Models and their Influence on Educational Leadership Pamela Lee University of Phoenix An Analysis of Leadership Models Although there is no conclusive, comprehensive definition of leadership, there has been advances in researching leadership theories that have been uncovered and carried out over the last 200 years. In the late sass, the trait theory permeated the leadership theory. The World War era saw the beginning of the contingency/situation leadership theories of Fiddler, Broom-Yet, and Hershey-Blanchard. In the sass, the research turned toward behavioral leadership theories.
Many researchers started to use rating skills and conduct interviews to identify the specific behaviors that leaders engaged in on-the-Job (Wren, 1995). The most recent leadership theories, transactional, and transformational, focus on the relationships between leaders and followers. According to Viola, Wallaby, and Weber, “Today, the field of leadership focus’ not only on the leader, but also the followers, peers, supervisors, work setting/context, and culture” (Viola, Wallaby, & Weber, 2009, p. 422). Many of the leadership models have been used in education.
The following will be a historical analysis of the trait, behavioral, transactional, and transformational models and their influence on educational leadership over the past 200 years. Close attention will be paid to the evolution of the educational leader (principal) and how his or her roles have changed over time. The scientific study of leadership began in the late sass with the discovery of the traits theory. The common assumption of the time was that certain people were born with the ability to lead, thus making them better leaders than others.
Schemers stated, ” Those who became leaders were different from those who remained lowers” (Schemers, 1995, p. 83). The goal of trait research was to identify traits that were associated with leadership. The tests measured dominance, masculinity, sensitivity, and physical appearance, to name a few (Schemers, p. 83). During this time, a key leadership role in education was beginning to develop, the principals. As a result of the expansion of education, the one room schoolhouse model with a teacher or master became obsolete.
In the sass, grade level schools were established and certain teachers were elevated to the position of “principal teacher” (Kafka, p. 321). The principal teacher at this time also possessed certain traits. The principal was most always male, who could complete the following clerical and administrative duties that kept the school in order, such as assigning classes, conducting discipline, maintaining the building, taking attendance, and ensuring that school began and ended on time (Kafka, p. 231)t.
According to Kafka, These duties brought the principal teacher a degree of authority, as did his role in communicating and answering to the district superintendent, who tended to govern local schools from afar” (Kafka, 2009, p. 231). Many of these roles matched the traits earlier identified by the scientific studies. The principal was male and showed dominance through authority and could manage and maintain law and order in the school. The role of principal and the type of person who filled this position would not change until the scientific research revealed that traits alone do not determine who should be in leadership positions.
In the late sass, Stodgily discovered that “traits alone do not determine leadership” (Schemers, 1995, p. 84). As a result of Stodgily discovery, new models of leadership were created and researched. One model, behaviorism, researched the behaviors (styles) that a leader would demonstrate in his or her chosen field. Questionnaires such as the Leader Behavior Description Questionnaire was used to identify behaviors that leaders engaged in (Schemers, p. 85). In education, the principals role changed as the country went off to war
As a result of the changes in the world and new education laws passed, specifically the law that made school compulsory, the principals role changed and evolved. The principals role became a more democratic role. According to Kafka, “there was a greater expectation that other members of the school community-? including faculty and even students-?would help make decisions and govern the school. In this sense, the principals authority was drawn somewhat from his role as a democratic leader” (Kafka, 2009, p. 325).
Principals would have many roles, they would become instructional leaders, and use the professional training they received and the scientific theories they were presumed to have mastered to bring about the very best classroom teaching and learning (Beck & Murphy, 1993, p. 73-76). Principals ere instructed how to manage custodians and cafeteria duties. Principals were expected to demonstrate a democratic leadership style when running his or her school. In the sass, leadership research shifted from situational and contingency models to the transactional and transformational approaches.
The transactional approach made popular by the research of Edwin Hollander focused on the leader as the star of the show. The transactional model did not focus on behaviors or specific situation, but on improving an organization through incentives and rewards. One transactional theory, the vertical dyad linkage theory plopped by Green, described how leaders in groups maintain their position through a series of tacit exchange agreements with their members (Schemers, p. 91). The transformational approach in contrast, is based on the interaction of leaders and followers.
Bass, Burns, and House became key leaders in the research annals of transformational leadership. According to Cutout, ” Genuine transformational is “socialized” and transcends self-interest for utilitarian or moral reasons. It seeks a convergence of values distinguish genuine from pseudo forms of transformational leadership” (Cutout, 2002, p. 96). Although the transactional leadership approach can be found primarily throughout business organizations, it also can be found in education at the principal position along with the transformational approach.
In the field of education, a principal can implement both transformational and transactional leadership approaches simultaneously. In the sass, principals became agents of change. Healthier stated, “that this focus on the principals capacity to enact change was only affirmed in the sass with the popularity of Ron Edmondson effective schools research, which emphasized that strong administrative leadership as a common characteristic of successful schools” (Healthier, 1992, p. 37). As a result of No Child Left Behind (NCSC), schools have implemented high stakes testing to satisfy the requirements of the law.
Principals are put in the position of having to wear “two hats”, a transformational hat and a transactional hat. Pepper states, ” A principals ability to skillfully balance transform and transactional leadership styles will best position a school to accomplish the goals set forth by NCSC while also continuing to focus on individual students needs for academic success” (Pepper, 2010, p. 3). A principal practices a transformational leadership style when he or she is practicing shared leadership with staff, parents, and students.
A principal would collaborate with teachers in the areas of curriculum development and instructional practices. The principal also would have a shared vision for the school and collaborate with staff and students to build an effective school culture. The principal would practice transactional leadership when he or she are overseeing the daily operations of the school. The principal would be enforcing policies, procedures, and rules of the school. The principal would reward teachers for accomplishing their goals and discipline teachers who do not live up to his or her standards.
Although most would think of a principal as a transformational leader, there are times when a principal also has to be a transactional leader to accomplish goals, increase student achievement, and have a safe and effective school for both staff and students. Research and psychological studies will continue to contribute to the pool of leadership theories illustrated in this essay. The study of leadership has evolved from a leader-centered models with the advent of trait and behavioral studies to a Ochs on a multidimensional study that revolves around culture, context, and emotions as seen with the transactional and transformational models.