Making a Difference: Servant Leadership in the Online Classroom

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Making a Difference: Servant Leadership in the Online Classroom

  1. 1. MAKING A DIFFERENCE: SERVANT LEADERSHIP IN THE ONLINE CLASSROOM Andree C. Swanson, EdD Lora L. Reed, PhD Ashford University
  2. 2. ENCOURAGERS OF LEARNING  Online faculty members are not Sages on the Stage in the asynchronous classroom.  Effective faculty are true guides on the side, facilitators of learning.  Effective online faculty are encouragers of learners who are often isolated and feeling alone on the other side of the computer.
  3. 3. SERVANT LEADERSHIP At their finest, effective online faculty members are true servant leaders sharing the Robert Greenleaf’s vision of servant leadership to provide student-centered teachable opportunities in the virtual classroom.
  4. 4. MAKING A DIFFERENCE “Servant leadership makes a difference. It might not be the quickest, safest, and simplest approach to teaching, but it is effective” (p. 5). Our goal is to demonstrate how you can make a difference using a servant leadership approach in the classroom.
  5. 5. NO LITERATURE ON THE TOPIC Servant leadership and the field of education have been studied in the past; however, servant leadership as a desired form of leadership in the field of online learning has not been studied.
  6. 6. HELPING STUDENTS Patterson (2003) stated, “By empowering followers, servant leaders are allowing them freedom to proceed toward their goals, helping them make dreams reality.” Online faculty are empowered to help their students.
  7. 7. CONTINUED HELP FOR STUDENTS Patterson (2003) states that "the focus of the leaders is on followers and his/her behaviors and attitudes are congruent with this follower focus." Servant leadership is a virtuous theory focusing on leading people who have good intentions, high values, and are morally sound.
  8. 8. SERVANT LEADERSHIP (a) agapao love, (b) humility, (c) altruism, (d) vision, (e) trust, (f) empowerment, and (g) service" (Patterson, 2003, p. 2).
  9. 9. A MODEL FOR ONLINE FACULTY Niewold (2007) stated, "Servant leadership in its secular form is based on non-Christian secular and religious ideas" (p. 1). For these reasons, Servant Leadership appears to be a model for the effective, successful online faculty member.
  10. 10. FOLLOWER BEFORE GREED A servant leader is one that puts the follower first before profit and greed. A popular style of leadership is the transformational leader who does not put the followers first but the organization has priority. Students before Profit
  11. 11. AUTHENTIC LEADERSHIP "Note that the focus in servant Servant leadership is an authentic leader is to benefit the follower, even at the expense of the organization, which is in contrast to Transformational leadership that has a focus on benefiting the organization (Bass, 2000)" (Winston, n.d.). form of leadership that can be modeled by those who strive to put others before their own goals.
  12. 12. THE INCUBATOR IDEA Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.
  13. 13. FACULTY AS LEADERS If faculty do model Greenleaf’s vision, are online faculty who model servant leadership in the classroom and other interactions with learners assisting in leader development? Do faculty model the type of leadership that is conducive to innovative organizational cultures? Do they create trust and meaningful relationships that sustain both student and faculty as continuous learners?
  14. 14. FUTURE RESEARCH Copyright © ZSRS 2013 Image(s) from Microsoft Clip Art.
  15. 15. QUESTION Can the concept that faculty as servant leaders as a method of enhancing online learning and especially leader development be tested?
  16. 16. NOW IS THE TIME Student engagement, as a challenge that affects leaders and would be leaders becomes a more important consideration for academic institutions in a time of unprecedented technological change, as well as amidst leadership crises the likes of which Greenleaf (1978, 1986) attempted to caution society about. If there was ever a time when Servant Leadership was needed, some say that time is now on a variety of levels.

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