School Leadership and Administration


For a very long time, school leadership and administration has applied some very old concepts that do not concur with the current changes in the surrounding environment. Change is inevitable and thus the principals in schools should implement new leadership skills that are applicable in today’s field. The changes needed in schools are all expected to result to some education improvement on the part of the student. However, it is not very easy for the leaders to implement these changes and the implementation will be met with its own challenges. The changes that are required in schools must have an intended goal and the leaders implementing these changes must be aware of the whole process of change so that the change could bring positive results in the schools. The system of education in today’s schools is believed to be the principle result of the poor performance in the schools. A change into the system is therefore believed to bring some drastic improvements in the performance of the students.

A Summary of Scholarly Articles related to School Leadership and Administration

The best school leaders according to scholarly articles are those who are goal-oriented, highly-motivated, accountable, and very effective in their implementation of change (John, 2009). In America, there is the believe that narrowing of the curriculum will help students concentrate on particular lines and minimize wastage of time. The other belief is that all students should be proficient in a second language in addition to English.

Need for Change

As stated earlier, any change that is made is usually made with an expectation at the end of the process. Change in schools is very important because even if the world around us is

School Leadership and Administration

comfortable with the current status, a room for improvement is always available and therefore there is no harm in making the necessary improvement (Richard, Gorton, & Alston, 2008). It is also true that any one status of leadership has a maximum improvement that it can achieve. It is therefore important to induce changes frequently since no improvement can come without change. Risk taking is one of the best ways that individuals and institutions have used to achieve their goals. Not unless we try change regardless of the status quo, we will never know the extent of improvement that the changes we wish to implement can have. It is therefore important for a good leader to take some counted risk and make some changes for better results in the schools. A closer look of the proposed innovations and an evaluation of the one in place will tell the necessity for change.

Parties for Best implementation of Change

The best way to implement a change that will be efficient and acceptable and that will result to improvement is by involving the maximum number of parties possible. Whenever a change agent who is goal-oriented and highly-motivated comes up with an idea, it is important to make the necessary consultants and involve several agents who will closely look into the idea and then give a go ahead or make some necessary changes to the idea for the achievement of the best results (Phillip, 2001). It is important for a good leader to remember that an idea for improvement can come from any person and should therefore encourage the individuals involved in the running of the school to come up with new ideas that they feel can bring real change in the school. The administrator should establish some school improvement committees within the district that will act as a think-tank towards the implementation of changes in the district. There should also be a school improvement committee in each and every school that will be comprised of several parties involved in the running of the school. This committee which will be led by the principle will implement the changes that come from the district improvement committee and come up with ideas fo5r change that will be forwarded to the same committee for further discussion. The school improvement committee should be made up of voluntary individuals who are motivated by the need for change and who always has some idea to offer in discussions. Some training offered to these people and the support by the entire school leads to better results. After an idea has been passed for implementation, the support of both state and the local levels is very important for a successful implementation of the innovation. The principal should make frequent follow-ups so that implementation may begin immediately and goes to the very end (ETAL).

Change Efforts: Failure and Solution

School Leadership and Administration

Past research has shown that regardless of the many innovations that have been passed for the improvement in schools, the implementation of the changes hasn’t been very successful. This is due to some differences in the state that is responsible for the implementation of the changes and the school improvement committee. The state has ended up modifying the plan or dropping the whole plan. For productive change to take place there must be a compelling reason for the change to both the state and the committee. The leaders in the schools should also show some seriousness in the change and the state should also be made to feel that they are part of the change. Again, for the best implementation of the plans, all the parties involved in the implementation of the change must be convinced of the improvement that the change will bring to the schools. The principal is the most important person in the implementation of any changes in the schools. Any change must have a beginning and therefore the determination of the resources that are already there and those that are not available for the implementation of the change is quite important (Stewart, 2003).

Qualities of the Best Principals for change

The common qualities for the best principles include: the person has to be an advocate, a believer, resource acquirer, linker, leader, employer, delegator, manager, information source, and a supporter. The principal should also be an initiator and a responder (ETAL). Good managers are friendly to change, have the necessary power tools, capable of establishing a good environment for change, facilitate change instead of forcing it, accept criticism, etc.

The Change Process

Some steps have been considered necessary for the process of change to be effective. Among them is taking a closer look at the organization to determine whether it is ready for any improvements (ETAL). This will prevent wastage of resources since changes will only be implemented in those organizations that ready for improvements. Determining the opportunities and problems that will be faced in the implementation of the plan is another necessary step. The other two steps are making a plan of how that change will be implemented and the real implementation of the innovation.

School Leadership and Administration

Initial Considerations

The first thing to be determined is checking if the school needs any change depending on if the change will cause any improvements on the performance of the students. The administrator, the principal, and the other parties sit together and make a closer look of the school to determine the necessary changes if they are there. If these individuals decide that a change is necessary, the administrator and the other principals decide the direction to take in implementing the necessary change. The last and the most challenging consideration is the evaluation of an innovation that has been proposed. Here, the team involved looks at all the advantages and the disadvantages of implementing the innovation and the difficulties that will be faced in convincing the people that the changes are necessary (ETAL).

In adopting the innovation, an individual goes through the awareness, interest, mental, trial, adoption, and integration stage. Not all individuals go through these stages since they will one determine if he or she will continue with the innovation or should drop it. Before the principal goes ahead with the implementation of the plan, he or she should be interested in knowing the views of the teachers concerning the innovation. This is because the teachers are actively involved in seeing to it that the change causes an improvement. The administrator should also ensure that a condition of trust prevails all through the process so that no one suspects him or her of any vices.

As the plans to implement the innovation continues, the administrator should be prepared to face resistance all through the process. All types of resisters will be met from the positive resistor, unique resister, let me be the last resistor, etc. Facilitating forces help the facilitator to go on with the innovation while restraining forces will always hinder the implementation of the innovation (ETAL).

Factors behind Resistance

School Leadership and Administration

Different individuals will have different resistances to innovations depending on that particular individual. Some of the restraining factors include the habit of the people where these people will be tempted to do things always in one way, nature of change that is proposed, the lack of an inceptive, the community and teacher norms. Others include the lack of skills and understanding and the presence of different opinions. Innovations could be unsuccessful for various reasons; some teachers may fail to know what is expected of them in the newly defined roles, lack of the necessary skills, failure to change the former school schedule, etc. Again, if the ambitions are too high and beyond the capacity of the supporters in relation to resources, the plan is more likely to fail (Murphy, 2002).

Problems after Implementation

Most of the innovations that are implemented end up being dropped or modified before they are completed. For those that are implemented to the very end, some face problems that can lead to their destruction. If the person who has been responsible for implementation of the change is burned out, the new individuals who come in may not have the capacity to run the project due to some complexities (Murphy, 2002). The training that the new individual may require to be given can bring frustrations leading to the end of the project. If the press gives negative information about the innovation, the participants’ morale could be killed.

Discussion of Findings

The following list of questions was developed by the class members for use in the interviews.

The following are the details of the interview.

Respondent:                                     Lydia Davis

Education:                                           Graduate from Prairie View A & M University

School Leadership and Administration

Experience:                                          2 years at Nimitz High School / Assistant Principal

5 years at Aldine High School / Theater Arts Teacher

Time and Date of Interview: September 17, 2009 at 4 p.m.

School Name:                                   Nimitz High School

Location:                                             Aldine ISD

2005 W.W. Thorne Drive

Houston, TX 77073

Question 1: Do you think all the changes that are proposed in a school should be implemented?

Answer: Not all proposed changes should be implemented for various reasons: the current status quo in the school could be more favorable in comparison to the result that the new innovation could bring and the resources that the funding bodies could be willing to give might not be adequate for all the proposed changes.

Question 2: Who are the parties that should be involved in the implementation of a change in a

School Leadership and Administration


Answer: There should be some district improvement committee selected by the administrator at the district level that will be responsible for the Implementation of changes in the different schools. There should also be a district improvement committee at the school level that will consist of representatives of all groups that participate in the running of the institution affairs. This will include the teaching and non-teaching staff, parents, and the students.

Question 3: Are all innovations that pass for implementation in the schools completely implemented?

Answer: The highest percentage of the approved innovations for implementation are never completed. This could be due to some differences between the state and the administration in the schools or the lack of seriousness in addressing the issue.

Question 4: what do you think are the characteristics of the best principals for change?

Answer: the person has to be an advocate, a believer, resource acquirer, linker, leader, employer, delegator, manager, information source, supporter, just to mention but a few.

Question 5: What do you think are the initial considerations prior to the implementation of an innovation?

Answer: Before one thinks of an innovation, it is always important for the individual to check if the school needs a change. If there is one, then the administrator, the principal, and the other parties sit together and make a closer look of the school to determine the necessary changes.

School Leadership and Administration

Question 6: what do you think are the factors behind resistance to innovation?

Answer: habits of people, nature of proposed change, lack of an inceptive, the community and teacher norms, etc. Others include the lack of skills and understanding and the presence of different opinions.

Question 6: are there any problems after implementation of a change?

Answer: If the press gives negative information about the innovation, the participants’ morale could be killed. Also, if the person who has been responsible for implementation of the change is burned out, the new individuals who come in may not have the capacity to run the project due to some complexities.


The leadership and administration in schools must change with time in order to accommodate the changes that are taking place in the entire world. An agent for change must be goal-oriented and highly-motivated individual. Before going on to implement a change in a school, it is important to determine whether the school really needs that change. If the change proves to be very necessary, the administrator and other subjects should sit down and determine the path that will be used so that the change is implemented and gives the best results. All the individuals who are involved in the running of the institution should be involved in determining the changes that are necessary for the best implementation of the changes. It is also not guaranteed that every change that is initiated will be completed and it is therefore important that the highest level of seriousness be observed. The funding bodies of the changes should also be made to feel that they are part and parcel of the project. After determining that an organization needs a change, it is also important to determine the problems and opportunities that are likely to be faced in the process of implementing the change. Resistance is always available in any

School Leadership and Administration

place where a change is to be implemented. The principles in the schools should therefore be prepared to face all types of resistance. Even after implementation of the change, some problems could still arise especially if the media goes out giving negative information about the change.


John, R. S. (2009). Standards for School Leadership Programs: A Conceptual Analysis. New York; International Journal of Educational Leadership Preparation, 12-18.

Murphy, J. (2002). Recruiting the Profession of Educational Leadership. Oxford; New Blueprints, 32-38.

Phillip, H. (2001). Second international Handbook of Educational Leadership. Princeton; Princeton University Press, 458-461.

Richard, A. G., Gorton, R., & Alston, J. (2008). School leadership and Administration: Important Concepts, Case Studies, and Simulations. New York; McGraw-Hill Humanities/ social sciences/Langua, 1-24.

Stewart, C. (2003). Handbook of Organizational Studies. New York; Sage publications Limited, 119-124.