Overview. When Considering Leadership Studies, The Research

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Overview When considering leadership studies, the research is quite prolific.Leadership occurs in every facet of social dynamics to varying degrees. In education, specifically elementary and secondary education, the hierarchical approach of a top down leadership style has been the accepted norm with the principal as the figurehead of the school.In the past, the principal served the role of a manager and not a leader.However, in today’s changing educational climate of accountability and high stakes testing, the principal’s role has evolved to one of an instructional leader first who also has managerial duties. Cheney and Davis (2011) acknowledge this changing role stating “The job has evolved into a highly complex and demanding position…show more content…
Background As previously stated, the role of the principal has evolved into that of an instructional leader who also still maintains the previous roles associated with the position such as maintaining a budget, dealing with personnel issues and managing a building. When considering the principal’s ever- changing role, the conceptualization of the principal in early American education is noteworthy. American education began as early as the Colonial period and was haphazard at best. There was no uniformity in schools from one community to another with each school being under the supervision of the community, its leaders and parents. At this time, the teacher alone served at the pleasure of the community’s constituents in managing the schoolhouse, teaching with scant resources and maintaining order among the students (Rousmaniere, 2013). These teachers were not respected among many communities.Rousmaniere (2013) notes that “early Americans described educators as misfits with no better opportunity in life, crippled by accident, work, or alcohol addiction and whose disability traversed from physical to mental to moral” (p. 9). It is surprising that communities would entrust their children with such perceived reprobates. During the nineteenth century educational reform was a continual process with changes in organizational structure from within the school to the county and district level. In the mid-nineteenth century with the creation of the graded school,
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