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Leadership in Today’s Education System in America

by Suleman
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  1. Introduction

The leadership is a topic that is learned not in civilian institutions but in military colleges. Professional military education colleges, on the other hand, rely on a civilian-oriented leadership model. This allows them to teach students military leadership. This indicates that leadership is through discipline, leadership, understanding and comprehension. Lacking even one thing is not enough to instil the ideals of leadership in the students. The leadership of the air university explores and examines the model of situational leadership of Hersey and Blanchard. In order to see how they can represent military leadership, the university is evaluating the other versions.

Knowledgeable and successful school leaders are highly necessary for the USA. This is to measure the application of technologies and to consider students’ learning. The leadership skills of principals and teachers include these two queries. Administrators used to be dissatisfied with leadership qualities, but successful technologies and leadership qualities is applied by eliminating confusion. This is through creating their own understanding of technology, discipline, leadership, studying and comprehension. Technology has become a big factor in the variables described above.

Leadership in Today's Education System in America

  1. Significance of Leadership

According to Heifetz the leadership is a change or adaptive process. This is for addressing the conflicts in the values people hold. This can diminish the gap between the different values of the people. This makes them stand for the facts they have to face. In the past the views of the leadership involved managerial or operational functions. Now the discipline, learning and understanding has to be involved in them to make teachers, principals and educational leaders to guide the student community towards the changing times without or with minimum conflict. This is due to the fact that the American education cannot continue as usual with the systems from 70’s. The previous system produced managers but not leaders who can take care of curriculum, instruction and assessment. When the education is concentrating only on management and not on learning and understanding, the principals, teachers and educational personalities cannot be good leaders to resolve the conflicts in the education system. After 1980 the data driven decision making came to the fore. The test results and school design were the chief topics and professional development workshops evolved. The system sought the school leaders to be instructional. This centred on employees, pupils and parents concentrating on student success, which is emphasised by successful instruction.

By stressing productive teaching and learning methods, using data for decision-making, community engagement in classrooms, and more, school leaders were motivated to become educational leaders and concentrate the teachers, pupils, and parents on student learning. In the current scenario, managers in public organisations oversee administrative activities based on student instruction, expectations, transparency for high stakes and success reviews. The restructuring initiatives contain these. This resulted in the excessive work loads for the administrators, teachers and students as it resulted in shifting from operational to instructional leadership.

The following is the quote of Lasway and Mazzarella and Grundy in 1995.

“At a minimum, we can be sure they [school districts] want someone who can carry out a long list of specific duties. The new principal will be expected to arrange class schedules, resolve discipline problems, administer a labor contract, evaluate teachers, and apply the oil of public relations to points of friction with the community. And that’s just in the morning.”

This is a follow up of the emphasis laid on standards based school leadership in 1990s. Though the focus on the standards is convincing, there is a current need for renewal of focus on leadership. In 1990s the standards are considered as important and in the present and future, the leadership replaces the priority place and the standards will be after the leadership in the future. This includes the teacher leadership and professionalism. This can decentralize the management structure. This leads to the development of the efforts to increase the leadership qualities in the teachers. The leadership responsibilities of the teachers should be in such a way to enhance professional practice. According to Danielson, teachers can direct the faculty, commit to understanding the elements of school life and make a fair commitment to heading a large initiative in the school or district. Which adds to the focus on leadership, which is informed by increased uncertainty. The complexity is in the school reform efforts and cannot be done in a short span of time and this results the change of curriculum and policies step by step. The more the students, staff and educational administrators participate in this reform process towards leadership, the more the system will be successful. Here the leader need not identify or promote any reform strategy but has to develop leadership. This includes the collaboration with the staff, parents and community members to increase the school’s success and improvement efforts. This should done over a substantial period of time. This results in the shift in leadership focus to locate the right reform initiative to people development and collaboration. There can be a parallel change with this in the corporate leadership to be in line with the changes in educational leadership. This type of focus on leadership will integrate standards into the curriculum and inculcates the leadership qualities in the students by staff and administrators.

  1. Integration of Standards Into Curriculum

Marzano and Kendall claimed that publications on leadership in education were perceived to be the initiating activities in the modern expectations trend that stresses leadership. The US legislator recognised the importance of high expectations in enhancing leadership education in 2000. The demand for better expectations originated from teachers, educators, teacher associations, professional groups at state and national levels, representatives in industry and government, parents and students. Which should be integrated with changes based on leadership. At the same period, the emphasis on norms and leadership culminated in directed modification initiatives at all stages of schooling. This has generated significant outcomes and the campaign focused on norms is on a stable basis in the USA. This is capable of changing the teaching, learning and understanding of educational administrators, teachers and students in USA. The integrating of standards into curriculum is a complex endeavor as it is linked with the leadership. In general the school curriculum will provide a plan with instruction that indicates the structural learning experiences. The details of learning of students and instructional strategies along with the teachers’ roles should be known. This is for understanding the extent of learning while teaching. This can take place with inculcating leadership into teachers and students. This broadened the scope of curriculum to include the content and activities that can affect the happenings in the classroom. This affected the learning of the student. The integration of standards into curriculum can be emphasize the learning and growth for all. This is the natural and desired outcome of the schools. These are developed when the educators collaborate with the parents, community members and students. The leadership in the curriculum will enable the organizations to share expertise in creating a curriculum that is based on high standards for student learning. This development will be successful when the idea behind the standards is set to clear the standards for what the society wants the students to learn and use. The academic standards drive other changes and leadership helps the learners at this juncture according to the American federation of teachers in 1999. These are needed to be considered in the context of school reform that includes the professional development, parent community involvement, instructional leadership and the use of technology and other sources. As much the organization, staff and administrators are interacting with other organizations, staff and administrators the students’ learning will be enhanced. The interaction will even develop the leadership in them. In this juncture, the leadership of staff and administrators need to integrate the technology and other resources of education. The integrating of standards, technology and leadership into curriculum consist of developing a curriculum framework in the context of standards based reform, selection of a curriculum planning model that can articulate the standards and leadership based reform outlined in the framework, building the capacity at all levels of the educational system, and monitoring, reflecting upon and evaluating the curriculum. [1]

  1. Self Transcendence

The things in the course of time of transformation indicate that the change is painful. The past will crumbling, decaying and exhausting while indistinct arise from that rubble. Without the destruction of the old systems, the gradual transition is possible when the system is aware of the needs and situation of the society. This needs to go beyond normal physical and mental capacity.  This state of post modern mind is a symbol of leadership and results in commercial expansion of the countries who inculcated it. This makes a lot of things possible. The development of science and technology is demanding the change in other sectors and aspects also. The unconditional faith in objective reality and dependence on rational knowledge and law led to the creation of modern technological civilization and the leadership in education is capable of enhancing it. To integrate the standards, leadership and technology into the curriculum the foundations of the present education system need to be considered. By neglecting or destroying them is not capable of giving good results in this integration. In case  of American society the new integrations mentioned above are being tried to be inculcated into the system without disturbing the foundations of the present educational system. The liberties and human rights of the students, staff and administrators are not at stake. This needs to go farther and deeper into the roots of the system. This gives a different situation to face that classical modern solutions cannot give satisfactory response. That is the integration of standards, leadership and technology without aliening the human rights from the stake holders of the education system. This is due to the fact that the man is capable and qualified to know the nature and the world and aligning of the human rights may affect that capability in the education. This ruins the fundamental aspect and goal of the education system. [2]

  1. New Challenges

When the businesses are not able to respond to new challenges they are set to extinct. Similarly the education systems that are not responding to the new challenges are set to be extinct when the required integrations are not done into the curriculum. The education system should understand the nature of the dissatisfied people and the students who are not up to the mark in the present society. They can provide valuable inputs that can help in integration of standards, leadership and technology into curriculum. When the education system is not inculcating the standards and technology along with leadership qualities that can efficiently face adverse circumstances the students coming out of the organizations cannot satisfy the needs of industry and society. The rapidly growing world is demanding good leaders than the managers. The past educational system produced the managers as the leadership is not integrated with the standards and technology. When the educational system wants to reform without disturbing the foundations, the administrators and staff along with teachers should undergo a lot of distress in the course of changing and integration. Once it was done, the system will ready for the needs of the society and industry and this distress can be minimized when there is a separate channel, department or wing in the educational system that can alert the administrations and system when the change is needed in the near future. The distress of the stakeholders of the educational system can be minimized by regulation of it. This can be further minimized when every one in the organization and the system are given access to the information that demands change. This makes the convincing of the stake holders easy for the administrations of the country and paves the way for the integration of the different aspects into the curriculum. [3]

  1. Becoming Leaders

The administrators in education, staff, and teachers should become leaders wherever they are. This can be done by fighting with conflict and the context when it is adverse. The institutional restrains should not stop them and they must work beyond them or even within them. The leaders in educational system or in any other area should not be prisoners of their habits or creatures in the context. If the administrators in the educations system or the principals in the educational institutions are the prisoners of the habitual education, the changing needs and challenges they pose cannot be met. The policies may be prepared by the governments but the processes should be deployed by the institutional leaders in the educational system. The administrators, principals and teachers should create passion in the students regarding education and success. They must inculcate hope in the children and the processes of creation passion for success and hope for the better can be included in the curriculum. The most important thing in leader and his leadership should be integrity. It consists of knowledge and maturity. A person can become a leader when he knows his faults and lapses. This makes him correct them and this makes him to go nearer the perfection. The principals and teachers should inculcate this value of knowing themselves and thus they can make the students inculcate it. The teachers should add the self knowledge to the course they teach. The curriculum will be successful if it develops candor in the students. The curriculum should be framed in such a manner to guide the teachers towards self knowledge and in turn they guide the students in that way. The government and companies are investing billions of dollars to build representatives. Even then, tonnes of leaders are unintentionally made. According to Warren Bennis in his work ‘Becoming a Man’, the making of a leader should be part of the educational structure in America and this does not happen. This is because the abilities but not character and vision are learned by the leader ship courses. This can be made possible by involving the character and vision based syllabus in curriculum. Great leaders are always their own inventors. This invention of themselves can be made possible by the character and values they develop during the education. This is possible when the curriculum contains the required substance that makes the students to look into their own self that makes them invent themselves. The success of a leader will be at different aspects. Different leaders will be successful in different areas. Truman, Eisenhover, Kennedy and Roosevelt are successful presidents but Jimmy Carter though a president he was more successful as international peacemaker. One more quality the students inculcate in the way to the leadership is recovering from setbacks. According to a philosophic saying, the manager imitates, the leader originates. Just managers are not enough to lead a nation but the leaders create managers in their course of leadership. By creating one leader, a number of managers can be produced in the future. This is because the manager’s focus will be on the structure and administration and the leader’s focus will be on the people who in turn focus on administration. A nation that produces leaders from its educational organizations will dominate over other nations who produce the managers. The American economy and administration though dominating the world, the increasing growth in the world economy and awareness in the other developing countries need more leaders to cope up with the needs of the changing times. When we want to control the situation, it means that fundamentally we don’t have control on it. The same is in the case of educational system. As long as the educators, principals and teachers want to control the students they cannot inculcate leadership values as they require inspiration and mutual trust. The perspective of the educational system should be long range keeping in view the future needs and challenges faced by the students in their real life. In case of managers they concentrate on short term views and this is not sufficient for making leaders from the students. When the situation is not prosperous the manger tries to make it prosperous from the existing system. The leader in the teacher, staff and the principals should challenge it to make their students leaders when they are out from the organization. This cannot come from the commanding nature. The leader never commands. He gives advices and his followers will follow them. Every leader is a follower and every follower is a leader. In this sense, every teacher is a student and every student is a teacher. This is due to the fact that the teachers gain experience from teaching and students question their teachers regarding the existing system. In the view of Wallace Stevens, managers are trained and the leaders are educated. The education will induct the values and the training will deduce. The deduction is from the existing one and the induction leads to innovation. The education system of the USA will be innovative and its students will be future leaders if they are educated rather than trained. The leaders in the education system should be active and their actions should mould the students. When they are reacting to the necessities and needs of the students, it means that they did not imagine or assess the needs and necessities of their students in advance. Whenever they are reactive they can produce only managers but not leaders. By replacing the training with education, common sense with imagination and short term goals a follow up to long term ones, the educators can be leaders and their students can come out as the future leaders. Warren Bennis feels that the education system of America is better at training rather than education. This means that the system needs some changes in curriculum to make it better in educating rather than training. Though the educators have their own weaknesses and depressions regarding the system, they should not impose their results of the weaknesses on their students. When it was imposed they can be termed as bad leaders. So, when the curriculum is set to change to make leaders, it should be kept in view that the depression and weaknesses of the leaders in the form of educators should not be imposed on the students.[4]

References:
  • The references are given in the following format. If any information in the format is missing, a gap is left.
  • Writer, year of publishing, title, publisher, edition, type of media, date, page number or web site address.
  • Gilbert Valdez, Ph.D, 2004, Technology Leadership:
    Enhancing Positive Educational Change, north central regional educational laboratory, , 14-06-07, http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/educatrs/leadrshp/le700.htm
  • Col Donald E Waddel, 1994, A situational leadership model for military leaders, Aerospace power Journal, page 1.
  • 3. Cyntha Pattison and Nancy Berkas, 2000, Integrating Standards into the Curriculum, North central regional education laboratory, electronic, 15-6-07, http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/content/currclum/cu300.htm
  • 4. Vaclav Havel, search for self-transcendence, electronic, 15-6-07, page 1,2,3
  • 5. Heifetz et al, 2001, the work of the leadership, Harvard business review, vol.79, issue 11.
  • 6. Warren Bennis, On becoming a leader, the leadership classic, electronic, 15-6-07, page 1 to 9,
  • [1] Cyntha Pattison and Nancy Berkas, 2000, Integrating Standards into the Curriculum, North central regional education laboratory, electronic, 15-6-07, http://www.ncrel.org/sdrs/areas/issues/content/currclum/cu300.htm
  • [2] Vaclav Havel, search for self transcendence, electronic, 15-6-07, page 1,2,3
  • [3]. Heifetz et al, 2001, the work of the leadership, Harvard business review, vol.79, issue 11.
  • [4] Warren Bennis, On becoming a leader, the leadership classic, electronic, 15-6-07, page 1 to 9

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