843 Slices
Medium 9781475811384

Beyond Dualism, Splits, and Schisms: Social Justice for a Renewal of Vocational–Academic Education

R&L Education ePub


ABSTRACT: To fulfill the democratic dream for American schooling, educators and policymakers need to work together for the same common cause: reforming the academic-vocational dichotomy of schooling that has persisted over the past century. Academic subjects continue to be separated from vocational schooling with the effect of diluting each domain’s effectiveness. The Deweyian vision of social justice provides a solution for healing this fundamental dualism that characterizes schooling. Even where integration has been attempted using academic-vocational models, tracking continues in public schools without commitment to whole-school reform design. This article discusses these issues in the context of the history of vocational education and Dewey’s perspective of integrated education through the occupations. The authors also illustrate the concepts presented through promising whole-school reform designs for democratizing the public education system. Policy implications are addressed for moving toward a socially just system of schooling.

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Medium 9781475811971

Distributed but Undefined: New Teacher Leader Roles to Change Schools



ABSTRACT: This article examines teacher leader role development and definition by looking at one emergent model of distributed leadership: the hybrid teacher leader (HTL). HTLs are teachers whose official schedule includes both teaching K–12 students and leading teachers in some capacity. Participants included six HTLs across four school districts over 2 years, as well as their administrators. Extensive qualitative data were collected and subsequently analyzed, including interviews, on-site observations, and artifacts. Findings included a pervasive lack of role definition for the HTLs amid heightened organizational complexity, leading to numerous de facto definitions emerging. Conflicting de facto definitions led to diminished success for the HTLs, relationship deterioration, a reversion to professional development removed from the classroom, and a lack of capacity to account for HTL efficacy. The study concludes that for new teacher leaders to be successful, states and districts will need to much more clearly define roles and priorities and be specific about how budget-compensated teacher leader time is used.

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Medium 9781052684110

Promoting Social Justice and Caring in Schools and Communities: The Unrealized Potential of the Cohort Model



ABSTRACT: The problem of the efficacy of educational leadership as a promoter of just and caring change in schools and communities is explored in the context of educational leadership preparation practices. An exploration of this problem is based on the premise that despite the use of innovative instructional methods, in most cases current preparation programs merely reproduce the use of modernistic administrative practices and organizational structures. Here, the cohort model is identified as a means to promote just, caring, and relevant educational leadership. After a review of the benefits, drawbacks, and the nature of the use of cohorts in leadership preparation programs, a cohort structure is examined that will prepare educational leaders who are able to promote just and caring change in our postmodern communities.

As a professor in a doctoral educational leadership preparation program that utilizes a cohort model, I am concerned about the distinct possibility that our program has no significant impact beyond that of our students’ individual development as educational leaders. One way of comforting myself might be to adopt the viewpoint that our primary responsibility extends only as far as our students, and any beneficial change that occurs in school communities and in society at large is the responsibility of our students as educational leaders. However, that is not the position that drives this research—it is that the end state of promoting egalitarian change characterized by an ethic of caring in school communities and society at large must be the guiding principle in the organization of leadership preparation programs. I will argue that educational leadership programs utilizing cohort groups have the potential, if implemented appropriately, to serve this end. This position will be presented as a theoretical, conceptual, and ideological argument, rather than through an empirical study.

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Medium 9781475816846

How Middle School Principals Can Affect Beginning Teachers’ Experiences

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub

Peter Youngs

Hyun-Seung Kwak

Ben Pogodzinski

How Middle School Principals Can Affect Beginning Teachers’ Experiences

ABSTRACT: This article reports on a 2-year qualitative research study of the processes by which middle school principals’ policies and actions shaped the experiences of five novice teachers in two Michigan school districts. We examined beginning teachers’ perceptions of principals’ approaches to managing student behavior, instructional leadership, and teacher collaboration and their perceptions of the extent to which each principal was trusted by his or her teaching staff. At the end of the second year of data collection (2007–2008), all five beginning teachers expressed high levels of satisfaction and planned to remain teaching in their schools. We argue that leadership related to student behavior and instruction (as perceived by the novices), combined with high levels of teacher–principal trust (again as perceived by the novices), contributes to these outcomes.

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Medium 9781475811612

Creating Learning Communities in Low-Performing Sites: A Systemic Approach to Alignment

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT : Creating learning communities in low-performing districts and schools is especially daunting in an era of accountability and standards-based assessment. This article describes research that informed application of Southwest Educational Development Laboratory’s Working Systemically model for increased student achievement. The article highlights 4 needs of low-performing districts and schools, and it describes actions to address these needs systemically while promoting a culture of collaboration and professional learning. It focuses on a process for alignment of curriculum, instruction, and assessment to state standards across levels of the local system. Finally, it discusses roles and responsibilities of external change agents in helping districts and schools learn to work systemically.

Since 2001, the No Child Left Behind Act has required schools to use evidence- or research-based approaches in their efforts to increase student achievement. An assumption behind this legislation seems to be that informing schools about what they need to do is sufficient; that is, schools can figure out for themselves how to do it.

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