Authentic Leadership for Democracy in Schools

article was done in the spring of 2010 and its authors are Farah Rahman, Muhammad Abiodullah and Uzma Quraishi.

Article 1

Introduction

The main purpose of this study was to investigate the pattern of authentic leadership in schools in developing countries such as Pakistan and to come up with an effective model that can be used in school leadership so as to promote democratic practices in schools. It had been found out the underlying value of authentic leadership is self-awareness accompanied with honesty, loyalty, truthfulness, transparency and integrity. To be able top have a strong leadership, the leaders should be in apposition to positively influence his/ her followers and this can be achieved through the application of the values of leadership. For authentic leadership models to be affected in schools there also have to be a mechanism that constantly monitors effective leadership in schools. For this study the main research question is what are the characteristics of authentic leadership skills and how ell can its framework assist in establishing democratic school? For data analysis several sub research questions were set so as to effectively respond to the data collected.

Methodology

Since the research focused on the perception of teachers with regards to their principal authenticity and their self-perception on the level of authenticity by use of the standard scale of authentic leadership, the sample was randomly selected from all the private secondary schools that were known for their reputation and effectiveness. Questionnaires were used in which 300 of them were sent to the private schools of Lahore. Out of the 300, 204 questionnaires were returned and therefore the total sample that was used for this study comprised of 195 school teachers and 9 principles from the private secondary school. The research study aimed at pairing the teachers used in the study with their principals. The teachers and the principals were given two different authentic leadership questionnaires to which they did not have to personally identify themselves. The questionnaires required that the participant indicates the principal of the school he/she is in and the name of the school. The questionnaire also aimed at measuring the leaders self-awareness, transparency and moral value.

Results

Data analysis was done by use of the standard deviation, mean and the t-test to make comparisons between principal’s self-rating and their teachers rating with reference to the principals authenticity level the values listed on the questionnaires. Most of teachers in school 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 9 perceived their principals to be non-transparent. Schools 4 and 5 said that their principals are transparent. This result show high levels of inconsistencies between the leaders words and actions. It also means that the leaders usually apply the authoritarian style of leadership and that they do not admit their mistakes in front of their followers. The finding also indicated that most of the principals do not encourage their teachers to freely express themselves.

The statistical results from school 1, 2, 3, 5, and 8 indicate that the principals’ beliefs are not systematic with their actions and that their decisions are not always ethical. Teachers in school 4, 6, and 7 indicated that their principles are ethically strong.

Findings from the balancing processing indicated that principals from schools 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 did not involve their teachers in decision making processes. Only the principal from school 8 made school decision that involved the participation of the teachers. On awareness ratings it was found out that the principals in schools 1, 2, 3, 4. 5, 6, 7, and 8 were no consciously aware of their strength and weaknesses due to lack of feedback from other regarding their leadership. The principal from school 9 was seen to be consciously aware of his strength and weaknesses meaning that he sort feedback from others.

Conclusion

The researchers conducted a comprehensive research into the leadership qualities and perceptions in private schools. More than half of the questionnaires sent to the private schools were received back and the research can be said to be a representative of perception and beliefs of all the teachers and principals of all the private schools in Lahore. The use of questionnaires was effective for this research so that they participant can be free to express their opinion without fear as their identities are not known. From the above research it has been found out that values such as transparency, self-awareness and moral and balanced processes.

Article II

The Modeling of Moral Character for Teachers: Behaviors, characteristics and Dispositions that may be taught.

Introduction

The research was conducted by Merle J. Schwartz, the Director of Education and Research, Character education partnership. The purpose of the study was to understand the nature of modeled moral character, to explore the links of modeled moral character to the constructs of transformational leadership and emotional competence. The study also aims to determine the behaviors and characteristics make significant contributions to modeled moral character. This study classifies the nature of modeled moral character into three perspectives: action, cognitive and affective. From the three perspectives seven attribute areas are established. They include: self reflection, empathy, moral concern, social good of others, morals and commitment to intellectual and emotional development of others.

Methodology

The population used for this study was high school teachers and their students. High school students were preferred because it was believed they would be able to appropriately complete the rating instruments on their teacher’s leadership, moral and emotional qualities. The researcher chose a high school in Washington DC due to the close proximity and the cultural and economic diversity of the school. The high school selected was acceptable because the principal personally knew the researcher and the principal was also interested in learning more about the school staff. The researcher invited all the 166 staff members of the school to participate in the study but only 120 were eligible for the study. However, of the 120 teachers only 28 agreed to participate in the study and of the twenty-eight only 13 teachers had enough students’ participation to be included in the data analysis. The student’s participation was based on voluntary basis where they had to at least be 20% of the total number of students per class.

The instruments for the study involved the use of a seven item attribute questionnaire. The emotive competence inventory was also used to measure construct intelligence. The Leadership profile was chosen for leadership questionnaires that assess transformational leadership because it is the only instrument that would be able to clearly look at behavior and skills as well as personal characteristics and the social/cultural context.

Results

The teachers were given the self-assessment versions of the leadership profile as well as the questionnaires and the students were given the emotional competence theory so as to rate their teachers. The student’s data was analyzed to see if the teachers were identified as moral character modelers (MCS) and non-moral character models (NMCM). The teacher’s data was used to calculate the discrepancies between their self-rating and that of the students. The statistical research method showed that there is a relationship between the seven attributes of modeled moral character and the constructs of transformational leadership, and emotional competence. The results showed that the MCM’s score was higher than the NMCM’s scores for credible leadership, caring, creative and confident leadership. The Levine test indicated that the population variance for the two groups of teachers was unequal but they did not significantly affect the findings of the study.

Conclusion

The research can be trusted as it was conducted by a qualified and credible person. Self-confidence and efficacy have been established from the research to be the mediating factors for modeled moral character. From the study a definition of moral character that involves the application of the seven attributes can be defined as the consistent patterning of behavior characteristics originated towards self-development and regulations of emotions in preparation for the social responsibilities to others. Moral character facilitates the development of others so that they can reach the higher levels pf morality.

Reference

Rahman, F. &Quraishi, U. (2010). Authentic Leadership for democracy in Schools retrieved from http://www.academicleadership.org/article/Authentic_Leadership_for_Democracy_in_Schools on 2nd April 2011

Schwartz, M. (2007). The Modeling of Moral Character for Teachers: Behaviors, characteristics and Dispositions that may be taught. Information Age Publishing

 

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