849 Chapters
Medium 9781475811964

The Importance of Belonging: Learning From the Student Experience of Democratic Education



ABSTRACT: This article grew out of an extensive piece of grounded theory research that explored students’ experiences of democratic education. A small democratic school in the south of England is used as a case study. Students in this school experienced a strong sense of belonging—to the school itself, with teachers, and with peers. This appeared to make a significant contribution to school outcomes. Data indicated that students’ sense of belonging was in part influenced by the democratic nature of the school, including its style of leadership. This resonated with existing literature. This article outlines key features of the school alongside empirical data about belongingness. A brief review of literature is provided. It concludes with a series of recommendations for practitioners.

The case for connecting democracy with education has been long since made (Dewey, 1916/2004; Goodlad, Mantle-Bromley, & Goodlad, 2004; Gutmann, 1999; Soder, 2001). Goodlad and colleagues (2004), for example, argued that

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Medium 9781475817362

Preparing Educators for Leadership: In Praise of Experience

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub



We shall not cease from exploration

And the end of all our exploring

Will be to arrive at where we started

And know the place for the first time

T. S. Eliot

Four Quartets

“Little Gidding”

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” One is often tempted to invoke this bit of conventional wisdom whenever arguments are advanced for educational reform of one type or another. Yet we are currently in the midst of one of the more sustained change efforts of the twentieth century, an effort that has begun to shake up conceptions (and, here and there, actual practices) of traditional leadership and decision-making roles in the way districts and schools are organized. Arguments long advocated for substantially increasing the responsibility of teachers for leadership activities beyond their classrooms (Bentzen, 1974; Goodlad, 1975; Sarason, 1971; Schaeffer, 1967) are finally being acknowledged to at least limited extents in the current experiments with devolution of authority, site-based decision making, and the like. Although the sustainability and long-term effects of these efforts (particularly on classroom teaching and learning) are likely to be in question for some time to come, it appears that things may be changing and may not be quite the same.

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Medium 9781475817225

The Administrative Role in an Accountability Network: A Developmental Conceptualization

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub



ABSTRACT: Americans have always viewed education as an instrument for the common good as well as for individual enhancement. Today, with chronically low student achievement scores, this view has been questioned by the populace. School leaders have come under close scrutiny concerning district and/or building operations. Local citizens have not only called for teacher accountability in the classroom, but have also increased the accountability call for administration as they demand evidence of school excellence amidst increased property taxes. Although educators have received the brunt of the accountability exchanges, basically a function of increasing educational expenditures and decreasing student achievement scores, responsibility for educational success or failure does not rest solely on the shoulders of educators. Citizens need to acquire a true understanding of accountability and become part of an effective accountability network. The administration must then assume the critical role in establishing a workable accountability network to initiate continuity of operations leading to school success. The questions then become: (1) What is accountability in education? (2) What is an effective accountability network? (3) What leadership role does the principal play in the accountability process?

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Medium 9781475811698

The Moral Agency of the Educational Leader in Times of National Crisis and Conflict

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP Rowman & Littlefield Publishers ePub


ABSTRACT: Many researchers have called for educational leaders to develop a moral grounding for their work. This essay begins a discussion of how Starratt’s (2005) spiraling framework of moral responsibility represents a process through which educational leaders can evolve from taking a transactional approach to problem solving, to using moral and transformational means of resolving controversial issues. In pursuit of a special ethics of the education profession, Starratt poses five domains of moral responsibility: as human being, citizen and public servant, educator, educational administrator, and educational leader. In this essay, the authors apply each domain to the ethical analysis of dilemmas of educational leadership, specifically those brought forth by current national crises and conflict (i.e., Hurricane Katrina, war in Iraq, and September 11 terrorist attacks), in order to reveal archetypal behaviors of educational leaders as proactive moral agents.

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Medium 9781475811315

Organizational Citizenship Behavior in Schools and Its Relationship to School Climate



ABSTRACT: Within effective organizations employees often go beyond formal job responsibilities, performing nonmandatory tasks with no expectation of recognition or compensation. Therefore, it is important to learn more about how organizational citizenship behaviors (OCB) can be cultivated. In this study a new measure of OCB, which is useful in exploring how this construct functions in K–12 schools, was developed. Data were collected in two separate samples and confirmed that this new measure was reasonably valid and reliable. Further testing explored whether the two-factor structure found in other organizational contexts held in public school settings. A significant relationship was found between OCB and school climate. Implications of these findings and directions for further research are discussed.

Within effective organizations employees often go beyond formal job responsibilities, performing nonmandatory tasks with no expectation of recognition or compensation. These altruistic acts are neither prescribed nor required, yet they contribute to the smooth functioning of the organization. One noted scholar’s interest in organizational citizenship was initially sparked as he reflected on an experience he had as a young factory worker. He was struggling with the use of a piece of equipment until an older worker noticed his difficulty and left his own work to assist the floundering young man in the proper use of the tool. It was not in the job description of the older worker to offer such assistance, but his efforts aided both the struggling young factory worker and the organization as a whole. Later, after becoming an organizational scholar, the once struggling factory worker reflected on the importance of these types of behaviors, he coined the phrase “organizational citizenship behavior” (OCB) to denote these organizationally beneficial gestures (Bateman & Organ, 1983).

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