Saturday, December 15, 2012

R.I.P. Little Ones and Heroes...young and old....

sandy hook school memorial.jpg

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Educational Policy: High-Stakes Testing


Emphasis on high-stakes, standardized testing in the United States, dates back to the mid-1800s and parallels what was happening in England during this period. At that time, decision makers used high-stakes testing for purposes of accountability and “the stakes were much higher for teachers than for students…. Indeed…there were no repercussions at all for students” (Wiliam, 2010, p. 109). Wiliam went on to note that in the United States between 1910 and 1940, the norm was for students to attend school until they were 18, and it was “inappropriate to assess students against standards intended for the small proportion going on to higher education” (p. 109). In terms of 21st-century school accountability, a research study conducted by Stranahan, H. A. Borg, and Borg (2009) concluded that schools ought to be held accountable for the quality of the education they provide, whereas the school’s performance grade is best determined by how much students’ test scores improved over time and not based on the aggregate level of student scores in a year. This conclusion is contrary in theory to the guidelines outlined in the Federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB).
Through current research, Amrein and Berliner (2003) found that the importance placed on high-stakes testing denies students’ “opportunities to direct their own learning as they “become less intrinsically motivated to learn and less likely to engage in critical thinking” (p. 32). Moreover, in a recent Texas study, McNeil, Coppola, Radigan, and Heilig (2008) found that too often in-class curriculum takes the form of standardized test drills that “drifts towards ensuring that students can answer the questions that will appear on the tests…. This narrower, more rigid curriculum affects students and their motivation to complete school” (p. 28). These authors found that “teaching to the test” had a negative effect on students’ desire to complete school. In addition, a lack of motivation often led to students repeating a grade because of poor standardized test results. The authors concluded that as a result, “students who are required to repeat a grade lose face in front of their parents, community, and peers” (McNeil, Coppola, Radigan, & Heilig, 2008, p. 30). In a recent study by Williams (2003), she concluded that high-stakes testing erodes students’ enthusiasm for learning, and that motivational assessment strategies, based on predominantly formative and relevant lessons, were more effective and meaningful. In addition, high-stakes testing de-personalizes the learning process by placing the primary “focus on standards, accountability, and assessment rather than providing a multicultural education” (University of Phoenix, 2012, “Week Eight Lecture Notes,” p. 1).
According to Gunzenhauser (2003), “the default philosophy underlying high-stakes testing is a philosophy of education in which tests designed to be part of a system of accountability drive the curriculum, limit instructional innovation, and keep educators from establishing their own priorities and vision” (p. 52), which inevitably results in conflicts regarding these tests’ effectiveness as assessment tools. Gunzenhauser went on to warn school communities not “to settle for the default philosophy of education associated with high-stakes testing” (p. 58). Another significant drawback of placing too much importance on standardized test results is that various studies have shown questions on these tests are inherently bias. Freedle (2006) found that questions on both the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) and the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) were “racially biased in terms of mean correct responses because they make the false assumption that all examinees have had equal opportunity to learn the concepts and materials used in the test” (p. 187). In addition, Freedle noted multiple examples of ethnic bias in the SAT in terms of vocabulary, which led to “false conclusions regarding racial and ethnic differences” (p. 187). The author concluded that these particular standardized “test results influence racial theories of genetic superiority and inferiority… [and that these] tests can distort the true ability of large groups of disadvantaged students” (p. 225). Ultimately, such biased results and their interpretation negatively influence the educational and career choices students have who are affected by these standardized tests. In other recent research, Boaler (2003) noted in a localized study that standardized testing caused barriers for many California math students by disrupting the classroom learning process because teachers were mandated to “teach to the test.”
Even though many private/prep schools, colleges, universities, and graduate schools use standardized test scores for placement purposes, unless these institutions place less emphasis on standardized testing, allowing admission decisions to be based more on personal attributes rather than impersonal test scores, the injustice of the current system will remain. In terms of high-stakes testing determining school performance, decision makers need to re-evaluate the accountability criteria used to measure such assessments, placing more emphasis on classroom effectiveness and the learning process, while de-emphasizing grades and test results.
To address the needs of 21st-century learners, there needs to be measurable changes made to the way in which the current educational system assesses student progress and achievement. High-stakes, standardized testing needs to be de-emphasized in our schools, allowing the learning process to be the priority, rather than relying on the impersonal, and often times inaccurate, interpretation of test results. This represents an educational change in policy and practice that would promote a better and more effective learning experience for the 21st-century student.

References
Amrein, A. T., & Berliner, D. C. (2003). The effects of high-stakes testing on student motivation and learning. Educational Leadership 60(3), 32-38. Retrieved from https://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds
Boaler, J. (2003). When learning no longer matters: Standardized testing and the creation of inequality. Phi Delta Kappan, 84(7), 502-506. Retrieved from https://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds
Freedle, R. (2006). How and why standardized tests systematically underestimate African-Americans’ true verbal ability and what to do about it: Towards the promotion of two new theories with practical applications. St. John’s Law Review 80(1), 183-226. Retrieved from https://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds
Gunzenhauser, M. G. (2003). High-stakes testing and the default philosophy of education. Theory Into Practice, 42(1), 51-58. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.apollolibrary.com
McNeil, L. M., Coppola, E., Radigan, J., & Heilig, J. V. (2008). Avoidable losses: High-stakes accountability and the dropout crisis. Education Policy Analysis Archives, 16(3), 1-45. Retrieved from http://Epaa.asu.edu
Stranahan, H. A., Borg, J. R., & Borg, M. O. (2009). School grades based on standardized test scores: Are they fair? Journal of Academic & Business Ethics, 1, 38-56. Retrieved from https://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds
University of Phoenix. (2012). Week Eight Lecture Notes. Retrieved from https://classroom.phoenix.edu/afm214/secure/view-thread.jspa?threadID=46951652
Wiliam, D. (2010). Standardized testing and school accountability. Educational Psychologist 45(2), 107-122. doi:10.1080/00461521003703060
Williams, N. M. (2003). Thinking outside the bubble. Educational Leadership, 61(3), 82-83. Retrieved from https://ehis.ebscohost.com/eds

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rational Metatheory in Education

The use of a rational metatheory in education would have the potential to bridge the gap in theoretical approaches employed by educators and encourage sound educational practices in schools, provided that such metatheory helped to clarify philosophies and not cloud them in ambiguity. In terms of science curriculum, Schulz (2009) suggested that metatheories should "serve to reinforce science education's growing sense of academic autonomy and independence from socio-economic demands" (p. 1). In order to effectively implement sound and research-based educational practices in schools, this fundamental concept noted by Schulz can be considered cross-discipline. In addition, as with other school philosophies, theories, and practices, there needs to be adequate buy-in and support. Schulz (2009) later noted the need for rational and effective metatheory to be a "curriculum-based argument and a grounding argument" (p. 2). Through periodic research and discussion, rational metatheories can help schools reassess strategic plans and goals, while reaffirming what is done in the classroom as being appropriate for 21st-century education. It is the institution or district's responsibility to take such self-reflection and note how best to apply the key philosophical and theoretical concepts to each school's specific environment and community. If done with professionalism, thought, care, and forward-thinking, educators would have a realistic opportunity to effectively bridge the gap between educational approaches and practices.


References

Schulz, R. (2009). Reforming science education: Part II. Utilizing Kieran Egan's educational metatheory. Science & Education, 18(3/4), 1-23. doi:10.1007/s11191-008-9168-0

Theories of Education and the Function of School

     Philosophies and theories of education influence teaching and learning in schools in various ways. However, a potential pitfall to avoid when attempting to implement any educational philosophy or theory is to focus too much on the "-ism". As Dewey (1938) noted, "any movement that thinks and acts in terms of 'isms becomes so involved in reaction against other 'isms that it is unwittingly controlled by them" (p. 6). Regardless, educational philosophies and theories have developed over time and often have evolved based on research, trends, and cultural attitudes of the day. As an example of how educational theory correlates to our current society, there is a needed emphasis being placed on digital literacy within the classroom. This includes both teacher training and appropriate use policies for students. We live in a digital age in which students have grown up with computers, hand-held devices, the Internet, Google, social networking, etc., and it is the responsibility of modern educators and administrators to guide students through this maze of technology and digital information. In addition, changes or advancements in educational philosophies and theories often dictate how teachers manage their classrooms and deal with individual students. Today's schools are more concerned with educating the "whole child" and focus more on student involvement, rather than lecture-based classroom dynamics. Current research promotes "'learning centres' and...teachers as 'reflective practioners'....[However, this leads to] a paradox between freedom of choice and regulation" (Smeyers, 2006, p. 17). With this statement, Smeyers recognized that the development of educational philosophies and theories often introduces new questions or concerns.

     The function of school is to educate the constituents to the best of each site's and district's abilities, so that students are prepared to be effective and positive contributors in today's and future societies. To this end, schools must not only offer quality instruction of core academic essentials, but institutions must also educate the "whole child" via multicultural and diverse methodologies and curriculum. This includes emphasizing the arts, fitness, and other non-traditional offerings, while enriching students' education through "real world" application and group-activity type problems. Families reasonably desire that "academic institutions have an expectation that teaching will be done well; [and that] teaching is a critical function of the institution and the societal mandate" (Emerson & Records, 2008, p. 363). Schools have a responsibility to foster and produce "individuals who are knowledgeable and appreciative of diverse cultures with skills to function effectively within the different cultural groups...[and to offer] an equitable education for everyone regardless of ethnicity, race, sex, or age" (University of Phoenix, 2012, "Week Five Lecture Notes," p. 3). To accomplish this, schools must support teachers and expect them to act professionally and with integrity as adult role models for students. The quality of education is in direct correlation with the quality and enthusiasm of instruction. Teachers need to be excited about what they teach. In turn, the hiring/re-hiring and retention of quality educators must be a top priority for School Boards and administrators. Enthusiastic and forward-thinking teachers will only inspire students to think "outside the box", while hopefully igniting a spark in each child to want to learn and be solid citizens.

 References

Dewey, J. (1938). Experience & education. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.

Emerson, R. J., & Records, K. (2008). Today's challenge, tomorrow's excellence: The practice of evidence-based education. Journal of Nursing Education, 47(8), 359-370. doi:10.3928/01484834-20080801-04
 
Smeyers, P. (2006). What philosophy can and cannot do for education. Studies in Philosophy & Education, 25(1/2), 1-18. doi:10.1007/s11217-006-6427-x

University of Phoenix. (2012). Week Five Lecture Notes. Retrieved from https://classroom.phoenix.edu/afm214/secure/view-thread.jspa?threadID=46367780

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The 10 Best Books On Emotional Intelligence

This link comes from Online Universities and is one of many informative articles that can be found on this site. Educators would benefit from browsing the very informative articles and blog posts found here.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

What Makes An Effective Leader?

The most effective and successful leaders are those who frequently re-assess their strengths and weaknesses, while consciously placing the betterment and growth of the organization above personal gain. In addition, little has been done to address the issue of gender and race inequity in the leadership pool. Continued research is the key to fixing this gross injustice.

Honesty and integrity are core attributes that all leaders must possess in order to be effective and respected. Risk-taking and Emotional Intelligence (EI) also play key roles in the success rates of the best leaders. In addition, ethics, morality, humility, and personal values are essential to effective leadership. "Unethical practices that go unchallenged can become the norm of a society or business. Difficult circumstances can produce moral laxity..." (Wren, 1995, p. 498). It is up to us, the 21st-century leaders, to ensure that these types of practices do not go unchecked.


References

Wren, J.T. (1995). The leader's companion: Insights on leadership through the ages. New York, NY: Free Press.

Organizational Change

Inspiring change must go hand-in-hand with managing change. This is especially true as leaders realize that not everyone within an organization is going to be agreeable to change, especially major ones. The level of follower "buy in" will inevitably vary as change relates to each constituent's role and point of view. As change is essential in order for institutions/schools to stay competitive and current, how leaders successfully manage change ultimately determines their effectiveness. To facilitate the management of change, leaders can enlist the help of those constituents who accept change more willingly than others. "Leaders can identify followers who more readily accept and adapt to change, and encourage them to support their peers who find change more difficult to adjust to" (Oreg & Berson, 2011, p. 653). Furthermore, these authors conclude that, "charismatic leaders can help followers' [sic] compensate for the dispositional difficulty some of them have in times of organizational change...[while using] their transformational leadership style to override employees' resistance to change" (Oreg & Berson, 2011, p. 653).


References
Oreg, S., & Berson, Y. (2011). Leadership and employees' reactions to change: The role of leaders' personal attributes and transformational leadership style. Personnel Psychology, 64(3), 627-659. doi:10.1111/j.1744-6570.2011.01221.x

Experiential Learning

Personally, I feel that I have learned more experientially over my years as an educator than I ever did as a student in an undergraduate classroom setting. As my experiences relate to my classroom approach, I incorporate many hands-on, peer-monitored, application-based activities in my math classes. Not only does this approach help maintain students' interest and focus, but it is essential for my students to be able to answer for themselves, the age-old question, "when are we ever going to use this?" Clearly, the lecture-only based classroom is a non-effective learning environment for 21st-century adolescent learners. This approach leads to students who "bow their heads to take notes, lift faces bravely, and too often gaze with a glazed look at the [teacher]" (Braid, 2008, p. 42). Whereas, experiential learning helps "to shatter the glassy stare" (Braid, 2008, p. 42).

It amazes me that on-the-job experience, student teaching, or experiential learning in general--especially in regards to veteran professionals like us--is so often looked upon as being less preferred than formal classroom learning. I simply do not understand that rationale. Don't the best leaders/educators combine what they have learned in the classroom with experiential learning and apply that to their followers'/students' real-world learning environments? How can experience so often count for so little to those in charge of hiring or appointing leaders? Mind-boggling.... 

References
Braid, B. (2008). Majoring in the minor: A closer look at experiential learning. Honors in Practice, 4, 37-42. Retrieved from www.nchchonors.org/nchcpublications.shtml

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Digital Literacy

One topic that is receiving increased emphasis by researchers is digital literacy. The majority of 21st-century students utilize the Internet as their primary resource for retrieving information. Frequently, teachers view this approach as both acceptable and preferred, whether it pertains to learners obtaining a quick answer, or conducting lengthy research. Even though the 21st-century student has immediate access to information via various online sources (e.g., Google, Google Scholar, Yahoo, YouTube, etc.), it is essential that information literacy be adequately addressed in today’s classrooms. The ability to distinguish between reliable information and “junk” should be a required skill that is addressed in all current classrooms. To the 21st-century learner, information competency translates primarily to digital literacy. The ever-evolving nature of digital literacy is complicated (Pfannenstiel, 2010). Nevertheless, classroom teachers must strive to have their students understand not only what constitutes reliable information retrieved from the Internet, but also the more important concept of academic integrity. In addition, Badke (2009) states the need for educators to develop strategies that teach “our future users of information how to go beyond” (p. 49) search engines in order to acquire information; the fear being that if a student is unable to locate something via a search engine, then that student will not find it at all. As role models for students, it is each educator’s responsibility to ensure that their students acquire the appropriate, grade-level informational literacy requisite to maintaining academic integrity, while enhancing each student’s journey as a lifelong learner. I am confident that future research on this topic will increase as technology continues to advance.
References
Badke, W. (2009). How we failed the net generation. Online, 33(4), 47-49. Retrieved from www.cinahl.com/cgi-bin/refsvc?jid=296&accno=2010356030
Pfannenstiel, A.N. (2010). Digital literacies and academic integrity. International Journal for Educational Integrity, 6(2), 41-49. Retrieved from
http://www.ojs.unisa.edu.au/index.php/IJEI

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Emotional Intelligence: The Role Of Communication

Communication plays a vital role in the development and effectiveness of a leader's Emotional Intelligence (EI). When I first started out as an educator, I dreaded having to contact parents when there were issues with their children. However, as I became more of a veteran educator and school leader, I came to realize how important it was to be proactive in terms of communicating to parents and colleagues--whether bad or good news, as it established the partnership which is necessary for my students' success. In addition, I have come to expect the same forthrightness in communication from my superiors, again whether in the form of praise or constructive criticism. "Successful leaders match their communication behaviors to their goals...[and] monitor their actions to create desired impressions in the minds of others...[in order to] reach group goals rather than to satisfy selfish, personal goals” (Wren, 1995, p. 431).


References

Wren, J.T. (1995). The leader's companion: Insights on leadership through the ages. New York, NY: Free Press.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Risk-Taking In The Classroom: A Necessary Component

In my classroom, risk-taking is part of the learning experience and is encouraged. Risk-taking goes hand-in-hand with allowing students the opportunity to fail, without them feeling ridiculed or too discouraged. However, this does not appear to be as prevalent a classroom philosophy as it should be within our educational system, especially during students' adolescent years. In addition, this classroom approach seems to go against our current culture which focuses too much on the mentality to "succeed no matter what." As noted in Clifford (1991), "errorless learning methods have failed to produce the creative, self-confident scholars we had envisioned" (p. 293). Furthermore, in Clifford's research study, she concluded that in the classroom "students often preferred near-moderate risks, expressed positive attitudes toward risk taking, and demonstrated learning benefits" (Clifford, 1991, p. 289).


References

Clifford, M.M. (1991). Risk taking: Theoretical, empirical, and educational considerations. Educational Psychologist, 26(3/4), 263-297. Retrieved from
http://www.erlbaum.com/Journals/journals/EP/ep.htm

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Failure In Innovation


Failure plays a vital role in innovation. As noted in Townsend (2010), failure has value as it allows organizations to learn from mistakes. In addition, "innovations [that do not meet with success] should not be discarded, since it is inevitable that they will find value in some context. The issue for managerial practitioners is to find the correct context through which to capitalize on this value" (Townsend, 2010, p. 78). A "free to fail" workplace atmosphere allows opportunities for leaders--and followers--to dream a little and think "outside the box". Establishing and promoting a "failure-tolerant environment for innovation hypothesis testing and experimentation does not do as much to guide the behavior of an employee with an insight as it does to remind us that all ideas have value" (Townsend, 2010, p. 79). Even though current research data is limited as it relates to unsuccessful innovation, the fact remains that value can be garnered from such "failed" innovations. Failure leads to improvement and a better understanding of what innovations may be more successful in the future.


References

Townsend, W. (2010). Innovation and the value of failure. International Journal of Management & Marketing Research, 3(1), 75-84. Retrieved from http://theibfr.com/

How Leaders Can Develop Innovation In Their Organizations Or Schools


Leaders can develop innovation in their organizations via initiatives that are based on research. In addition, innovation can be best developed when leadership can provide a clear mission and vision, along with honest assessment. "Mission provides a purpose and vision translates mission into intended results” (University of Phoenix, 2012, “Week Six Lecture/LDR 711a/Lecture Four: Assess leadership effectiveness and usefulness in implementing innovation”, para. 3). For example, companies and schools should have a Mission Statement that accurately reflects what the company/school stands for, not what it hopes to be in the future. Vision needs to be reflective of a realistic long-term plan, coupled with attainable short-term goals. Assessment needs to be an honest appraisal of what is currently working, what does not work, and what simply needs some tweaking. The "if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it" mentality is not effective if organizations/private schools wish to stay competitive and on the "cutting edge". In some cases, this assessment can best be done via a third party (i.e., a consultant firm.) Ultimately, leaders need to inspire a passion within their followers if innovation is to make a positive difference inside an organization.

References

University of Phoenix. (2012). Week Six Lecture/LDR 711a/Lecture Four: Assess leadership effectiveness and usefulness in implementing innovation. Retrieved from
https://classroom.phoenix.edu/afm213/secure/view-thread.jspa?threadID=39965931

Brain Bank Examines Athletes' Hard Hits

Scary article regarding brain injuries due to impact sports....

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Transformational Leadership


The success of transformational leadership is determined by the level of effective engagement between leaders and followers. "Such leadership occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of motivation and morality" (Wren, 1995, p. 101). Successful transformational leadership "changes some of those who follow into people whom others may follow [while changing] leaders into moral agents" (Wren, 1995, p.103). This promotes a healthy and collaborative workplace environment which can only benefit a company/school. However, unsuccessful transformational leadership occurs in situations when leaders feel threatened by followers' growth or empowerment. Avolio (2002) notes that "the impact of transformational leadership on followers' performance is often explained as stemming from followers' development and empowerment, which increases both their ability and their motivation" (p. 83). Leaders who are too self-absorbed or egotistical, and not willing to work with their constituents as relative equals, may soon find this collaborative leadership approach too "hands on" for their liking. In turn, this would stifle progress and attitudes within the company/school.
 
References
Avolio, B.J., & Yammarino, F.J. (2002). Transformational and charismatic leadership: The road ahead. San Diego, CA: Emerald.
 
Wren, J.T. (1995). The leader's companion: Insights on leadership through the ages. New York, NY: Free Press.

The Role Of Conflict In The Establishment Of Leader/Follower Relationships

Conflict is an unavoidable, yet necessary "evil" in establishing leader/follower relationships. This inevitable interaction is both healthy and vital in order to achieve an effective work environment. "If successfully managed, conflict can produce high quality, creative solutions that lead to innovation and progress" (Wren, 1995, p. 435). This rationale can be applied to both the corporate world and our educational system. In addition, "the resolution of disputes is a major factor driving incremental change in an organization [or school district] or in a [leader/follower] relationship" (Wren, 1995, p. 437). Conflict forces leaders and their constituents to work together in partnership for the betterment of the company/school. The top-down, power approach (i.e., "I am the boss, and what I say goes") does not foster the healthy working atmosphere necessary for an institution's continued success. Followers would become unhappy in their work and suspicious of the leader's intentions. Effective leaders need the support of followers, while being open to their constructive criticism. Through conflict and resolution, followers are a more integral part of the workplace, leaders entertain a wider range of options to a situation, and the organization benefits from the collaboration.


References

Wren, J.T. (1995). The leader's companion: Insights on leadership through the ages. New York, NY: Free Press.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Superior Leaders

Superior leaders often possess certain natural born traits that make being a successful and effective leader more likely. The most important of these traits are honesty and integrity. These qualities (especially integrity) cannot be taught, and every potential leader freely chooses to either accept or reject these virtues. On one hand, they represent innate characteristics that potential leaders virtuously aspire to uphold which, in turn, enhances followers' respect. On the contrary, non-potential leaders do not value or possess these traits and are subsequently set up for failure or, at best, mock success. Honesty and integrity are requisites of superior leadership as they "form the foundation of a trusting relationship between leader and followers" (Wren, 1995, p. 138).

Similar to the fact that the best athletic coaches are often those who were not superstars as players, people who possess average charisma and/or personality have the potential to be truly superior leaders. These types of people have had to work hard for their successes and have a clear understanding of the followers' mindset. In fact, Wren (1995) suggests that charisma often becomes a leader's undoing.
Just as superstars are often too "full of themselves" to be effective coaches, so too are leaders whose charisma narcissistically "gets in the way" of effective leadership. In fact, although a certain amount of charisma is a plus, charismatic leaders are not necessary "to influence followers to comply with and carry out the vision of the leader. Rather, the vision itself needs to reflect and draw upon the vast resources contained within individual employees" (Wren, 1995, pp. 219-220). "Regardless of personal style, an individual can be inspirational to a good portion of colleagues" (Zenger, 2009, p. 20). Hence, even if a person is perceived to have only an average personality, he/she can have a dedicated following through trust and credibility.


References
 
Wren, J.T. (1995). The leader's companion: Insights on leadership through the ages. New York, NY: Free Press.

Zenger, J.H. (2009). Challenging times demand inspiring leadership. Financial Executive 25(6), 18-22. Retrieved from http://www.financialexecutivemag.com

Sunday, January 15, 2012

13 More Charged in SAT Cheating Scandal

This relatively recent article in USA Today from last November, brings into question morality issues that we, as the professional educators, must be willing to address and discuss with our constituents. It seems that more often than not, students feel the "need" or the pressure to excel--at any cost--as, to them, the end results are worth the possible consequences of the unethical means. "To view plagiarism in terms of morality requires the writer to acknowledge that using someone else’s ideas or words without permission or acknowledgement is morally wrong" (Hatcher, 2011, p. 154). As learners move up the educational ladder, and stress or the pressure to succeed increases, students of all ages must resist unethical shortcuts as methods for obtaining their intended degree. To this end, educators (at the earliest levels) must continuously address the need for each student to do his/her own work and to properly cite thoughts and ideas that are not original. This will give students the solid foundation required for them to become both ethical and moral scholars, and effective leaders in our future society.

References

Hatcher, T. (2011). Becoming an ethical scholarly writer. Journal of Scholarly Publishing 42(2), 142-159. Retrieved from http://www.utpjournals.com/Journal-of-Scholarly-Publishing.html

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Advancements In The Development Of Basic Leadership

Some leading thinkers claim that there have been no major advancements in the development of basic leadership in the last 200 years. Even though there appears to be no clear cut, definitive definition of leadership, to suggest that no significant strides in development have transpired over the course of two centuries is too critical a statement. Leadership, along with what determines the effectiveness or ineffectiveness of individual leaders, is an ever-changing and evolving term that is contingent upon contextual settings, situations, current perceptions, and followers' characteristics. As these variables have changed over time, so has the workable definition of leadership and the qualities and traits effective individual leaders should possess. Leadership development should not be measured in terms of whether or not norms have been established over time, as for every leadership opportunity there exists a different setting, context, and follower constituency. In addition, current research suggests that effective leaders must evolve with, and adapt to, the times (e.g., the 21st century.) This signifies progress. As noted in Wren (1995), a 21st century SuperLeader maximizes "the contributions of others through recognition of their right to guide their own destiny" (p. 213) all for the betterment and good of the workplace. In addition, recent developments based on research suggest 21st century leaders will need to find "ways to bring out the best of people through trust, respect, listening, inspiration, setting the example...nourishing...mentoring...recognizing creativity and genius, harnessing talent...and even having fun" (Wren, 1995, p. 460). This research exemplifies recent developments and advancement of basic leadership. In addition, Clawson (2006, Appendix) outlines the development of various leadership theories and approaches that have been developed over time (trait, behavior, power and influence, situational, charismatic, and transformational) and add credence to the proposition that there have been significant developments in basic leadership, even if this list simply represent theories.

References
Clawson, J.G. (2006). Level three leadership: Getting below the surface. (3rd ed.). [Adobe Digital Editions version]. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. Retrieved from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/content/eBookLibrary2/content/home.aspx

Wren, J.T. (1995). The leader's companion: Insights on leadership through the ages. New York, NY: Free Press.

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