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ERIC Number: EJ943000
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1540-9392
The Way in Which Leadership Is Conceived
Ryan, Jim
Scholar-Practitioner Quarterly, v4 n4 p346-348 Win 2010
There are many important priorities for leadership education in a democratic society. In this article, the author concentrates on just one--the way in which leadership is conceived. This is an important issue. Indeed, the way in which potential leaders perceive leadership will shape the way in which they eventually practice it. The problem to date has been that the prevalent ways in which leadership has been perceived, conceived, and conveyed have not been consistent with principles of democracy. The dominant view of leadership as a generic, individualistic, and hierarchical practice that strives to "build capacity" or focus on effectiveness or efficiency violates many democratic principles, particularly those associated a view of democracy that values the equitable and meaningful inclusion of everyone in the cultural, institutional, and economic lives of schools and communities. If potential leaders are to be properly equipped to participate in leadership practices appropriate for a truly democratic society then they need to understand the dynamics associated with the various conceptions of leadership. Among other things, the future leaders of schools will need to understand the genesis of the term, its connection to power, and its moral basis in way that will enable them to work with others as strategic advocates so that they can see to the life chances of all students. Understanding the various conceptions of leadership and the ways in which they either promote or inhibit democratic practices is important. But it is also important to take these understandings and put them into practice. Unfortunately, it may not always be easy to put democratic-friendly leadership approaches into practice. This is because members of school communities routinely resist such efforts. And so those involved in leadership activities must approach their tasks strategically. That is, they will need to understand the political environment in which they are working, put these understandings into practice, and routinely monitor their actions. Only in this way, the author contends, will they be able to make headway in promoting meaning democratic practice in their schools and ensure that all students will have the opportunity to engage in learning that optimizes their life chances.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A