Leadership to promote and implement educational change has not been uniform. Knowledge about the qualities of the individuals who have successfully implemented such strategies has been minimal. If the educational community has knowledge of successful strategies and programs, why is there limited implementation? Did the leader make the difference? What are the characteristics these people possess that enabled them to change their districts and schools?
Although knowledge is limited on what types of leaders are needed, there are a number of assumptions about leadership. In educational organizations there is an assumption that leaders of educational change should be both leaders and managers. “We expect both leadership and management from the same individual” (Manasse, 1986, p. 153). This idea may arise from districts’ and schools’ structures where superintendents and principals are the primary administrator. Nevertheless, “while we can distinguish management from leadership conceptually, in reality we often find the two roles coexisting in the same positions and the same person” (Manasse, 1986, p. 153). For example, a principal is often responsible for the school’s vision as well as the practical steps needed to attain that vision. Teacher leadership also ‘coexists’ in one person. Traditional teacher leadership roles, such as department heads and textbook adoption committee chairpersons, have been performed by teachers who were responsible for teaching as well as providing leadership (Bellon&Beaudry, 1992; Boles &Troen, 1992; Wasley, 1991).
Another assumption about leaders who change their organizations is that only administrators will be leaders. However this assumption, that change comes only from individuals in top positions, “ignores the invisible leadership of lower-level staff members” (Murphy, 1988, p. 655). While studies of educational leadership have focused on leaders in administrative positions, recent studies are focusing on teachers as leaders (Bellon&Beaudry, 1992; Boles &Troen, 1992; Howey, 1988; Wasley, 1991; Waugh & Punch, 1987). The recent educational reform movements, such as restructuring and site based management, have promoted increased teacher participation and leadership in the decision- making processes of various aspects of school administration. Studies about teachers’ roles in these reform efforts are beginning to emerge.
Information about leaders who have guided or provoked their organizations to change is also beginning to emerge. These leaders began with having a vision, developed a shared vision with their co- workers, and valued the organization’s personnel. Leaders who changed their organizations were proactive and took risks. They recognized shifts in the interests or needs of their clientele, anticipated the need to change and challenged the status quo. Educational leaders of change have these characteristics. How these characteristics are manifested by educational leaders is presented in the characteristics section of this paper. Since limited data exist on educational leaders, the information on the characteristics of these leaders is drawn primarily from the literature on effective schools.
The effective schools movement investigated schools whose students from disadvantaged situations (minority status, low socio-economic levels) were performing at average or above average levels in basic skills on standardized achievement tests (Brookover&Lezotte, 1979; Edmonds, 1979; Sizemore, Brossard, &Harrigan, 1983; Venezky& Winfield, 1979). In the late 1970s, based on contrastive studies of high and low performing schools, researchers began to identify common factors or characteristics of these effective schools. One of the major findings of the effective schools research was the identification of instructional leadership as a significant aspect of effective schools.
Described as a “multidimensional construct” (Heck, Larsen, and Marcoulides, 1990, p. 122), instructional leadership includes characteristics such as high expectations of students and teachers, an emphasis on instruction, provision of professional development, and use of data to evaluate students’ progress among others. Instructional leadership has also been found to be a significant factor in facilitating, improving, and promoting the academic progress of students.

Although there is a rich description of instructional leaders’ behaviors paralleling the findings from the literature on effective leaders, there is limited data about which leadership characteristics facilitate and promote change in educational settings. Instructional leadership characteristics parallel the two dimensions of leadership discussed previously. “A large body of research on schools has consistently demonstrated that the most effective leader behavior is strong in both initiating structure and consideration” (Hoy & Brown, 1988, p. 27). Effective school leaders are task- and people-oriented. Kohan’s (1989) analysis of data concerning superintendents’ leadership style supports the findings of effective leaders being high performances in the effective leadership dimensions of initiating structures and consideration. Hoy and Brown (1988) found that teachers responded more favorably to principals with “a leadership style that combines both structure and consideration” (p. 36).
Teacher leadership has been seen in traditional roles such as department heads, textbook adoption committee chairpersons, and union representatives (Bellon&Beaudry, 1992; Wasley, 1991). In addition to being restricted to these three areas, “traditional leadership opportunities for teachers are extremely limited and generally serve an efficiency function rather than a leadership function” (Wasley, 1991, p. 4). However current educational reforms prompt a reconsideration of teacher leadership. Reforms such as site based management and restructuring efforts include broader roles for teacher participation and leadership. Current teacher leadership roles are involving teachers as mentors, team leaders, curriculum developers, and staff development providers and intend to “improve the quality of public education while allowing teachers greater leadership in the development of those improvements” (Wasley, 1991, p 6). These roles involve teachers in decision-making processes and facilitate teachers becoming leaders of change. Nickse (1977) studied teachers as change agents and advocated teachers in leadership roles in change efforts for four reasons:
1.    teachers have a vested interest, “they care about what they do and how they do it and feel a sense of responsibility for their efforts”;
2.    teachers have a sense of history, they are “aware of the norms of their colleagues”;
3.    teachers know the community, “have information concerning the values and attitudes of the community” and
4.    teachers can implement change, they “are where the action is. . .in the position to initiate planned change on the basis of need” (p. 5).
Yet despite these reasons and attempts to promote teachers as leaders of change and to extend teacher leadership roles, teachers do not view themselves as leaders (Bellon&Beaudry, 1992; Wasley, 1991).
Nevertheless, the data on leaders of educational change and the emerging information on teacher leadership indicate that the characteristics of these individuals mirror those of leaders who have changed other organizations. Leaders of educational change have vision, foster a shared vision, and value human resources. They are proactive and take risks. In addition, they strongly believe that the purpose of schools is to meet the academic needs of students and are effective communicators and listeners. Leaders of educational change have vision, foster a shared vision, and value human resources. They are proactive and take risks.
Leadership requires vision. It is a force that provides meaning and purpose to the work of an organization. Leaders of change are visionary leaders, and vision is the basis of their work. “To actively change an organization, leaders must make decisions about the nature of the desired state” (Manasse, 1986, p. 151). They begin with a personal vision to forge a shared vision with their coworkers. Their communication of the vision is such that it empowers people to act. According to Westley and Mintzberg (1989) visionary leadership is dynamic and involves a three stage process:
•    an image of the desired future for the organization (vision) is
•    communicated (shared) which serves to
•    “empower those followers so that they can enact the vision” (p. 18).

The important role of vision is also evident in the literature concerning instructional leadership (Blumberg & Greenfield, 1980; Leithwood& Montgomery, 1984; Manasse, 1986; Mazzarella& Grundy, 1989; Pejza, 1985). For educational leaders who implement change in their school or district, vision is “a hunger to see improvement” (Pejza, 1985, p. 10) as well as “the force which molds meaning” (Manasse, 1986, p. 150). Leaders of educational change have a clear picture of what they want to accomplish; they have the “ability to visualize one’s goals” (Mazzarella& Grundy, 1989, p. 21). Their vision of their school or district provides purpose, meaning, and significance to the work of the school and enables them to motivate and empower the staff to contribute to the realization of the vision. The American Association of School Administrators’ (1986) description of leadership includes the leader’s ability to translate a vision into reality as well as the ability to articulate the vision to others. Furthermore, leaders of educational change can transmit that vision to others so that they become motivated to work toward the realization of the vision.
According to Manasse (1986), vision includes the “development, transmission, and implementation of an image of a desirable future” (p. 150). She further states that the sharing of a leader’s vision “may differentiate true leaders from mere managers” (p. 151). School leaders have not only a vision but also the skills to communicate that vision to others, to develop a shared vision, a “shared covenant” (Sergiovanni, 1990, p. 216). The “development, transmission, and implementation” of a vision is the focus of leaders of educational change. Leaders invite and encourage others to participate in determining and developing a shared vision. The process of developing a shared vision promotes collegial and collaborative relationships. How educational leaders develop collegial relationships to form a shared vision is discussed in Hord’s (1992) companion synthesis to this paper. Sergiovanni (1990) has described this aspect of leadership as “bonding”; leader and followers have a shared set of values and commitment “that bond them together in a common cause” (p. 23) in order to meet a common goal. In Chrispeels’s (1990) report of effective schools, she states that “if a school staff has a shared vision, there is a commitment to change” (p. 39). The shared vision becomes a “shared covenant that bonds together leader and follower in a moral commitment” (Sergiovanni, 1990, p. 24).
Vision, a critical leadership characteristic, is also a trait of successful executive educators (Crowson& Morris, 1990; Harrington-Lueker, 1991; Mahoney, 1990; Papalewis,1988). Outstanding superintendents studied by Mahoney (1990) were described as individuals who “knew where their school system ought to be headed and why” (p. 27); he stated that “top school leaders create a vision for their school systems and develop a plan for the future” (p. 27). According to Crowson and Morris’s (1990) study of superintendents, vision included “deciding what’s the correct thing to do” (p. 54). Vision guides the work of superintendents and influences the work of others. “School leaders are creative visionaries willing to take risks in pursuit of cherished values and able to cling to a vision with a tenacity that is contagious to nearly everyone” (Papalewis, 1988, p. 159).
The importance of principals having a vision also appears in the literature concerning instructional leadership (Blumberg & Greenfield, 1980; Lightfoot, 1983; Méndez-Morse, 1991; Niece, 1989; Pejza, 1985). Principals have a vision — a picture of what they want their schools to be and their students to achieve. Pejza (1985) stated that “leadership requires a vision. Without a vision to challenge followers with, there’s no possibility of a principal being a leader” (p. 10). The vision provides guidance and direction for the school staff, students, and administration. Niece (1989) reported that several authorities included “providing vision and direction for the school” (p. 5) as a component of instructional leadership. Principals keep their “vision in the forefront” (Méndez- Morse, 1991, p. 2). “Associated with a vision has to be a plan, a way of reaching the goal” (Pejza, 1985, p. 10).
The terms “mission” and “goal-oriented” are often used in literature to describe this characteristic of principals (Blumberg & Greenfield, 1986; Hallinger, Bickman, & Davis, 1990; Leithwood& Montgomery, 1984). Blumberg and Greenfield (1986) found that effective principals seem to be “highly goal oriented and to have a keen sense of goal clarity” (in Mazzarella& Grundy, 1989, p. 20). Hallinger, Bickman, and Davis (1990) stated that “principals influence student learning by developing a school mission that provides an instructional focus for teachers throughout the school” (p. 28). Leithwood and Montgomery (1984) concluded that “goals are the long term aspirations held by principals for work in their schools. No other dimension of principal behavior is more consistently linked to school improvement by current empirical research than Goals” (p. 23). The school administrators’ values and beliefs shape her or his vision. Vision influences the school climate which includes teachers’ instructional behaviors as well as student outcomes.
While administrators’ visions tend to focus on district- or school- wide instructional issues, teachers’ visions tend to address teacher roles and student outcomes (Bellon&Beaudry, 1992; Boles &Troen, 1992; Murphy, Everston, &Radnofsky, 1991; Wasley, 1991). Murphy, Everston, and Radnofsky (1991) discussed teachers’ opinions on restructuring and found that while teachers agreed with the literature concerning restructuring, they emphasized the student and instructional issues. These teachers’ visions included changes in the classroom, such as interdisciplinary curricula, varied student grouping patterns, and instruction that included basic literacy as well as “critical thinking, creativity, inquisitiveness, and independence of thought” (Murphy, Everston, &Radnofsky, 1991, p. 144). Teachers’ vision also included school changes that would result in more participatory and decision- making roles for teachers. Increased teacher leadership has been reported by Bellon and Beaudry, 1992; Boles and Troen, 1992; and Wasley, 1991. Boles and Troen (1992) found from their personal experience with restructuring that their vision for improved student achievement included changes in instructional approaches and teacher leadership roles. Similarly, other researchers found that teachers included the need to change the school’s structures and instructional methods in order to address students’ needs (Bellon&Beaudry, 1992; Murphy, Everston, &Radnofsky, 1991; Wasley, 1991). School administrators that have developed a shared vision with their faculty have also created common ground that serves to facilitate or compel action to the realization of this common vision.
The relationship between the teachers’ and administrators’ vision is important. Administrators’ vision tends to encompass the whole system or as described by Manasse (1986) their vision is an organizational vision. Teachers’ vision appear to focus primarily on the individual or personal actions for school change. However, closer examination of the two — teachers’ and administrators’ visions — may reveal that both groups of educators are looking at the same vision but attending to different aspects. School administrators that have developed a shared vision with their faculty have also created common ground that serves to facilitate or compel action to the realization of this common vision. Frequently underlying a shared vision are teachers’ and administrators’ shared values and beliefs, specifically believing that schools are for students’ learning. The next section describes this unifying belief that facilitates school change.

By: Ryan Jake F. Bariacto | Teacher I | Mariveles National High School | Mariveles, Bataan

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