Get help now

Essay on the Topic of Leadership in the Field of Education

Updated August 11, 2022

Download Paper

File format: .pdf, .doc, available for editing

Essay on the Topic of Leadership in the Field of Education essay

Get help to write your own 100% unique essay

Get custom paper

78 writers are online and ready to chat

This essay has been submitted to us by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our writers.

Educational leaders must be willing to absorb a demanding and complex new culture while understanding that integrity and fairness are critical. As I have participated in the various learning activities and readings from our EDL 530 class, I have developed a clearer understanding of the type of leader I desire to be. Whether I remain in the role of teacher and peer leader or aspire to a higher capacity in administration as a principal of an individual facility; or as superintendent guiding a district my goal is to be an effective educational leader. My writings herein will discuss organizational structures, leadership theories as they apply to best practices in education and to my own style of leadership; cultural elements, key traits and skills needed for successful leadership; key factors for successful leadership as they apply to motivation, decision-making, communication, and driving organizational change; structural frameworks as they apply to school-teacher-student level factors; and thoughts as they apply to my own faith and personal leadership style.

A shortage of well trained and experienced leaders in education is and will continue to impact our American school systems. The boomer generation statistics show that 52% of principals and 20% of vice or assistant principals will retire in the first 20 years of our 21st century. In concert, the number of qualified candidates is shrinking. Those who can think through complex issues, display the ability to collaborate with expanding diversity across student and teacher groups; boldly satisfy needed reform protocols and take measured risks to garner broader support will be highly sought after in this current environment (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2013 p. 1,2).

Literature in support for leadership theories varies and is still limited regarding the transformational approach (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2013 p. 171). However, it is supported as being both strategic and effective when applied to school leadership. Especially when combined with instructional where the measure of educational quality and student achievement have been substantiated (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2013 p. 172). Expanding the practice of transformational leadership from my perspective could be the best approach if we are to develop new leaders from the teachers and assistant administrators. I find it to be more closely associated with my personality type and experience thus far in a capacity to help my students grow as their educational leader and successfully interact with teachers aids and my fellow peers.

A famous quote from Steve Jobs, co-founder of Apple, Inc was “it doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do, we hire smart people to tell us what to do.” I believe Job’s philosophical comment embodies some of the key fundamentals that define transformational leadership. Such as (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2013 p. 171) developing followers to a more principled level of judgment empowered to contribute and be part of the solution versus waiting to be given instructions before taking any action. Solutions can truly become transferred into routine practice as a direct result of educational leaders and their core respective teaching ranks achieving increased capacity to maximize collaboration and professionalism across school culture.

Leadership theory is truly fascinating in that authors continue to take best practices and write about how they’ve worked, failed and what might be trialed and subsequently implemented to improve upon or combined theories as well as expunge others. I found the concept of adaptive leadership to be interesting, first written about by Heifetz in 1994, then expanded on by him and

Linksy & Grasgow in 2009 (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2013 p. 175). Through my absorption and understanding of its ideals, I believe some of its foundation is complementary to transformational (which I believe is most closely aligned with my personal goals in practicing leadership as a professional educator). Adaptive challenges (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2013 p. 175) require change, often fundamental change that conflicts with established points of view and deeply held values. Adaptive strategy promotes a change in attitude, for both leader and follower (principal & teacher or teacher & student). Taking assessment of pros and cons of situations, examination of mental models all parties hold, and their effectiveness is key. To this end is where I see “development of followers” (a core metric of transformational style) by leaders to foster empowerment and the sense of purpose being possible through first, an adaptive view being taken at the outset.

Leadership theory ties into organizational structure in that leaders cannot help but define the structure of their organization and the people in it. The basic operating unit of the American education system is the local school (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2013 p. 130). Teaching, and subsequent learning should at all costs take place at this level. Moreover, schoolboards and districts have the responsibility to cultivate and develop an exceptional learning environment for their pupils. There are cultural and socioeconomic factors that influence positive outcomes.

Common Core State Standards in mathematics and language arts adopted and implemented in the second decade of our 21st century along with STEM education have helped shape both educational leadership and organizational structure. Or, at least implied policy influence towards a standardized concept. As a teacher, I do embrace high standards for my students and agree with our government agencies efforts to create high but realistic goals for the K-12 population. That said I also find the differences of opinion for the efficacy of Common Core fascinating and portend the debate will be ongoing even though most states have adopted (41 states as of this

The Achievement Gap is large and persistent (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2013 p. 48). While I knew culture, upbringing, socioeconomic status and race were influencers on education for K-12 in America, I was literally astonished to learn some of the hard facts. Such as, the average 8th grade minority student (African American for Hispanic) registering scores in reading and arithmetic comparable to an average 4th grade white student. Furthermore, these same children when measured upon completion of high school (if they graduated) registered equivalent to a white 8th grader. There are many more disturbing but real statistics that correlate to this “under-achievement” such as poverty, lack of goals & rules outside of school life and the continuing concentration of these students in low income schools.

Mastery learning is an intriguing idea for me as I am headed for a career in special education working with children in lower income areas. Much of what I stated in the former paragraph I have witnessed and been a part of in my training through CBU. Bloom (1971) and later Guskey (2005) as reported by (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2013 p. 49) explains that the simple element of “time” can be a conduit to better learning. Guskey stipulated that if teachers provide opportunities for students to actively engage in higher level skills and allow thorough feedback on the correction of learning errors the achievement gap will begin to rapidly close. He goes on to say, and I quote “the impediments to learning in students’ environments outside of school should never become a basis for lowering expectations about what can be done to help them learn well in school.” Recently, in my rotation at Fremont Elementary, I witnessed the traits of a low-income minority environment. Many students displayed behavior that made it obvious they lacked structure and a future outside of my class. The Mastery techniques described above by Guskey could indeed help these children make a difference in their own lives.

Key Leadership Traits and Skills with Personal Leadership Style. As I have written thus far, I believe that transformational is how I naturally lead and will lead as my career develops and matures. Inclusion, empowerment and collaboration are more satisfying to me than working in a silo and having limited communication with my counterparts, students and superiors. As I read my responses for Harmony, Adaptability, Developer, Includer and Consistency it is apparent that I am making an accurate assessment of my own leadership style.

For example, in Harmony I can connect this trait of to build a network of mentors with differing perspectives. Rely on these people when I need expertise. My openness to their diverse views will help me learn. This aligns with my transformational outlook by giving the mentor network a sense of purpose knowing their expertise will help influence my decision-making process. When I consider Adaptability it directly correlates with what I’ve had to accomplish in order to earn my degree and begin a teaching career. Moreover, I wrote on pages 3-4 (of this paper) about adaptive leadership theory potentially being a precursor to good transformational practice. I also have learned to live in the moment and don’t mind modifications to existing plans anymore as I’ve had to change constantly around my five kids and husbands’ career. This will make me a more astute as a leader in helping my followers who struggle with accepting change.

Developer and Includer traits are both defining elements in the discussion of transformational leadership. Schools that I have enjoyed the most in my student teaching roles so far are those of lower social or economic privilege. In correlation to mastery techniques learned from (Cunningham & Cordeiro, 2013 p. 49) I found that Popham’s contention that transformative assessment is also critical to improved learning (Sterrett, 2011 p.93). What does this mean? By measuring student assessment data, learning what needs adjusting, confirming understanding and providing the quality student-teacher time for it all to take place promote’s student growth. Hence, I am learning that by combining different tactics like transformational leadership, mastery techniques and transformative assessment I stand to be very successful in teaching special & general ed children from lower socio economic and minority status. All of it adds up to not letting their “outside of school” negative influences be an excuse for not learning!

Consistency is something I crave but for some can be antonymous to adaptability; a trait that also highly important to sound educational leadership. Sterrett (2011) shares with us that “touch points” are a way of creating structure in leadership (p.11-12). As a student teacher, not yet a principal I must still establish leadership with my students, aids and peers. At a recent seven-week elementary school assignment I initiated participation in math problems for the entire class. By writing a problem on the board, calling on different students to come up and work a portion of the problem, they all became more engaged to learn and be interested in obtaining the correct answer.

Leadership Skills Connected to Ethical, Legal, Fiscal and Administrative Components of Educational Leadership. Oral and written communication may be two of the most important skills an educational leader must possess. Whether we I am speaking at an assembly, addressing the school board, writing grant proposals or discussing my philosophy of administration and leadership, it will important for me to communicate my thoughts clearly and concisely. How I represent myself verbally or in written correspondence will be an indication of how I will be as a leader. I must come off as a strong, knowledgeable, and confident leader, both in person and in type.

Schools are quick to implement technology, but learning hasn’t changed much according to some studies. Cunningham (2013, p.230) showed that frontal lobe development in several studies could be limited where digital devices were used at a young age. Administrators need to have a clear picture of the facts around new technology coming into their schools including the positive and potential negative impacts for students.

Legal policy knowledge and management of it is a critically important skill for educational leaders to possess. To make prudent judgments good leaders will establish operational mechanisms which bring notice of judicial changes as they occur (Cunningham,

2013 p.392). Wrapping up my fifth skill or trait of leadership is Interpersonal Intelligence. In Gardner’s theory we all have eight different intelligences to varying degrees and claims each is equally important that they interact (Cunningham, 2013 p. 288). The ability to understand and interact effectively with others, note distinctions among others, have sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others; and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives I believe is a highly important skill for effective educational leaders.

Essay on the Topic of Leadership in the Field of Education essay

Remember. This is just a sample

You can get your custom paper from our expert writers

Get custom paper

Essay on the Topic of Leadership in the Field of Education. (2022, Aug 11). Retrieved from