Mayrowetz, D. (2008). "Making Sense of Distributed Leadership: Exploring the Multiple Usages of the Concept in the Field." Educational Administration Quarterly 44(3): 424-435. Gunther, H. and T. Fitzgerald (2007). "Leading Learning and Leading Teachers: Challenges for schools in the 21st century." Leading & Managing 13(1): 1-15.
An important outcome of importing the theoretical idea of distributed activity into the study of leadership is to emphasize that the traditional conception of leadership as person- or role-based is poorly aligned to the realities of work in organizations, especially schools (Mayrowetz p. 427)
To study educational leadership using a distributed perspective requires at least two important shifts in thinking (Mayrowetz p. 426), Researchers must de-center, but not ignore, administrators to investigate leadership at the level of a school, rather than an individual (Mayrowetz p. 426), Researchers must de-center, but not ignore, administrators to investigate leadership at the level of a school, rather than an individual (Mayrowetz p. 426)
Several people in the field of educational leadership have interpreted the descriptive notion that the activity of leadership is practiced through the interaction of multiple individuals as a prescriptive message for leadership to be shared throughout the school in a more democratic fashion (Mayrowetz p. 428)
While it is somewhat unclear exactly why the descriptive usage turned into a call to promote democracy in schools, it is possible that because the goals of democracy and equity are so fundamental in many Western countries (though we have had difficulty living up to those goals), some have packaged this bedrock idea into the new term. (Mayrowetz p. 428), I think that this may have more to do with pragmatism and fiscal policy than any sense of ‘democracy’- GY
DL has been described as a micropolitical strategy of dispersing authority for reform projects to teachers as well as administrators (Mayrowetz p. 429), Arguments against, Whose interests are served by particular distributions?, Teachers can become overstressed by shared decision making, The benefits of participation do not necessarily accrue to better teaching practice or to the benefit of the school organization as a whole, especially if teachers’ and organizational goals are not well aligned
It is unclear as to whether micropolitical considerations may be important for promoting distributed leadership in a normative sense or whether shared or democratic leadership leads to school improvements. (Mayrowetz p. 429)
Since things like leadership activity and expertise are not focused or concentrated in one person, especially an administrator, then it is simply more efficient to ask non-administrators to engage in leadership activities if they have the necessary expertise (Mayrowetz p. 429)
This promotes the notion that by having multiple people engaged in leadership, these individuals will all learn more about themselves and the issues facing the school. (Mayrowetz p. 431)
A state of being in which schools have collective action toward collective goals, internal boundary spanning, and a reliance on expertise, rather than formal authority. (Mayrowetz p. 431)
Empirical results have shown that this formulation of distributed leadership has led to some collective capacity building, which is arguably leadership development, but there has been less school improvement than hoped for. (Mayrowetz p. 431)
Reculturing the teaching profession to accept such work as commonplace is no small task (McLauglin & Talbert, 2001). (Mayrowetz p. 431), Therefore the prospects of creating widespread distributed leadership of this variety still appear to be slim, even though, among all three of the prescriptive definitions, this one may be best positioned to lead to school improvement. (Mayrowetz p. 431)
I'm not so sure that this is true as a generalisation. There are many examples at WIOT of 'teachers' leading in all meanings of the word and in different contexts without being 'leaders' or 'managers'. I my case I have shown leadership in the online/blended learning arena which has undoubtably lead to greater and more defined career opportunities
This has led to three main impacts, The continued privledging of the headteacher or principal, where other adults are positioned in relation to this elite role, The structuring and culturing of the 'middle' as a clear location within a hierarchy, That is the formalising and general acceptance of the 'middle' level, The increased complexity of who constitutes a place and role in the 'middle'.
This may someimes be formalised at WIOT by newly established roles such as Team Leader-Teaching and Learning Delivery or PAL's (Program Area Leaders what may have previously been termed Course Co-ordinators). This is a mixed blessing as teaching loads are reduced as part of these roles yet the hours set aside for the additional duties are not in keeping with the real world time required to adequetly perform the task to the benefit of the students or WIOT.
Responsibility for teaching and learning and student achievements at either a key stage, year level, department or subject/curriculum area
Management of resources (staff, financial and physical);
Working witb colleagues to achieve subject/curriculum goals that contribute directly to student outcomes and school strategy;
Leadership of staff including mentoring, coaching, appraising, facilitating professional development opportunities within a collaborative and collegial team
Implementation of school policies and operational plans in their area of responsibility
Contribution to the development of school improvement, innovations and change processes.