to Stosich (2016, p.48), most schools set up an instructional cabinet
consisting of a few teachers who are sent for expert training and are required
to bring back to the institution that expertise. However, these cabinets only
last a few years as they violate the norms of egalitarianism. Teachers who were
not involved in setting up the cabinet argued that there existed no clear
mechanism to be followed by the principal in selecting specific teaching
members to constitute it. They argued that there could be cases of
non-transparency in the selection criteria and deliberate support given by the
principal to the selected members.
Hargreaves and Fink (2008) conducted a
research on Finland’s educational system and determined the essence of
distributed leadership style. Teachers and principals in Finland work on a
culture of responsibility, cooperation, and trust such that when a principal
sickens, the community of teachers embraces the school leadership (Hargreaves
and Fink 2008, p.235). The education system in Finland depicts that the
community of teachers together with the school principal are both responsible
to the efficacy of the school operations.
Self-efficiency and Teacher Leadership
The aspect of self-efficiency is
linked to the agency concept which states that human capacity can either be
enhanced or weakened by a person’s experience (Bangs and Frost 2015, p.2).
Environments that support distributed leadership can support self-efficiency
beliefs. Distributed leadership is collaborative and interactive, and through
it, organizations are upheld, problems are solved, and positive practices are
developed. Collaborative professional cultures help to unravel the potential of
teachers and raise the school capacity to meet student requirements and foster
achievement. In studying the leadership tasks, school leaders are at the core
of defining, presenting, and executing micro tasks while considering their interaction
with others (Spillane et al. 2001, p.24).
New Public Management
Some scholars still support the
hierarchical governance approach arguing that having a central command and a
hierarchical approach to governance heightens a school’s expectation. However,
a more stable and sustainable approach to governance, the New Public
Management, has emerged to dominate the force as presented in many countries.
According to Mulford (2003, p.8), the new public management approach advocates
for decentralization of roles, accountability, and community involvement.
Additionally, some teachers raise
concerns that even though their principals listen to them, they would wish the
government and national policymakers also to ask about their views. They feel
that their ideas do not matter to the individuals in the top positions. At
times, the teachers lack faith and capacity to judge agendas as they perceive them
as political professionally. They argue that without government and policymakers’
involvement, teachers may be in a position to improve the current system of
education (Bangs and Frost 2012, p.24).
Decentralization acknowledges that
dynamism in schools has to be initiated from within the school. One way to
achieve such decentralization in schools is by localizing delivery but
centralizing standards of operation. Some countries embrace the idea of who
specifies a service and those that deliver the service. In addition, a country
such as Korea has shifted their educational focus from a provider-oriented
system to a consumer-oriented education system. The case is similar to Austria
where the government seeks to shift from an administrative to a service-oriented
management (Mulford 2003, p.9). Such changes in the education system alter the
principal’s current role of administrative and technical duties to a manager
and developer of financial, physical, and human resources (OECD 2001, p.20-24).
Traditionally, school success is gauged
on student academic performance. Schools need to be accountable for their
undertakings. There is a need to develop assessment tools that are in line with
the school goals, the creation of policy based on evidence, and creation of new
attitudes towards failure. Failure is also part of learning. The strategies,
practices, and instructional behaviors that teachers use are vital toward
student’s cognitive development and are partly determined by the teacher’s
self-efficacy (Zee and Koomen 2016, p.990).
The purpose of this research was to explore
how the distributed form of leadership influences the self-efficacy of a
teacher. The study has proven that the core factors that impede teacher
self-efficacy lie in the unprofessional conduct of their principals as well as
the ineffectiveness portrayed by the school heads. Hargreaves and Fink (2008,
p.230) argue that just like improvement of a person’s body requires as well as ecosystem
improvement, organization improvement does not rely on singular strategies but
on the interaction of holistic and complex policies and systems. According to Hargreaves
and Fink (2008, p.230), there are three interrelated components that propel an
organization forward. The first component is living systems which include the
people working in an organization and who foster imagination, creativity, and
innovation. Secondly, an organization is a community and is divided into groups
of worship, directors, and departments among others. In a school setup, teachers
are a community of practice. Tutors are mandated with planning the learning
programs as well as support the progress of students in their educational needs.
The third important concept is the network of people and systems where they
have to operate in partnership with the government and parents to create strong
systems that foster dynamism in education through substantive policy enactment
(Hargreaves and Fink 2008, p.230).
An institution that uses autocratic
leadership model, in which one person becomes the sole decision maker, is bound
to trample. And when the organization succeeds under the authoritarian
leadership, the exit of the institution head causes institution failure. Positive
values positively impact the administration while negative values negatively
affect the performance of the institution. Institutional heads which employ an
autocratic leadership model are a hindrance to the success of the school and
are stressing to their employees. However, a research conducted by Hall (2013) to
determine the contradiction of reforming the leadership styles in England found
that institutions are unwilling to embrace distributed leadership as they lack
the necessary understanding on what the leadership style is about (Hall 2013,
p.472). He argues that the charge towards distributed leadership is
unaccompanied by the changing practices witnessed among teachers and the
leaders in schools. He further argues that there is a lack of policies with
required frameworks and suggestions for moving from current style of leadership
to the needed style of distributed leadership (Hall 2013, p.473).
The modern society requires employees’
involvement in decision making to boost their morale and increase their
commitment. According to Al-Ani and Al-Harthi (2015, p.200), the values within
a school are a conglomerate of personal, communal, global, and societal
persuasion. These values are too diverse that they at times conflict with one
another. Additionally, some of the set policies may require the use of specific
values which may be conflicting with a person’s set of values. When school
administrators recognize the ideological perspectives of the education and
value system, they are then able to know what their responsibilities, powers,
duties, and obligations are.
Haydon elaborates values to consist of
both the guidelines and targets followed by the policymakers (Al-Ani and
Al-Harthi 2015, p.200). When better policies are constituted, the running of a
school becomes easier. Instituting better policies includes creating multiple
school departments and assigning each department a manager. In addition, the
units are provided with duties that they have to achieve. The department head
becomes the accountable personnel. The presence of departmental heads in school
implies that teachers have a central coordination point through which they are
able to air their concerns and also resolve disputes fast. In addition,
assigning teachers duties creates a form of responsibility for the teachers.
Teaching the staff members as well as the students the purpose of having
respect for one another and being committed to their duties is essential
towards the wholesome success of an institution.
Whenever school administrators apply a
distributed leadership model multiple benefits are experienced. First, the
approach fosters teamwork and collaboration. Collaborations ensure quick
problem-solving. Further, teachers work together towards achieving the
institution’s mission and vision. Collaboration results in increased teacher
participation and engagement. Secondly, cooperation ensures control and
increase in student and staff performance. When departmental heads meet with
the school administrators, they are able to show rate teacher performances.
Publicly recognizing a teacher’s performance results increases the morale and
self-efficiency of the teacher. The teacher feels encouraged and recognized.
Therefore, he or she works extra hard to get more recognition and rewards.
The third merit lies in the institution
progress. When autocratic leadership is employed, the success of an institution
ends at the point the tenure of the school principal ends. Since the school
head was the sole decision maker and enforcer, he or she lives behind no person
with the necessary skills to succeed him or her. Indeed, the teachers cannot
work without being controlled as they are used to following set instructions.