463 Chapters
Medium 9781475819205

Kaleidoscope Feature

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

Kaleidoscope Feature

SUSAN M. BENNER AND GINA BARCLAY-MC LAUGHLIN

ABSTRACT: The authors of this article present a synopsis of one simultaneous reform effort of a teacher preparation program and a partner urban elementary school. We have attempted to blend the realities of urban teaching and teacher preparation without compromising our beliefs in constructivist theories of learning, cooperative learning, and inclusion. We accept the responsibility to create parallel opportunities for growth and development for ourselves, school-based personnel, and teacher education candidates. Through our partnership we have collaborated with school-based personnel to identify and implement methods that improve student outcomes in the bureaucratic context of mandated programs and curricula. Using the research in effective urban education as a guide, we present specialized curricular content and activities used in our teacher education program designed specifically for urban teaching. Our combined efforts continue to be aimed at improving the academic success of children in urban elementary school classrooms through the exploration and implementation of effective teaching practices and the implementation of innovative approaches to teacher preparation.

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Medium 9781052684103

Money Isn’t Everything: Teaching School Finance in a Leadership Development Program

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP R&L Education ePub

MARGARET L. PLECKI

ABSTRACT: This article describes an approach for preparing school-based educational leaders in school finance. In this approach, finance is treated as a learning opportunity that can assist school leaders in addressing the moral, ethical, political, and resource-related tensions that they face in their daily enactment of leadership responsibilities. The article begins with a brief overview of the general leadership challenge and discusses the particular matter of preparing school leaders to effectively manage resources and resource-related decision-making at the school site. The article then presents a conceptual framework and an instructional approach for teaching school finance in a leadership development program. In this framework, school finance serves as a forum for wrestling with the challenge of making difficult choices among competing interests in a manner that advances the school’s capacity for improvement. Finally, some observations from school leaders who have participated in such an approach are provided to illuminate the main argument of the article.

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Medium 9781475819250

Elementary Teachers: Forming Political Identities as Social Agents

Teacher Education and Practice R&L Education ePub

KAREN SIRNA

ABSTRACT: This article examines tensions that elementary teachers negotiate in struggling to recognize themselves as having political identities as critical educators capable of influencing social change in education. Drawing from a 6-month collective case study with four female elementary teachers, the article discusses the research finding that teachers do not recognize themselves as agents of social change. Using data as support, the article presents and speculates on the ways that tensions in language and perceptions may influence the teachers’ lack of identification with working from a social justice perspective.

Teachers can do nothing to change the conditions in which their students may live, but they can work to change their own biases as well as the institutional structures that act as obstacles to student learning.

—Nieto (2000, p. 49)

Elementary schools, as part of broader society, express the social, political, cultural, and economic power struggles occurring within the social order. As a result of these dynamics, the interests, values, and knowledge of certain dominant groups are privileged, maintaining inequities and injustices between individuals and groups. These conditions influence teachers’ and children’s lives along with the ways in which they understand themselves and their role in education and society.

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Medium 9781475811360

School Superintendents’ Choices of Professional Periodicals

JOURNAL OF SCHOOL LEADERSHIP R&L Education ePub

C. RUSSELL MAYO
PERRY A. ZIRKEL

ABSTRACT: In this national survey of public school superintendents, respondents indicated the “best” and the most read from a list of 34 periodicals in education leadership. Their top choices for both highest quality and most read were, in order, Educational Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, School Administrator, and American School Board Journal. Their primary criterion for selecting these journals was practical utility, not refereed scholarship. Therefore, professors who conduct research and publish it solely in journals perceived as unfamiliar to practitioners are, at least in the field of education leadership, missing a broader audience and direct influence on practice. Additionally, other education periodicals were not ranked often, but at least one periodical outside of education— Newsweek—ranked second only to Educational Leadership, among the responding superintendents for actual usage.

Periodicals serve as an important source of professional influence for public school superintendents. In fact, Berger and Andolina (1976) found that 92.5% of responding administrators reported periodicals, including journals and bulletins, as the greatest influence on their decisions. Superintendents (38%) were the largest subgroup of their respondents. Further, as Mason (1983) noted, superintendents influence the reading habits of subordinates. Unfortunately, the superintendent’s voluminous community appearances, meetings, conflict resolution, family obligations, and unexpected emergencies minimize reading time. Therefore, they must be selective in their professional reading. Knowing which professional periodicals superintendents regard as the best and which ones they read most is beneficial to relevant publishers, educational leadership professors, and new superintendents. For publishers, their sponsoring organizations, and their advertisers, this information may be an affirmation of their periodicals or a signal to change. For professors of educational leadership who wish to inform and improve professional practice, the results identify the periodicals in which they need to publish. For new superintendents, the survey findings can save time in selecting appropriate periodicals while adjusting to job responsibilities.

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Medium 9781475815887

Towards a New Prototype of Southern School Leadership

International Journal of Educational Reform R&L Education ePub

ALTON C. CREWS

Director

The Leadership Academy

Southern Regional Education Board

592 Tenth Street, N. W.

Atlanta, GA 30318-5790

Recently an Atlanta corporate CEO and I were discussing, over breakfast, the educational reform efforts of the 1980s. We conversed about the strategies that had been used and the results that had accrued. Sadly, we concluded that a decade of fermentative effort had not produced marked improvement in the public schools. Schools in 1991 are virtually the same as they were in 1980. Student performance had notched up only minimally.

As we finished our final cup of morning coffee and prepared to leave, my friend tried to inject a parting shot of encouragement. He stated, “It does appear that we are gradually getting our schools in order. Some good things have come out of the 1980s. We have the herd headed to Abilene. But do we have the trail bosses to get us there?”–ACC

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