Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Editor-in-Chief, NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS (Since 1982) Global Website: www.nationalforum.com
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Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Editor-in-Chief, NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS (Since 1982) Global Website: www.nationalforum.com

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Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Editor-in-Chief, NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS (Since 1982) Global Website: www.nationalforum.com

Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Editor-in-Chief, NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS (Since 1982) Global Website: www.nationalforum.com

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Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Editor-in-Chief, NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS (Since 1982) Global Website: www.nationalforum.com Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Editor-in-Chief, NATIONAL FORUM JOURNALS (Since 1982) Global Website: www.nationalforum.com Document Transcript

  • NATIONAL FORUM OF APPLIED EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNALVOLUME 26, NUMBERS 1 & 2, 20133AResponse to the Call for Effective Leadership in Today’s Schools:Three Essentials - Preparation, Competency, and DispositionsReginald Leon Green, EdDProfessorUniversity of Memphis______________________________________________________________________________AbstractIn response to the latest reform movement and to address the seriousness of the issue regardingthe need for school leadership preparation programs to develop highly qualified principals, thisarticle advances the results of fifteen (15) years of research on effective leadership in schools.The research was conducted in the College of Education, Department of Leadership, at theUniversity of Memphis, in partnership with area school districts.Professors re-conceptualizedschool leadership and placed arenewed vision for the preparation of school leaders into action.Embedded in the program are core competencies and dispositions that have proven to beessential for effective leadership in today’s schools. These competencies and dispositions arealso discussed in the article.Keywords: leadership preparation programs; core competencies; dispositions of schoolleaders______________________________________________________________________________During the first decade of the 21stcentury, a national debate has again raised fundamentalquestions about schools and the individuals who lead them, ushering in another reform effort.This time, the focus is onthe role and effectiveness of principals (Levine, 2005; Martin & Papa,2008; Spence& Bottoms, 2007). Advocates of the movement voice a deep-rooted belief thatleadership is critical to improving schools and enhancing student achievement (Darling-Hammond, LaPointe, Meyerson, Orr, & Cohen, 2007).In general, they focus on the role of theprincipal in placing an effective teacher in every classroom, one who implementsproven programplans for school improvement (Dufour, 1999; Lashway, 2002; Murphy &Datnow, 2003; Riley,2002). Specifically, researchers and scholars are calling for the design and implementation ofprincipal preparation programs that prepare highly effective principals who can lead schools in amanner that addresses the needs ofall students, regardless of their personal characteristics orsocial backgrounds (Bottoms & O’Neill, 2001; Levine, 2005; Spence& Bottoms, 2007).In response to this latest reform movement and to address the seriousness of theissueregarding the need for preparation programs that develop highly qualified principals, thisarticleadvances the results of fifteen (15) years of research on effective leadership in schools.The research was conducted in the College of Education, Department of Leadership, attheUniversity of Memphis, in partnership with area school districts.Professorsre-conceptualizedschool leadership and placed arenewed vision for the preparation of school leaders into action. Aprogram was developedthat answered the call for a replacement of traditional principal
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN4preparation programs with ones that develop highly effective principals. Principals whocompleted the conceptualized programs are certified, meet established standards, are highlycompetent, and adhere to dispositions that render an individual capable of leading today’smodern schools.Having synthesized the results of twenty-five years of research on schooling andleadership in schools,a preparation program that placed major emphasis on theory, practice,instructional leadership, and authentic experiences in schools and the world of business wasdesigned.The program is a well-defined, systemic approach to developing school leaders who arededicated to understanding self and others, understanding the complexity of organizational life,building bridges through relationships, and engaging in leadership best practices for the purposeof implementing instructional programs that enhance the academic achievement of all students.Thisinnovativeapproach to preparing effective school leaders can be placed into three (3)categories: 1) progressing through an effective preparation program; 2) mastering a series of corecompetencies, and 3) acquiring adisposition grounded in the philosophical belief that all studentscan acquire a quality education. These three categorieswere found to be essential foreffectiveprincipal leadership in today’s schools.Consequently, the research conducted and the practicesimplemented in each of these three categories are reported in this article.Characteristic of an Effective Leadership Preparation ProgramsIn the year 2000, a search was begun for an answer to the question, ―What do schoolleaders need to know and be able to do in order to effectively lead twenty–first centuryschools?‖In essence, how does a leadership preparation program need to be conceptualized,designed, and implemented to prepare aspiring school leaders to meet the challenges ofenhancing the academic achievement of all students who attend today’s schools.Exploration ofthe literature, visitation,and close observationsin twenty schools, as well as discussions withpracticing school leaders, revealed the answers. In order to lead today’s schools, principals haveto have the capacity to lead, and that capacity consist ofcompetence in everything fromaccountability to instructional leadership and teacher effectiveness (Hess & Kelly, 2005). Toinsure that participants in the preparation program had the previously articulated capacity, thepreparation program was designed with a major focus on competence and dispositions.Consequently, university staff embarked upon a bold, innovative leadership preparation initiativedesigned to build leadership capacity. The program addressed standards, competencies, andaccountability measures with a mission of preparingaspiring principals to become educationalleaders who were not only certified, but qualifiedto lead schools in a changing society.The new principal preparation program initiative was heavily embedded in research thattransformed into practice what the literature advocated regarding what school leaders needed toknow and be able to do in order to enhance student achievement, leaving no child behind.Specifically, it was evident that exiting the program, graduates would need to bevisionary,learning-centered leaders, astute in instructional design and implementation, skilled inanalyzing data, and capable of building professional learning communities wherein leadershiproles could be distributed (Davis, Darling-Hammond, LaPoint, &Meyerson, 2005;Dufour, 1999;Lashway, 2002;Murphy &Datnow, 2003;Riley, 2002). Consequently, entry into the programcould not be a form of self-selection by candidates; rather, participants had to be nominated and
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN5then selected through a rigorous assessment process. They had to be among the brightestindividuals in the area with proven track records and high aspirations of becoming principals.The Selection ProcessThe rigorous selection process consisted of five phases:1) nomination by a practicingschool leader;2) submission of a comprehensive application; 3) completion of an essay at theuniversity;4) participation in a personal interview with the selection committee, and 5)participation in a series of simulated activities.Nomination by a Practicing School LeaderTo be considered as a candidate for the program, an individual had to be nominated by apracticing school leader or district administratorwith knowledge of the candidate’s potential as aschool leader. Once nominated, the individual had to demonstrate that he or she was a highlyproductive individual with demonstrated strengths in curriculum and instruction. The nomineealso had to show evidence of having used professional development activities, studentachievement data, and technology to improve teaching. Finally, he or she had to demonstrate theability to collaborate with others to improve school and classroom practices.Submission of a Comprehensive Application PacketEach aspiring school leader had to submit an application packet. The packet consisted ofa letter of application explaining why the individual was interested in school leadership, his orher growth through professional development activities, and why and how participation in thisprogram would improve his or her leadership ability. The application packet also had to contain aresume that describedthe individual’s past accomplishments. Finally, three letters ofrecommendation from current and/or previous supervisors who weredifferent from thenominating person were required.A selection committee consisting of university professors,practicing administrators, and community leaders used a rubric scale toscore each item in theapplication packet and award each candidate a score.Completion of an EssayThe third phase of the selection process involved the candidate writing an essay onsite.Having successfully progressed through the first two phases of the process,each candidate wasinvited to campus for the purpose of developing a three-to-five (3-5) page essay reviewing whatleaders of today’s schools need to know and be able to do in order to function effectively inaddressing the needs of all students. A university professor supervised the writing of the essay.The selection committeescored each essay using a rubric scale designed for that purpose.The candidates were ranked based on their composite score from the three (3)activities(nomination letter, application materials, and essay) which was compiled from theratings of each selection committee member. The thirty (30) highest ranking nominees wereinvited for a personal interview with the selection committee.
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN6Participation in a Personal Interview with the Selection CommitteeThe interview was designed to assess the candidate’s past accomplishments, his or herunderstanding of school and classroom policies and practices, learning theory, and the processesand procedures he or she would use to make a difference in improving studentachievement.Aninterview score was awarded a candidate by each selection committee member.Participation in a Series of Simulated ActivitiesDuring the final phase of the selection process,each candidate participatedin a series ofsimulated school-related activities allowing him or her to exhibit his or her potential to developthe skills and attributes that are advocated for effective leaders of today’s schools.The scores awarded a candidate by each selection committee member were compiled, andthe total wasadded to his or her composite score from the initial screening. The fifteen (15)highest ranking nominees were invited to participate in the program.After being selected,participants committed themselves to an ambitious schedule of meetings, seminars, readings, andschool experiences that were integrated into the following program components.Orientation ProgramAfter being invited to participate in the program, participantsattended acelebratoryreception. During the reception,participants were introduced to the community as individualsposed to become exemplary school leaders. Following the reception, participants were engagedin a 4-day, problem-based team building experiential activity, an extensive observation/self-assessment experience, and the completion of a 360º instrument.Data from these activities wereused to assess the strengths and weaknesses of participants and to inform decisions regarding thedevelopment of individual profiles and the assignment of program mentors and coaches.Assessed Strengths and WeaknessesThe individual profile.A profile was developed for each individual selected for programparticipation. The profile consisted of the assessed strengths and weaknesses of the individual.To determine the strengths and weaknesses of an individual, critical information was extractedfrom the selection materials; a Leadership Inventory (based on the Interstate School LeaderLicensure Consortium Standards) was administered; the 360º assessment instrument wasanalyzed; structured observation notes taken during the 4-day, problem-based team buildingexperiential activity were analyzed, and a self-assessment document prepared by each participantwas assessed.The profile was used to plan and implement a focused instructional program plan for eachindividual.The planspecified the experiences that a participant would needin order to become aneffective 21stcentury school leader. The focus of the plan was on four essential elements: 1) thedispositions, competencies, and styles of effective leaders; 2) the leaders’ ability to understandthe complexity of school organizations and distribute leadership throughout the organization; 3)the leaders’ knowledge of proven instructional practices and processes for implementing thosepractices, and 4) the leaders’ ability to influence stakeholders to share responsibilities for schoolgoal attainment.
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN7Business coaches.Business coaches were unique and integral components of theprogram. The coaching component was designed to give participants an opportunity to observefirst-hand how decisions are made and problems are solved in the business world. In most cases,the coaches were women and men who were leaders of key businesses in the community.Program participants spent different amounts of time with their business coaches. However,without exception, members from the business community gladly participated in the program.Program coaches and mentors.Highlysuccessful principals and administrators in areaschool districts served as mentors and program coaches. Each month, a participant would spendtwo days in the school led by his or her mentor, observing and participating in the practicaloperation of the school. Participants would visit different schools at different levels, elementary,middle, and secondary, each month of the program. This concept allowed program participants toobserve different leadership styles, as well as develop an understanding of the articulation thatoccurs between grade levels.Mentors also served as role models and sponsors—counseling, coaching, and guidingparticipants with the primary objective of helping them better understand the principalship froma practical perspective. Program coaches who were university professors conducted courseworkand seminars. Working cooperatively with practicing school leaders,university professorsblended leadership theory with the practical aspects of school leadership.In addition to focusingon how schools operate, they focused on how students learn.Community organization mentor.Each participant was also matched with the leader ofa community-based family/youth learning organization. Visiting these organizations and workingwith their leaders, participants were able to learn about programs that were available to schoolsand challenges encountered when schools collaborated with community organizations aspartners.A Multifaceted Integrated CurriculumThe curriculum was grounded in standards, competencies, and accountability measures.The content of the courses was informed by the Four Dimensions of Principal Leadership; the sixInterstate School Leader Licensure Consortium standards (ISLLC); thirteen core leadershipcompetencies, and characteristics of facilitative school leaders. Instructionwas delivered intwelve (12) three (3) hour courses offered in 6-hour blocks.Thirteen (13) core competencies andselected dispositions of effective school leaders were identified and embedded in the curriculum.A concerted effort was undertaken to strategically integrate all state standards.Instructional DeliveryAligned with state and national standards, the program offered intensive, case-based andproblem-based coursework that focused on instructional leadership, organizational management,school law and finances, leadership core competencies, and ―facilitative principled leadership.‖Seminars were designed around focus areas and supported with scholarly works grounded incontemporary leadership issues. During these seminars, participants addressed interpersonal
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN8relations; the complexity of school culture and climate; building relationships, and utilizing bestpractices related to change, communication, decision making, and conflict management.Participants also jig sawed such books as Built on Trust, …And Dignity for All, The TippingPoint, Practicing the Art of Leadership: A Problem-Based Approach to Implementing the ISLLCStandards, Navigating Change, and a number of others. National experts joined faculty coachesin addressing the contents of these books and other contemporary educational leadership topics.Additionally, each participant became a member of a seven or eight member team that was givenschool-related problems to solve. The problems addressed issues that were occurring in a school,or school district, andsolutionsthat school leaders could use to enhance student achievement wereoffered. The teams worked on their assigned project for five months and produced a writtenreport, including recommendations that were presented at the end of the program during theclosing conference.Participant AssessmentOngoing General AssessmentsParticipant assessment was a four-fold structured process conducted by the mentorprincipal, university professors, program coaches, and the participants themselves. During schoolvisits, mentor principals used a structured instrument to assess the skills, attributes, competence,and performance of participants. Assessments made by mentor principals at the school level werecompiled and recorded bythe university professor who served as Lead Mentor. Participants’ self-evaluations from each school visit were also collected and compiled by the university professorwho served as Lead Mentor. During seminar sessions, each of three (3) program mentorsrecorded observation notes on each participant describing the participant’s performance based onthe extent to which the core competencies of the program were being addressed, assessedstrengths were being utilized and enhanced, and weaknesses were being eliminated.Specific AssignmentsThroughout the program, assignments were formulated based on the participant’sindividual profile and his or her assessed strengths and weaknesses. From these assessments,performance evaluations were conducted by program coaches and mentors and reported to theuniversity professor who served as Lead Mentor. Using these performance evaluations to informthe discussions, individual conferences were held with participants, and feedback was provided.In some instances, additional readings were encouraged; mentors and/or program coaches werechanged, and exposure to school mentors (principals) displaying a particular leadership style wasmade available through special school assignments.Program ReviewAt the end of each semester, program coaches collaborated with program mentors,reviewed the status of each participant, discussed strengths and weaknesses of each participant,and refined program activities. Using data from these sessions, program coaches held an interimevaluation session with each participant, provided evaluative comments, and offered follow-up
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN9suggestions.Final AssessmentEach semester, the assessment of participants continued, using the same processes andprocedures. At program completion, after consulting with school mentors and programcoaches,university professors compiled a performance status on each participant and maderecommendations to the superintendent of the partnering school district.The Exit ConferenceAt the conclusion of the program, coaches conducted an exit conference with eachparticipant. During the conference, participant’s questions were addressed and follow-upactivities suggested.Core Competencies of Effective LeadersEmbedded in the curriculum of the preparation program were 13 core competencies. Fiveyears of research at the University of Memphis surfaced these competencies,revealing whatschool leaders need to master. The competencies which are aligned with the Interstate SchoolLeader Licensure Consortium (ISLLC) standards informed specific instructional leadership skillsneeded to enhance teaching and learning in schools. They describe both the expectations for andresponsibilities of leaders of today’s schools.Major support for the use of these competencies was derived from Davis et al.(2005) whoadvocated that attributes of effective school leaders influence student achievement; Marzano,Waters, & McNulty, (2005). who identified 21 responsibilities that positively affect studentachievement and the specific behaviors and characteristics associated with those responsibilities;Leithwood,Louis, Anderson, and Wahlstrom(2004) who outlined practices that school leadersshould implement, and a number of others too numerous to mention in this publication.Quite clearly, the literature offers that as leadership ability increases, so does studentachievement(Bottoms & O’Neill, 2001;Davis, et al., 2005;Levine, 2005; Spence& Bottoms,2007).Consequently, the 13 core competencies that should inform the behavior of effectiveschool leaders were identified and embedded in the curriculum of the preparation program(Green, 2001). The competencies are:Visionary Leadership: Effective leaders demonstrate energy, commitment, and anentrepreneurial spirit; communicate values and a conviction that all children will learn athigh levels, and inspire others with that vision.Unity of Purpose: Effective leaders collect and utilize data to develop and clarify apurpose that focuses on student learning; praise teachers’ efforts; convey highexpectations for teacher and student performance; actively involve teachers in decisionmaking, and provide teachers with the autonomy to try creative approaches.Learning Community: Effective leaders demonstrate a dedication and a willingness toassist teachers in improving their instructional skills by furnishing needed resources to
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN10teachers; creating a climate wherein the primary focus is on teaching and learning;placing emphasis on instruction, and viewing parents as partners in their children’seducation.Instructional Leadership: Effective leaders facilitate the application of currentknowledge in learning and human development; use data to make instructional programdecisions that meet the needs of all students.Curriculum and Instruction: Effective leaders keep school personnel focused onstudent learning and are able to put curriculum that contains research-based strategies tomeet the needs of all students into practice.Professional Development: Effective leaders demonstrate commitment to their ownprofessional development and the professional development of others.Organizational Management: Effective leaders skillfully implement procedures andprocesses to govern the workflow; establish clearly defined, school-wide academic andbehavioral standards to promote high expectations; hold teachers and studentsaccountable for learning.Assessment: Effective leaders conduct assessments and identify needs of students, aswell as strengths and weaknesses of teachers.Reflection: Effective leaders set aside time to think about their professional practices anddecisions with a focus on improvement.Collaboration: Effective leaders engage teachers in dialogue about instructionalstrategies and student performance; allow teachers and other stakeholders to participate indecision-making.Diversity: Effective leaders create an environment in which the ethical and moralimperatives of schooling are valued; recognize and eliminate unfair treatment andinequalities.Inquiry: Effective leaders conduct inquiry into effective research; acquire a deepunderstanding of change and how to initiate, lead, and sustain the change; examinecurrent research to identify leadership best practices; align their actions with the goalsand vision of the school.Professionalism: Effective leaders are diligent in implementing ethical standards of theeducation profession through their daily activities.When program participants mastered these 13 core competencies, they could enter theprincipalship with the knowledge of skills possessed and behaviors exhibited by effective schoolleaders.They had an understanding of the importance of the leadership role in creating the type ofenvironment wherein teaching and learning is maximized. In addition, they were equipped to
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN11build relationships, make data-driven decisions, utilize best instructional practices, engage inchange with minimum conflict, and distribute leadership throughout the schoolorganization(Green, 2001; Farmer, 2010; Fee, 2008; Crane, 2012).Dispositions of Effective School LeadersFor a number of years at the University of Memphis, researchers have conducted studiesin the area of school leadership. These studies evaluated the behavior of both school leaders andfollowers and the effects of their behavior on the academic achievement of students (Brown,2012; Farmer, 2010; Green, 2001; Green, 2010; Hunter-Heaston, 2010: Williams-Griffin, 2012).The results of these studies revealed that school leadership occurs in four dimensions: (a)understanding self and others, (b) understanding the complexity of organizational life; (c)building bridges through relationships, and (d) engaging in leadership best practices (Farmer,2010; Fee, (2008); Green, 2001; Green, 2010; Hunter-Heaston, 2010; Williams-Griffin, 2012).Collectively, the four dimensions can be used as a theoretical framework to design programs totransform underperforming schools into high performing schools (Williams-Griffin, 2012).The first dimension, characterized as understanding self and others, speaks to the depth ofknowledge that leaders must acquire about themselves and their followers. It is theorized that theeffectiveness of leaders is determined by the extent to which they understand their beliefs andvalues, as well as the beliefs and values of their followers (Green, 2010). These beliefs andvalues are known as dispositions (Wasicsko, 2000). They enhance the effectiveness of leaders byproviding them an understanding of how their behavior influences the behavior of followers andhow the behavior of their followers influences their own behavior (Green, 2013). The basicassumption is (a) what one believes and values influences behavior; (b) the behavior of theleader influences the behavior of the followers, and the behavior of followers influences thebehavior of leaders (Green, 2013).If we accept the position of Wasicsko (2000) who offers that dispositions are personalqualities or characteristics that are possessed by individuals, then the concept that thedispositions of the leader contribute to his or her effectiveness is an acceptable one. Williams-Griffin (2012) reported that, to a large extent, it was her disposition informed by dimension oneof The Four Dimensions of Principal Leadership that enabledher to determine the behavior thatshe used to transform an underperforming middle school into a high performing one. One of thecharacteristics that separate one leader from another is his or her disposition, and the leader’sdisposition determines, to some extent, his or her influence on the academic achievement of theschool (Collinson, Killeavy, & Stephenson, 1999; Combs, 1974). What remains elusive is anidentification of the dispositions that effective leaders possess.It is important for leaders of today’s schools to attach a high priority to characteristicsthat influence school effectiveness. An extensive review of the literature surfaced the 49dispositions listed in Table 1 (Green, 2013). They reflect the qualities that characterize effectiveleaders andare embedded in the Interstate School Leader Licensure Consortium Standards(ISLLC) offered by the Council of Chief State School Officers(2008) ; transformationalleadership as described by Bass(1998); moral leadership defined by Sergiovanni(2006); servantleadership as characterized by Greenleaf(2002); and distributive leadership defined bySpillane(2005). Collins (2001) also offers a description of effective leadership that contained anumber of these dispositions.
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN12The aforementioned researchers and writers reason how effective leaders lead and howthey should craft their beliefs, values, and attitudes if their behavior is to influence a faculty toperform effectively in schools. From among the 49 dispositions offered by Green, (2013),aspiring school leaders in the principal preparation program selected those that they believed tobe most crucialfor them to exhibit if they were to effectivelylead a school.Table 1Dispositions Found in the Descriptions of Effective Leaders_____ Compassion _____ Imagination _____ Openness_____ Persuasion _____ Accuracy _____ Equity_____ Insight _____ Influence _____ Adaptability_____ Sensitivity _____ Trust _____ Honesty_____ Respect _____ Knowledge _____ Humility_____ Creativity _____ Vision _____ Decisiveness_____ Rapport _____ Management _____ Tenacity_____ Credibility _____ Dignity _____ Commitment_____ Organization _____ Consistency _____Intelligence_____ Morality _____ Fairness _____ Tact_____ Support _____ Diversity _____ Ethics_____ Reasoning _____ Planning _____ Charisma_____ Reliability _____ Timeliness _____ Diplomacy_____ Integrity _____ Accountability _____ Predictability_____ Character _____ Judgment _____ Courage_____ Fortitude _____ Logic_____ Passion _____ CommunicationThis researcher concurs with Sergiovanni (2006). He advocates that an individual seekingto lead one of today’s schools needs to have a sense of what he or she believes and values. In
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN13essence, this encompassesa belief about children, the purpose of schooling, and people ingeneral. Additionally, they should have an in-depth understanding of their values and knowledgeof how their beliefs and values influence their behavior (Green, 2013). The literature is clear;leaders of today’s schools need to be servants with moral and ethical standards, using atransformational style to distribute leadership throughout the school organization (Bass, 1998;Collins, 2001; Greenleaf, 2002; ISLLC, 2008; Sergiovanni, 2006; Spillane, 2005). Accepting theassumption that the literature is accurate and the premise that using a single set of dispositions tocharacterize effective leadership is problematic, individuals seeking to become effective schoolleaders should identify the dispositions that they believe are most important for them to exhibit ifthey are to lead a school effectively. We contend that there is enough evidence in the literature towarrant such action.ConclusionsPreparation, competencies, and dispositions enhance effective leadership. Therefore,effectiveness must begin with a quality preparation program, one that offers an opportunity forparticipants to understand theory, as well as experience the practical aspects of leading a school.There is no substitute for the experience one can acquire functioning in the schoolhouse. Whenaspiring school leaders complete a preparation program where theory is linked with actualexperiences in the schoolhouse and paired with quality coaching and mentoring, the first step toeffective leadership has been taken. However, during those experiences, the aspiring schoolleader must seek to develop the skills and attributes necessary to be competent in the areas ofcommunication, decision making, conflict management, and change. Once competence in theseareas has been acquired, he or she must develop the type of disposition that is advocated foreffective leaders of 21stcentury schools.Brown (2012)who studied the practices, processes, and procedures of 172 national blueribbon award-winning school leaders reported that the behavior of these leaders was acontributing factor to their success in turning around underperforming schools. They understoodtheir roles and responsibilities and established the types of relationships that enabled them tofacilitate change in the organization. They structured the school day to encourage collaborationbetween teachers, students, parents, and community stakeholders.Leadership greatness is beginning something that does not end with the leader. Usingpractices described in the three (3) components discussed in this article, professors at theUniversity of Memphis have prepared school leaders who are leading some of the mostchallenging schools in our service area. They are also serving in central office position. Theseindividuals havebecome proficient at implementing practices, processes, and procedures thatenable them to transform schools into organizations that enhance the academic achievement ofstudents at all levels. They took off their blinders and looked for opportunities to assist in theeducation of all students. They realized that the best way to succeed in the future was to create it.Leadership is all about focused action in the direction of a worthy purpose. It is about realizingthat the impossible is generally untried. Leadership is not about position; it is about actionembedded in the leader’s skills and dispositions (Hrebeniuk, 2011). In the final analysis, schoolleaders seeking effectiveness must ask themselves:Am I competentand does my dispositionfoster the creation of a climate in the school wherein a difference can be made in improving theacademic achievement and social and emotional well-being of students(Tirozzi, 2001)?
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN14ReferencesBass, B. M. (1998). Transformational leadership: Industrial, military, and educational impact.Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.Bottoms, G.,& O’Neill, K. (2001).Leading school improvement what research says: Areview of the literature. Atlanta, GA: Southern Regional Education Board.Brown, A. (2012). Turnaround schools: Practices used by nationally recognized principals toimprove student achievement in high poverty schools (Unpublished doctoral dissertation).University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.Crane, D. N. (2012). The relationship between leadership behavior, the thirteen corecompetencies, and teacher job satisfaction (Unpublished doctoral dissertation).University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.Collins, J. (2001). Good to great: Why some companies make the leap… and other don’t. NewYork, NY: HarperCollins.Collinson, V., Killeavy, M.,& Stephenson, H. (1999, October). Exemplary teachers: Practicesand ethics of care in England, Ireland, and the United States. Journal for a Just andCaring Education, 5(4), 340-66.Combs, A. W. (1974). Humanistic goals of education in educational accountability: Ahumanistic perspective. San Francisco, CA: Shields.Council of Chief State School Officers.(2008). Performance expectations and indicators foreducation leaders: ISLLC-based models for education leadership. Retrievedfromwww.ccsso.org/publications/details.cfm?PublicationID=367Darling-Hammond, L., LaPointe, M., Meyerson, D., Orr. M. T., & Cohen, C. (2007).Preparing School Leaders for a Changing World: Lessons from Exemplary LeadershipDevelopment Programs.Stanford, CA: Stanford University, Stanford EducationalLeadership Institute.Davis, S., Darling-Hammond, L., LaPoint, M.A., &Meyerson, D. (2005). Developingsuccessful principals.Stanford, CA: Stanford Educational Leadership Institute.DuFour, R. (1999). Changing role: Playing the part of the principal stretches one’s talent.Journal of Staff Development, 20(4), 62-63.DuFour, R. (2003). Building a professional learning community.The School Administrator,60(5), 13-18.Farmer, E. (2010). The perception of teachers and principals on leader’s behavior informed bythirteen core competencies and its relationship to teacher motivation (Unpublisheddoctoral dissertation). University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.Fee, C. (2008).Teachers’ and principals’ perceptions of leader behavior: A discrepancy study(Unpublished doctoral dissertation).University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.Green, R.L. (2001). Practicing the art of leadership: A problem-based approach to implementedthe ISLLC Standards.Boston: MA: Pearson.Green, R.L. (2010). The four dimensions of principal leadership: A framework for leading 21stcentury schools. Boston: MA: Pearson.Green, R.L. (2013). Practicing the art of leadership: A problem-based approach to implementedthe ISLLC standards (4th ed.). Boston: MA: Pearson.Greenleaf, R. K. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN15greatness. New York, NY: Paulist Press.Hess, F. M.,& Kelly, A. P. (2005).Learning to lead?: What gets taught in principal preparationprograms. Retrieved fromhttp://www.ksg.harvard.edu/pepg/PDFPapers/Hess_Kelly_Learning_to_Lead_PEPG05.02.pdfHrebeniuk, M. (2011).Leadership Skills Inventory-Self. Retrieved fromhttp://www.articlealley.com/article_1482387_15.thmlHunter-Heaston, T. ( 2010). The voices of four principles: An exploration of the four dimensionsof leadership as used by middle school leaders in transforming low performing schoolsthat meet and exceed local, state, and national standards (Unpublished doctoraldissertation).University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.Lashway, L. (2002). Developing instructional leaders. Eugene, OR: ERIC Clearinghouse onEducational Management.Leithwood, K., Louis, K. S., Anderson, S., &Wahlstrom, K. (2004). How leadership influencesstudent learning. Minneapolis, MN: Center for Applied Research and EducationalImprovement, University of Minnesota; Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at theUniversity of Ontario; and the Wallace Foundation.Levine, A. (2005). Educating school leaders. Washington DC: The Education Schools Project.Martin, G. E.,& Papa, R. (2008).Redesigning a principal preparation program: A continuousimprovement model.NASSP Bulletin, 84(617), 23-28.Marzano, R. J., Waters, T.,& McNulty, B. A. (2005). School leadership that works: Fromresearch to results. Alexandria VA: Association for Supervision and CurriculumDevelopment.Murphy, J. (2006).Preparing school leaders: An agenda for research and action. Lanham, MD:Rowman& Littlefield.Murphy, J., &Datnow, A. (2003).Leadership lessons from comprehensive school reformdesigns. In J.Murphy & A.Datnow (Eds.),Leadership lessons from comprehensive schoolreforms (pp. 263-278). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Riley, R. (2002). Educational reform through standards and partnerships, 1993-2000.Phi Delta Kappan, 83(9), 700.Sergiovanni, T. J. (2006). Moral leadership: Getting to the heart of school improvement. SanFrancisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Slavin, R. E., &Fashola, O. S., (1998).Show me the evidence! Proven and promisingprograms for Americas schools. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.Spence, D.& Bottoms, G. (October, 2007). How states can build leadership systems.Education Week, 27(15)46-39.Spillane, J. (2005).Distributed leadership: The educational forum. Retrievedfromwww.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4013/is_200501/ai_n947825Terozzi, G.N. (2001). The artistry of leadership, the evolving role of the secondary schoolprincipal. Phi Delta Kappan, 82(6), 434-439.Wasicsko, M. M. (2000).The disposition to teach (Unpublished manuscript). Retrieved fromhttp://www.educatordispositions.orgdispositions/The%20Dispositions%20to%20Teach.pdf
  • REGINALD LEON GREEN16Williams-Griffin, S. (2012).The transformation of a low performing middle school into a highperforming middle school: An autoethnography(Unpublished doctoral dissertation).University of Memphis, Memphis, TN.AuthorReginald Leon Green is Professor of Educational Leadership in the College of Education at theUniversity of Memphis. Dr. Green teaches courses in educational leadership with a focus oninstructional leadership, school reform, and models for turning around low performing schools.His research interests include school leadership, team building for effective teaching andlearning, superintendent/board relations, school district restructuring, and the effects of nurturingcharacteristics on the academic achievement of students.