This paper deals with lessons learned through the design, implementation, and evaluation of a pilot program designed to promote teacher leadership in school improvement.
It is also attributable to the fact that the context for educational leadership has become increasingly complex, and that the role of school principal has changed dramatically.
Issues that seem especially relevant to the redesign of leadership preparation programs will be highlighted, especially those involving the trend toward incorporating more authentic, performance-based learning activities in formal educational programs.
Charles Parish Schools $50,000 to support this program, which was made available to teachers who were carefully selected based on a multi-stage screening process that assessed their vision of leadership, their promise as teacher leaders, and their eligibility for state certification.
The program itself attempted to fully integrate the study of school leadership with an array of field-based problem solving and school improvement activities that helped participants understand leadership and develop the ability to lead efforts to change and improve schools.
The TLI employed an electronic, web-based instructional support system using Blackboard and other technologies, such as the school improvement simulation, In the Center of Things, a PC-based simulation designed to help school leaders understand school improvement, planning, and school leadership.
In a sample of 318 undergraduates, males saw their professors as exhibiting more transactional leadership while females saw these same professors as exhibiting greater transformational leadership.
As more women are employed in leadership positions, there has been an increase in research concerning gender and leadership (Vecchio, 2002) often with a focus on the transactional-transformational paradigm with attention given to gender differences (Aldoory & Toth, 2004).
Transactional leadership is generally based on exchanges between leaders and followers with an emphasis on a cost-benefit exchange process (Burns, 1978).
Alternatively, transformational leadership involves strong personal identification with a leader, presentation of a vision of the future that can be shared (Yammarino & Bass, 1990), and motivating followers beyond original expectations (Hartog et al.
The multifactor leadership questionnaire, known as the MLQ, is most commonly used to measure transformational and transactional leadership styles and has been used to investigate gender differences (Antonakis, Avolio, & Sivasubramaniam, 2003; Avolio, Bass, & Jung, 1999; Bass & Avolio, 1995).
In meta-analysis research on the differences in leadership between men and women, women exhibited more transformational leadership behaviors than men (Eagly, Johansesen-Schmidt, & van Engen, 2003) and adopted a more democratic or participative style and a less autocratic and directive style than men (van Engen, 2001).