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Ed must show evidence to the board that he is planning for the following school year only three months into the current year.
An estimated budget had to be submitted in the first week of December.
In February Ed starts to chat up some student teachers that show promise in hopes of hiring them for the following school year at Taft (certainly not the case in Ontario right now).
In March Ed starts to ask faculty their preferences (grade, room etc.) for the following year and already begins to make assignments.
Changes in curriculum were done by April so that they could be finalized for the following school year.
April is also a month that Ed informs his teacher’s to begin preparing major assignments for the following school year. Essentially lesson planning and unit planning are occurring well before the current school year finishes.
School rosters are created to give teachers and Ed an estimated student total and classroom placement.
Students attending Taft the following September brought in to school in May with their parents to prepare them for September.
By summer all of the preparation for the upcoming school year was complete and the summer months were used to finalize anything that needed Ed’s attention. In this ethnography Ed used the summer months mainly for summer school management and preparation.
The elementary school principal cycle does not consist of an annual cycle of 12 months but is rather an overlapping cycle of 19 months. Despite this fact principals describe their work as initiating and completing a series of identifiable school years (2010-2011).
While Ed is constantly dividing his time between two sometimes three school years, everyone else in the building is focused on the current year.
“ Another thing that Ed often does is get all hepped up about next year at the close of the year. He might as well give up, because teachers are too tired, too involved in the winding up of the classroom, to get very excited about next fall. And it’s very boring to the staff that are not coming back to talk about next year’s class.”(Wolcott p.181)
Talk as the work: “Begin thinking about the class assignments”-Ed Bell, is an example of Gronn’s analysis of control. In this case it appears that Ed Bell might be using reply ii: Talk at. Although this may be a general statement to all teachers it is very clear that Ed is talking at his faculty.
Seven-Lesson School Teacher: Gatto lists the first lesson every teacher teaches, confusion, and in this case the lesson is being taught amongst staff. This confusion most certainly gets relayed to the students. While Ed is caught in the future and his teachers are dependent on him for the present we see a disconnect that is the result of to much being taught or in this case managed.
Holidays: The holidays still serve as “tabs” on the school year. Teachers often schedule their evaluations (test, quizzes, projects, exams etc.) in accordance with the holidays.
For example, the majority of terms 1 and 2 are taught before the Christmas break with Halloween serving as the halfway mark between 1 and 2.
Once the students return from Christmas break they have two weeks to review everything they forgot at Christmas time and then formal evaluation takes place.
“ Career decisions about becoming an administrator are made early and that teachers who intend to move up… were actively engaged in becoming a principal from a very early date” (Wolcott, p.196)
Wolcott’s ethnography of Ed Bell suggest 2 processes for teachers becoming principals:
“ Elite statue is GIVEN by those in authority rather than TAKEN taken through effort and strategy on the part of the recruits themselves” (Wolcott, p.194)
“ Sponsorship appeared to have been a key factor in the process by which many of the principals in the district had achieved their administrative status” (Wolcott, p.194)
“ I likely got the job not because I was the person they wanted, it was to keep out the people they didn’t want” (High school vice-principal in Whitehorse, Yukon; October, 2010)
Demonstrates the importance of being in the right place at the right time
“ I think it’s just luck, catching someone’s ear, or being at the right place at the right time. There were other guys who had been around longer than me when they asked me to take on my first job as an acting principal” (Wolcott, p.193)
Refers to becoming known to those of influence in the promotions process
Can be done by taking “additional school-related but nonteaching assignments as a strategy to increase…visibility from among the teacher group at large” (Wolcott, p.196)
The key in GASing is to get the right kind of attention without appearing that you are trying too hard to get it (Wolcott, p.198)
Ironically, school administrators generally do not put high value on their own professional training in Education
“ Often they [school administrators] categorically dismiss all their professional training , creating an epithet out of the whole comprehensive field in which they have pursued their studies” (Wolcott, p.198)
“ Less than two percent of the total sample of principals gave credit to their college preparation as the major source contributing to their success” (Wolcott, p.201)
“ The paradox of screening lies in the dilemma of disavowing the utility and significance of one’s own formal preparation but relying on…the success that others have had with essentially the same system as a measure of their ability” (Wolcott, p.203)
Remaining a Principal
Principal-ship not being the end goal
In Ed’s case, many people working with want their career to stop at principal; they want to hire those that have a commitment to staying in a principal position
“ Those that commit themselves to it” (Wolcott, p. 207)
“ Career commitment was generally taken to mean a commitment to the position of elementary school principal and to one’s school as well” (Wolcott, p. 207)
“ Successful at eliminating applicants whom they suspected might “use” the district rather than commit themselves to it” (Wolcott, p. 207)
“ Most of us don’t want to give up our autonomy for the sake of conformity. I’m high on that list”(p. 208)
Clear that there is a hierarchy and pressure from central office (i.e. superintendent)
Living Within the Hierarchy
Central Office Personnel as Socialisers
Ed’s preference to restrict his “problems” to certain administrators
There is constantly formal and informal information and communication to the superintendent’s office/those higher up
Talk about the “upward” and “downward” flow of information; reoccurring meetings where personnel meet with administration
Living within the Hierarchy
Routine: “like a pupil raising his hand for permission to go to the toilet” – demeaning aspect of “school”
Hierarchy reinforces certain aspects:
For example: “voluntary” contributions vs. “non-voluntary”; collecting money for certain contributions (school employees)
Socialization relates to the role the principal takes
The socialization is through principals themselves
Idea of “shared perception” (p. 221)
Different kinds of information principals control and use
“ knowledge based” school administration and the “know-how” for survival
“ know how” might also be called “know who”
Socialization related to the educator subculture
Ed Bell knew some of this information; started to understand “ranks” – central office personnel etc.
Know how to interact with colleagues etc; know the humour etc.
Expectations of professional behaviour
Major socializing influence – direction of principals (where they want to be going in their career)
CONNECTIONS TO LITERATURE
Peter Gronn in Talk as the Work:
Socialization in supervision
Peter Gronn suggests that talk is the medium for interaction
“ Between two thirds and three quarters of the total working time of a principal or superintendent is spent talking...talk is the work, i.e., it consumes most of an administrator’s time and energy” (Gronn, 1983, p.2).
Mary Metz in Young & Levin’s article:
Conformity in Schools
Teachers as “normalisers” (Young & Levin, 2002).
Ultimately, we are all Zuñis who are forced to wear the mask of omnipotence in order to do the world’s cultural work. (Weston La Barre, The Human animal. p.227)
In our society, induction into any working force is a period of cultural compression. The first year, the beginner teacher encounters culturally patterned boundaries to alternative behaviour.
· Ed Bell’s unique position: “ We’ve got to make changes. …. as fast as we can and as slow as we must.” ( Wolcott, 2003., P. 236) In the view of a beginner teacher, Ed is aware of where education should be going to meet student’s needs, but Ed is obligated to preserve the “culture”. It is ultimately the conformance to the culture that measures new teachers. ·
“ We learn to see order in reality; what one sees depends on the culture one lives in.”
(T.B. Greenfield, Organizations as talk, chance, action and experience,” p. 69)
Barlosky, 2010, EDU 5230
Socialization - In or Out Nomothetic Individual / Ideographic Organizational Culture Socialized IN Socialized OUT Concept: Barlosky, 2010
Visits from the principal become more conspicuous
Every visit has implications for inevitable administrative evaluations
“ The evaluation procedure emphasized the hierarchical position of the principal both in terms of subordinates whom he evaluated and the super-ordinates who held him responsible for completing the assignment” (Wolcott, 2003, p. 246)
Trade? Postpone? Keep? Ed’s pedagogy THE EVALUATION CEREMONY
“ Socialization occurs as a function of human interaction, not merely the unilateral action of a single individual. The socializer socializes, but is also socialized in the process” (p. 266) Escher(1956) Bond of Union
Informal evaluations best practice for him
Ed chooses to use the evaluation process as a chance to reiterate his wants for Taft.
A modern day scenario of socialization by a principal.
Ed uses short encounters to conduct evaluations.
Ed is a man from a small rural town, who is involved with his church, dedicated to the community and to his school.
You will now be asked to look through the lens of Ed Bell at a teacher that is in your school.
How would Ed Bell react?
Things to look for:
-Towing the line
-Being able to change practice when needed
-Well respected in the community
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Wolcott, H. (2003). The Man in the Principal’s office . Walnut Creek: Altamira Press.