Leadership in Teaching

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Teaching as a profession requires specific traits in order for a teacher to be effective in achieving for students academic success. There are numerous theories that explore this theme. For instance, Sharick (2007) argued that teachers should have social traits in order to be able to communicate effectively with the students.A social teacher in this theory is one that could display dominant characteristics like that of being enterprising, investigative and a capacity for empathy, among others. The idea is that the relationship between a teacher and the students complement the transfer of knowledge. The concept of leadership, though not a prominent element in this model as suggested by the researcher, can also be considered a social trait. It plays an important role in the way students learn from instruction and classroom interaction because it underpins the efficacy of the social interaction. It takes advantage of the relationship in order to have an authoritative process by which knowledge is imparted and received. Simply put, leadership provides the framework by which a teacher could control the teaching process successfully. Leadership and Best Practice in Teaching Leadership is increasingly becoming a byword in the literature on current best practices in teaching and educational improvement. York-Barr and Duke explained that this is because it is aligned with the notion of individual empowerment and localization of management (p. 255). In this respect, teachers are sought to be empowered and have greater degree of control, with an expanded role in the classroom instruction. This has been the trend in the United States since the 1980s, when leadership came to be considered as an integral component of teacher professionalism (York-Barr and Duke, p. 256). The educational reform aimed to replace the traditional framework of the technical model, which emphasized the transfer of knowledge through systematic inquiry. The new goal is to focus and rely on the teachers’ capability, knowledge and judgment. Leadership figures prominently in this aspect because it allows the teachers to exercise and implement academic decisions, in addition to helping lead pursue educational initiatives. The study conducted by Camburn, Rowan and Taylor in 2003, which evaluated the efficacy of the educational reform found that academic progress was, in fact, achieved in the process. Particularly, the study revealed that those educational reforms that integrated leadership components such as the distributive leadership schemes led to positive outcomes both in the capabilities of the teacher and the students’ academic performance (p. 367). There are numerous studies that reflect these findings. A case in point is that by Ross and Gray (2006), which found that schools with higher levels of transformational leadership had higher collective teacher efficacy, greater teacher commitment to school mission, school community, school-community partnerships, and higher student achievement (p. 798). Also, Copland (2003), in his study of the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative program, found that leadership works well with inquiry-based approach, with distributive leadership playing an important role in implementing inquiry-based practice and collective decision-making at school (p. 375). The empirical evidences that support how leadership contributes to positive student learning outcome are not that surprising. Aside from the quantified direct and positive leadership impact represented by effective cognitive learning outcomes, there is also the deeper socio-psychological discourse that covers education and learning. Here, leadership is critical because it plays an important part in the transformation of behaviors. Encouraging Leaders, Imparting Values According to LeComte (1978), going to school is a socialization process wherein teachers transmit skills, aspirations, norms and behavioral patterns which assist in the assumption of roles (p. 22). This is demonstrated in observing the classroom