The role of an educational leader is one that is not easily defined. Each administrator has a belief in what his or her job entails. The vision of what educational leadership involves depends on several factors such as the nature of leadership, the relationship between the leader and the followers and the impact he or she has on student learning, school goals and the community. Through scholarly articles, educational leadership pertaining to curriculum and instruction is outlined.
John Dewey best describes the nature of leadership in his two articles “Toward Administrative Statesmanship” and “Democracy and Educational Administration.” He explains the three phases or jobs of educational administration: the educational enterprise phase, the personal relations phase and the paperwork phase. Dewey explains how most administrators mainly absorb them the third phase and he reminds readers “an administrator can deal effectively with these various problems only as he is able to unify them all in some comprehensive idea and plan” (Dewey p.346). The three phases must coexist and balanced, similarly to our three branches of government. This statement leads into Dewey’s rationalization that educational leadership is comparable to democracy. He even goes on to say “no man or limited set of men is wise enough or good enough to rule others without their consent” (Dewey p. 218). An educational leader knows that though he leads, it is the job of the followers that make an organization work. Tyler even further accepts this fact in his article. He justifies that though an administrator is a leader it “does not mean that he knows everything about instruction or even that he knows more about the curriculum and instructional process than anyone else on the staff” (Tyler p.204).
Tyler takes up a slightly more specific approach on what an educational leader should have. He explains that the administrator
“needs to have two clear sets of concepts to guide his activities if he is to give effective leadership in the improvement of instruction. One set of concepts provides him with an understanding of the process of curriculum development and instruction…[another] set of concepts provides him with a view of what educational leadership involves. The administrator needs to see clearly the organization of the school staff and of the community and to understand the way in which they can be effectively brought together in developing the curriculum and improving instruction” (Tyler p. 201).
Tyler lays down these two concepts and continues to claim that if an educational leader does not have these two concepts, he or she cannot make appropriate decisions determining curriculum and instruction. Unlike Dewey’s belief that the three phases of an educational leader should be equally unified, Tyler boldly states that the “improvement of curriculum and instruction is the most important task of the school administrator (Tyler p.209).
A major part of educational leadership is the...