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Melissa Han

EDLD 750A /EDS 287A Educational Research and Evaluation

Summer, 2014
Distributed Leadership and Student Voice: Annotated Bibliography
This annotated bibliography consists of 29 articles that address the concept of distributed
leadership in education and student voice. The articles contain research that describe effective
implementation of distributed leadership, how vertical or hierarchal leadership is addressed in
distributed leadership models, how elementary and secondary schools implement student voice,
and the necessity of trust within youth-adult partnerships. Within this updated annotated
bibliography, twenty five articles are based on empirical evidence and four are theoretical. Seven
articles address the social justice issue of high suspension rates of Black and Latino males
compared to White students and how strong youth-adult partnerships in a distributed leadership
model may address this issue. Four of the articles presented addresses how compassionate and
virtuous structure architectures within an organization enables higher commitment and higher
performance when implemented among its members.

Arcia, E. (2007). A Comparison of Elementary/K-8 and Middle Schools Suspension Rates.
Urban Education, 42(5), 456469. doi:10.1177/0042085907304879
This study was undertaken to examine the suspension percentages among three sixth-grade
transition groups in a large urban school district over 2 years: (a) students who attended
elementary or K-8 schools in sixth grade and K-8 schools in seventh grade, (b) students
who attended elementary or K-8 schools in sixth grade and middle schools in seventh
grade, and (c) students who attended middle schools for both sixth and seventh grades.
Percentage suspensions were examined by Black and by Latino ethnicity, and by sixth-
grade reading achievement. Also, seventh-grade suspension percentages were examined by
sixth-grade suspension history. Across race/ ethnicity, achievement, and sixth-grade
suspension history, students in middle schools were suspended at substantially higher rates
than were students in elementary/K-8 schools. Data were downloaded from the districts
student database. All suspension data were recorded by event; one record for each
suspension specified its type and duration. Suspensions have a detrimental effect on
achievement and are used most often with students who cannot afford to be outside of the
classroom. Students in the district were administered standardized competency-based
reading and mathematics tests and standardized nationally normed reading and
mathematics achievement tests and used as an indicator of achievement. Suspensions may
reinforce rather than deter negative behavior. Some school suspensions are not used as a
disciplinary (i.e., teaching) strategy, but are part of a highly punitive environment where
they are used as a pushout strategy for students who are seen as troublemakers. Findings
showed the percentages of students suspended increased substantially with increase in
grade and with the transition from elementary/K-8 schools to middle schools. For both
Black and Latino students, the increase in the percentages of students suspended in the
transition from elementary/K-8 schools to middle schools was threefold. Both K-8 and
middle schools had higher percentages of suspensions among students who scored below
the 50th percentile than among students who scored at or above the 50th percentile on the
achievement category. These findings suggest that student factors such as aging, as
indicated by increase in grade, disruptiveness, as indicated by a suspension history, and
achievement, contribute to suspensions. Middle school students were suspended at high
rates not because they were sixth or seventh graders, but because they were in middle
Bolden, R. (2011). Distributed Leadership in Organizations: A Review of Theory and Research.
International Journal of Management Reviews, 13(3), 251269. doi:10.1111/j.1468-
The aim of this paper was to review conceptual and empirical literature on the concept of
distributed leadership (DL) in order to identify its origins, key arguments and areas for
further work. Consideration was given to the similarities and differences between DL and
related concepts, including shared, collective, collaborative, emergent, co- and
democratic leadership. In order to be distributed, leadership neednt be widely shared
or democratic and, in order to be effective, there is a need to balance different hybrid
configurations of practice. Three ideas were found to be shared by most authors: 1.
Leadership is an emergent property of a group or network of interacting individuals2.
There is openness to the boundaries of leadership3. Varieties of expertise are distributed
across the many, not the few. The key contribution of DL is not in offering a replacement
for other accounts, but in enabling the recognition of a variety of forms of leadership in a
more integrated and systemic manner.
Cameron, K. S., Bright, D., & Caza, A. (2004). Exploring the Relationships between
Organizational Virtuousness and Performance. American Behavioral Scientist, 47(6), 766
790. doi:10.1177/0002764203260209
This empirical study describes the relationships between virtuousness and performance in
18 organizations. Since empiricism and virtuousness have usually not been within the same
domain this investigation aimed to join these separate domains by defining and measuring
the concept of organizational virtuousness and exploring its relationship to the performance
of organizations. Virtuousness is defined as what individuals and organizations aspire to be
when they are at their very best. Virtuousness has been defined in connection with
meaningful life purpose (Becker, 1992; Overholser, 1999), the ennoblement of human
beings (Eisenberg, 1990), personal flourishing (Nussbaum, 1994; Weiner, 1993), and that
which leads to health, happiness, transcendent meaning, and resilience in suffering (Myers,
2000a, 2000b; Ryff & Singer, 1998). The researchers further state that virtuousness
produces moral muscle, willpower, or stamina in the face of challenges (Baumeister &
Exline, 1999, 2000; Emmons, 1999; Seligman, 1999). The article makes a distinction
between virtuousness in and virtuousness by organizations. Virtuousness in
organizations refers to transcendent, elevating behavior of the organizations members.
Virtuousness enabled by organizations refers to features of the organization that engender
virtuousness on the part of members. Moral goodness, human impact, and social betterment
are three key attributes of virtuousness. Moral goodness represents what is good, right,
and worthy of cultivation such as love, wisdom, and fulfillment. People never tire of and
from these and they desire these for its own sake. Social betterment extends beyond mere
self-interested benefit. It produces benefit to others regardless of reciprocity or reward. It is
argued that virtuousness and performance in organizations are positively related and
mutually reinforcing. Their association is explained by two key attributes of virtuousness:
its amplifying qualities, which can foster escalating positive consequences, and its buffering
qualities, which can protect against negative encroachments. Virtuousness provides an
amplifying effect because positive emotions in individuals, which, in turn, lead to a
replication of virtuousness and, subsequently, to an elevation in organizational
performance. It also forms social capital where relationships among individuals through
which information, influence, and resources flow. This is important because high levels of
social capital reduce transaction costs, facilitate communication and cooperation, enhance
employee commitment, foster individual learning, strengthen relationships and involvement,
and ultimately, enhance organizational performance. In other words, organizations function
better when members know, trust, and feel positively toward one another. Virtuousness also
buffers the organization from the negative effects of trauma or distress by enhancing
resiliency, solidarity, and a sense of efficacy. At the group and organization levels,
virtuousness enhances the ability to absorb threat and trauma and to bounce back from
adversity. It helps to protect against the deterioration typically associated with such events
like downsizing. Organizations can escalate into twelve dysfunctional attributes or what is
called the dirty dozen: (a) decreasing employee morale, commitment, and loyalty; (b) loss
of trust among customers and employees; (c) restricted communication flows and less
information sharing; (d) loss of teamwork; (e) loss of accessible, forward-thinking,
proactive aggressive leaders; (f) decreasing innovativeness; (g) adopting a short-term,
crisis mentality; (h) centralizing and narrowing of decision making; (i) increasing
resistance to change; (j) escalating politicized special interest groups and political
infighting; (k) increasing interpersonal conflict; and (l) risk-aversion and conservatism in
decision making. Downsizing destroys social capital and interpersonal connections. The
resilience associated with virtuousness helps absorb misfortune, recover from trauma, and
maintain momentum in difficult circumstances. In this study a survey was administered
which included items assessing the effects of downsizing and certain indicators of
organizational performance. It also asked members to characterize their organizations on
the basis of a variety of virtuous concepts. Participants also were asked to rate four key
performance measures used in the organizations: innovation, quality, customer retention,
and employee turnover to measure organization performance. 18 organizations agreed to
participate, representing 16 different industries. A total of 1,437 surveys were distributed,
and 804 usable responses were received, for a response rate of 56%. They found that
organizational virtuousness is positively and significantly related to organizational
performance. 16 of 18 organizations had recently downsized, so non-virtuous perceptions
and poor organizational performance should have been the norm. However, the results
suggest that when virtuousness exists in organizations, performance does not deteriorate;
rather virtuousness and organizational performance are positively related. Virtuousness in
organizations reduces turnover and fosters employee longevity. The amplifying functions of
virtuousness, positive emotions, social capital, and prosocial behavior, along with the
buffering of employees from the personal harm of downsizing, tend to reduce voluntary
employee turnover. It also positively influences the probability that human error will be
reduced and quality performance will improve. Collaborative activity and social support
also increased. Exposure to virtuousness in organizations helps employees make better
decisions, more effectively process information, support one another, and make fewer
quality errors. All of these factors then produced higher levels of profitability and quality as
a result of more effective and efficient coordination, trust, and identity with the
Caton, M. T. (2012). Black Male Perspectives on Their Educational Experiences in High School.
Urban Education, 47(6), 10551085. doi:10.1177/0042085912454442
This qualitative study examined the impact of the zero-tolerance policies on Black males
educational experiences and outcomes. Individual interviews were conducted with Black
males who dropped out of high school. Using counter- storytelling within a critical race
theory framework, Black males discussed the influence of the zero-tolerance policies on
their school experiences. These mens narratives affirm that these policies created an
inhospitable school environment and poor studentteacher relationship. Furthermore,
school personnels use of the most punitive measures of the policies, suspension and
expulsion of students, led to their school failure. Public schools across the country have
adopted various components of the zero-tolerance policies with the goal of ensuring the
safety of school personnel and students. These policies are rooted historically in federal
drug policies designed to deter drug trafficking. As the implementation of the zero-tolerance
policies, schools, particularly those in urban areas, have come to look, sound, and act more
like criminal justice institutions. Another study that examined 10 years of data on
suspension among the subpopulations from 142 schools in the Southern region of the
country, found that Black males are more inclined to be suspended or expelled (Wallace et
al., 2008). Black males are more likely to set off the chain reaction of the school- to-prison
pipeline. The researcher provided a venue for racialized victims whose voices have been
historically silenced in educational research to be heard through the lens of critical race
theory (CRT) using the counter- storytelling tenet. Critical Race Theory challenges the myth
that American education functions on a fair, meritocratic system. CRT instead unveils the
subtle ways that racism is embedded in the school system disciplinary policies and how
these practices oftentimes result in negative academic achievement. Counter-storytelling is
a method of listening to voices that have been previously silenced to gain a better
understanding of the realities of their world; it invites the reader into a new and
unfamiliar world (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001; Ladson-Billings, 1998). The use of counter-
storytelling is a powerful means to deconstruct the notion of equity in the practice of
school policies. Ten black males were interviewed who dropped out within a year before
the interviews. They represented three urban high schools located in low-income areas
largely made up of Black and Hispanic students. The four central themes that emerged from
the interview data were (a) Impact of Security Measures on School Environment, (b) Need
for Strong TeacherStudent Relationship, (c) Impact of Disciplinary Space on Student
Learning, and (d) Impact of School Exclusionary Policies on Student Outcomes. The
participants interviewed spoke of anger and resentment when being required to participate
in body and bag searches, live-feed security cameras, ID card scanning, metal detectors
and were also the target of insults from the security guards on several occasions in this
hostile school environment. These students did not want to enter their schools and
compared their settings to jails. Students in these type of controlling environments do not
feel connected to the school and, as a result, underperform academically. Participants also
stressed the value of teacher-student relationships. Teachers tendency to focus on
disciplinary actions rather than establishing relationships with students prevents them from
recognizing student strengths. Students being disciplined were typically sent out of the
classroom. This exclusion made it virtuously impossible for them to catch up on class work.
Participants stated that multiple suspensions led to expulsion which led to difficulty finding
a job or breaking the law due to feeling lost out there. Students felt isolation instead of
belonging. Surveillance technologies in school reaffirm the dominance of the hegemonic
structure and the intersection among socioeconomic status, race, and public education.
Scholars have examined the process through which suspension may be experienced as a
gateway for dropping out and being on track to become incarcerated. An inclusion model is
instead proposed where students and the community are partnered with administration and
teachers to find solutions that help them work through the problem rather than punitive
Crawford, M. (2012). Solo and Distributed Leadership: Definitions and Dilemmas. Educational
Management Administration & Leadership, 40(5), 610620.
This article discusses how school culture can serve as a mirror of its values as well as
shape and develop its culture. Distributed leadership has three distinct elements. One is
that it is made up of a group of people. Secondly, it opens up the boundaries of leadership.
Finally, the expertise is found among the many instead of the few. There is formal
leadership. Formal leadership must be good at building relationships based on trust.
Spillane is quoted as stating that leadership is spread among both formal leaders and
followers. It is not based on actions but instead on interactions. Leader plus aspect and
practice aspect means that there are leader and follower roles. What is different is the
interdependence among them. Bolden (2009) calls the the important balance between
individual, collective and situational aspects of leadership practice and, importantly, when
and why particular configurations are more effective and/or desirable than others. In his
conclusion he draws attention to Pearce (2004) who suggests: The issue is not vertical
leadership or shared leadership. Rather the issues are: (1) when is leadership most
appropriately shared? (2) How does one develop shared leadership? And (3) how does one
utilize both vertical and shared leadership to leverage the capabilities of knowledge
Dutton, J. E. (2003). Breathing Life Into Organizational Studies. Journal of Management
Inquiry, 12(1), 519. doi:10.1177/1056492602250515
In this article, Dutton asks two basic questions of organizational scholars: How do we come
alive in how we do our research? What do we look for in organizational contexts to see
life? Organizations brimming with life were closely studied. In seeking to find more
relational ways of describing what happens in organizations especially on the quality of
connections between people at workwhat it is, why it matters, and how to create high-
quality connections. He takes a deeper look at organizations that are positively deviant
due to being an immense source of energy and motivation. This article argues the use of
narratives of compassion to analyze and tell stories as part of research presentations. These
types of stories are positive images that are transformative as human systems evolve in the
direction of the positive images of connecting, motivating, inspiring, and weaving. The
whole process of sharing these stories connects listeners to the basic human experience of
social life. Narrative inquiry is used as a method to capture peoples lived experience in
organizations. Portraying organizational life in this form can be deeply moving and
transformational. This method not only offers a window into truths that are flattened or
silenced by an insistence on more traditional methods of social science (Ewick&Silby,
1995, p. 199), but they have potentially transformative power by allowing new voices to be
heard that are formative in constructing how we understand life in organizations. They go
further to state narrative scholarship participates in rewriting social life in ways that are,
or can be liberatory (p. 199). Narrative inquiry involves collaboration between
participants and researchers. Often the researcher serves as a carrier of other peoples
stories and weaves them together so that organizational researchers or students can see
organizations differently. This form of weaving permits the voice of the study participants to
be heard. It invites them in to the research process as people with a perspective and wisdom
worthy of hearing. It invites researchers to be learners. Duttons research team called
themselves the Compassionlab as a type of playful label to legitimate and harden what is
typically seen as a soft and somewhat marginal topic in organizational studies. They
defined life-giving behaviors as care, play, and engagement. They first look for and theorize
about what life is in organizations by finding contexts where life abounds. Second, they
sought to understand what it is about these contexts that creates and sustains life in
organizations. Signs of life is described as the feel of energy, vibrancy, and engagement, a
sense of playfulness and mutual caring, and an overall pattern of resilience and health.
They then looked at the in-between interactions and connections of the members in the
organization that sustains this life. They found that members in the organization used the
word love frequently when describing their organization. They also experienced
transformation or personal growth from being in the organization. They also used
playfulness to break and disrupt the intensity when work got too serious. Caring was also
part of the daily ritual as people caught up, shared information, and comforted each other.
They allowed for mistakes and believed that it was part of the growth process in learning.
The social architecture of these organizations characterized by compassion included
values, network, and routines. The shared values affirmed the worthiness of the prompt to
act, the routines made acting in a caring way relatively painless and almost automatic, and
networks activated information and interests quickly. High-performance teams in these
organizations also used a 5-to-1 ratio of speech acts that were positive (e.g., expressing
support encouragement or appreciation) versus negative (showing disapproval, sarcasm, or
cynicism). All of these components increased connectivity, fueling patterns of interaction
that created even more energy, emotional space, flexibility, and learning. Positive emotions
then contributed to what researchers called upward spirals of human functioning. They
were more willing to take risks and produce innovative ideas. This article awakens one to
the transformative potential of professional practices and the power of context as venues
that enable or disable vitality and life-giving processes. Since research contexts we study
imprint us deeply, this article calls researchers to choose practices and contexts carefully,
as they breathe or extract life from scholarly pursuits so that human communities or
organizations are enabled to thrive, flourish, and grow.
Dutton, J. E., Worline, M. C., & Frost, P. J. (n.d.). Explaining Connpassion Organizing Jacoba
This article develops a theory to explain how individual compassion in response to human
pain in organizations becomes socially coordinated through a process called compassion
organizing. They assume that compassion is an expression of an innate human instinct to
respond to the suffering of others (e.g., Wuthnow, 1991; de Waal, 1996). They define
suffering as the experience of pain or loss that evokes a form of anguish that threatens an
individual's sense of meaning about his or her personal existence. They describe
compassion (like sympathy) as a three-part process that includes (1) noticing or attending
to the suffering of another; (2) feelings that are inherently other-regarding (Cassell, 1991;
Solomon, 1998) and resemble empathetic concern (Davis, 1983; Batson and Shaw, 1991)
involving someone imagining or feeling the condition of the person in pain; and (3) action
or response, or what Clark (1997) called a behavioral display, aimed at easing suffering in
some way (Reich, 1989; Frost et al., 2000). Compassion is defined as noticing, feeling, and
responding to another's suffering. Much of organizational theory has not included emotions
because it may interfere with rationality. They seek to understand how organizational
context work together to shape patterns of action in resource extraction, generation,
coordination, and calibration. They conducted an in-depth case study of a big ten university
business schools response to three members whose belongings were destroyed in a fire.
Members are defined as people whose self-identity is connected to the organization. To be a
member, individuals need not be paid employees, but they must have a temporal, material
relationship to the organization, creating a sense of common identity and shared fate
(Rafaeli, 1996). They used three data sources in constructing the empirical case:
interviews, archival electronic correspondence, and audience responses to the case
material. They conducted a theme analysis to develop a conceptual framework around the
questions: (1) What was the pattern of action prompted by the fire? (2) What roles did
individuals play?; and (3) What features of the organization enabled or disabled the pattern
of response? They then created a detailed case history of the organization's fire response
from documentation of the different actions and responses from all participants. They then
sent the complete draft to all informants, confirmed its accuracy, and added revisions they
deemed warranted. They revised the case based on informants' feedback and distributed the
case to 65 MBA students. They used the data to re-create the story of the organization's
response to the fire, noting and describing key events in the narrative that serve as
touchstones for their induced theory of compassion organizing. They called this case
narrative. They found that the school community came together to help before the students
knew how to help themselves. They explained this process of compassion organizing with
touchstones. Twenty touchstones ranged from recognizing the pain trigger because the
process of compassion organizing begins with individuals noticing, feeling, and acting on a
pain trigger, the pain trigger affects how the process of compassion organizing unfolds, to
compassion involving action to relieve the pain. The impact of compassion organizing also
depends on speed, the timely availability and delivery of resources to those who are
suffering. They also found that the customization of the response was key due to its efficient
patterning and shaping of resources to meet the particular needs of those who were
suffering. Compassion activation, when individuals made efforts to draw others' attention to
the pain trigger, was enabled by the characteristics of the social architecturesocial
networks, values, and routines. This particular organizations actions were driven by its
three values: (1) People are more than their professional identities. (2) People's humanity
should be displayed. (3) Members are like family. The routines enabled people to notice,
feel, and respond to the students' pain in legitimate and timely ways. The socially
constructed system of norms, beliefs, and definitions" (Suchman, 1995: 574), allowed
members to use information about pain and build on others' attempts to respond. The strong
network ties were built on trust and credibility. Trust was defined as an individual's
willingness to rely on another person when there is risk of some kind. Compassion
activation was linked to compassion mobilization, the processes involved in extracting and
generating resources to deliver to those in pain. While activation also involves resources
(e,g,, attention, emotion, trust, and legitimacy), mobilization refers to the coordination and
calibration of resources involved more centrally with trying to help the persons in pain. The
social architecture directly facilitates the generation, extraction, and customization of vital
resources that could be delivered to the persons in pain (e,g,, food, clothing, housing). At
the same time, the social architecture itself contained resources, such as trust in networks,
service in routines, and humanity in values, that worked to ease the coordination of action
in response to pain. The social architecture was fundamental in both directly and indirectly
enabling mobilization efforts. They found that people who occupy emergent roles often have
specialized knowledge or a particular emotional capacity that allows them to respond in a
particular way to the pain trigger. This facilitates problem solving as people with
knowledge self-organize to smooth the organizing process. The role of leaders was to create
powerful symbols that generated a bond with their audiences and used symbols to alter the
feelings and actions of a community. In this studys case, the dean's action to immediately
stop his speech, describe the fire, and write a check drew immediate attention and therefore
action from the community. These stories of care are short pieces of oral or written
narratives that capture action, feeling, and thought in a particular time within a three-part
structure (beginning, middle, and end) and can be socially shared. The researchers argue
that one central point in their theory is that rather than seeing emotion as something that
interferes with the organizing process, emotions are constructive forces that contribute to
compassion organizing. This model depicts collective organizing in ways that are more
dynamic than current theories that focus on how routines, bundles of routines, or
knowledge resource dynamics shape organizing. They sum these ideas through: (1)
structures (e.g., routines, networks) enable and constrain resource extraction, generation,
and coordination; (2) resources facilitate action and are created by action; (3) resources
that matter include social (e.g., trust, legitimacy), cognitive (e.g., attention), emotional (e.g.,
empathetic concern, pride, gratitude), and symbolic resources (e.g., leaders' actions, caring
stories); (4) emergent features provide moment-to-moment, fine-grained coordination and
calibration of resource flows; and (5) through cycles of activation and mobilization, the
process continues until the pain or suffering dissipates. A limitation of this study is that this
study does not address the risks or liabilities associated with compassion organizing. Their
theory on compassion organizing does not mean organizations must hire compassionate
people or simply have compassionate leaders. Instead leaders are to strengthen features of
the social architecture (e.g., by modeling values that encourage authentic emotional
expression) or by unlocking emergent processes (disseminating care stories, modeling
empathetic concern, encouraging improvised routines and emergent roles) that facilitate
the essential resource dynamics that drive compassion organizing.
Gregory, a., Cornell, D., & Fan, X. (2011). The Relationship of School Structure and Support to
Suspension Rates for Black and White High School Students. American Educational
Research Journal, 48(4), 904934. doi:10.3102/0002831211398531
This study examined the relationship between structure and support in the high school
climate and suspension rates in a statewide sample of 199 schools. School climate surveys
completed by 5,035 ninth grade students measured characteristics of authoritative schools,
defined as highly supportive, yet highly structured with academic and behavioral
expectations. The Supportive School Climate scale of Austin and Duerr (2005) was used to
measure how much students perceive that adults in their school are supportive and
respectful of students and has been shown to predict higher achievement test scores. The
scale consists of eight items asking students how much they agree (strongly disagree,
disagree, agree, strongly agree) that the adults in their school really care about all
students, treat all students fairly, and show respect and support for students in other
ways. The survey also measured two structures. The first structure was the Academic Press
scale (Midgley et al., 2000). It contained six items measuring how much teachers press the
student to study hard and do challenging work. The second structure was the Experience of
School Rules which measured student perceptions of school rules as fair and uniformly en-
forced. Short-term suspensions (1 to 10 days) were only measured since they happen more
frequently. Suspended students were only counted once and not duplicated if a student was
suspended more than once. The racial suspension gap was calculated by subtracting the
White suspension rate from the Black suspension rate. Schools low on both structure and
support had the largest racial discipline gaps. These findings highlight the characteristics
of risky settings that may not meet the developmental needs of adolescents and may
contribute to disproportionate disciplinary outcomes for Black students. Black students are
2 to 3 times as likely to be suspended as White students which might be called the racial
discipline gap. About 1 out of every 4 Black students versus 1 out of every 10 White
students received at least one short-term suspension, which is similar to national patterns.
Correlational and longitudinal research has shown that suspended students are more likely
to be truant, miss instructional time, and drop out of high school. Baumrind is quoted as
defining authoritative parenting as highly demanding and highly responsive. These parents
were firm and used straightforward confrontation and enforcement of rules coupled
with supportive control which includes the principled use of rational explanations to
influence adolescents. Baumrind contrasted an authoritative style with the authoritarian,
permissive, and rejecting-neglecting styles. Authoritarian parents are demanding and
directive but not responsive, and permissive parents are more responsive than they are
demanding (p. 62). Baumrind described the rejecting-neglecting style as disengaged
parents who are neither demanding nor responsive and do not structure and monitor,
and are not supportive. He states authoritative parenting effectively combines connection
and regulation. A combination of high teacher connection and high teacher regulation
predicted the greatest achievement gains for low-income adolescents. This finding was not
only for classroom learning environments but also for school environments. Authoritative
discipline theory proposes that adolescents are most responsive to teacher demands when
they are made in the context of a supportive, encouraging relationship. If schools were high
on support or academic press or both, they had lower rates of suspension for Black and
White students, and they also had smaller gaps between the Black and White suspension
Gunter, H., & Thomson, P. (2007). But, where are the children? Management in Education,
21(1), 2328. doi:10.1177/0892020607073399
In this study, 14 groups of randomly students from a secondary school were interviewed
regarding their views on teaching, learning, and their experiences with school. Researchers
focused on working with a team of staff and students in redeveloping school policy around
bullying. The group decided to use focus groups with students to gain their perceptions of
school life, and they did this by staging dramatic scenarios about possible, but ambiguous,
scenes of students in school. When given different scenarios, students and teachers both
responded differently. It became obvious that things that students experienced may not be
the same for the teacher. For example, a teacher ignoring incidents of name calling during
class appeared to the teachers as a decision about behavior management. The student focus
group data shows that they interpret this as teachers not doing anything about the situation.
What adults regard as appropriate intervention can be interpreted by students as not taking
the issue seriously. The students produced a PowerPoint report and presented this to the
school development team in October 2006, with the hope that a new policy will be produced
by a staffstudent group. These examples of students being asked to tell adults what they
think about improvement and/or involvement in school evaluation brings to light the notion
that official reform strategies either edit children out or limit their role. Researchers state
we need spaces of leadership from which young people can speak back regarding what they
consider to be important and valuable about their learning. Students can participate in
research in ways that are productive, and can devise and implement a change strategy. The
research concludes stating that as long as students (and many adults) are automatically
followers, with limited chances for authentic participation, then they will remain as
receivers rather than shapers of the vision. As long as children are positioned as traders
rather than as citizens then their voice as learners may be silenced and at best be hoarse.
The children and adults interviewed were interested in developing a dialogic schools where
the focus would be on a relational model of leadership where practice is communal and
mutual, where social justice is active, and enact a research program based on empirical
research and theories. This pedagogic and risky work would serve as the foundation to their
dialogic school.
Holden, B., & Brown, J. (2010). Student Voice and Engagement in High School Improvement:
Individual Learning and Organizational Change. UMI Dissertations Publishing.
This was a qualitative case study that investigated a unique strategy for high school
improvement: involving students as leaders across a school district in identifying problems
at their schools and working alongside adults, to address those problems and help improve
their schools. This study emerged from a lack of research on how students could be
supported to be active, continuous participants in reform at both a district and a school
level, and a question about whether student voice activities could realize outcomes aligned
with district-level reform strategies. The research looked at how "student voice", through
activities of student expression, participation and action to improve their schools, impacted
individual learning and organizational change, and whether those changes promoted
aspects of school engagement. Findings from the study were that student voice activities
helped promote youth-adult partnerships, leadership skills, agency, improved relationships,
changes in school and district organizational structures, and aspects of school engagement
that were aligned with the district's high school reform strategy. The single case designs
studied a district-wide effort to engage students as active participants in school
improvement. The primary methods of data gathered in this case study included documents,
focus groups, and interviews of six focus groups (i.e., four with core teams, including a
student and an adult focus group at each of the two schools, and two focus groups with
second-year student board members). The Findings suggest that using the student board as
a resource in their work as well as an increased interest in integrating student voice into
district strategy development, a change in district staffing structure was reflected in the
creation of a new staff position dedicated to working with the student board and building
out student engagement initiatives across the district. Changes in school practices were
reflected in the development of youth-adult partnerships, increased capacity for positive
peer leadership, planning for longer-term initiatives, and engaging in action research. The
four key findings from the research that was determined to be the most important outcomes
of student voice activities congruent with the current literature were youth-adult
partnerships, learned skills, agency, and improved relationships.
Holt, Kevin Daniel. (2008). Bowling together or bowling alone: continuation high school
students tell their stories. UC San Diego: b6636262. Retrieved April 22, 2014 from:
A case study approach was used in this research study to examine social capital through
identification of supports and barriers as perceived by students in North County
Continuation High School (NCCHS). Data were gathered through four processes: (a)
student-generated photographic representations of social supports and barriers which
represent the presence or absence of social capital, (b) individual interviews with students
who took the photographs, (c) type of focus group known as student inquiry group,
and (d) document review. Sites were chosen because there exist significant disparate
student outcomes at NCCHS as evidenced by adequate yearly progress, standardized test
scores, and graduation and drop-out rates when compared with the two comprehensive
high schools and the school district as whole. The criteria used to identify the NCCHS
participant pool for this study were threefold: (a) junior and senior students, (b) enrolled at
NCCHS for minimum of 6 months, and (c) lived in the same attendance area as students
attending ESCHS. Of the 217 students enrolled in NCCHS at the time of the study, 46
students met these criteria. They were identified as the homogeneous sampling. Of the
460 senior students enrolled at ESCHS, 333 students met the criterion of having been
student at this site since their freshman year. Data were gathered through four specific
processes: (a) support and barrier photography activity, (b) interviews, (c) student inquiry
group discussion, and (d) document review. NCCHS students generated photographic
representations of social supports and barriers which they identified as representing
barriers and supports to their school success. Interviews were useful for this study because
they allowed the researcher to examine the students perceptions as to the supports and/or
barriers to their success, which exist on their continuation high school campus. Students
were then interviewed the following: () what is this photograph of? (b) do you see this as
support or barrier to your academic success? and (c) why? The interviews took place within
the school day to better ensure the students availability. The use of the student inquiry
group structure was also an attempt to generate authentic dialogue from students about
issues that impact their school lives, such as teaching for learning, relationships, racism,
and so forth. Student inquiry groups in contrast to focus groups, is loosely structured to
generate more authentic dialogue on comprehensive high schools students perceptions
regarding supports and barriers to their academic success. After categorizing the
photographs into 34 common themes, a representative photograph from each theme was
selected for the students to obtain their perception of supports and barriers to their
academic success as compared to that of other seniors in the district. Documents were also
collected such as the NCCHS school plan, agendas from School Site Council meetings, staff
meetings, teacher meetings, weekly bulletins, communications between school and home,
and student speeches made during the 2007 graduation ceremony at NCCHS. The data from
this study indicate that the continuation high school student participants find support from
17 different sources: administration, caring relationships, computer lab, counselor, credits
to graduate information, electives, family, friends, nutrition, office staff, personal choices,
physical education, rewards/incentives, teachers, time, the physical campus, and visual
representations. The data also revealed 15 sources of barriers: administration, caring
relationships, computer lab, credits to graduate information, electives, family, friends,
nutrition, office staff, personal choices, physical education, rewards/incentives, teachers,
time, and the physical campus. The themes can be used to analyze (a) the level of support as
evidenced by the availability of adults; (b) the degree of individual, personalized attention;
(c) the mechanisms for information sharing so that students can take ownership of their own
specific progress; and (d) the markers of a success orientation in the culture of the school.
The sources of support discovered in this study have been analyzed through the primary
theoretical framework of this study, social capital, and the two companion frameworks,
resiliency theory and Maslow's hierarchy of human motivation. Holt states by listening to
student voices and understanding the reality of the world in which these students live and
what they say, educators can learn what makes a positive impact on their success in school.
The findings imply that increasing the probability of student success occurs by increasing
supports and reducing barriers through the presence of social capital and the skillful
application of resiliency theory and human motivation theory. Through use of student voice
in the data gathering, the supports and barriers are rooted in the experience of continuation
high school students and have been compared and contrasted to the experiences of their
comprehensive high school peers.
Hulpia, H., Devos, G., & Van Keer, H. (2011). The Relation Between School Leadership From a
Distributed Perspective and Teachers Organizational Commitment: Examining the Source
of the Leadership Function. Educational Administration Quarterly, 47(5), 728771.
This study investigates whether the role of the principal is different from the role of
assistant principals and the role of teacher leaders in supporting and supervising teachers
and whether these differences in leadership roles influence teachers organizational
commitment. Based on literature review, they distinguish between (a) the different members
of the leadership team who perform leadership functions and (b) the participation of
teachers. They added (c) cooperation within the leadership team as a component of
distributed leadership to focus on the concerted action of distributed leadership. The aim of
the study was to assess which component of distributed leadership and which contextual
variable most strongly related to teachers organizational commitment. They examined
whether the principal, the assistant principal, or the teacher leader is the main actor in
providing these functions. Because leadership is not restricted to individuals in formal
positions, they also analyzed whether teachers voice in school decision making and
whether cooperation between the leaders in the school are related to teachers
organizational commitment. Random sampling was used to select 46 secondary schools in
Flanders (Belgium) with a minimum of 600 pupils. A total of 1,522 teachers filled out
questionnaires. The Distributed Leadership Inventory was designed to measure the quality
and the distribution of the supportive and supervisory leadership function among the
different members of the leadership team and the cooperation within the leadership team.
They were asked to rate the individual leadership functions of the principal, the assistant
principals, and the teacher leaders using a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 0 (never)
to 4 (always). They first examined some descriptive statistics. Next, they produced a
correlation matrix for the (distributed) leadership variables. The results showed that
participative decision making and cooperation within the leadership team were highly
inter-correlated. The quality of support and the cooperation within the leadership team are
the strongest predictors of teachers organizational commitment compared to the other
significant variables. Distributed leadership is more than dividing tasks among different
members in a school, they added two important components of distributed leadership:
participative decision making and the level of cooperation among the members of the
leadership team. Supportive relationship between teachers and school leaders, which is
characterized by providing a clear school vision, translating this vision to teachers, and
setting directions for teachers by providing professional development, contributes positively
to the commitment of teachers to the school. The quality of support, independent of the
source of the supportive leadership function, is crucial for teachers organizational
commitment. They need the competence to work collaboratively toward the same goals and
to act together. Teachers need to work in an atmosphere of trust and openness where there
are clear roles, open communication, share the same school goals, and have an opportunity
to participate in school decision making.
Jackson, K. M., & Marriott, C. (2012). The Interaction of Principal and Teacher Instructional
Influence as a Measure of Leadership as an Organizational Quality. Educational
Administration Quarterly, 48(2), 230258. doi:10.1177/0013161X11432925
This article presents the design and test of a measure of school leadership as an
organizational quality through the interaction of principal and teacher instructional
influence. The Organizational Leadership Model (OLM) hypothesizes four distinct
conditions of school leadership, and the analysis investigates the relationship between
teacher, principal, and school outcomes; school descriptors; and a schools category in the
Organizational Leadership Model. Organizational leadership as an organizational quality
is situated in the social relationships between actors in the organization. This view
authorizes actors within the system, regardless of their formal role, to provide leadership to
the organization according to their expertise and knowledge. This study draws teacher,
principal, and school restricted-use data from the 2003-2004 Schools and Staffing Survey.
The sample consists of 7,950 schools, their principals, and a random sample of teachers
from each school. The analysis finds evidence in elementary schools, urban schools, and
schools with higher percentage of school-lunch-eligible students are generally
characterized by lower OLM categories representing less desirable school leadership
contexts, as the findings of the first research question demonstrate. The analysis indicates
that elementary schools are more likely to be characterized by a school leadership context
(low OLM categories) that may inhibit success.
Koller, D., & Schugurensky, D. (2011). Examining the Developmental Impact of Youth
Participation in Education Governance: The Case of Student Trustees. Journal of Research
on Adolescence, 21(2), 350360. doi:10.1111/j.1532-7795.2010.00673.x
The objective of this mixed method study was to provide the first analysis of the student
trustee role, a relatively new form of participation where high school students represent
their peers on local school boards. Data collection included qualitative interviews with 16
participants, field observations, and questionnaires administered to 39 student trustees.
This article focuses primarily on 2 main themes, one which addresses how youth participa-
tion evolves over time and, second, how the role of student trustee can serve as catalyst for
developmental and transformational processes. The main role of student trustees is to
represent their fellow students at the board table, and as such, they are required to speak
as a student, keeping the interests of the students in mind. They were nominated by their
teachers and principal. Each school board assigns two student trustees on their board,
regardless of the number of schools within their district or municipality. Student trustees
are unable to vote on decisions facing their school boards. Meaningful youth participation
is a process through which young people solve problems and carry out plans that provide
tangible benefits and increase their involvement in the community. The main research
questions supported an exploratory and qualitative approach (individual interviews and
field observations) while questionnaires served as complementary data. Sixteen high school
students were interviewed. Interview questions prompted participants to reflect on what
they gained from the role (benefits) as well as challenges they may have experienced. For
the questionnaire, researchers attended an annual meeting of the Ontario Student Trustees
Association where questionnaires were administered to 39 trustees. Questionnaires also
addressed issues related to the purpose of the role, reasons for participation, role models
for participation (family members and friends), benefits associated with the role (best things
about the role), and challenges (hardest things about the role). The findings showed that all
student trustees discussed a history of participation in their schools as early as grade 4 in
student governance. Trustees also were involved in extra-curricular activities. Participants
described themselves as caring individuals in addition to being activists for social causes.
Evidence of a caring personality was also noted in how participants responded to social
injustices such as discrimination against youth and minorities. The data revealed that the
activities, relationships, and contexts associated with the role appeared to provide the
impetus for transformative learning and personal change. For student trustees, their roles
provided an opportunity to learn and explore their attitudes and behaviors while
experiencing personal growth. For example, some students expressed an initial fear of
speaking at the board table. Their fears dissipated when they realized that students, whom
they represented, relied on them to advocate on their behalf. This required them to
challenge their inhibitions and change their attitudes and behaviors. An acknowledgement
of their special status led to an empowerment in their role, despite their inability to vote on
issues facing their school boards. In order to ensure meaningful youth participation,
activities and roles should be evaluated on the basis of whether they produce personal
benefits for the youth as well as the potential to make valuable contributions to larger
systems such as education and health care. Youth participation is a process that engages
young people in a respectful and meaningful way, one that helps them understand
themselves in relation to the world around them.
Lawson, H. A., Claiborne, N., Hardiman, E., Austin, S., Surko, M., Lawson, H. A. L. A., Austin,
S. (2014). Deriving Theories of Change from Successful Community Development
Partnerships for Youths: Implications for School Improvement, 114(1), 140.
Community development partnerships for youths offer valuable resources for school
improvement. Unfortunately, these resources may not be tapped because school leaders
have not been prepared to understand these partnerships. The evaluative research reported
partnership-related understanding, aiming to prepare leaders to contribute to, and benefit
from partnerships. This research employed case study methodology to derive theories of
change from five successful youth development partnerships. This study employed a multi-
case study design using interviews. One partnership developed in a large urban context. In
contrast, three rural partnerships encompassed an entirely different unit of analysisthe
county system, which consists of multiple villages and towns. The fifth partnership involved
both a large city and county. The researchers viewed these partnerships as representative
cases rather than representative sites. Two kinds of interviews were conducted at each site.
Individual interviews at each site were conducted with the partnerships main leader(s):
eight persons in all. Focus group interviews also were conducted with key stakeholders
convened by partnership leaders at each site: 33 persons overall. No young people were
interviewed. An interview guide was structured to yield local stakeholders theories of
change, along with relevant lessons learned, barriers, and facilitators for partnership
development. Core features, include trusting relationships, norms of reciprocity, social
capital development, shared language, common visions, missions and goals, pooled
resources, effective communication and coordination mechanisms, collective efficacy, and
generativity, which is manifested in the innovations developed by the partnership, were
interspersed throughout the data for these five sites. Both organizational partnerships and
collaboration among people fundamentally depend on achieving the right mix of
stakeholders. Partnerships are, in effect, interventions. Collaborative partnerships are
marked by explicit, interdependent relations among participating organizations. In other
words, partners are aware that none can achieve their missions and goals unless the others
also achieve theirs. Coordinative partnerships harmonize and synchronize their efforts,
pool resources, and clearly have developed a shared identity. Youth-led partnerships
provide leadership roles and responsibilities for young people, which also allows them
considerable power and authority. When partnerships nurture both youth engagement and
initiative, and when participating schools also emphasize them, they have generated a
powerful school improvement resource and perhaps a related resource: school
connectedness. Where these five partnership sites are concerned, the most important new
capacity is the willingness and ability of adults, especially human service professionals, to
view youths as assets and experts.
Mitra, D.L., (2008). Balancing power in communities of practice: An examination of increasing
student voice through school-based youthadult partnerships. Journal of educational
change, 9(3), 221-242. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from:
This article examines how power imbalances influence the formation of student voice
initiatives, which are defined as school-based youthadult partnerships that consist of youth
and adults contributing to decision making processes, learning from one another, and
promoting change. Using the concept of community of practice as a lens, the paper
examines the ways in which power influences the mutual engagement, shared repertoire,
and joint enterprise of youthadult partnerships. Specifically, the study finds that the
following strategies can strengthen student voice initiatives: building meaningful roles
based upon mutual responsibility and respect among all members; developing shared
language and norms, and developing joint enterprises aimed at fostering voices that have
previously been silenced from decision making and knowledge-building processes. Youth
adult partnerships are defined as relationships in which both youth and adults have the
potential to contribute to visioning and decision making processes, to learn from one
another, and to promote change. With appropriate guidance and coaching by adults,
collaboration consists of creating a learning environment in which individuals come
together in groups with the willingness to share authority, accept responsibility, and
highlight individual members abilities and contributions. Through open conversations
about injustices in schools, student voice can raise equity issues that tend to get swept under
the rug by administrators and other adults in the school who would rather avoid
controversy. By involving studentsand particularly students failing subjects or rarely
attending schoolschool personnel cannot easily shift the blame of failure onto the
students. Instead they must assess the problems within the schools structure and culture.
Furthermore, school personnel learn that youth have access to information and
relationships that teachers and administrators do not, such as providing a bridge between
the school and families reluctant to interact with school personnel, including first
generation immigrant families. In addition to fostering new knowledge, such partnerships
can help students to develop positive relations with teachers that did not exist
previously. Without an intentional focus on building relationships, student voice can easily
become tokenism. Questions of who has a voice in decision making become important in
many instances involving school improvement, including: whether teachers should have a
voice in determining curricular reform, whether students should help to identify the
problems in their school and try to address them, and whether parents should help to
develop school-wide standards. The power and status distinctions in school settings
especially provide a dramatic form of asymmetry due to institutional norms of deference to
adult authority and the separation of adult and youth roles in schools. Altering such
working conditions requires developing new norms, relationships, and organizational
structures. The focus of the article examines conditions that enable and constrain group
dynamics of youthadult partnerships rather than focusing on ways in which these
communities of practice question and challenge broader power imbalances in schools and
society. The sample consisted of 13 schools that received funding from a local foundation
in the San Francisco Bay Area to work on building a student voice initiative in their school.
The grant initiative was targeted at schools in urban settings that possessed a diverse
population, a public school system that lacked sufficient funding, and high concentrations of
poverty. Data collection for this study sought to gain the perspectives of participants in the
youthadult partnerships at the beginning and end of their grant cycle. Semi-structured
telephone interviews were conducted with a minimum of two and a maximum of five
individuals participating in each of 13 groups. Care was taken to gain perspectives of youth
and adults in all of the cases in the study. The meetings included small group discussions
and collective brain storming on how to improve the work of all of the groups. These
opportunities allowed for a comparison of the plans and interaction styles of the 13 groups.
Observations were conducted by transcribing conversations (verbatim when possible) using
a laptop computer during the meetings. The findings stress the importance of attending to
the mutual engagement of a community of practice so that expectations do not exist that all
members of communities of practice will have the same voice or authority. Successful
student voice initiatives consisting of efforts to actively include students in decision making
developed a civil discourse that created trusting, respectful and open communication
between teachers and students. This baseline of respect created conditions in which youth
were included in critical decisions on matters ranging from expectations concerning
student behavior to curriculum and instruction individual classrooms. Communities of
practices with large power differences have the opportunity to develop joint enterprises that
otherwise were not conceivable. In this study, the youthadult partnerships focused their
joint enterprises on identifying school problems, examining broader issues of injustice, and
mediating peer problems. Additionally, through close attention to the mutual engagement
and shared repertoire of efforts to increase student voice through school-based youthadult
partnerships, the process of the group also became the joint enterprise as well. By
providing youth with opportunities to participate in school decision making that will shape
their lives and the lives of their peers, increasing student voice in schools offers a way to re-
engage students in the school community. Participation can also increase youth attachment
to schools, which in turn correlates with improved academic outcomes. Youthadult
partnerships can lead to powerful increases in the civic engagement of youth, including an
increase in the belief of young people that they can make a difference in their lives and the
lives of others. Such student voice initiatives also help young people to develop
competencies crucial to becoming an involved and productive citizen, including tolerance,
getting along with others, respectfully and effectively questioning authority, and public
speaking. The article points to specific strategies for fostering student voice in communities
of practice, including focusing on role creation, building a common language and
establishing common norms. Mitra suggests that these ideas can serve as starting points for
other schools and groups seeking to build youthadult partnerships of their own.
Mitra, D. L., & Serriere, S. C. (2012). Student Voice in Elementary School Reform: Examining
Youth Development in Fifth Graders. American Educational Research Journal, 49(4), 743
774. doi:10.3102/0002831212443079
The present research examines the developmental outcomes of elementary-aged students
engaged in student voice efforts by using a case study of fifth grade girls. Elementary school
students rarely have opportunities to participate in decision-making processes on school
wide issues. Their research examines the following questions: What does student voice look
like at the elementary level? What types of outcomes does it produce? The study was
conducted at Dewey Elementary. It is not seen as an advantaged school and it did not make
adequate yearly progress as a part of the mandated student testing in 2010. The school
regularly engages students in a variety of democratic pedagogies and forums. The in-depth
case study of six fifth-grade students were seeking to change school and district rules for
their salad bar options. Therefore, they were describe as the Salad Girls. They were
interviewed over a two year period on how they got involved in the work, the purpose of the
work, their experience of the process of the work, and the lessons learned from their
experiences. They also interviewed the students as a focus conducted six focus groups of
Dewey students representing a cross-section of ages and classrooms. These discussions
allowed them to contextualize what it was like to be a student at Dewey and allowed a
comparison of the Salad Girls experience with other students in the school. They met with
Principal S. approximately once every 2 months to learn more about how democratic
processes were occurring from her perspective. There were weekly observations of critical
meetings between students, teachers, administrators, and district staff and recorded field
notes as well as documents and artifacts. The recorded and transcribed qualitative data
were analyzed with a line-by-line analysis and open coding to identify major themes by
using NVivo software. Member checks were done of the participants own experiences and
the research team were asked to search for counterevidence to their claims. The findings of
the activities of the Salad Girls was their conviction that the diversity of their needs and
backgrounds made the case for change in their school district. These experiences
highlighted to the girls that working together can create a synergy of needs and talents that
cannot occur alone. In civic discourse, each citizen brings their own interest as well as their
own talents to the public square to listen, talk, and deliberate in order to solve common
issues. Adults like their teacher and principal, played important roles in this process by
supporting the girls competencies in negotiating multiple audiences for various purposes.
Working on the Salad Girls project helped to broaden the identity of the girls so that they
saw themselves as leaders who could make changes. This experience empowered the fifth
grade girls to have a sense of agency, competence, belonging, and discourse. They came to
realize the collective needs of their community and became leaders to address these needs.
Discourse created an understanding of how their needs related to the larger needs of the
Owens, M. a. (2013). The Feelings Mutual: Student Participation in Leadership as a
Cooperative Effort. The Review of Higher Education, 36(4), 435462.
This article stems from a grounded theory study of leadership among urban youth. It
reports the perspective of students in a college preparation program by examining how they
participated in leadership. This study uses constructivist grounded theory methods to
develop a model of how incoming college students in a western universitys Upward Bound
(UB) Program understand leadership and the contributions they make to the programs
mission. Drawing from evidence garnered in the field, this study contributes to the field by
contributing student perspectives as an integral part of an overall picture of leadership that
involves both leaders and followers. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews,
focus groups, and field observations of 20 incoming college freshmen. During the interview
period and data analysis phases, students acted as co-researchers by working to derive
meaning from interviews. Students conceptualized their participation in the program's
leadership practice as a process of purpose-driven cooperative reciprocity. Taking,
resisting, and giving emerged as key concepts to describe student participation. These
behaviors were seen as corresponding with the degree of trust students had in the program
as well as their degree of cooperative reciprocity with program administrators. The
findings suggested that all members of educational organizations make contributions to
their organizations' total leadership capacity. In other words, leadership is the sum of the
actions that include those under the authority (either formal or informal) of others. Work
relating to distributed leadership opens the door to the possibility that all members of an
educational organization have roles to play in contributing to the total leadership of that
organization. By studying how students both understand and practice leadership, a clearer
picture may develop of the parts they contribute to the collective sum of school leadership.
The study concludes by encouraging further empirical work that explores leadership
contributions by followers in urban educational organizations.
Pearce, C. L., Barkus, B., & Pearce, C. L. (2014). The future of leadership: Combining vertical
and shared leadership to transform knowledge work, 18(1), 4759.
This article addresses the following questions: (1) when is leadership most appropriately
shared? (2) how is shared leadership best developed? and (3) how does one effectively
utilize both vertical and shared leadership to leverage the capabilities of knowledge
workers? Shared leadership is not a one-size-fits-all proposition. It is only by addressing
the above questions head on that organizations will move toward a more appropriate model
of leadership in the age of knowledge work. Shared leadership is required for knowledge
work that is team-based. Three elements that characterize the knowledge work in shared
leadership are interdependence, creativity, and complexity due to this time consuming
process. The primary role of a vertical leader within a shared leadership model is to design
the team and manage the teams boundaries. The vertical leader collaborates with key
constituents to clarify task specifications, securing necessary resources, identifying team
member roles, and officially launches or re-launches the team. Team leaders should select
team members based on their technical, teamwork, and leadership skills. If shared
leadership is to be developed, the right people must be chosen and then foster trust and
show confidence in the team. At least three broad organizational systems can be used to
pave the way for shared leadership: (1) training and development systems; (2) reward
systems; and (3) cultural systems. The training and development required in support of
shared leadership includes three fundamental areas: (1) training on how to engage in
responsible and constructive leadership, including multiple types of influence and
understanding potential reactions to the various types of influence; (2) training on how to
receive influence; and (3) training in basic teamwork skills (e.g., goal setting, status
reporting, citizenship behavior). It is preferred that the training be experiential and done
early in the development of the team. The leader must model shared leadership by asking
the initial question of the team, What do you think? Four important types of leadership
behavior that can emanate from the vertical leader or be shared and distributed among the
members of a team: Directive, transactional, transformational, and empowering. Directive
leadership involves providing task-focused direction or recommendations. Transactional
leadership entails influencing followers by strategically supplying rewards-praise,
compensation, or other valued outcomes- contingent on follower performance. This is done
among team members. Transformational leadership is a commitment to a team vision,
emotional engagement, and fulfillment of higher-order needs such as meaningful
professional impact or desires to engage in breakthrough achievements. Empowering
leadership involves enabling the team to self-influence and interact without being directed.
Shared leadership will fail without the support and maintenance of the vertical leader. The
vertical leader might ask for, rather than propose, solutions; encourage initiative, goal
setting, and problem solving; model productive conflict management; and demonstrate
application of strategies for both engaging in influence as well as being a willing recipient
of influence. Shared leadership seems unlikely to prove effective if the knowledge workers
lack the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities for their tasks.
Pittinsky, T. L., & Shih, M. J. (2004). Knowledge Nomads: Organizational Commitment and
Worker Mobility in Positive Perspective. American Behavioral Scientist, 47(6), 791807.
In this article the authors used the metaphor Knowledge Nomads to highlight that mobile
workers are capable of building homes in organizations in the form of meaningful
commitments to organization. This a new Positive Organizational Scholarship (POS)
perspective on the relationship between organizational commitment and worker mobility.
They argue that individuals seek to be committed. Knowledge Nomads are motivated to
work hard and commit themselves strongly to the organizations in which they reside. The
value of these workers to organizations lies in what and how they think. This is in contrast
to a mobile worker, moving from organization to organization with little attachment to any.
Organizational commitment is connected with many desirable outcomes for individuals and
organizations, ranging from increased citizenship behavior to reduced alienation.
Organizational practitioners value commitment largely because they believe it reduces
worker withdrawal behaviors, such as turnover. They define a committed worker as one
who stays with the organization through thick and thin (Meyer & Allen, 1997, p. 3). In
this study 115 knowledge workers were recruited from commercial Internet software and
complex Internet-enabled services. Knowledge workers and high-technology workers were
chosen for study because they met two important criteria. First, the workers were mobile,
moving among organizations for both volitional and nonvolitional reasons (Pittinsky,
2001). Second, these knowledge workers are critical to the success of their organizations.
The participants were given a survey. Organizational commitment was measured using
Meyer, Allen, and Smiths (1993) Organizational Commitment Scale, one of the leading
instruments for empirical research on organizational commitment to find a negative
relationship between commitment and mobility. Worker mobility was measured in several
ways, including measures of both past mobility and anticipated future mobility. They found
a lack of relationship between commitment to organization and past mobility or anticipated
future mobility. There was no correlation between a workers average length of tenure in
previous organizations and the magnitude of his or her commitment to the current
organization. Workers who also move frequently among organizations do not report less
loyalty to their current organization than do those who do not move as frequently. When
age was examined, they learned that younger workers, the workers who were the most
mobile in the sample, are also the most committed to their organization. Younger workers
reported more commitment to their current organizations and also report a higher
likelihood of leaving it. These findings indicate that Knowledge Nomads are attached and
committed to the organization while they are there, participating actively in the
organizational community and working toward the organizations goals. This calls
practitioners to increase the well-being of organizations and of workers in their
organizations. If an organization is focused on commitment, the commitment became
deeper, more individualized, and more likely to have a beneficial impact on the welfare of
individual employees instead of organizations that stated they would focus more on
reducing turnover. This coincides with their proposal that commitment is the
psychological attachment and the amount and quality of physical and mental effort a
worker willingly expends on behalf of an organization (Pittinsky, 2001, p. 211).
Organizations focused on commitment were also able to align the workers different
commitments for the betterment of the organization.
U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. (March 2014). Civil Rights Data
Collection Data Snapshot: School Discipline [Data File]. Retrieved from
Since 1968, the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) has collected data on key education
and civil rights issues in America's public schools for use by the Department of Educations
Office for Civil Rights (OCR), other Department offices, other federal agencies, and by
policymakers and researchers outside of the Department. The CRDC collects information
about school characteristics and about programs, services, and outcomes for students. Most
student data is disaggregated by race/ethnicity, gender, limited English proficiency, and
disability. The CRDC has generally been collected biennially from school districts in each
of the 50 states, plus the District of Columbia. The response rate for this large national
collection was 98.4% of school districts and 99.2% of schools, representing 99.6% of
students in the nation. Districts reported data using the seven race and ethnicity categories
(Hispanic/Latino, white, black/African-American, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific
Islander, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Two or More Races). Only a district
superintendent, or the superintendents designee, may certify the CRDC submission.
Ultimately, the quality of the CRDC data depends on accurate collection and reporting by
the participating districts. This March 2014 snapshot highlights school discipline, restraint,
and seclusion. The Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) reveals that students of certain
racial or ethnic groups and students with disabilities are disciplined at far higher rates than
their peers, beginning in preschool. The CRDC data also show that an increasing number
of students are losing important instructional time due to exclusionary discipline. Black
students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students. Black
students represent 16% of the student population, but 32-42% of students suspended or
expelled. In comparison, white students also represent a similar range of between 31-40%
of students suspended or expelled, but they are 51% of the student population. Black
students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students. On
average, 4.6% of white students are suspended, compared to 16.4% of black students. Black
boys and girls have higher suspension rates than any of their peers. Twenty percent (20%)
of black boys and more than 12% of black girls receive an out- of-school suspension. Black
students represent 16% of student enrollment, 27% of students referred to law enforcement,
and 31% of students subjected to a school-related arrest. In comparison, white students
represent 51% of students enrolled, 41% of referrals to law enforcement, and 39% of those
subjected to school-related arrests. The inclusion for the first time in the CRDC of
preschool data confirms that discipline begins in the earliest years of schooling. Racial
disparities in out-of-school suspensions also start early; black children represent 18% of
preschool enrollment, but 42% of the preschool children suspended once, and 48% of the
preschool children suspended more than once.
Ryan, J., & Rottmann, C. (2009). Struggling for Democracy: Administrative Communication in a
Diverse School Context. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 37(4),
473496. doi:10.1177/1741143209334579
This study examines how senior school administrators or managers who favor democratic
practices are able to promote them in the hierarchical and market structures within which
they work. The study had two segments. One was interviews with 30 administrators and the
second segment was a case study of City Secondary School. It describes a study that
explores efforts to include members of the school community teachers, parents and
studentsin the various school processes. The view of democracy that was endorsed here
moves beyond republican majority rule arrangements to one that equitably includes
everyone in decisions that affect them. Minoritized groups often find it difficult to influence
the course of events in structures like school councils that are set up specifically to include
parents in school decision-making. Not only are disenfranchised groups reluctant to
participate in these councils, but they also have difficulty penetrating the unique discourse
and procedures associated with formal meetings. On the other hand, middle-class parents
are able to use their resources and familiarity with the system to capture these democratic
structures and use them to advocate for their children. This article addresses the issue that
although those without power are given the opportunity to participate in decision-making
processes, deeply embedded inequalities prevent them from doing so. Marginalized groups
continue to be excluded even when systems are introduced to include them. Deliberative
democracy occurs when people can deliberate over the options before them and everyone is
able to influence the outcome of the decisions. The researchers found four communication
themes from the studyinclusion strategies, efforts at understanding, reducing hierarchies,
and controland organized the data in this article around them. Administrators are
mindful about building relationships through compassion, visibility, vulnerability. They use
these characteristics to understand others and reduce hierarchies. Although the
administration has taken efforts at improving communication with the schools diverse
community through translators and seeking to understand various cultural norms, the
administration is also preoccupied with controlling what goes on in the school, and as a
consequence, relies on the power within the vertical hierarchy to achieve this end. Giving
students a voice was important only in so far as they employed their voices to discipline
themselves, that is, regulate their own actions in the manner that the administration wished.
Their efforts at democracy was at a more basic or preliminary stage. If meaningful
democracy or inclusion is to be realized in schools like City Secondary, then something will
have to be done about the structures that perpetuate the powerful control ideology that
remains within these institutions. Administrators need to first recognize and then resist
institutional hierarchy and the control orientation of which they are a part if they are to
have any chance at all of honoring diversity and including different others in school
learning and governance activities.
Shirley, E. L. M., & Cornell, D. G. (2011). The contribution of student perceptions of school
climate to understanding the disproportionate punishment of African American students in a
middle school. School Psychology International, 33(2), 115134.
This study investigated the contribution of student perceptions of school climate to racial
differences in school discipline. Four hundred middle school students completed a school
climate survey. Compared to Caucasian students, African-American students were referred
to the office for discipline three times as frequently and received five times as many
suspensions. The present study examined whether race differences between African-
American and Caucasian students in discipline referrals and suspensions could be
explained in part by underlying differences in student perceptions of the availability of help
at school, the prevalence of teasing and bullying, and student attitudes toward aggression.
The participants were 400 students from a suburban public middle school in the state of
Virginia in the United States. There were 192 boys and 208 girls including 129 6th graders,
135 7th graders, and 136 8th graders. Students filled out the School Climate Bullying
Survey as part of a school-wide bullying prevention effort using the Olweus Bullying
Prevention Program. Surveys were administered on a confidential basis that would protect
student identity, yet permit linkage to external sources of information (student discipline
records) through a code number. Students were also asked to complete a self-report
measure designed to assess the incidence of bullying as well as school climate
characteristics that are important in reducing bullying called School Climate Bullying
Survey. Three factors were measured according to the degree they agreed to statements
having to do with willingness to seek help, prevalence of teasing and bullying, and
aggressive attitudes. After analyzing data from the surveys, they found African-American
students were more likely to receive a discipline referral than Caucasian students. African-
American students were more likely to receive suspensions than Caucasian students.
African-American students were less willing to seek help from teachers and adults in school
than Caucasian students. African-American students were more likely to endorse aggressive
attitudes toward peers than Caucasian students. Students who reported more aggressive
attitudes were more likely to be referred for discipline. Students who were more willing to
seek help from teachers and adults in school were less likely to be referred for discipline.
African-American students were more likely to be referred for discipline than Caucasian
students. African-American students were three times more likely to be referred for
discipline and five times more likely to be suspended than Caucasian students. African-
American students made up 20.2% of the schools student population yet, 60.3% of African-
American students were referred for discipline as compared to 27% of Caucasian students,
who made up 60.5% of the student population. The results on the school climate showed
that students who do not believe that teachers will help them may be more likely to
misbehave for a variety of reasons. Such students may be more resentful and less respectful
of their teachers, and as a result more prone to behave defiantly or inappropriately.
Students who felt less supported, as measured by their willingness to seek help, were more
likely to engage in misbehavior. The study concludes when students perceive their teachers
as trust-worthy and caring, they are more likely to respond positively to their teachers and
the school rules overall. Interventions designed to improve the quality of relationships
between teachers and students may be helpful in reducing school misconduct.
Serido, J., Borden, L. M., & Perkins, D. F. (2009). Moving Beyond Youth Voice. Youth &
Society, 43(1), 4463. doi:10.1177/0044118X09351280
Marginalized youth benefit from youth-adult partnerships. A pathway from participation to
positive outcomes begins with supportive and caring adults who support their goals and
aspirations. These relationships are foundational to youth-adult partnerships so that
students are able to explore new interests and discover their talents working with adults
who acknowledge their successes and encourage them when they fail. Through this ongoing
interaction, youth find their voice. As their voices become stronger, youth develop a sense
of belonging. This process encourages them to take ownership of the program and its
success. Effective youth-adult partnerships have mentor relationships that are authentic,
consistent, and enduring, with both the young person and the adult receiving benefit from
the relationship. Although increasing numbers of youth are involved in service-learning
programs, many youth are not compelled by their experiences because practice using
student voice is often limited to asking young people about their concerns and desires for
the program. Youth voice requires active involvement in planning, implementing, and
problem solving during their experiences. When a program promotes authentic and
meaningful involvement, youth have opportunities for connection to others, self-discovery,
and empowerment, which in turn leads to more positive youth outcomes. 748 youth who
participated in youthadult partnership programs in Engaging Youth Serving Communities
(EYSC) completed a web-based survey from 29 states. The survey focused on five constructs
related to decision-making and leadership experiences as well as experiences of youth
working in partnership with adults. Findings may suggest that opportunities to interact with
adults benefit youth in multiple ways: first, by directly contributing to the perceived value of
program participation and second, indirectly, by promoting youth voice. This process may
empower youth and inspire them to find ways to simultaneously take care of themselves and
the program. Although adolescents want and need space to become themselves and to
explore the world of peer relationshipsthey also want and need adult-mediated
experiencesto explore interests and test abilities, to be challenged and to challenge
themselves. Programs promote youth voice by providing opportunities for youth to practice
using their voice in the presence of supportive adults who are committed to youth, view
youth as partners, and encourage youth empowerment and skill development. Program staff
must provide opportunities for youth to act on issues that are meaningful to them and have
an impact on their lives.
Serriere, S. C., Mitra, D., & Reed, K. (2011). Student Voice in the Elementary Years: Fostering
Youth-Adult Partnerships in Elementary Service-Learning. Theory & Research in Social
Education, 39(4), 541575. doi:10.1080/00933104.2011.10473466
The authors studied mixed-age small school advisory groups involved in service-learning
at one elementary school; observational, interview, and focus group data were collected.
They present three case studies that represent various leadership typologies of elementary
service-learning: The Catalyst, The Synthesizer, and The Commander. The authors then
map these leaders priorities onto a Youth Adult Partnership (YAP) continuum to suggest
how student voice, a common component of successful service-learning, might occur in the
elementary years. This study addresses research questions: How do teachers leadership
styles relate to the process and products of a service project? How do teachers incorporate
student voice/participation into service-learning activities? What does this reveal about
fostering meaningful service-learning in the elementary years? Service-learning that
enables student voice could be considered a form of youth-adult partnership. Youth-adult
partnerships (YAPs) are defined as relationships in which both youth and adults have the
potential to contribute to decision making processes, to learn from one another, and to
promote change. To become more than just obedient citizens but engaged, even justice-
oriented citizens (Westheimer & Kahne, 2004), children need to have opportunities to apply
democratic values to communities outside their classrooms. Service-learning is a method by
which young people learn and develop through active participation in thoughtfully-
organized service-experiences that meet the actual community needsintegrated into each
young persons academic curriculum, [service- learning] provide[s] structured time for a
young person to think, talk, and write about what he/she did and saw during the actual
service activity. Data was collected at the monthly Small-School Gatherings (SSGs)
where each child, for their entire enrollment at Dewey Elementary (ideally K-5), spends
time each month with their SSG, as a sort of alternative social, civic, and academic network
made up of K-5th grade students (about two or three from each grade level in each SSG,
totaling about 12-15 students per SSG). The purpose of the student focus groups was to
better understand how engaging or important the students felt their individual and
collective contributions were in their SSGs, and to document their understanding of their
SSG projects. Questions about the purpose, topics, and perceived importance of their SSG
and their work within the group were asked. Teacher focus groups were interviewed as a
group and individually about their reflections on the purpose and vision of SSGs. In case
one, the teacher was identified initially to be the catalyst in igniting the idea and
momentum for the project, which may later allow students to lead. It builds upon student
enthusiasm for the completion of initial projects as a basis for the tougher work ahead of
designing and implementing service-learning projects that are increasingly more student-
led. In case two, the teacher valued process over product where she sought consensus from
the students. Although the process was long, she valued student buy-in. Students
interviewed in this case study, stated they felt like a community. The Synthesizer fostered the
learning of process-based democratic citizenship skills such as deliberation, listening, and
brainstorming solutions. Learning to be part of a working group toward a common goal
was also a social and civic lesson of which students were quite aware at the cost of constant
momentum and visible progress. In case study three, the teachers, Ms. Clark, role was
Commander. She felt instruction was top priority and did not buy in to the value of SSGs.
Ms. Clark sat in a chair above the circle of students, symbolic of the hierarchical dynamic
of the group in which the Commander oversaw the troops but never joined them. She
typically asked rhetorically, as most of her questions had a clear right answer. While they
located the playground, compost, and garden on a map of the school grounds, evidence of
students processing, applying, or connecting this information from one session to the next
was slim. There was significantly less bonding than the other two case studies among the
students. The Commander is an appropriate metaphor for this teachers leadership style
because the teacher remained the focus of the activities and interpreted the activities for the
children at all times during the project. A lack of student empowerment was observed where
students appeared to react to this lack of empowerment through disruption, frustration, and
disengagement. The researchers found that the Commander and the Synthesizer were at
opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of valuing and eliciting student input, while the
Catalyst existed somewhere in the middle as a transitional style. They found the middle
ground, the mixture of student- and adult-led activities and discussions in Ms. Howards
(the Catalyst) SSG, worked well to balance the priorities of eliciting students voice at
times, with leading them to a definite and attainable goal. The cases indicate that successful
service-learning requires attention to two objectives: accomplishing project goals (product)
and developing student skills, empowerment, and learning during the project (the process).
The Catalyst strategy fits best with the concept of scaffolding because her group moved
from teacher-initiated to shared decision making as students gained more skills and the
group bonded. This case shows how it is imperative to let students own the academic
contentapplying it with purpose from one session to the next and utilizing it to solve
actual and open-ended problems. It also indicates that students connect more authentically
to the project when their voices are heard and valued, making them more likely to see the
project to completion and more likely to make meaningful curricular connections along the
way. The Catalyst and the Synthesizer demonstrate a range of productive strategies for
encouraging service-learning. Both styles share the goal of scaffolding student learning by
deepening the leadership roles that students had in the project, including topic selection,
planning, and the sharing of their work with the broader community. Importantly, even with
young children, the teacher-leader can and should gather student input, or student voice
(which relates to skills of deliberative democracy), about their desired contribution at
various points in a service project, depending on the leaders priorities, goals, and comfort.
Spillane, J. P., & Kim, C. M. (2012). An Exploratory Analysis of Formal School Leaders
Positioning in Instructional Advice and Information Networks in Elementary Schools.
American Journal of Education, 119(1), 73102. doi:10.1086/667755
Spillane and Kim examine how formal school leaders are positioned in their schools
instructional networks based on an analysis of data from 30 elementary schools in one mid-
sized urban school district. They analyzed the instructional advice and information
networks for mathematics and language arts, the two core elementary school subjects. Their
analysis suggests that, although the school principal is not a central actor in the
instructional advice and information network in a majority of these schools, formally
designated school leaders as a group do occupy central positions. They concentrated on
formal positions, paying particular attention to those individuals who occupy a formal
leadership position in their school emphasizing how the work actually gets done specifically
full and part-time teachers. The focus was on the interactions, interconnections, and
interdependencies among people. They used data from all 30 elementary schools in one
mid-sized urban school district in the south-eastern United States that they referred to as
Cloverville using a comparative approach. 1,210 surveys were conducted on spring of 2005
and 2007. The measure focused on the formal organizational structure, informal
interactions or relational structure, and the normative structure. They relied on measures of
collective responsibility, teacher-teacher trust, and alignment between standards and
school programs. They calculated three measures of centrality (i.e., degree centrality,
betweenness, and closeness) for language arts and mathematics networks in each school in
2007 using STATA software version 10. Their findings state that principals play an
important role in the development of social networks and trust. While school principals may
not be connected to most teachers in their schools, they may have a connection with each
grade-level lead teacher, who, in turn, is connected with every teacher in the grade. Part-
time formal leaders had closer relationships with their colleagues, compared with full-time
leaders. These networks are made up of subgroups, that is, groups of actors who typically
have stronger ties to one another than to others in the overall network. These subgroups are
critical to the functioning of the overall network and the organization. Finally, those who
occupy part-time leadership positions, are important sources for instructional advice and
information, that is, the sort of advice and information that is often essential for
implementing new programs and instructional improvement.
Student, B., & Isory, A. D. V. (2012). Ask Us! Student Voice in Teacher Evaluations, 82(1),
In this article, youth from Boston Student Advisory Council, a citywide group of student
leaders who strive to increase student voice and engagement in education policy at the
school, district, and national levels, recount their campaign to include student feedback in
teacher evaluations in Boston and across Massachusetts. They argue for the importance of
including students in evaluation reform and demonstrate practical methods for students,
teachers, parents, and administrators to work together to support and improve classroom
teaching. BSAC was founded in the 1970s as a result of student-led organizing around the
issue of desegregation. This article was written by a group of twenty young people who are
either current BSAC members or alumni. A majority of the students serving on BSAC are
from low-income families. BSAC students decided to pilot a student survey called the
Friendly Feedback Form (FFF). Students anonymously provided some teachers with
feedback on classroom management and instruction. The form was piloted and supported in
the Community Academy of Science and Health (CASH), a Boston public high school, in the
20072008 school year. Approximately four hundred students in grades 9 through 12 at
CASH filled out their FFFs for science and math teachers during an advisory period on a
designated school day. Individual teacher reports with summaries of the feedback, to
protect student anonymity, were returned to teachers in sealed envelopes. CASH students
analyzed the results of the FFF and presented their findings at a school wide professional
development session. Students led a professional development session where they were able
to ask follow-up questions and understand their teachers interpretation of the responses.
This presentation in itself generated dialogue around identifying methods for teacher
improvement and highlighted the best practices that currently existed in the school. The
success of the Friendly Feedback Form at CASH and the Administrator Constructive
Feedback Form at TES set the foundation for BSAC to develop our Student to Teacher
Constructive Feedback Policy proposal. This proposal would require every high school
student to fill out a constructive feedback form for each teacher. One of the top five themes
that emerged was effective teaching. Students said they wanted more motivating teachers,
adults they could trust, and role models with whom they could build lasting relationships.
Young people are not often asked to be real decision makers in their education. But are the
primary consumers of the education system and should be treated as such. Including student
voice in teacher evaluations is just one example of how young people can use their voices to
create change in education. When they feel invested their education, they become more
engaged in the classroom, resulting in higher achievement.
Sun, M., Frank, K. a., Penuel, W. R., & Kim, C. M. (2013). How External Institutions Penetrate
Schools Through Formal and Informal Leaders. Educational Administration Quarterly,
49(4), 610644. doi:10.1177/0013161X12468148
This study investigates the role of formal and informal leaders in schools and teachers
practices. Formal leaders are designated by their roles in the formal organization of the
school (e.g., principals, department chairs, and instructional coaches) and informal leaders
refer to those who do not have any formal leadership roles but are nominated by other
colleagues as influences on their instructional practices. This study aims to examine (a)
how formal and informal leaders promote instructional changes through professional
interactions with teachers and (b) which types of instructional practices are most
responsive to which types of leaders. The authors analyze longitudinal data concerning
both professional interactions about teaching reading and instructional practices of
teachers and leaders in nine K-8 schools in a single state. Teachers were surveyed and
could name any member of the school staff (including the principal) as someone who
provided them with expertise or resources to help with reading instruction. Thus, the social
network data included positional school leaders defined by nominations on a sociometric
questionnaire. School faculty members in the selected schools were surveyed four times.
Formal Findings revealed formal leaders influence general teaching practices such as
setting standards, selecting materials, and assessing students while informal leaders
influence specific pedagogical practices (e.g., the use of particular strategies for teaching
basic reading skills). Schools should be aware that teachers may respond differently to help
from formal leaders and informal leaders. Thus schools must coordinate formal and
informal leaders influences to ensure coordinated impacts on changing different aspects of
instructional practices. This can be done through clearly articulating distinct roles of
principals, coaches, and informal teacher leaders and through recognizing them for their
accomplishments (e.g., as in personnel evaluations). At the same time, it is also useful to
provide guidelines and opportunities school faculty to collaborate and for leaders to
provide coherent support for instructional improvement. Schools therefore must establish
divisions of authority that draw on the strengths of each level of governance to support a
systemic reform, and extend to the within-school leadership structure.
Van Maele, D., & Van Houtte, M. (2009). Faculty Trust and Organizational School
Characteristics: An Exploration Across Secondary Schools in Flanders. Educational
Administration Quarterly, 45(4), 556589. doi:10.1177/0013161X09335141
This study explores the extent to which teachers from a same school share a level of trust.
2,104 teachers in 84 secondary schools completed a survey that measured four dimensions
relating to four separate referents of trust. Organizational value culture, size, and
composition affect the level of organizational trust in schools. Socioeconomic school
composition heavily determines staff trust. They choose to pay attention to teachers in their
role as trustor. Trust may positively affect the attitudes, perceptions, behaviors, and
performance outcomes of organizational members. Because organizational members need
to realize collective goals, they are dependent on one another. In such situations of
interdependence, trust may reduce uncertainty and enhance cooperation. Vulnerability is
assumed to be a general aspect of trust because of the willingness of another party to risk
engagement in a relationship with another. Since culture is defined as shared assumptions
or shared beliefs, measures of individual teachers trust are necessary to assess a staffs
trust culture. The findings state trust in colleagues is higher in private schools than in
public schools. A high proportion of immigrant students lowers teachers trust in parents.
They found teachers working within the same school tend to express more equal levels of
trust in the four referent groups compared to teachers working in divergent schools.
Principals and leaders should be aware of organizational characteristics affecting trust in
schools. Staffs trust in the principal is presumably determined more by the school
principals individual characteristics than by organizational school characteristics. Aspects
of the principals leadership behavior, such as being supportive and nondirective, were
determining factors to faculty trust. Principals and leaders in difficult school settings could
gain better insight into the reasons why their schools are failing and make progress toward
accomplishing their goals by creating within- school bonding social capitalof which trust
is a central elementin establishing a professional learning community and other ends.
Their findings relate to the practice of distributed leadership because it focuses on how
school leaders promote and sustain conditions for successful schooling in interaction with
others rather than on what structures and programs are necessary for success. Trust has
been indicated as an important condition for distributed leadership. The researchers
recommend for a successful implementation of reform initiatives, schools with the described
characteristics should adopt programs to enhance teacher trust.