The contemporary school is a competitive organization that incorporates elements and sets goals that seemed unthinkable until a few years ago. It is a participatory and multifaceted school, where knowledge seems to be a secondary choice, as values such as technological prevail and success are counted according to one’s skills and competencies. This mutation simply reflects our society, which in recent years has been structured in an environment of versatility, where everyone knows everything, everything can and the difference lies in the use of means that provide a form of specialization. In this environment, the role of the school leader as leader becomes crucial.
The role of school leaders in education is crucial
The role of school leaders in teaching is crucial for the proper functioning of the schools they run. They are the visionaries, the ones who capture and inspire a vision for the future of their school units, and together with their partners, the teachers are called to realize it. At the same time, they are responsible for the proper functioning of the school unit, the educators who draw the guidelines, the animated spirit of the teachers and students, the coordinators of the efforts, the people who solve any problem that arises in the school unit. , the bureaucrats representing the central government, finance managers for the proper management of unit resources, innovation speakers, teachers’ personal and professional development managers. Finally, they are the link for all the groups that make up the school unit, all partners, but also the final ones responsible for any negligence or inconvenience that may arise in the didactic unit that it leads.
To be considered effective, a leader must possess qualities and behaviors that help him in his difficult role. They must be able to create the right work environment and promote teamwork. In this context and over the years, various management theories have been developed, many of which stem from the experiences of the management of organizations and companies.
It consists of four elements which, if available, the manager successfully implements the specific model. The leader should have a vision for the organization of the school, monitor the individual needs of his subordinates by sometimes acting as an educator and sometimes as a mentor, motivating and encouraging the subordinates to change their way of thinking to solve problems and convey optimism and enthusiasm to the teachers.
Its main idea is the reconciliation or exchange of rewards and / or punishments between the leader and subordinates. The leader of this style does not want and seek change and innovation, but the maintenance of the status quo.
The head teacher – they write Malinova and Gougas – should have a temperamental character and the sufficient charisma to positively persuade subordinates and convey values, visions, ideals to them. A charismatic leader can gain sympathy, trust, acceptance from members and their involvement in decision making. A major problem for many, however, is to equate the charismatic leader with the transformative leader. According to Bass, charisma is part of the leadership that transforms, which changes the state of things. A transformation leader does not necessarily have to be charismatic, that is, they are two different concepts, one from the other.
Like laissez-faire / leadership for exceptional leadership, it is basically an absence of power, as the leader avoids making decisions, is absent, and makes no effort to meet the needs of subordinates. The leader does not intervene, does not prevent situations and only intervenes when the problems are chronic.
The leader distributes the responsibility to many actors and tries to activate as many team members as possible. The best case scenario is to activate the entire team. With the division of responsibilities, each one takes the lead in a specific area during the period in which the specific tasks have been assigned.
Ethical / moral leadership
A key element is the ethics of the leader. The school can not be characterized by the same management logic that governs organizations and companies where the goal is only profit. In business, all decisions move accordingly. However, the school aims to develop students’ personalities and cultivate democratic values.
Contingent / Situational Management
This management model is based on the assumption that no management model is a panacea, ie. it is not effective in all situations that will arise in a school unit. Therefore, depending on the situation, managers can change the management model and use it according to the situation.
Everyone involved (leaders and subordinates) has the right to speak and be heard on topics that concern and interest them. Leaders, as in participatory leadership, facilitate the involvement of school community members.
It is based on the emotional intelligence of the leader. The leader with emotional intelligence has the ability to perceive the perspective of others, the ability to discern as well as respond appropriately to other people’s moods. It has the ability to achieve a high transmission rate and response of emotions with facial expressions, voice and gestures.
The leader – they write Malinova And Gougas – intervenes to improve student learning. Emphasize the interaction between leaders and students. A key role for the leader is to assist, support and facilitate both teaching and learning.
The school leader in participatory leadership acts more like a colleague as he becomes a peer guide and leads professionals. Its main task is to reach consensus among those involved, who must share the responsibility for decisions. The model, according to Leithwood, is based on the assumption that participation improves school efficiency.
Leadership in service
It’s that kind of leadership – they write Malinova and Gougas – where the leader puts himself at the service of all members of the collaboration team who seek to meet their needs and thus ensure their commitment to pursue the organization’s goals with all their strength. The educational leader in service management can be the means to improve the work efficiency of the organization members.
The questionnaires to evaluate the school principal
The questionnaires that we attach, well structured, are those made by the head of IIS “Michelangelo Buonarroti” from Monfalcone (GO), Professor Vincenzo Caico.