Review on the Concepts of Educational Management

Published: Last Edited:

This essay has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.

According to Heck and Hallinger (2005) comma?? research into educational management began in the 1930's; during this period, it was met with much skepticism as critics doubted its relevance to what??. It was not until the 1950's that general education practitioners accepted this type of research as being valuable; since then by 1991, well over ten thousand peer reviewed research studies have been published across the globe (Walker, 1994 cited in Thody, 1997). Due to the plethora of information available on educational management comma? it is not feasible to cover everything in an MA literature review, nor is it necessary; therefore, this chapter will focus on:

(a) Three core principles of educational management based on the work of Earley and Weindling (2004); in order to clarify the key concepts of educational leadership.

(b) Leithwood et. al's (2008) seven claims about the influence leadership has on students and their learning.

(c) Based upon the literature, assumptions will be made about the role of management in language learning.

{or (c) Differences between standard schools and ESOL schools in the UK}

Three Core Concepts

The central theory behind this research paper is based upon the work of Leithwood et. al (2008) who made seven claims about the way in which leadership affects learning. Three core concepts which are arguably essential to understand before reviewing their work include: (1) defining the term 'leadership'; (2) knowing the different theories about leadership; and (3) understanding the role of leadership in a school. This section will now concisely introduce these concepts. Huloo!!

Defining Leadership in an Educational Context

The title of this research paper is "Does Leadership Affect Language Learning?", yet thus far, the terms 'manager' and 'management' have been used consistently rather than 'leadership' as these are appellations the reader will be familiar with in an ESOL context; however, it is necessary to differentiate between the two terms.

The word 'management' in education refers to the person(s) responsible for controlling and maintaining the day-to-day running of an institution; normally labelled the principal in secondary schools (Houghton et. al, 1975; Strain et. al, 1998 wrong punctuation) et al., . Management is restricted to the execution and maintenance of a school's activities policies and processes (Bush and Glover, 2003; McCall and Lawlor, 2000; Ofsted, 2003). What about the term manager?

Leadership on the other hand, is the process of developing a philosophy, goal, and a vision for the school; then leading, inspiring, and persuading others (teachers) to work towards and ultimately realise that vision (Fiddler, 1997; Bush and Glover, 2003). Leadership is fundamentally concerned with learners and attempts to create an effective learning environment (Strain et. al, et al., 1998; Fullan, 2003; Ofsted 2003).

The concept of 'leadership' and its difference from 'management' can be quite challenging to comprehend initially, as is evident from the fact that there are well over three hundred and fifty definitions of leadership (Earley and Weindling, 2004). Essentially, the key differences are clarified in the following statement: "Leadership is a process of influence leading to the achievement of desired purposes. It involves inspiring and supporting others towards the achievement of a vision for the school that is based on clear personal and professional values. Management is the implementation of school policies and the efficient and effective maintenance of the school's current activities" (Bush and Glover, 2003:10 cited in ibid:5).

In recent years, educationalists have adopted the term 'leadership' and prefer it over 'management' because it is a more comprehensive term and includes management as one of its elements (Early and Weidling, 2004). Based upon this definition, leadership in an ESOL context refers to those persons responsible for goal setting and leading the school to academic success. Great section..well done

Types of Leadership

Since the 1960s comma? there have been a substantial amount of theories produced about educational leadership (Blake and Moulton, 1964; Tannenbaum and Schmidt, 1973; Weindling and Earley, 1987; Pfeffer, 1992; Bush and Glover, 2003). Some researchers summarize these theories into eight categories:

"- instructional leadership

- transformational leadership

- moral leadership

- participative leadership

- managerial leadership

- post-modern leadership

- interpersonal leadership

- contingent leadership"

(Bush and Glover, 2003:11-22). I think u could give a brief summary of the meaning of each category.

Other researchers use different classifications and categories leadership theories chronologically under five headings:

"- trait theory (leadership as an attribute of personality)

- style theory (leadership as a management style)

- contingency theory (leadership as the conjunction of the person and the situation)

- power/influence theory (a function of power and how it is exercised)

- personal trait theory (effective leadership as superior individual performance)"

(Weindling and Earley, 1987:9).

Based upon my own experience of working as an EFL teacher, although all of these theories have their place in academic environments, the following three types of leadership are most likely to be found in an ESOL school: I am worried that he will ask u this q ''why didn't u give me an explanation of how these theories have their place in academic environments''?+ give me a proof that just these three are the most likely??

Transformational Leadership

The fundamental aim of transformational leadership is to bring about positive change to a school; to transform it from its current state to a better state (Leithwood and Jantzi, 2005). In an ESOL context, this type of leadership may arise when a school under performs in a British Council evaluation, then decides to make significant departmental changes in order to improve itself for the next evaluation. Although many factors will need to be considered in order to transform a school, Leithwood and Jantzi's (2005) model of transformational leadership suggests that the three most important factors are (1) setting directions, (2) developing people, and (3) redesigning the organization. If u don't give its meaning in the previous section as I suggested, u should put it here

The first step of transformation lies in creating a vision for the school. Teachers are motivated by having a sense of purpose and shared goals which they can all strive towards achieving; leading a school to reformation is dependent upon the identification, articulation, and acceptance of academic goals and teachers' performance expectations (Leithwood and Jantzi, 2005).

Having established a new goal for the school, the next step in transformation is developing people. It is incumbent upon the leadership to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their teachers; then provide training opportunities for teachers in order to develop their capacities (Leithwood and Jantzi, 2005). Not only does developing teachers lead to increased academic success in students, but it also leads to increased effort and enthusiasm amongst teachers, and reinforces the vision that was initially agreed (ibid).

Whilst developing teachers, it is also important to redesign the organization based upon sound research in order to promote conditions in which effective teaching and learning can take place (Leithwood and Jantzi, 2005). In an ESOL context, this could include processes such as redesigning the layout of tables in classrooms; reducing the number of students; or updating the existing curricula.

Distributed Leadership

Real-world evidence demonstrates that transformational leadership is most productive when it is distributed (Leithwood and Jantzi, 2005). In terms of what? Additionally, academic research suggests that distributed leadership is clearly more effective than traditional leadership, even if a leader or leadership believes it has the ability to lead a school without the explicit involvement of lower-level members of staff (Weiss and Cambone, 2000; Gronn, 2000). In opposition to the traditional model of a principal being the sole leader of a school, distributed leadership disperses leadership responsibilities and tasks amongst a variety of staff members, particularly teachers (Harris, 2005).

A distributed leadership is one in which the expertise and experience of teachers is highly valued; teachers are given the opportunity to lead and are treated as equals by the leadership (Harris, 2000). This sense of collegiality results in positive effects on the overall school culture, on pedagogy, and on educational quality (ibid).

Distributed leadership in an ESOL context could take the form of teacher involvement in the designing of a new curriculum; or by in-class observations being performed by teachers rather than the leadership.

Learning-Centred Leadership

Ultimately, the underlying purpose of both transformational leadership and distributed leadership is to improve the academic performance of students (Harris, 2005; Leithwood and Jantzi, 2005). A learning-centred leadership is one in which students and their learning are given top priority above all else in the school (Southworth, 2005). Traditionally, although leaders claim to prioritize learning, they tend to preoccupy themselves with administration activities such as the management of human resources, building maintenance or financial issues; learning-centred leadership on the other hand, creates a learner centred culture within the organisation (Middlewood et al, 2005). In a learner centred culture, all members of staff are continuously working towards improving the learning experience of students (Dimmock, 2000).

Southworth (2005) suggests a successful learning-centred leadership is based upon three basic strategies: (1) modelling, (2) monitoring, and (3) dialogue.

The concept of modelling simply means leading by example and acting as a role model for other members of staff. "Teachers do not follow leaders who cannot 'walk the talk'..." (Southworth, 2005:78); therefore a respected learning centred leadership is one that demonstrates their interest in learning by regularly visiting classrooms, observing teachers, and enquiring about the progress of the student body (ibid).

Monitoring classrooms, teachers and students is also key to a successful learning-centred leadership. Monitoring includes the collection and analysis of data, it can be data about students such as test scores and attendance records; or it could be data about teachers, such as their performance on an observed lesson (Southworth, 2005). Research shows that there is a strong relationship between good monitoring and effective learning (Ofsted, 2003).

Finally, dialogue between the leadership, teachers, and students is essential to learning-centred leadership. Students should be given opportunities to express themselves to the leadership; this could be via a student representative in scheduled meetings or if necessary, on a one-to-one basis. Moreover, teachers should have the opportunity to meet with the leadership on a frequent basis; in such meetings comma teachers can reflect upon the effectiveness of their teaching methods and practices, whilst the leadership encourages and supports them to improve their teaching methods (Southworth, 2005).

The Fundamental Role of Leadership in Education

Having defined leadership and highlighting some of the different forms it takes, one may begin to realize the importance of leadership in an academic environment. Research produced by the National College of School Leadership (NCSL) on both primary and secondary schools suggests that every successful school in the UK possesses an effective leadership (Southworth, 2005). This has been supported by Ofsted (2003) who imply that an effective leadership is crucial to academic success. Additionally, research conducted by Hallinger and Heck (1999) also supports the argument that leadership influences student learning and what takes place in the classroom.

A school leadership's influence can take three forms:

" direct effects - where leader's actions directly influence school outcomes

Indirect effects - where leader's affect outcomes indirectly through other variables

Reciprocal effects - when the leader or leaders affect teachers and teachers affect the leaders and through these processes outcomes are affected" would u plz no them?

(Hallinger and Heck, 1999:4-5 cited in Southworth, 2005)

To conclude this section, research conducted throughout recent years by educationalists indicates that school leadership is a fundamental part of academic success. In response to the question 'why should we care about leadership?', Leithwood (2006) argues that extensive, longitudinal, qualitative and quantitative research conducted since the 1980s proves leadership has a vital role to play in any academic environment and has a clear affect on learners, learning, and school achievement.

I think this section is brief bro!!what do u think?

Seven Claims About the Influence Leadership has on Learning

Leithwood et. al (2008) wrote an article in the journal of School Leadership and Management entitled 'Seven strong claims about successful school leadership'; it was this very article that ignited my interest in the role of leadership in an ESOL context and the influence it may have on language learning. In the article, they summarize the findings of twenty years worth of research into seven claims; this section will now explore these claims.

Claim One

The first claim is: "School leadership is second only to classroom teaching as an influence on pupil learning" (Leithwood et. al, et al., 2008:3). This claim has been supported by many researchers, all of whom suggest that leadership plays a very significant role in student learning (Davies, 2005; Earley and Weindling, 2004; Fullan, 2003; Gunter, 2001). Leithwood et. al (2008) base this claim on five types of evidence:

1) Qualitative case studies such as those conducted by Gezi (1990) and Reitzug and Patterson (1998) have investigated the achievement of student learning outcomes in extremely low performing schools. They found that in such schools, employing qualified, experienced teachers to replace the current staff does not necessarily have any positive impact on student learning. Rather, student learning in these schools only improves when a new leadership is brought in, or the current leadership is improved.

2) Large-scale quantitative studies conducted between 1980 and 1998 examined the overall effects of leadership on schools; they proved that both the direct and indirect effects of leadership on student outcomes was educationally significant SO?(Leithwood et al, 2008) full stop!

3) Large-scale quantitative studies about specific leadership practices have led to the identification of twenty-one common leadership practices in schools. Empirical research has demonstrated that when a leadership improves in these leadership practices, there is an increase in student achievement by ten percent (Leithwood et al, 2008)

4) Ten recent, large-scale, quantitative studies conducted in Australia and the USA have shown that transformational school leadership has significantly positive effects on student engagement (Leithwood et al, 2008). This is important because conclusive research conducted by Frederick et al (2004) revealed that student engagement with the school is a strong predictor of successful student achievement.

5) Research indicates that in schools where the leadership is usually in the form of a single person, such as a principal; his sudden and unexpected departure from the school results in detrimental effects on student outcomes. No matter how well teachers perform in the classroom, schools without a leadership in place always fail until a new competent leadership is fully established (Leithwood et al, 2008). Well done!

Claim Two

The second claim is: "Almost all successful leaders draw on the same repertoire of basic leadership practices". This claim is based upon the arguments made earlier in this chapter about transformational leadership, which said that one of the key responsibilities of a successful leadership is the development of teachers; this development will lead to improved teaching practice and ultimately improved learning outcomes by the students. With this goal in mind, Leithwood et al just full stop here without a comma (2008) identify four core categories of leadership practices, which may lead to the accomplishment of that goal. Number them if u don't mind

Building vision and setting directions. As previously highlighted, the creation of a shared vision and goals gives teachers a sense of purpose. Additionally, the leadership should create a plausible action plan to achieve this vision, coupled with a clarification of staff roles, their individual objectives and an emphasis on high-performance expectations. This may result in a motivated and inspired group of teachers who are confident in the leadership's capabilities.

Understanding and developing people. Again, this was pointed out earlier as an important characteristic of both transformational and learning-centred leadership. It is incumbent upon the leadership to monitor teachers in order to gauge their abilities; then provide training opportunities which can improve their weaknesses. Furthermore, recognizing and rewarding improvement fosters staff commitment (Leithwood et al, 2008)

Redesigning the organisation. Leithwood et al full stop here bas!(2008) argue that teachers watch leadership and their beliefs about the school can change depending upon what they see. This view is supported by Southworth (2008) who said that an effective leadership knows that it is constantly scrutinized by staff, and subsequently 'put on a show' by acting in a way that is both beneficial to the school and pleasing to teachers. Leithwood et al here too (2008) claim that redesigning the school means making significant changes such as building new teams, managing staff conflict; making improvements to the work environment; and building a collaborative work culture

Managing the teaching and learning programme. By monitoring, supporting, training and buffering teachers from distractions, the leadership is essentially strengthening the school's base and infrastructure (Leithwood et al full stop then comma here, 2008). Similarly, by constantly developing and improving the curriculum, the leadership is fostering school stability and progress.

Great job!

Claim Three

Their third claim is: "The ways in which leaders apply these basic leadership practices - not the practices themselves - demonstrate responsiveness to, rather than dictation by, the contexts in which they work". Citation??Conceptually, this means that the four core categories of practices highlighted above, can be used in a variety of contexts depending upon the needs of a school at a particular time; and that one specific practice is not necessarily solely implemented in a specific context.

Leithwood et al a period here(2008) explain this claim with the simile of an underachieving school going through a transformation. When a new leadership enters the school, it will initial face a crisis stabilisation stage, otherwise known as 'early turnaround'; and eventually lead the school to a sustaining success stage, known as 'late turnaround'. Evidence indicates that using the different core categories as a response to a school's particular stage leads to the attainment of better student outcomes. U should relate among paragraphs and no the following points

Building vision and setting directions. For a leadership in the early turnaround stage of school transformation, this category is particularly important; as the creation of clear aims and goals is crucial for any new leadership to be taken seriously by existing staff. This category could also be important for a leadership in a late turnaround stage, as leadership responsibilities become distributed, it is necessary to create shared, agreed aims across the school.

Understanding and developing people. Research conducted in both the UK and USA has consistently demonstrated that this particular category is vital in all contexts and at all stages of school turnaround.

Redesigning the organisation. This category is key for all transformational leaders, especially during the early stages of transition.why? Depending upon how well the school responds to changes made, the leadership may have to redesign and restructure again until goals are successfully achieved.

Managing the teaching and learning programme. Similarly, managing staff and the curricula is something that will begin during the early turnaround stage, but changes and improvements are likely to continue unto and including the late turnaround phase.

Claim Four

The fourth claim is: "School leaders improve teaching and learning indirectly and most powerfully through their influence on staff motivation, commitment and working conditions". As previously mentioned, leadership can effect student learning directly, indirectly, or reciprocally how? (Hallinger and Heck, 1999); but the majority of its influence is indirect (Southworth, 2005).

Based upon quantitative empirical research conducted in the UK and USA, Leithwood et al (2008) proposed the following model, to demonstrate this indirect influence:

Figure 1. The effects of school leadership on teacher capacity, motivation, commitment and beliefs

about working conditions

Key: *weak influence; **moderate inlfuence; ***stron

g inlfuence.

(Leithwood et al, 2008:33).

As the diagram demonstrates, there are three ways in which leadership indirectly influences student learning; namely, working conditions, motivation and commitment, and capacity. A leadership's strongest influence will be on teacher's belief about their working conditions. If teachers perceive their work environment to be of a high standard, they will be motivated to work harder. Additionally, if teachers are confident about the curricula, learning materials and classroom support, their motivation will increase further and they will become more committed to the school. Moreover, the leadership can develop teachers' skills and abilities through observation and training.

As indicated by the diagram, these three factors lead to the improvement of classroom practice, which subsequently improves the student learning experience and academic achievement. Hulooo!

Claim Five

Their fifth claim is "School leadership has a greater influence on schools and students when it is widely distributed". Building upon the model presented in figure 1., Leithwood et. al et al. (2008) produced the following path-analysis model which

represents the strength of relationships between the variables highlighted earlier:

Figure 2. Total leadership effects on teachers (Leithwood et al, period then comma 2008).

In this model, 'total leadership' refers to more than a single leader or leadership team, it refers to distributed leadership in schools, which includes admin staff, teachers, staff teams, students and even parents; it means the combined leadership influence from all sources.

Figure 2 indicates that relationship between total leadership and the three dimensions of teacher performance is more significant than a non-distributed leadership, and ultimately more successful. Why? Because in this model, the relationship between teacher's capacity and total leadership is much stronger; this is significant because as demonstrated in Figure 1, teachers' capacity has the strongest influence on students' academic success. Therefore, the indirect effect of a distributed leadership on student learning through its direct effect on teachers leads to "a quite significant 27% of the variation in student achievement across schools" (Leithwood et al, 2008:34); which is two to three times more effective than a non-distributed leadership.

Claim Six

"Some patterns of distribution are more effective than others". Research by whom??conducted on 110 schools revealed that not only does distributed leadership positively affect student learning, but also certain types of distribution are more effective than others. The research findings indicate that schools adopt one of two patterns when distributing leadership; either the majority of authority and responsibility is with the main leader; or equal responsibility and authority is found amongst the total leadership. Give a brief methodology about this study as I told u

Interestingly, although as claim 5 pointed out - distributed leadership is better than focused leadership (non-distributed); it seems that it is most effective when the majority of authority remains with the leader. A number of researchers are looking into why this is the case and whether or not an optimal pattern for schools can be designed. Such as??

Claim Seven

Their final claim is: "A small handful of personal traits explains a high proportion of the variation in leadership effectiveness". To date, education research has not actually investigated the personal traits of leaders to great extents; however, research into leadership has replicated evidence found by private sector research into management and leadership. Their research claims that successful leaders who are put into challenging situations are very open-minded people and eager to learn from others; they optimists and are persistent in their pursual ??of school success. They are also flexible, as opposed to being dogmatic, as well as being resilient. It is thought that these personal traits push leaders to achieve their goals, where others would quit.???

Assumptions about the Leadership's Role in an ESOL Context


Differences between standard schools and ESOL schools in the UK