish the culture of the school. Study has shown that effective schools tend to have an orderly setting and a friendly working atmosphere.

d) Concentration on Teaching as well as Learning

Effectiveness is obviously reliant on efficient classroom teaching. It is very important that schools centre on value and the amount of teaching and learning. Schools must make utmost use of their learning time.

e) Purposeful Teaching

Quality teaching has been found to be at the centre of effective teaching. Such schooling is focused on well-organized school with teachers comprehensible in relation to their goals and objectives. On the other hand students being aware of their purposes. With teachers making use of a wide range of teaching techniques.

f) High Expectations

Teachers should set high benchmark to challenge them and the students as well as monitor progress.

g) Positive Reinforcement

This is an important aspect of all. It occurs where there is an apparent and fair discipline among the students fraternity together with the staff and all of them feel being in the right place.

h) Home School Partnership

There should be supportive relationships as well as cooperation connecting home and school, and should have a positive sound effects. An effective school does not only engage parents, however it also makes stress on them. The relation involving the individual teacher along with the parent(s) is vital.

Focus on achievements

Some researchers have scrutinized the scope to which schools focus on the accomplishments of pupils as a gauge of academic prominence. For example, research carried out in American schools have shown that stress on the possession of essential skills or ''success orientation'' generate an optimistic influence towards school effectiveness. While the centre of attention on teaching and learning is the main emphasis of school effectiveness, experts have advanced it at diverse angles. The most interesting effort to strengthen this work is the emphasis of Scheerens (1992) who drew attention on a immense collection of global school effectiveness text, he evaluated the efficient learning period to be among the three basic factors-for which both are observed study substantiation. Scheerens considered four features to be pertinent;

Institutionalised time used up on learning- duration of school days or terms.

Amount of homework

Effective studying duration within school constraints, and

Learning period for different subjects

Whilst this typology might not completely incarcerate the real meaning of ''focus on effective learning as well as learning'', it tend to provide a valuable structure for pinning down measurable factors which specify imperative realistic manifestations of this focal point.

Purposeful teaching

It is very clear from the past case studies, that the heart of quality teaching is based on effective schooling. Although this is determined partly with the superiority of teachers in the school, as a matter of fact, the recruitment and replacement of staff is a vital role in effective leadership. Though, the best teachers rarely perform to their fullest, and the learning as well as the teaching strategies does vary from students and teachers respectively, which marks the progress of students. By evaluating the findings on teaching activities in effective schools, the exceptional issue that come forward is what we refers to as purposeful teaching. This has a number of elements; efficient organization, clarity of purpose, structured lessons and adaptive practices.

I) Efficient organization

Several researches have indicated that importance of teachers being properly organized as well as completely clear about their objectives. Robertson (1995) found positive outcomes on success when teachers felt ''efficiency and inner locus of control'', and when they planned lessons daily.

Robertson et al. (1995) drew concentration to the advantageous effect of put in order the class lesson in a move forward. He later emphasized that when teachers spend more time to prepare for a lesson immediately it has started, he will lose interest of the lesson, hence making the students/pupils to lose a chance of learning.

II) Clarity of purpose

The synthesis of effective schooling studies emphasize on the importance of students being aware of the content of the course (course outline) and its purpose (Odden et al 1995, p.23). It has been proven that effect learning transpire where teachers undoubtedly give details of the goals of the class session at the beginning, this will generally help to uphold the focus. The information pertaining the lessons should be prepared in such a way that it commences with an outline and conversions are then signalled. The key ideas of the class should be reviewed at the end of this particular lesson and the start of the next class should revisit the previous lesson as the basis to build on the new one; continuation.

III) Structured lessons

An evaluation by Jackson & Davis (2000) short listed the significance of structured teaching as well as purposeful teaching in promotion of pupil/student improvement. Other case studies drew the same thought, that effective questioning techniques especially where structured questioning are used to centre students' concentrations on the essential aspects of the lesson. Briggs (1993) emphasized on the development of student effects throughout methodical teaching methods which involve open-ended queries that student answers and is tagged along with teachers' feedback.

A review of the study on effective teachers by Robertson & Briggs (1993) wraps up that most effective teacher;

i) Teach the classroom as a complete

ii) Present learning materials and skills clearly as well as excitedly to students.

ii) Maintains the teaching sessions assignment-oriented

iii) Are non-evaluative and try to keep lessons comfortable

iv) Have high hope for achievements-they provide extra homework for students and create alertness.

v) Interact happily with the students.

Scheerens's definition of structured teaching is somewhat diverse as compared with other researchers, and it involves;

formulate what is to be learnt clearly

dividing the learning materials into manageable units for students

provision of exercise materials to make more practices

regular testing to examine their progress

iv) Adaptive practice

Even though school effectiveness studies reveals that a number of issues to be always connected through improved results, it as well shows that submission of commanded syllabus materials as well teaching procedures barely bring out increase in attainment. It has been found out that student progress is always improved when teachers become responsive to the differences in learning approaches of students and wherever possible, discover and make use of suitable strategies in teaching them. In most cases this demands for the flexibility on the part of teachers to modify and adapt their teaching styles.

Staff development

Staff development grant teachers and administrators' suitable information and skills concerning teaching processes in making sure that different teams, committees, as well as departments within the schools attain their objectives and goals, and giving satisfying and rewarding knowledge for students. Since gaining of this knowledge and skill has barely been a part of students' professional training and in most cases leaders/teachers regularly underrate its significance, it is necessary that student learning be focused on assisting them work collectively and successfully as they get a high priority in their studies. Organized groups in schooling process more often than not go through some stages in their improvement as this help them minimize education related problems. This also help them join together in forming a profound solution as they get clear about their group's purpose as well as ground rules, and deal with the inevitable inconsistency as they become effective at undertaking their work in a way that satisfies equally the task and interpersonal potential of both the students and students.

Recommendations in relation to leadership effectiveness.

As Little (1997) alleges that teacher' professional decisions as well as leadership aspirations are subjective to numerous factors. Past studies have revealed some of factors that could develop and maintain teachers' lessons and their level of leadership aspirations. These comprise of improved opportunities within the teachers positions in favour of personal growth along with self actualisation. Teachers with leadership ambitions should look for jobs that present an individual challenge. Those teachers with an admiration of the sense of balance between job satisfaction as well as job dissatisfaction intrinsic in the headmaster task are most prone in aspiring for the role as compared to those who merely imagine the position to be much challenging, demanding and time-wasting. The studies showed that strategic series of planning at both an organisational level as well as school level would increase leadership ambition and augment request rates for the positions.

The study also revealed that the interpersonal relationships, especially the teachers and parents present a massive challenges and disappointments. Personal factors like time necessary for the job, the professed stress intensity of the job, and its end product on the family, mostly for women. Many teachers suppose that the present function prospects of head teachers rarely permit them to poise the stress of their individual life along with their work life. A key hold back aspect for teachers' headship desire is their lack of consideration of the towering positions of job contentment that stabilize the stresses of the head masters duties.

Although as schools start to reshuffle its operation, teachers are increasingly becoming leaders of revolutionize system. Study has shown that teachers who turn out to be leaders regularly experience individual benefits, intellectual as well as professional growth and development, this also tend to reduce their isolation. However there have been predicaments allied with leadership roles, this comprises lack of description of the role, insufficient time, in addition to limitations which arises as a result of the school culture.

Shirley Hord (1997) summarizes the need for effective schooling by short listing the necessities for effective proficient learning group of people, namely;

1) The collegial as well as facilitative involvement of the headmasters who share headship, power and authority by engaging staff participation in decision making

2) A shared vision that is developed from the staff's unswerving commitment to students' learning and that is consistently articulated and referenced for the staff's work

3) Combined learning amongst staff and appliance of the learning to resolutions which attend to students' needs

4) The visitation along with the evaluation of every teacher's classroom performance by peers as well as a response and backing activity to support teachers

5) Physical circumstances as well as human capacities should be availed to maintain such an operation.

Conclusion

To meet the increasing expectations in school effectiveness, teachers should deepen their content skills and knowledge to learn latest techniques of teaching. They require extra time to convene their efforts together, to seriously scrutinize the new curriculum standards being wished-for, as they revise their approach in classes (James1974, p.20).

Previous case studies have recommended for creation of consensus in schools, promotion of shared values, ensuring methodical teamwork among the staffs, encouraging carrying out tests, form of commitment, presentation of one-on-one team improvement, presenting focused staff development plans, encouraging self-efficacy in both the teachers and students and last of all, examine the continued effort of teachers.

Networks of teachers should be encouraged since it presents a latest move toward staff improvement as teachers grow up competently and take over the new headship positions. This has an apparent focus however it gives a range of activities. In networks, the information of teachers is highly valued. Though, numerous problems could comprise, failure to evaluate and transform their practices, complexity in incorporating networks into schools, upholding stability, uncontrolled growth, and lack of information concerning change in addition to goals created exterior of the network. Teachers will mostly support networks since it gives challenges along with incentives to revolutionize their practice.

Schools should incorporate technology to facilitate relations within the classroom teaching and learning. Online mentoring, and open learning (distance education) creates the separation of classrooms and also present teachers with an easy contact with one another for continuing support in addition to specialized improvement and sharing. The utilization of technologies like interactive lesson plan slides, compact disk databases, streamed films, online-conferencing, as well as e-mail could assist the teachers' access to other teachers intended for continuing experts association.

''References''

Jackson, A & Davis, G 2000, Turning points 2000: Educating adolescents in the 21st century. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.

James, GM 1974, Analytical skills and the university Training of Education Administrators. Journal of Educational Administration, vol. 12, pp. 17-44.

Little, J 1997, March, Excellence in professional development and professional community (Working paper, Benchmarks for Schools). Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement.

Hord, S 1997, Professional learning communities: Communities of continuous inquiry and improvement. Austin, TX: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory, 18-19.

Read at <http://www.sedl.org/pubs/change34/welcome.html>

Robertson, P, Wohlstetter, P & Mohrman, SA 1995, Generating curriculum and instructional changes through school-based management. Educational Administration. . San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Odden, A., Wohlstetter, P & Odden, E 1995, Key issues in effective site-based management. School Business Affairs, vol.61, no.5, pp.4-16.

Odden, E.R. & Wohlstetter, P. (1995). How schools make school-based management work. Educational Leadership, 52(5), 32-36.

Robertson, PJ & Briggs, KL 1995, The impact of school-based management on educators' role attitudes and behaviours. Working paper, Centre on Educational Governance. Los Angeles: University of Southern California.

Odden, A & Odden, E 1994, Applying the high involvement framework to local management of schools in Victoria, Australia. Working paper, The School-Based Management Project. Los Angeles: University of Southern California.

Robertson, PJ & Briggs, KL 1993, Managing change through school-based management. Working paper, The School-Based Management Project. Los Angeles: University of Southern California.

Wohlstetter, P 1995, Getting school-based management right: What works and what doesn't. Phi Delta Kappan, Newbury Park, CA: Corwin Press, vol.77, pp. 22-26.

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