ERIC Number: ED378697
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Jul
The Role of the School Administrator: Leading toward Cooperation. Draft.
Perry, Eleanor A.
By state law, many educators are being forced to move from a traditional norm of autonomy to one of collaboration. This paper presents findings of a study that identified the changing role of the 21st century superintendent and described the way one female superintendent promoted state-mandated collaboration in a rural school district with very low commitment to democratic practices. The female superintendent, an advocate of collaboration, had recently been hired in a district that had a history of "old-boys' club" leadership. Data were derived from: (1) a survey of all teachers (N=317) in a rural southern Oregon school district, which yielded a 60 percent response rate; (2) interviews with 24 teachers; (3) observation of the superintendent's interactions; and (4) a review of district personnel office's formal written feedback to the superintendent. Findings suggest that the 21st-century superintendent role focuses more on being a facilitator than a figurehead. In addition, a superintendent's enthusiastic support of state-mandated collaboration can set a norm for harmony despite the district's prior leadership history. The superintendent was effective in that she utilized people-oriented strategies, modeled collaboration in her personal behavior, remained dedicated to the change effort, and demonstrated a willingness to take risks by leading in a way contrary to established district norms. (LMI)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference of the International Association for the Study of Cooperation in Education (8th, Portland, OR, July 1994).