Consider your current professional setting and identify leadership practices which resemble or can be traced to one or more of the leadership perspectives traced in Topic One.
Hierarchical Leadership - There is a clear structural component to the system of people within the organisation and the roles and responsibilities within the hierarchy.
Management vs. Leadership - Many of the tasks that our senior leadership team is focused around the management of people and resources rather than moving people towards a common goal of change. These could include ensuring planning is executed, editing reports, leading meetings with updates, etc. There are also times when the leadership team is inspiring teachers to make transformational changes such as focusing on the mission when implementing new change to appeal to the values of the staff rather than just behaviour.
Role Theory - Teachers are given a very clear outline of their job description (as are all employees within the school). However, the role and responsibilities may be perceived differently depending on who the Head of Primary is (we’ve had some turnover in the last few years). The expectations of teachers by different stakeholders may at times come into conflict making it difficult to navigate to ensure everyone’s expectations can be met.
Is there one perspective which seems dominant?
I believe the hierarchical approach to the organisation is the dominant perspective. While there are growing opportunities for collaborative approaches within the system, the overarching focus remains a top-down approach to the final decision making.
What evidence is there for your conclusion?
While there is no government dictating curriculum etc, the teachers must still follow the directions of their superiors. All final decisions are signed off on by the Head of School. As I’ve mentioned in some of my blog posts, while there is teacher voice within some of the decision making processes to encourage buy in, teachers have limited influence on the final decisions. Policies and procedures are purely created by the senior leadership team and followed by staff. Through the hierarchy model, decision making can be more efficient and often higher quality, however, missing the important aspect of buy-in.
How does the evolution of leadership perspectives impact on current leadership practice in your professional setting?I believe that the school is trying to move to a more collaborative approach to leadership. Change in mindset, culture and processes take time. It is optimistic that the school providing opportunities for more teacher input such as plus/deltas with events, policies and procedures. Knowing that the school would like to value teacher opinions more, I believe that in time and with an effective leadership team facilitating change management, we will see even more of a shift towards a collegial system.