Emerald | Journal of Educational Administration | Table of Contents http://www.emeraldinsight.com/0957-8234.htm Table of contents from the most recently published issue of Journal of Educational Administration Journal en-gb Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0100 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited editorial@emeraldinsight.com support@emeraldinsight.com 60 Emerald | Journal of Educational Administration | Table of Contents http://www.emeraldinsight.com/common_assets/img/covers_journal/jeacover.gif http://www.emeraldinsight.com/0957-8234.htm 120 157 Teacher leadership and collective efficacy: Teacher perceptions in three US school districts http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0957-8234&volume=52&issue=6&articleid=17116033&show=abstract <strong>Abstract</strong><br /><br /><B>Purpose</B> - Collective efficacy and teacher leadership, two constructs central to school reform, were examined in this quantitative study of three school districts. This study examined the relationship between teacher perceptions of the extent of teacher leadership and the extent of collective efficacy. Research was guided by the following questions: Do teachers who perceive a strong sense of collective efficacy also perceive a greater extent of teacher leadership in their schools? Are there differences in perceptions of collective efficacy and the factors of teacher leadership, specifically, sharing expertise, shared leadership, supra- practitioner, and principal selection? . <B>Design/methodology/approach</B> - Data were collected utilizing two instruments, the Teacher Leadership Inventory (Angelle and DeHart, 2010) and the Teacher Efficacy Belief Scale – Collective Form (Olivier, 2001). Descriptive statistics and ANOVA were run to examine mean differences by district in teacher collective efficacy and the extent of teacher leadership in the school (n = 363). In addition, ANOVA were run to examine district differences in the four factors on the Teacher Leadership Inventory. A one-way ANOVA contrasted the overall collective efficacy mean scores of Districts A, B, and C. Demographic data were also collected from participants.<B>Findings</B> - Findings indicate a clear and strong relationship between collective efficacy and teacher leadership. District B was markedly stronger in teacher leadership and collective efficacy than the other two districts. The highest percentage of participants indicating they have a leadership role were from District B. Findings from this study also indicate that teachers perceive the informal aspects of teacher leadership as a greater indicator of collective efficacy. District B, which reported significantly higher collective efficacy than did District A or C, also reported a significantly lower extent of principal selected teacher leadership. Formal roles such as department heads and grade level chairs were not perceived as extensive indicators of teacher leadership as were teacher roles in collaboration or extra role behaviours.<B>Research limitations/implications</B> - This study took place in three small districts in a southeastern US state. Generalizability to larger school districts should be approached with caution. This study may be limited in that teacher leaders may have a greater tendency to complete a survey on teacher leadership than teachers who do not take on leadership roles. <B>Practical implications</B> - This study provides support for developing teacher leadership and providing mastery experiences which can impact the collective beliefs of the faculty in a positive manner. As indicated by these findings, teacher leadership and collective efficacy are connected variables, thus, increasing the extent of one will likely increase the other. Results from this study affirms those leaders who believe in the power of shared leadership, shared decision making, and shared responsibility for school learning.<B>Originality/value</B> - While several studies have been conducted on collective efficacy in schools, most of these studies have been quantitative. Studies of teacher leadership have tended to focus on the formal roles of teacher leaders utilizing a qualitative design. Using quantitative methodology for collective efficacy and teacher leadership, this study approaches teacher leadership from an organizational perspective, examining the extent to which both informal and formal, or principal selected, teacher leadership exists across the school. Article literatinetwork@emeraldinsight.com (Pamela Angelle, Ginger M. Teague) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Principals' sense of efficacy: The influence of the Arkansas Leadership Academy http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0957-8234&volume=52&issue=6&articleid=17116032&show=abstract <strong>Abstract</strong><br /><br /><B>Purpose</B> - The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between school principals’ sense of efficacy and their involvement with the Arkansas Leadership Academy’s (the Academy) School Support Program (SSP). <B>Design/methodology/approach</B> - Data were collected from participating SSP principals to explore differences in mean principal self-efficacy given varied years of participation in SSP. The Principal Self-Efficacy Survey was used to measure the construct of principal self-efficacy of 27 principals participating in the Academy’s SSP for low performing schools. <B>Findings</B> - The findings suggest that principals of low-performing schools that participated in the Arkansas Leadership Academy’s SSP for more years have a stronger sense of leadership efficacy than principals of low-performing schools that are just beginning the SSP. Post hoc qualitative data were collected through a focus group discussion to provide insight regarding actual practices that led to increased perceived self-efficacy as a result of participating in the SSP. <B>Research limitations/implications</B> - This study is highly contextualized to the principals and school systems participating in the SSP, a limited population due to conditions under which schools qualify to participate in the program. <B>Practical implications</B> - As schools continue to be identified as needing to improve based on accountability measures, external sources of leadership development for the principals leading these schools should be considered as a possible means for increasing their senses of efficacy, and indirectly supporting the potential for improved school performance. <B>Originality/value</B> - There could be a strong argument that the influence of an outside support program might be one strategy to consider when addressing the improvement of low-performing schools through raising leader efficacy. Article literatinetwork@emeraldinsight.com (Denise Tobin Airola, Ed Bengtson, Deborah A Davis, Diana K Peer) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Social-cognitive outcomes of teachers’ engagement in learning communities http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0957-8234&volume=52&issue=6&articleid=17116048&show=abstract <strong>Abstract</strong><br /><br /><B>Purpose</B> - This study seeks to investigate Etienne Wenger’s theory of social learning in a community of practice by modeling two simultaneous aspects of teachers’ collaborative learning: their engagement in close-knit internal groupings and engagement with colleagues that work externally to the core group. These two learning processes are related to two social-cognitive outcomes: teachers’ organizational commitment and their sense of impact.<B>Design/methodology/approach</B> - The study investigated a field sample of 246 individual teachers from 10 Finnish primary schools. Hypotheses were developed and tested by using multiple regression and structural equation modeling.<B>Findings</B> - The results indicate that local engagement supports teachers’ organizational commitment. However, this form of collaborative learning behavior did not support their sense of impact. Moreover, external engagement with trusted colleagues supported sense of impact but not organizational commitment.<B>Research limitations/implications</B> - The study reinforces the importance of teachers’ engagement in communities of practice. Specifically, the results suggest two specific social-cognitive outcomes related to two different learning processes situated in teachers’ community of practice. It would be highly valuable to replicate this study in various multi-level settings.<B>Practical implications</B> - The study highlights teachers’ engagement in communities of practice as a source of their motivational basis and their commitment. Findings recommend school leaders to facilitate internal and external learning communities. <B>Originality/value</B> - The study provides empirical evidence regarding the partial relationships between teachers’ local and external learning engagement and the social-cognitive outcomes of these forms of learning behaviors. Article literatinetwork@emeraldinsight.com (Kjell Brynjulf Hjertø, Jan Merok Paulsen, Saku Petteri Thiveräinen) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Systems school leadership: exploring an emerging construct http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0957-8234&volume=52&issue=6&articleid=17116056&show=abstract <strong>Abstract</strong><br /><br /><B>Purpose</B> - This study explore how effective school principals use systems thinking, aiming to present the Systems School Leadership (SSL) approach – an approach where principals lead schools through the systems thinking concept and procedures. <B>Design/methodology/approach</B> - Participants were 28 Israeli school principals, selected as outstanding leaders by recommendations from their superintendents and according to their schools' achievements. The study employed semi-structured interviews as well as focus groups. Generating themes was an inductive process, grounded in the various perspectives articulated by participants.<B>Findings</B> - Data analysis generated four main characteristics of SSL: (1) leading wholes; (2) adopting a multidimensional view; (3) influencing indirectly; and (4) evaluating significance.<B>Research limitations/implications</B> - Further research that will explore to what extent and how often principals use systems thinking is required. In addition, replication in various educational contexts is important in order to substantiate the validity of the SSL's characteristics. Beyond principals' perceptions, more objective measures like direct observations are needed to evaluate actual implementation of SSL in diverse school settings. <B>Practical implications</B> - Identifying the SSL characteristics facilitates the development of practical processes for nurturing SSL in various stages of school leaders' educational career. <B>Originality/value</B> - This paper provides a useful conceptual and empirical framework to evaluate SSL as a managerial approach. Article literatinetwork@emeraldinsight.com (Haim Shaked, Chen Schechter) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Finance Equity, Student Achievement, and Justice: A Five State Analysis of Equality of Opportunity http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0957-8234&volume=52&issue=6&articleid=17116065&show=abstract <strong>Abstract</strong><br /><br /><B>Purpose</B> - The purpose of this paper is to explore the connections between state education finance distribution models and student achievement. To date, lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of state finance systems have been heard in in 45 states; the judicial interpretation of the requirement to provide equality of educational opportunity has led to changes in finance distribution models as well as the implementation of accountability policy. <B>Design/methodology/approach</B> - The study included district level finance and achievement data from five states. Researchers reviewed the relevant judicial interpretation of the finance system, the accountability policy and the finance distribution system. Next, researchers calculated the equity of both the finance distribution model and measures of student achievement. Finally, an equity ratio was developed and calculated to discern the degree to which state distribution models resulted in equitable measures of student achievement.<B>Findings</B> - Findings reveal that no state has both an equitable system of finance and equitable measures of student achievement. The way that states define proficiency significantly impacts the percentage of students that reach proficiency. This impacts the provision of equality of opportunity. <B>Originality/value</B> - Traditionally, the measurement of equity has only been applied to finance distribution systems. The authors of this paper have applied these concepts to measures of student achievement and aligned the two concepts with the equity ratio. Since states are charged with providing sufficient resources to enable students to reach proficiency, an understanding of the interaction between resources and achievement is a critical tool in analyzing the provision of equal opportunity. Article literatinetwork@emeraldinsight.com (Robert C Knoeppel, Patricia F First, Matthew R. Della Sala, Chinasa A. Ordu) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Total Quality Management in Mauritian education and principals’ decision-making for school improvement: ‘driven’ or ‘informed’ by data? http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0957-8234&volume=52&issue=6&articleid=17116022&show=abstract <strong>Abstract</strong><br /><br /><B>Purpose</B> - Reflecting the Mauritian government’s ‘quality’ agenda and its focus on school leadership, this article reports the findings of research exploring Mauritian principals’ views about the use of Total Quality Management (TQM) for school improvement. While aspects of this research have been reported elsewhere, this article focuses on school leaders’ use of data and evidence in making decisions for school improvement.<B>Design/methodology/approach</B> - The article reports on qualitative aspects within a mixed methods research with data collected by means of semi-structured interviews conducted with a purposive sample of six principals. The analysis of the data was an exercise in grounded theory building.<B>Findings</B> - The article expands the knowledge of principals as quantitative data users arguing that qualitative information based on professional discourses, human judgements and lived experiences should be equally valorised if TQM is used for making informed educational decisions.<B>Research limitations/implications</B> - The research relied on principals’ views as the unique source of data. The perspectives of the other stakeholders would offer a richer description of leadership reality in Mauritian schools.<B>Practical implications</B> - The article suggests a more participatory decision-making model for effective change that could rightfully engage all stakeholders through various complementary quantitative and qualitative processes. It further recommends that alongside the core systemic qualities of TQM, there are ethical, moral and cultural dimensions of leadership that could enhance the teaching and learning environment.<B>Originality/value</B> - While confirming some extant research, the article brings new thinking to understanding the critical role of principals within the TQM scenario of data-driven decision-making. Article literatinetwork@emeraldinsight.com (Jean Claude Ah-Teck, Karen E starr) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Social media marketing and communications strategies for school superintendents http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0957-8234&volume=52&issue=6&articleid=17116025&show=abstract <strong>Abstract</strong><br /><br /><B>Purpose</B> - The purpose of this qualitative study was to describe, analyze, and interpret the experiences of school superintendents who use multiple social media tools with stakeholders as part of their comprehensive communications practices. Additionally, it examined why superintendents have chosen to communicate with their stakeholders through social media.<B>Design/methodology/approach</B> - Qualitative interviews were conducted with a total of 12 school superintendents; three each from the Northeast, South, Midwest, and West regions of the USA and Canada.<B>Findings</B> - Six themes emerged from the 12 qualitative interviews with the superintendents and from the Internet data regarding their social media use. The six emergent themes included: 1. more immediate and more frequent interactions between school superintendents and their stakeholders. 2. greater transparency regarding decision-making and budgeting processes. 3. impact on a school superintendent’s personal and professional growth. 4. stronger connections to local stakeholders, to fellow educators, and to the world. 5. use is an expectation; it’s no longer optional. 6. accessing information from the superintendent in a multi-modal way. <B>Research limitations/implications</B> - This study was limited to the perceptions of superintendents who currently use two or more forms of social media to communicate with their stakeholders. The study did not include the thoughts and perceptions of superintendents who are only experimenting with social media use, those who have not been able to engage their stakeholders in two-way conversations, or those who have not yet implemented social media as part of a comprehensive communications approach.<B>Practical implications</B> - Implications are provided for school administrators, boards of education, and educational leadership programs.<B>Originality/value</B> - Social media research Article literatinetwork@emeraldinsight.com (Daniel D Cox, Scott McLeod) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0100 Continuing professional development for middle leaders in primary schools in Hong Kong http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=0957-8234&volume=52&issue=6&articleid=17116031&show=abstract <strong>Abstract</strong><br /><br /><B>Purpose</B> - The purpose of this paper is to report on an exploratory study regarding (1) the present situation of middle managers in schools; (2) their professional development needs; and (3) requirements of middle leaders for quality school management so that contents of existing professional development programmes could be improved to meet the needs of middle leaders of primary school education.<B>Design/methodology/approach</B> - Employing both quantitative and qualitative methods, this article reports on a study of the training needs of middle managers in primary schools in which their present situation, their needs for professional development and requirements for quality school management are explored. The study adopted survey questionnaires as the main method of collecting data. To supplement quantitative data with regard to middle leaders' professional development needs, six middle leaders were purposefully selected for semi-structured interviews. <B>Findings</B> - The findings suggest that there are insufficient training opportunities for middle leaders in primary schools and that there is a strong demand for including the notions of interpersonal skills, crisis management, resources management and understanding of education ordinances in the professional development curriculum for middle leaders. The study recommends that training programmes should exert focus on meeting the specific needs of middle leaders and the content and approach be multi-dimensional. <B>Research limitations/implications</B> - The limitation of this study is the generalizability of findings due to its small scale of samples and the sampling method employed.<B>Practical implications</B> - The views of these 106 respondents have significant implications for developing and re-designing the existing programme for middle leaders. To improve school leadership preparation practices, the education organizations concerned could provide formal and informal supports for middle leaders since they will attempt to put what they have learnt in the training programmes into practice through action learning projects.<B>Originality/value</B> - In spite of the small scale of the survey study, the data collected from individual in-depth interviews can provide the investigators with supplementary information on their professional development needs which also serves the purpose of triangulation. The finding can also be a very constructive reference for course providers who wish to re-engineer and improve the quality of professional development programmes for middle leaders. Article literatinetwork@emeraldinsight.com (Shun-wing NG, Tsan-ming Kenneth CHAN) Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:00:00 +0100