School Management in Transition: Schooling on the Edge

School Management in Transition: Schooling on the Edge

School Management in Transition: Schooling on the Edge

School Management in Transition: Schooling on the Edge

Synopsis

School Management in Transition examines the impact of the neo-conservative political agendas which still hold sway in education. It describes the transition that has occurred in the school leader's role from teacher-administrator to quality control supervisor and how some schools have developed strategies to deal with the resulting issues. Based on a study carried out by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the book analyses issues such as decentralisation, testing, external assessment and privatisation in the education systems of nine of the world's most industrialised countries: the USA, UK, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, the Netherlands, Sweden, Greece and Hungary. It contrasts different school management models in these countries and goes on to identify innovation and best practice designed to tackle such concerns as declining professional morale, premature retirements and teacher shortages. This book provides a unique insight into what is really happening in school leadership and management, and will be of great interest to school leaders, academics, researchers and policy makers.

Excerpt

As industrial societies struggle with the demands of the twenty-first century, public schooling finds itself in a rather dysfunctional state striving to satisfy the diverse needs of an ever-changing social, political and economic milieu. Born in the nineteenth century and universalised in the twentieth century, public education has emerged 'on the cutting edge of a new age' shrouded in a cloak of crisis and contradiction. During the twentieth century the administration of the public service sector, including primary and secondary schooling, has been radically transformed. The one room/one teacher rural schoolhouse of the agrarian age has spawned the creation of large multi-classroom institutions in our industrial cities and consolidated rural areas. The role of the school administrator has also dramatically changed. Once, a practising teacher with added supervisory skills in plant operations, discipline and record keeping was in charge of the building, the teachers and their students. In the twenty-first century a full professional manager responsible for financial, instructional, human resources and facilities leadership is demanded.

School governance has also changed. Central authorities with control of legislation, funding and curriculum and programme standards are increasingly downloading some of these responsibilities to local municipalities or individual schools. This process of decentralisation and deregulation has had a profound impact on the role of the school manager. The movement to a more market-driven economy and the advent of new information and communication technologies have strongly affected all forms of public service, including schooling. Political and media forces are demanding more quality and accountability from our service delivery systems. The publishing of student test scores, teacher testing and curriculum and programme reform have often resulted in a public perception that teachers may be incompetent and schools poorly managed. Many professional educators are suffering from employment insecurity, stress-burnout, decreasing job satisfaction and low self-esteem. As we continue to embrace a lifelong, learner-focused economy, the need to strengthen this area of human capital has never been more apparent. This is of particular concern as the teachers and principals of the post-war baby boom reach retirement age. Who will

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