Educational Leadership Must Move beyond Management Training to Visionary and Moral Transformational Leaders

By Siegrist, Gerald | Education, Winter 1999 | Go to article overview

Educational Leadership Must Move beyond Management Training to Visionary and Moral Transformational Leaders


Siegrist, Gerald, Education


Bennis (1989) would probably appreciate the irony in Clemens' comment. He once remarked that "To an extent, leadership is like beauty: It is hard to define, but you know it when you see it." (p.1) Both statements strike to the heart of the leadership/administration dichotomy and to the dilemma of those who prepare leaders for the changing demands and cultural norms of the new millennium.

Although the primary target of many educational reformers is the public schools, their message echoes loudly in the hallowed halls of academe as well. If leadership is vital to the schools, preparation of those leaders is very serious business indeed, and graduate programs must move beyond the training of efficient managers, to the preparation of visionary, moral, and transformational leaders. Educators developing new programs and those revisiting existing ones are morally obligated to carefully investigate the knowledge base(es) on which they will build their curriculum and delivery systems rather than overlaying behavioral/structural models with post-structural or post-modern ones. They can start with fresh assumptions about the nature of leadership, drawing from English, Senge, Sergiovanni, Hodgkinson, Bennis and a host of other contemporaries. This will be a formidable task since there is shifting consensus on what constitutes leadership, and whether it can even be "taught."

Research and experience have taught us much in recent years about child development, learning theory, classroom management, effective teaching, motivation and discipline, and the appropriate use of instructional technology. Effective schools research has built upon this to suggest new roles for school leaders and new models to prepare them. With over 15,000 school districts in this country we have a large numbers of successful programs to study and emulate. And yet there appears to be a reluctance to move beyond the scientific methods of the past, the traditional models that have been in place for decades. One colleague has described it as "institutional inertia." Perhaps, a brief examination of this fledgling field we call educational administration, and more recently educational leadership, might shed some light on this phenomenon.

While leadership is at least as old as man, the term didn't appear in the literature on school administration until well after the turn of the 20th century (English, 1994). Educational administration began as an offspring Of scientific management and its early adherents were fervently entrenched in the doctrine of efficiency, leading to what English (1994) calls "scientism." Later came the behaviorists, then the organizational sociologists, neither of which has provided the predictive power to solve the myriad problems facing 21st century educators. An increasing number of investigators believe that too many administrators see themselves as continuing the legacy of efficiency through systems theory and, now, total quality management. Over the course of the late twentieth century, our understanding of leadership has changed rather dramatically as we have recognized that what leaders do is determined, in large part, by the nature of those being led and the culture of the organizations in which they work. Additionally, as systems theory suggests, those organizations are influenced by and, in turn, influence the greater culture of which they are a part. The European and Asian concepts of communities bound by bludt and bot, the familial ties and bloodlines of generations, is not a part of the American culture. Two hundred years of immigration, economic mobility, a unique political environment, a decentralized educational system, and America's sheer geographic size have resulted in a diversity of cultural values unmatched anywhere in the world. That diversity coupled with our absolute commitment to compulsory education to further the commonweal and a constitution that leaves education to the fifty states poses an enormous challenge to educational leaders.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Educational Leadership Must Move beyond Management Training to Visionary and Moral Transformational Leaders
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.