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Moral Imperative of School Leadership


... framework, environment, situation, circumstance, ambience, surrounding. B. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, 2000) PISA study ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Moral Imperative of School Leadership

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • Outline for Newport School Leaders
  • Michael Fullan, 2003

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • I. Changing the Context
  • A. Context structure, framework, environment,
    situation, circumstance, ambience, surrounding.
  • B. Organization for Economic Cooperation and
    Development (OECD, 2000) PISA study (Programme
    for International Student Assessment) literacy
    study of 265,000 15 year-olds in 32 countries
  • PISA showstwo students with the same family
    characteristics going to two different schools
    one with higher and one with lower socio-economic
    profile could expect to be further apart in
    reading literacy than two students from two
    different backgrounds going to the same school.
    (p. 21)

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • C. Context is social, not individual. Context
    overrides personality. behavior is a function
    of social context (Gladwells Tipping Point,
    p.150) The power of context is that what really
    matters is little things (p.150). We are better
    people in a good environment than in a bad one.
  • Most of us will pay attention to the plight of
    individual students if those around us are doing
  • D. Starting Point for changing context Change
    the situation i.e.
  • Create a community around people where new
    beliefs can be practical, expressed, and
  • Key to change is new experiences!

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • E. Its NOT a rational process of
    analyze-think-change INSTEAD its
  • What must the leader do? Facilitate the process!
  • Help people see new possibilities and
  • Seeing something new hits the emotions.
  • Emotionally charged ideas change behavior or
    reinforce changed behavior. (Kotter Cohen,

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • F. Principals Teachers Affecting context
  • Teachers working together for the continuous
    betterment of schools.
  • Leaders (principals) guiding and supporting the
    process at all levels.
  • Whatever the strategy, (LFS??) it must generate
    passion, purpose, and energy intrinsic
    motivation on the part of principals and
  • Teacher passion, purpose, and capacity directly
    impacts student engagement and learning.
  • If we dont think of producing teacher and
    student development simultaneously, we will miss
    the point.

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • G. Evolution of teaching profession.
  • Four quadrants, knowledge-poor, knowledge-rich,
    informed prescription, informed professional
  • Four historical labels
  • Uninformed professional judgment
    (knowledge-poor/professional judgment ) 1970s
  • Uninformed prescription (knowledge-poor/external
    prescription) 1980s
  • Informed prescription (knowledge-rich/external
    prescription) 1990s
  • Informed professional judgment (knowledge-rich/pro
    fessional judgment) Present
  • Informed professional judgment is collective, not
    individualistic driven by best knowledge,
    pursued continually, and has a solid moral
    purpose at its foundation.
  • Primary role of principals is to help create and
    sustain disciplined inquiry and action by

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • H. Successful Companies Going from GOOD to
    GREAT! Jim Collinss study of 1,435 companies in
    Fortune500 from 1965 to 1995 focused on 11
    companies that have sustained financial success
    over a minimum of 15 years.
  • Collins identified six core factors of success
    - Level 5 Leadership, First Who Then What,
    Confront the Brutal Facts, Hedgehog Concept,
    Culture of Discipline, and Technology Accelerates
    - that he organized into three themes -
    disciplined people, disciplined thought, and
    disciplined action.
  • 1. Level 5 Leadership Self-effacing, quiet,
    reserved, even shy blend of personal humility and
    professional will (Lincoln Socrates not Patton
    or Caesar).
  • 2. First WhoThen What Good leaders first got
    the right people on the bus, the wrong people off
    the bus, and the right people in the right seats,
    and then they figured out where to drive it.

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • 3. Confront the Brutal Facts (Yet never lose
    faith) Lesson learned from a former POW, called
    the Stockdale Paradox. You must maintain
    unwavering faith that you can and will prevail in
    the end AND at the same time have the discipline
    to confront the brutal facts of your current
  • 4. Hedgehog Concept (Simplicity within the Three
    Circles) Transcend the curse of competence
    just because youve been doing something for a
    long time doesnt mean you have all the answers
    or are the best at it.
  • Three intersecting circles What you are
    Passionate about, What you are Best at, and What
    drives your in this case economic engine.
  • 5. Culture of Discipline when you have
    disciplined people, you dont need hierarchy.
  • 6. Technology Acceleration pioneers in the
    application of carefully selected technology.

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • Level 5 Executive Builds enduring greatness
    through a blend of humility and professional
  • Level 4 Effective Leader Catalyzes commitment
    to and pursuit of a clear and compelling vision,
    stimulating higher performance standards.
  • Level 3 Competent Manager Organizes people and
    resources toward the effective and efficient
    pursuit of predetermined objectives.
  • Level 2 Contributing Team Member Contributes
    individual capabilities to the achievement of
    group objectives and works effectively with
    others in a group setting.
  • Level 1 Highly Capable Individual Makes
    productive contributions through talent,
    knowledge, skills, and good work habits.
  • The best principals are executives!

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • II. Barriers to School Leadership
  • A. Self-imposed Barriers
  • Perceived system limitations fear of
    resistance, lack of systemic insight, system
    promotes wide variations of leadership dynamic.
  • If-Only Dependency if only this would happen
  • Loss of Moral Compass Principals must be firmly
    grounded in the moral foundations of their
    profession (Why am I doing this? What do I stand
    for? What legacy do I wish to leave?)
  • Not Taking Charge of Personal Professional
    Development principals must be active lifelong
  • Responsibility Virus Overresponsibility and
    underresponsibility, Who is responsible for

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • B.Systemic Barriers
  • Centralization vs. Decentralization must be
    balanced or you will have overcontrol or chaos.
  • Role Overload and Role Ambiguity Wanted A
    miracle-worker who can do more with less, pacify
    rival groups, endure chronic second-guessing,
    tolerate low levels of support, process large
    volumes of paperwork and work double shifts (75
    nights a year). Carte blanche to innovate, but
    without much money, limited ability to replace
    personnel, and without upsetting the wrong
    people. Must be thick-skinned, partially blind
    and deaf but able to listen and react
    appropriately in any and every situation.
  • Limited Investment in Leadership Development
  • Neglect in Leadership Succession wreaks havoc
    in continuity
  • Absence of System Change Strategy Four major
    problems with reform policies (Fullan et al,
  • Sheer volume of new initiatives blunts impact of
  • Distracting or inconsequential policies
    unconnected to student learning.
  • Policies poorly implemented.
  • Gaps exist in policies (failure to establish
    early childhood program)
  • Advanced definitions of the Principals role are
    too limited Principal leadership is becoming
    increasingly difficult to define.

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • C. Two ideas in summary
  • 1. New directions call for new leadership at
    the school level
  • 2. The principal must lead a radical return to
    the moral purpose of schools

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • III. The Moral Imperative at the School Level
    The New Principal (principle)
  • Moral purpose of the highest order is having a
    system where all students learn, the gap between
    high and low performance becomes greatly reduced,
    and what people learn enables them to be
    successful citizens and workers in a morally
    based knowledge society.
  • The principal is strategically placed best to
    accomplish this task.
  • A. Levels of the moral imperative levels on a
    continuum of Making A Difference
  • Level One Individual Many principals are
    committed to making a positive difference in the
    lives of individuals but the principal with moral
    purpose must ask, What is my role in making a
    difference in the school as a whole?

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • Level Two School Level Nine Improvement
  • Set high expectations for students.
  • Share leadership and stay engaged.
  • Encourage collaboration among faculty staff.
  • Use assessment data to support student success.
  • Keep the focus on students.
  • Address barriers to learning.
  • Reinforce classroom learning at home by engaging
  • Employ systems for identifying interventions.
  • Define special education as the path to success
    in the general education program.
  • the moral imperative of the principal involves
    leading deep cultural change that mobilizes the
    passion and commitment of teachers, parents, and
    others to improve the learning of all students
  • B. Trust is the key to improvement! (Bryk
    Schneider, 2002).
  • As a social resource for school improvement,
    relational trust facilitates the development of
    beliefs, values, organizational routines, and
    individual behaviors that instrumentally affect
    students engagement and learning.

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • The school principal is the key person in
    demonstrating relational trust in four dimensions
    or criteria.
  • Respect
  • Competence
  • Personal regard for others
  • Integrity
  • Characterize the day-to-day behavior of the
  • Characterize the culture of the school.
  • Embedded in the culture of relationships across
    all participants.
  • Relational trust with a strong press for moral
    purpose produces very tough cultures that work
    diligently inside and outside the school to get

Moral Imperative of School Leadership
  • . The Culture of Discipline A culture of people
    who take disciplined action.
  • a consistent system with clear
    constraintshired self-disciplined people who
    didnt need managed, and then managed the system,
    not the people.
  • D. Summary Leading schools requires principals
    with the courage and capacity to build new
    cultures based on trusting relationships and a
    culture of disciplined inquiry and action.