Moodle Response: Forum 8 ~ Notions of Leadreship

Forum 8: Notions of Leadership
In Forum 1 above you addressed the notion of what it
means to provide instructional leadership at the school
level. You also commented on the notions of
You now need to analyze that set of responses in order
to summarize the cohort’s concept of leadership. In
order to do so, you will need to read both sets of
responses in Forum 1 and identify the major themes,
ideas, or elements of leadership that are evident in the
responses of your peers. When you have identified this
set of themes, open either a blank Word document or a
google.doc and list the themes you identified or coding
bins. Read each of the responses and use the names of
the themes or bins to code each unit of thought or major
idea in their responses. A response may have several
themes or fall into several bins.
For each theme record key phrases or terms used by
your colleagues to present their ideas. These recorded
phrases/terms are your basic data in this research
regarding the meaning of leadership as viewed by
members of the cohort.
What themes are most prevalent or most powerful?
When you have constructed that set of themes and have
provided the supporting data (the phrases and terms)
for each theme, extend that analysis by writing a
synthesis that summarizes the cohort’s notion of
instructional leadership. Try to copy that synthesis and
paste the text into Forum 8 as your entry. When you
post your synthesis, you will have just completed a
content analysis research of documents on leadership.
To better code the cohort’s responses, we discussed
defining Sergiovanni’s 5 sources of authority:
Bureaucratic: Traditional management using top-down
authority and command leadership. Sergiovanni defines the
dominant male source of authority as bureaucratic.
Psychological: Sensitivity to interpersonal needs based on
moral authority using authentic real world behaviors.
Technical: Informative and/or research-based approach. It is
a prescribed plan of action or evaluation.
Competence: Being knowledgeable about teaching, learning,
and curriculum. In addition, it includes staying current on
technology, research, and methodology.
Virtue: Collective values of the individual and a shared
leadership with the community. The influence of moral
authority is also portrayed in virtue and can be exemplified
as a passion.
The educators of cohort 10, while ranging in interpretation of
the theme’s used in schools today, have diverse views of
how schools should be run, and what is most effective to
reaching success. From the five sources of authority;
bureaucratic, psychological, technical, virtue, and
competence, we see aspects of each theme heavily used,
with the exception of bureaucratic. The major themes from
the members of the cohort’s data was virtuous and
competent authoritative leadership styles. The supplemental
themes are the psychological and technical approaches of
leadership. Bureaucratic leadership style, although not
prevalent in the cohort’s viewpoints, was noted as an
important thread throughout the findings.
The bureaucratic source of authority is a very traditional
approach to leadership. It is, as Sergiovanni states, a
“command leadership” style. The majority of the cohort did
not rely primarily on this sole source of leadership styles and
are exemplified through these sources. PP repeatedly used
the word leader in describing the elements with which
instructional leadership should contain. “Leader is
relentlessly focused on problem solving... leader interprets
and analyzes multiple sources of data to make decisions...
leader is able to provide and identify needs for professional
development...” The traditional definition of the word “leader”
lines up with a bureaucratic style and is a significant
discrepancy from the general cohort. These are the major
pattern addressed pertaining to a bureaucratic type of
leader; however, these ideas could be better portrayed as a
discrepancy to the overall findings.
Virtue is the major theme that our cohort felt is the most
prevalent source of authority in leadership. This is the where
school leaders lead by example. It is there professionalism.
Virtue is inclusive of the concept of community. Sergiovanni
writes that, “people become virtuous by practicing virtue and
by living with moral mentors.” (The Virtues of Leadership,
pp.112) Our cohort indicates that they too, strongly believe in
virtue and setting examples of virtue as a way to lead a
school. JH states leadership includes “respect, patience,
commitment, versatility...” AB finds that “instructional
leadership is fostered through vision and common purpose...”
LC feels we must “do things because they are the right thing
to do...” TB feels we need to have “a commitment to the
ideas of the common good...” CC “gets a better feel of the
people they are (teachers) and their passion for their
practice.” Sergiovanni mentions that when leaders lead by
moral authority, they can me more authentic. They should
practice leadership by outrage, in other words, they are more
passionate about protecting the standards and are more
willing to take time to pursue them. MB states “one must
possess the attributes of... virtue.” These are the patterns
exemplifying virtue.
As a whole, competency was the second most identifies
theme we associated with as a source of authoritative
leadership. Leadership is marked by “technical competency”
and a sense of purpose; a competent leader is a master of
your craft. VD starts out saying “you must have an excellent
understanding of curriculum...” SF followed with
“instructional leadership should contain elements of the most
current, modernized forms of education...” CC closes by
saying “an administrator...(must) be an expert in a variety of
methods, be aware of new educational trends, and provide
support...” The master teacher does not need to be told what
to do, how to do it, and when to do it. This philosophy
demonstrates true professionalism, and it becomes part of
the school’s culture by example. Once again these finding
show that the patterns noted of competency are significant in
obtaining effective leadership.
As summarized in our finding, the cohort supports the
opinions of Sergiovanni in such that the “dominate” sources
of authoritative leadership should be virtue and competence.
However, psychological and technical sources of authority,
although “supplemental” as Sergiovanni states, are still
necessary and present in leadership. Our findings on
psychological and technical influences on leadership concur
with Sergiovanni’s philosophy of leadership. Psychological
and technical garnered the same amount of responses from
our cohort.
Psychological source of authority is what we are often taught
in leadership courses. It relies on “personality, motivation”,
and relationship building. CM, when expounding on the
psychological needs says, “find strength within teachers and
recognize and encourage strengths to help them grow...” LO
says, “Leadership requires a solid understanding of politics...”
This is one discrepancy noted in the data, as this is a break
from everyone else in our cohort; many overlooked a
mention of politics and its role in leadership. Many members
of the cohort talked about the need for passion in being a
leader, and how one uses that to influence their leadership.
The patterns of psychological style are demonstrated
through our findings. This was a secondary theme we
discovered through our findings.
Technical source of authority focuses on process and
procedure without substance and meaning. According to
Sergiovanni, technical rational is a “set of prescription” for
instruction based upon research; however, educators need
to “create their [own] practice in use.” CS states “group and
curriculum development, professional development, and
opportunities to participate in research are beneficial to
creating educational change.” Change is needed, as
evidenced by our responses in technical. AB repeatedly
talked about change, and stated “This occurs in the formal
observation process, curriculum changes, policy changes
and more.” Technical is the how, but as leaders we want to
foster competency through ownership of the process of
educating. These were the many patterns of technical styles,
which were included in our secondary theme of our data.
As a cohort, leaning on, and interpreting Sergiovanni’s 5
sources of authority, and how they relate to our views on
leadership is not an easy task. We agree that there is no one
specific way to exhibit leadership. Leadership is a
combination of many ideas, practices, modeling, and
implementation, depending on the needs of the students,
staff, and administration, but it was stated by CM “providing
instructional leadership ...inspire teachers, staff, and
students through example.” Possibly, it is the notion that it is
through the critical role of professional authority and moral
leader, that we can, as stated by Sergiovanni, expand our
leadership in more important and powerful ways.
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