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ERIC Number: ED411117
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar-22
Pages: 11
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Teachers as Leaders: Is the Principal Really Needed?
Creighton, Theodore B.
This paper addresses educational reform centering on teacher participation and leadership. Although schools have developed new mission statements and implemented strategic planning and site-based management in recent years, most schools are not set up to accept teachers in leadership roles. The literature suggests that our "new" schools must be built on shared authority and responsibility, which requires that staff trade assignments and work in multiple groups to remain in touch with the school as a whole. In 1990, Woods Learning Center (WLC)--an elementary school in Casper, Wyoming--eliminated the position of school principal. Driving this decision was the desire to reallocate the money saved in a principal's salary to the children in the classroom. At WLC, principal duties and responsibilities are shared across the whole staff in the form of administrative teams--pairs of teachers responsible for handling such matters as budget and finance, board and community relations, curriculum and instruction, staff evaluation, and staff hiring. In interviews, board members commented that a traditional principal would have inhibited or prevented this change. Although research regarding shared decision making and the role of teachers as leaders is not promising, this school has experienced success with the changes it has made. Most teachers have had little preparation in school governance. Until leadership skills and competencies are addressed in teacher education programs, attempts to improve schools through changes in governance structures will continue to have little effect. Contains 26 references. (LP)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A