ERIC Number: ED380890
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995
Democratic Principals in Action: Eight Pioneers.
Blase, Joseph; And Others
This book was written for teachers and principals committed to instituting shared governance and more democratic forms of leadership and to help understand today's principalship and what it means to administer a shared-governance school. The data were derived from a study of successful principals in schools affiliated with the League of Professional Schools. The book focuses on the principals' perceptions and describes how eight principals facilitated teacher empowerment and the development of democratic structures and processes in a variety of school contexts. They tended to utilize leadership that is based on "power with" rather than "power over." Chapter 1 presents a review of selected studies about principal leadership in schools. Chapters 2 through 9 offer portraits of the eight principals with varying leadership styles. The 10th chapter summarizes the lessons learned about facilitative democratic leadership and teacher empowerment. The principals used a range of strategies: building trust, encouraging expression, setting limits, hiring, encouraging group development, providing information, supporting teachers in confrontations, including parents and students, and using action research. Three kinds of discourse were evident in discussions of school-based decision making--teacher professionalism, teacher participation, and teacher empowerment. Obstacles to shared governance included the individual principal's characteristics, time, teachers, and central district administration. Moving the scope of authority from participation to empowerment requires shared-governance structures that are more than advisory, principalships with no veto power, the waiving of district and state policies when appropriate, the participation of all stakeholders, and core decisions that can be turned over to shared-governance groups. (Contains 123 references.) (LMI)
Descriptors: Administrator Role, Board Administrator Relationship, Elementary Secondary Education, Governance, Interprofessional Relationship, Leadership, Leadership Styles, Participative Decision Making, Principals, Resistance to Change, School Based Management, Teacher Administrator Relationship
Corwin Press, Inc., 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320-2218 ($18).
Publication Type: Books; Reports - Research; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Administrators; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A