Principals Leadership Styles – Part 1

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Introduction of the Problem

The main aim of Professional development is influencing the students’ results. From the thesaurus of the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) database, professional development involves the activities tha enhance the growth of a career professionally.This is effected by impacting the teachers level of practice and their level of knowledge (Robinson and Carrington, 2002). With its implications on learning skills, professional development is beyond teacher training since it encompases formal and informal means of assisting teachers in their development of new insights into their own as well as in the exploration of new and advanced resources that aid them in improving students performance.

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From the above statement it is clear that professional development requires the principals to support the teachers as they deal with the challenges that come along with new needs of their work. This support help the teachers to continually grow in their understanding of their nature of work as well as professional skills.

According to Fullan (1991), it has been observed that in the last decade, the role of a principal has been increasingly involving, become more complicated and the roles are not clearly defined. He also noted that the principles roles have been through a kind of metamorphosis. Initially, the roles of the principle were limited and involved instruction leadership or a master teacher. With time these roles changed to transactional leadership and, most recently, to transformational leadership. This brings out the importance of examining the way principles deal with professional development of teachers, being one of the most pressing issues.

The extent to which the quality of professional development of middle school teacher is influenced by their administrators’ leadership styles is not known.  According to Jackson and Davis (2000), one of the most important components in accomplishing great achievements in schools and ensuring high quality teachers is instructional leadership. For a high achieving school, an administrator should be able to supply instructional leadership. To make this possible, the administrator should have specific leadership characteristics which ensure effectiveness in professional development of teachers and also heip in sustaining an educational environment that fosters high achievement  vision in students (Jackson & Davis, 2000).

In the past few years, middle schools have become more and more all-encompassing (Hoy et al, 1996). In the American education systems, the notes being appear to be a replacement of the traditional junior high schools.  According to the Maryland State Department of Education (2008),the academic, social and emotional progress of a student is greatly influenced and evident in middle school. This requires educators to be highly equipped when it comes to addressing the changes undergone by students in middle school and this makes the professional development of the teachers a very critical and sensitive process. 

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