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LEADERS AND LEADERSHIP

IN THE SCHOOLS
John A. Invernizzi, Ph.D.
             
2007
     Writers and presenters encourage educators to become contributing members of their school by using leadership concepts.   Unfortunately, there does not appear to be a common lingo when relating these concepts to their audience.  Using the terms leader and leadership inconsistently or interchangeably forces the audience to interpret or guess the specific meaning when presenting new ideas.  In addition, misunderstanding may occur by using leadership concepts, based upon business or corporate management practices, describing people and acts in a school.  This article will examine the etymological influence of the terms leaders and leadership in the schools.
     Leader and leadership are alike--but different--just
like hay and straw. 1  The writer should make the
audience aware of the specific inference when using
these terms.  Does the author mean a leader (a person) or
leadership (the act)?  When the presenter uses leader,
does this imply a manager/supervisor, someone with
leadership attributes or any person that informally heads
a group?  There are terms using lead or leader describing
a variety of teacher positions (e.g., teacher leaders and
lead teachers), and there are student leaders.                           
     Some school leadership authors explain how the de jure leaders (superintendents or principals) should or could change the school through leadership--to create a sense of empowerment or ownership.  The principal's leadership style (e.g., autocratic, democratic) determines the real degree of participation or how the principal leads.  The implication of leading is that someone is following; this sounds like the military approach to leadership. 
1 Hay is for feeding the animals and straw is used for bedding.  They both are often seen in bales, look similar, and the inexperienced person might think they are the same.
     The most fundamental and important organizational technique used by the military is the chain of command.  The generals and officers develop ideas and plans, and the subordinates implement the ideas and plans by order.  This is the association that some educators have in their school system.  There is no equality here, and obviously any initiative is top down.
APA StyleInvernizzi, J. (2007). "Leaders and Leadership in the Schools." Retrieved May 8, 2012, from EducationDx, USA. Web site:
http://www.educationdx.com/leaders-and-educational-leadership.html.
Leaders and Educational Leadership
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