Study into Contemporary educational leadership theories

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The word curriculum first appeared in English language in the sixteenth centaury. The word has been referred to in various ways at different times. As a matter of fact the word curricula are referred to as a collective as well as an individual experience of learning. Similar to this is the curriculum vitae which is the account of one's life and if a form of resume stating about the concerned person's career and education.

In the earlier universities it was mostly the national and the international leaders who influenced the generation of new ideas and thereby influenced the curricula as well. This practice became more pronounced with the formation of the modern state universities in the 19th century. During that time curricula were defined in the terms of mostly the funded and the one recognized federally with a consideration for the localized needs for learning. In this regard even today the mainly defined curricula have been successful in playing its part in complying with the functions it has to do.

It was not before the early twentieth century, when most of the public universities and institution had developed a balanced principle as well as a scientific process for improvement. In the same manner as the Industrial Revolution triggered the technological advancement in the nineteenth century, the technological revolutions have triggered the development of the structural and functional attributes of the educational universities institutions. Again it was in the latter half of the twentieth century, that the growing percentages of the adult population registered themselves in ever more varied types of universities, and professional programs (basically in the United States). This led to the shift in the national demographic of the education industry. Moreover the growing respect for the professional fields and the expansion of the professional education had also led to adaptation and evolution of the whole of the education system. (Stark, Joan S., and Lattuca, Lisa R. 1997)

Some of the Contemporary educational leadership theories

Transformational leadership

It included the process like shared decision-making, teacher empowerment, understanding & encouraging change, team work; see complete picture, continuous school improvement, and foster school community's sense of ownership (Leithwood 1992)

Strategic leadership

It mainly involved establishing the relationships between external environment & organization's mission as well as implementation (Maghroori & Rolland 1997)

Some of the most Emerging Challenges in the education space

With expansion in the education system all around with the number of universities and colleges increasing it becomes a challenge to maintain the same quality and standards of education as that of the traditional times. The trade of is to cater to the educational needs of the growing population besides maintaining the quality in terms of the infrastructure, teachers, curriculum as well as students. Some of the challenges and their resolution have been discussed below.

Enabling Vs Empowering

One of the main challenges for the educational system is to adopt the policy of achieving tradeoff between Enabling and the Empowering process. The decision has to be taken regarding the degree of the balance that should be maintained between both these techniques. Enabling is the technique of unwittingly allowing or encourages the irresponsible behavior in students besides trying to shield them from the consequence of the same. On the other hand empowering is the technique of delegating a particular task to a student and making him accountable for the accomplishment of the same. While both these techniques are necessary in order to develop a complete mode of learning but it depends very much on the area where it is used. For example if the task involve initiation then the concept of adopting empowerment works well. But most of the initiations are achieved by means of enabling when a student does an out of the box thinking and comes up with an idea. Thus a mix of both these approaches works best in achieving the success for an educational system.

Considering the multiple perspectives for the curricular content

The most important aspect of any educational university or institution is the curriculum which not only responds to the external and internal forces but also lays down the foundation for the identity and assumptions of the decision makers who affect it. It should be noted that curricular development and practice are not apolitical or static process but an ongoing one ( Kenneth Bruffee A. 1993) A series of publications during the early 1980s in the national daily is a proof of the importance of curricula in the education system. It should be noted that not only is the curriculum associated with academics, but it is also taken to be the depository of the national as well as the multinational cultures. Thus unlike any of the other feature of an educational universities or institution, the curriculum is the one that represents its core values. Once this has been set it is thereafter the responsibility of the educational leaders to share and exchange the values and beliefs of not one but also that of other communities.( Joseph Murphy, 2005)

Proposed leadership framework for university and institution academics

The proposed framework for the leaders in the universities and the academics can be framed into three broad perspectives which is from the point of view of the teacher, research and the administrator. The major proposals under these categories have been discussed below:

Preparation for a better world

Teacher - It includes the job of preparing the students for better job prospects and educating them in the right direction.

Researcher - Application of the industry based research in the curriculum and harness for further research in this field.

Administrator - Mainly act a linkage to the external environment by maintaining of the industrial contacts and to understand

Achieve authenticity both in terms of breath and depth.

Teacher - Achieving full Coverage of industry-relevant knowledge and the most practiced skills

Researcher - Conducting of educational research to gain deeper understanding of teaching & learning processes

Administrator - Garner the support from Education administrator in conducting peer teaching reviews, student transitions & unit evaluations

Try to facilitate the various communities of learning

Teacher - Delivering of good teaching practices at education seminars and workshops

Researcher - delivery of new and innovative ideas at conferences & seminars

Administrator - Involving of the various in the core of the educational system by means of internship and vocational training.

Deal with barriers head on

Teacher - Brainstorm about the good practices and the teachings that is being followed in the educational field with fellow academics from other educational institution and universities

Researcher - Involvement of the internal department professors and lecturers for their own advice on how to make the whole system more efficient

Administrator - Involving and taking into confidence the university administrator to provide with all the assistance in this regard.

Try to translate the innovative and new ideas into action

Teacher - Experiment with the educational system by adopting various approached to achieve more efficiency.

Researcher - Intra/inter-departmental & inter-university synergy and collaboration

Administrator - Appointment of the Quality committee which can quarterly review the whole operations of the educational Intuitions and recommend the possible steps for improvement.

Develop the habit of nurturing the culture of achieving success and awarding the same. Teacher - Yearly give away awards of educational excellence at a global level as a means of motivation.

Researcher - Incorporate the Award for research excellence; celebrating success in winning research grants & publication of top-tier journal articles

Administrator - Incorporating the Award for administration excellence for excellence in operational activities. Source: derived from Crowther et al. (2002, pp. 4-5)

(Mentkowski, Marcia, and Associates, 2000)

Thus a holistic approach as mentioned in the table if incorporated would be helpful in bringing about a greater personal achievement not only in the educational field but also at the career level in general (Baxter Magolda, Marcia B. 1999)


Kenneth Bruffee A. 1993. "Collaborative Learning: Higher Education, Interdependence, and the Authority of Knowledge." Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Ropers-Huilman, Becky. 1998. "Feminist Teaching in Theory and Practice: Situating Power andKnowledge in Poststructural Classrooms". New York: Teachers College Press.

Baxter Magolda, Marcia B. 1999. "Creating Contexts for Learning and Self-Authorship: Constructive-Developmental Pedagogy". Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press

Haworth, Jennifer Grant, and Conrad, Clifton F. 1997." Emblems of Quality in Higher Education: Developing and Sustaining High-Quality Programs" Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Joseph Murphy. 2005. "Connecting teacher leadership and school improvement": Corwin Press

Mentkowski, Marcia, and Associates. 2000. "Learning that Lasts: Integrating Learning, Development, and Performance in College and Beyond" San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Stark, Joan S., and Lattuca, Lisa R. 1997. "Shaping the College Curriculum: Academic Plans in Action" Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

Interactive Teaching Techniques - With and Without Technology Authored by Alison Morrison-Shetlar