Outline the key features of one theory/model of leadership servant-leadership vision Sergiovanni (2005) viewed vision as such a crucial element for change because it greatly influences the process of transformation in the servant-leader and in teachers, parents, and students and the school community as a whole. A good vision is meaningful if it is credible and can propel constituents to embrace it. Sergiovanni (1993) prescribed servant-leadership as the leadership style which could effectively meet the needs of the changing landscape in contemporary schools, Stewardship
Sergiovanni (1992) explains that stewardship ? involves the leader‘s personal responsibility to manage her or his life and affairs with proper regard for the rights of other people and for the common welfare? (p.
139). Effective schools provide an environment for the common good of all students, regardless of their particular needs. Caring Sergiovanni(1994) claims that “caring as an integral part of shared community” (p. 146). Commitment to the growth of people The servant-leader is committed to the individual growth of human beings and will do everything they can to nurture others.
Sergiovanni (2001) puts this in a school perspective: The leader serves as head follower by leading the discussion about what is worth following, and by modeling, teaching, and helping others to become better followers. When this happens, the emphasis changes from direct leadership based on rules and personality, to a different kind of leadership based on stewardship and service (p. 34). Moral community leader “Moral community provides for moral connections among teachers, students, and it advocates helping all of them to become self-managing.
These connections satisfy the needs for coordination and commitment that any enterprise must meet to be successful. ” “Moral connections are stronger than the connections that come from extrinsic or intrinsic rewards. Moral connections are grounded in cultural norms rather than in psychological needs. ” “The leader serves as head follower by leading the discussion about what is worth following and by modeling, teaching, and helping others to become better followers. “When this happens, the emphasis changes from direct leadership based on rules and personality, to a different kind of leadership based on stewardship and service. ” The secret: To replace communication with conversation Conversation may not be able to move mountains, but it can get teachers, citizens, state officials, and other stakeholders to think differently, to join together in a union of mutual responsibility, and to make good decisions together for children. Since conversation is relational reciprocal, it requires commitment to mutuality???? ???. Mutuality implies the sharing of power with, by, and among people regardless of their level or role in a way that recognizes the dignity of each, and to sustain this sharing.
And the more that heads practice mutuality by engaging in conversation with others, the more they count. Conversation is the way to bring people together, to build up needed capacity, and to win the commitment needed from everyone to make the school well. (Sergiovanni, 2001) Sees school as community Why is community building important in schools? Community is the tie that binds students and teachers together in special ways, to something more significant than themselves: shared values and ideals. It lifted both teachers ans students to higher levels of self-understanding, commitment, and performance-beyond the reaches of the shortcomings and difficulties they face in their everyday lives”. “Community can help teachers and students be transformed from a collection of “Is” to a collective “we”, thus providing them with a unique and enduring sense of identity, belonging, and place”. Sergiovanni, 1994)
Schools can become communities in may different forms: 1. Caring communities 2. Learning communities 3. Professional communities 4. Collegial communities 5. Inclusive communities 6. Inquiring communities (Sergiovanni, 1994, P. 71) Sergiovanni sees a critical link between what happens to teachers and what happens to students. If schools and teachers are going to be successful in getting children to be more curious and more actively involved in their learning, then the adults who teach them likewise will have to be actively engaged, he says. Inquiring classrooms are not likely to flourish in schools where inquiry among teachers is discouraged. A commitment to problem solving is difficult to instill in students who are taught by teachers for whom problem solving is not allowed. Where there is little discourse among teachers, discourse among students will be harder to promote and maintain. And the idea of making classrooms into learning communities for students will remain more rhetoric than real unless schools become learning communities for teachers too,” he writes. Teacher development must move center stage in school improvement, Sergiovanni argues.
That means, he says, management systems, organizational patterns , and teacher growth strategies must recognize:
• Recognize individual differences among teachers;
• Encourage teachers to reflect on their own practices;
• Give a high priority to conversation and dialogue among teachers;
• Provide for collaborative learning among teachers;
• Emphasize caring communities;
• Call upon teachers to respond morally to their work. Because Sergiovanni believes that theories influence what we see and do, he argues that they also affect the change strategies that schools select.
To illustrate, he challenges the notion that schools can be tightly managed into reform, pointing out that “. . . teachers are less influenced by management strategies and more influenced by what they believe, by what peers believe and do, and by other more elusive cultural matters. ” Sergiovanni stresses the need for a school community to come together around shared values and ideas because “real schools” are managerially loose and culturally tight. That means, he believes, that the change process must be norms based rather than rules based.
Such approaches emphasize professional socialization, shared values and purposes, collegiality, and natural interdependence. a. Role is to articulate values and work with community to solve its problems b. Rise above the personal “…. are willing to sacrifice for one another as fellows or sharers of a common fate” Book Review Moral Leadership: Getting to the Heart of School Improvement By Thomas J. Sergiovanni: Sergiovanni discusses “living school” in leadership rather than just being concerned with the facts and figures involved in “playing school. The viewpoint of the author is being concerned about the leadership processes in schools that are presently accepted as the norm. Sergiovanni would like to see school leadership shift to one that is self-motivated by teachers who want to do a great job, not one where the teachers feel they have to as a result of dependency on “extrinsic” rewards. A school, he says, is a community with a shared sense of values and purpose. He describes a “virtuous school” as one founded on the beliefs that a school must be a community, that this school community includes parents, teachers, students and other community members.
He believes that every student can learn, that caring for the whole child is the key to academic success, and that mutual respect and positive expectations are the operating dynamics. Throughout this book, Sergiovanni is attempting to reframe the role of leadership in a school from an old paradigm focused on management and control and the view that a school is a formal organization, to a new paradigm of empowerment through caring, acknowledging the expertise of teachers and students, and facilitating their active participation in the school. Analysis, Impact, and Evaluation ) Critically consider its contribution to thinking on leadership Sergiovanni (1999) encourages consideration of a servant-leadership approach for our present day schools and for our raison d’etre, Such ideas as servant leadership bring with them a different kind of strength- one based on moral authority. …. What matters are issues of substance.
What are we about? Why? Are students being served? Is the school as learning community being served? What are our obligations to this community? With these questions in mind, how can we best get the job done? (p. 1) Challenges and Tensions of Servant-Leadership Servant-leadership is not an easy choice for success in leadership, nor is it a panacea for all the difficulties of leadership. Besides, the servant-leadership option is fraught with frustrations, hostility, and periods of passivity (Lad & Luechauer, 1998; Autry, 2001; Fryer, 2001). For Lad and Luechauer, “The journey toward becoming a leader who seeks to serve rather that be served is worthy, commendable, and, unfortunately filled with many personal, organizational, and environmental barriers, paradoxes, and downsides” (p. 1). The barriers, paradoxes, and downsides could lead to abandonment of the servant-leadership ideal when the leader lacking faith fails to see beyond the immediate challenges (Wheatley, 2004). Barriers to the Practice of Servant-Leadership According to Lad and Luechauer (1998) barriers that may offer resistance to the practice of servant-leadership are: 1. Followers might initially consider servant-leadership to be another management fad.
Such skepticism arises from the inherent mistrust generated by the times when leaders have not remained faithful to the psychological contracts made with employees who seriously yearn for real change (Reeves, 2002). 2. Leaders and followers may not see servant-leadership as a pressing need, so that leaders remain trapped in a whirlwind of other events and needs that demand urgent attention. 3. Leaders and organizations spend much time and energy on recommending servant-leadership and its many advantages but excuse themselves from practicing it because they see it as not being practicable in their particular organization.
Besides, followers may be caught in system relationships that have developed and seem impossible to break (Reeves). Servant-leadership presents two paradoxes: The first emanates from the fact that servant-leadership may take varying and ever changing forms. The leader must be comfortable with such variation in the process and realize the commandment that ‘thou is not the only servant in the organization’ (Lad & Luechauer, 1998). Such a realization helps the leader to appreciate the contribution of others to the organization.
Without the acknowledgement of other servant-leaders in the organization, servant-leadership can be self defeating. The second flows from the mistaken notion by some followers that servant-leadership implies the absence of rules, hierarchy, or structure, rather than understanding the changes required in the role that rules, hierarchy, and structure perform (Blanchard, 1998). Inhibitors of the Practice of Servant-Leadership Apart from barriers and paradoxes, servant-leadership has its downsides that the leader must be prepared to experience (Lad & Luechauer, 1998). Some of the downsides include: 1.
The reluctance of some colleagues and followers to collaborate and be empowered. 2. The difficulty of sharing control, of being humble, and capable of uplifting others, and of knowing very well that colleagues may surpass the servant-leader within the organization. 3. The challenges of dealing with anger, frustration, vulnerability, and despondence as the servant-leader strives to be a role model. These, Lad and Luechauer noted, may delay or prevent the process of becoming a servant-leader. But the leader must recognize that these barriers, paradoxes, and downsides are not only perceived but also justifiable.
The leader can enhance the possibility of a safe and successful journey into servant-leadership by preparing for such anticipated difficulties early during the leadership mandate. Facing such challenges, the servant-leader should remember that actions speak louder than words and that it is not talking about servant-leadership that does the trick, but practicing servant-leadership style (Lad & Luechauer). Strategies for Practicing Servant-Leadership Lad and Luechauer (1998) indicated four ways towards enhancing the practice of servant-leadership: 1.
Engagement in dialogue, discussion, education and training, since many of the barriers issue from misconceptions and unrealistic tales about its meaning and practice. 2. Joining or creating the appropriate study groups so as to receive new ideas and encouragement from other servant-leaders. 3. Attendance at Servant-Leadership Conference in order to learn from other participants’ experiences. 4. Engaging in activities such as decorating one’s office with reminders of servant-leadership such as posters, calendars, pictures, daily prayer/meditation/reflection, and maintaining a servant-leadership journal. ) Illustrate how the theory/model illuminates or suggests ideas for practice in one school Schools can become communities in may different forms.
They can become: 1. Caring communities: members are motivated by altruistic love and make a total commitment to each other. 2. Learning communities: members are committed to thinking, growing, and inquiring and where learning is for everyone an attitude as well as an activity, a way of life as well as a process. 3. Professional communities: 4. Collegial communities 5. Inclusive communities 6. Inquiring communities Sergiovanni, 1994, P. 71) c) Suggest ways the theory/model might be developed. b. Reflects core educational and moral values of community (exclusivity an issue? ) Core educational values versus moral values of community Moral connections grounded in cultural norms are central to Sergiovanni’s theory of school leadership. “Moral connections come from the duties teachers, parents, and students accept, and the obligations they feel toward others, and toward their work. Obligations result from common commitments to shared values and beliefs,” he writes.
These moral connections, Sergiovanni believes, must be at the core of building community in schools. Schools that are struggling to become communities should address questions such as:
• What can be done to increase the sense of family, neighborliness, and collegiality among the faculty?
• How can the faculty become more of a professional community where everyone cares about each other and helps each other to learn and to lead together?
• What kinds of school-parent relationships need to be cultivated to include parents in this emerging community?