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BACKGROUND

In the innovative script of state development, a special role is assigned to the educational system which is the motive power of changes within society and economy. In the Concept of Long-Term Social and Economic Development, education is considered one of innovative development results and a necessary condition for systemic changes in all fields of human life. 

The state and society expect that the system of education will generate an intellectual and technological platform for its fast overcorrection in all levels. Hopefully, this platform will also facilitate the transition of the educational system into an essentially new qualitative position where it will become capable of providing the reproduction of valuable bearers of the innovative, strategic development models and technologies within the society.

At the same time, modern school is one of the most conservative social systems, which by inertia of decades continues to reproduce the technology of training and educating executors. This is at odds with the demand of the modern world which needs flexible and creative-thinking graduates. It seems everything that takes place in the education system today visually demonstrates the necessity of implementation of a strategically new educational system based on groundbreaking technologies for basic-level schools. This innovation will predictably be a prior consideration both for graduates and school management officials. That is why it is suggested that practical implementation of the leadership program into the educational system be considered an effective tool of its improvement.

In this paper, a leader is thought to be a motive power that inspires actions. In this context, the main feature of an effective leader is a combination of personal and leadership skills. The later allows other people to follow the general idea, which integrates them with the leader.

Leadership is a widely applied notion in all spheres of human life and the educational system in particular. Scholars often link leadership to the process of managing an establishment.  In this case, managers are leaders and the management structure appears to be related to the leadership of the company. Finally, the process of leadership implies several directions: effective management of available resources, communication, motivation, control, and correction of the deviations from the initial strategy which may occur in the process of practical implementation of the stated goal.

LITERATURE REVIEW

Traditionally, the strategic development field is related management. In this respect, it is believed that the main reason of the sluggish school managerial personnel training is stable traditions of a rigid, bureaucratic and functional regulation of educational activity. Not casually thereupon the subject of strategic development has attracted researchers’ and managers’ attention.

In as much as the basic attention of the scientific research authors has focused on practical realization of The Future Leaders program, it is necessary to note that prior to the current period of global uncertainty the problems of social life management were solved according to the basic approaches developed by management science founders: A.Fayol (universal process), F.Taylor (scientific management), and M.Veber (the theory of management and bureaucracy) (Chemers, 1997, pp. 15-28).

The research into the human factor necessity has been popular, in management science, beginning from 1930s. For example, E.Mejo has developed the theory of management named “theory of human relations”, whose core concept is a set of norms, values, belief, and a network of internal communications in groups and between them (Chemers, 1997, p. 44).

In the early 1960s, the systemic approach to the management was developed. Its appearance is related to the development of the systems theory and aspiration linked to advantages of the rationalistic and behavioural approaches.

The range of "strategic development” problems in their modern meaning are being introduced into the field of administrative and pedagogical research. The "strategy" concept appeared in the 1960-s'. At that time, P.Alain, J. Berk, E.Berkovich, R.Cooper, P.Lopens, J. Lafman, and others explored the new concept (Lussier, 2010, p. 116).

In the then scholarly literature on education management, the term "strategy" was hardly used. Yet, many researches were looked into the planning problems, such as an assumed (including strategic) image of the educational establishment development (Henry P. Knowles, 1971, p. 36).

Importantly, the mentioned scholarly researches do not discuss approaches to the directed changes strategy development in education. At the same time, in studies on management information, the aspects of linearly-remedial management are a prior consideration though they do not take into account strategic development logicians of education systems. For this very reason, the author offers to use a pilot and practical approaches to identify future talented leaders, their teaching, drilling, as well as training “new managers” for educational institutions (Howson, 2007, p.15).

The directions related to innovative processes in education have been widely developed, during the last decade. Researchers prove that the most effective ways of solving problems within the modern educational system can be found in the studies of innovative development of pedagogical management. Here, both international and domestic tendencies of societal development, as well as progressive practices and traditions need to be considered (Fidler, 2004, p. 85).

Despite the fact, that more and more works appear on strategic management development, in the pedagogical science questions of prerequisites and sources of strategic breaks formation at such micro-system level as school have not been widely explored. While teachers are historically and logically perceived as leaders and those responsible for actualization and popularization of the major themes of school development, their primary role is to maintain formation and education of new generations.

The formation of methodological and technological bases for fundamental educational changes within pedagogical research is viewed from the perspective of the pro-economic rather than pedagogical approach. Ways of involving the natural potential of the personnel and leadership resources inherent in pedagogical workers are discussed on the basis of international documents.

In a research by Earley et al., the authors suggest that “new” for the pedagogical field people be involved. In this case, two outcomes are possible: if a new manager is not an expert in pedagogy, he/she will predictably be able to invent some new approach to the school management, because he will not act according to the standard rules and will not fear experimenting with something new. This person will try to find and finally succeed in producing new solutions and answers (Earley, P., and D. Weindling, 2006, p. 256).

Furthermore, a professional manager should have three dominant qualities. These are being a good expert in his field, having pedagogical familiarity and knowing psychological aspects of management. In the second one, the idea introduced by authors covers two of three qualifications.

Considering the notion of leadership, one may say that, in the modern world which is full of innovations and competitions, leadership plays a significant role. Therefore, numerous definitions of leadership and approaches towards defining this notion evolve. Chemers considers it a “process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task"(Chemers, 1997, p. 46). Alan Keith defines leadership as an effective tool of some extraordinary way to achieve something, in particular, motivating people to make a contribution into the process of the general goal achievement. That is why it is possible to think of leadership as an art of motivating people in the name of the common goal. Thereby, the above stated definitions focus on leadership as a source of inspiration for preparing for the common goal achievement. The fundamental of an effective leadership is a set of ideas which cannot be brought to life unless other people are integrated by these ideas and engaged into them.

There are numerous disputes concerning the origin of leadership skills whether they are born or made. According to the approach by Susan Ward, "Leadership is a winning combination of personal traits and the ability to think and act as a leader, a person who directs the activities of others for the good of all. Anyone can be a leader..." (Henry P. Knowles, 1971, p. 189).

The given contradictions help to define a research problem: the author has successfully identified the problems that need to be solved. They are issues of school qualitative transformation and its strategic break in systemic changes.

The scientific concept of strategic leadership and competent development of school administrative commands is based on the leading idea which is the use and application of the natural competent resource of school leaders.

ROLE OF THEORY

The author outlines the following aspects as the basic components of strategic leadership development/strengthening: resources of school administrative commands, a system of strategic leadership productivity estimation, technologies of competent development of school administrative commands, which help to plunge  application school administrative commands into the field of technological research, methods of schools strategic development under the circumstances of interactive, reflective and dialogue training, as well as in a format of mobile, modular vocational training and design development. Additionally, the question of guidance in mastering tools of school strategic development, needs considering, as well as the question of projecting, approving and duplicating local and large-scale projects that contribute to higher levels of schools’ competition within the educational environment.

The author outlines the classification of the educational system development strategy. In particular, focusing on this very aspect is viewed as a means of providing the solution to sustainable formation development problems (corporate, business, functional, and task strategy). Also, the complex of school administrative commands consultation and preparation needs to be designed.

The author suggests paying attention to the background of the leadership theory in order to develop the best acceptable tools for the educational system improvement.

There are various styles of leadership: autocratic (authoritarian), participative or (democratic); laissez-faire (free rein), narcissistic and toxic leadership styles. Each of the above listed styles and approaches has its advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes it happens that leaders use combinations of styles, which means utilizing features and principles borrowed from other styles. The author believes that the principal qualities of an effective leader are authority, collaboration, competency, creativity, fairness, justice, power, recognition, self-respect, and wisdom.

First of all, a leader should be an authority for the subordinates or adherents, because they need to be convinced that their leader has got features and knowledge that will allow him/her to attain the stated goal or implement the integrating idea into practice.

Collaboration is another quality that a leader needs to have, because it is possible to be a leader only in case of cooperation with other people who are the representatives of some social group. Collaboration in this case implies the discussion of some questions with other members of a team or group, implementing changes into the current strategy or correcting some deviations after discussing them with other participants of the process (Bottery, 2006, p. 214).

Competence in the area of the leaders’ professional activity is one of the most significant qualities of a leader, because profound knowledge of both theoretical and practical background of a particular area is an obligatory requirement for a person. It is especially important for those managing large projects, implementing some ideas into the masses or acting responsibly for coordination, development and practical implementation of some innovation.

Creative approach towards professional activity is the key success factor for a leader in the modern world of competition and rapid development of new technologies and approaches towards leadership. Fairness and justice are those values which provide leaders with the credit of trust from employees and followers.

Finally, a leader should be powerful and responsible for his/her decisions and actions because people who cooperate with this person act in accordance with the rules and regulations set and enforced by the leader. Self-respect and wisdom are those professional qualities which show other members of the team the patterns of behaviour, professionalism and human relations.

Concerning leadership assumptions, it is important to take into account numerous examples of positive and negative leadership and their outcomes. As an example of positive leadership in the educational system, the situation may be considered when all employees are motivated due to their personal values and individual approach towards every employee is developed. For example, one person is motivated with an incentive of career development and further perspectives, while another is motivated with competitive salary rate.

Negative leadership implies an approach when people-employees or followers do not get support from their leader and their work is being constantly criticized. Moreover, a leader should be an example of corporate behaviour and style for his subordinates, and if this requirement is not met, he/she cannot be considered an effective and wise leader. In other words, all requirements to other members of the group should not be violated by the leader himself (National College for School Leadership, 2006, p. 154).

According to the practice in many developed and developing countries, state leaders get excessive privileges, incomes and rights, which appears to contradict what is stated in the constitution. That is why people who see such violation of the basic law of the country by principal officials do not trust such government. As a result, this government is substituted by other group of people new leaders. This, in turn, leads to changing the political values and the overall course, and causes disorders in the social life lowering its quality (Lussier, 2010, p. 96).

Authors’ expectations of the effective leadership style in the system of education imply the following aspects. Leadership is to be based on confidence, professionalism and ability to motivate group of people to carry out some activities. Leaders’ behavior should be based both on their professional experiences, while it should take into account particular life circumstances. The core qualities of a leader are to be fairness and wisdom. The main task of a leader is to do positive things for people and improve their life quality by turning his assistance into the general goal achievement.

In cases of harm being caused to the members of the group, the person who declared himself or herself a leader cannot be considered a leader even if he/she has succeeded and got some income from this unfair activity. It is obvious that there are no ideal leaders because in the majority of cases power spoils human beings, but at the same time, the pattern of an effective leader for the educational system implies high rate of professionalism and competency, fairness and individual approach towards each employee or member of the group motivation process. Decisions made by a leader should meet the requirements of the group, while their background should be taking into account opinions of all group members or at least being not contradictory to the basic values of the group/team (Nightingale, 2007, p.188).

Finally, leadership is a responsibility, and complicated task completed in order to achieve the general aim. Other than that, leadership is a social phenomenon, and it is based on the psychological approach towards human behaviour, needs and values. Being an effective leader implies understanding of needs and targets of a group, as well as its integrative role in effective assistance and management of the general target achievement.

Hypothesis: The lack of professional approach towards leadership in the educational system is the urgent problem of the society. Practical implementation of the professional leaders’ training, while applying the available sources to the educational system, is the key success factor for the total improvement of this system and a way to reach the new level of the education quality.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Outlining the current situation in the educational system leadership.

Theoretical background of the key points of the system improvement.

Development of the program of effective leadership within the educational system.

Practical implementation of the achieved results and its analysis.

RESEARCH OBJECTIVES

  1. Investigation of the factors that impact the development of professional qualities of a leader in the educational system.
  2. Identification of future talent leaders, teaching them, drilling and training of “new managers” for educational institutions
  3. Determining the preparedness of the current leaders in the educational system for carrying out their basic functions and evaluation of the current professional activities of the leaders
  4. Examination of the strengths and weaknesses in the current leadership system within the educational system and developing strategies and/or procedures for the system improvement.

METHODOLOGY AND METHODS OF THE SYSTEM IMPROVEMENT

Thorough analysis of psychological mechanisms of leadership qualities training of the future educational managers will be done. In particular, urgency of the educational system reforming of its administrative personnel will be proved.

Certain contradictions and their comprehension need to be considered nowadays in order to develop the management field in the pedagogical science. This will allow deducing solutions to problems on the proved methodological and technological level. That is why the following contradictions will be investigated:

•          between society needs for strategic and innovative break maintenance and theoretical and methodological interpretation of educational systems concerning its strategic development and strategic leadership problems realization;

•          between necessity of strategic system changes realization in education and undeveloped technological bases of innovative development strategy realization of the education system at its various levels;

•          between global problems of education system development and achievements of strategic leadership, and weak theoretical and technological over-work methods of strategic leadership achievement at the level of a local educational institution;

•          between growing requirements to the pedagogical management and the lack of scientifically proved concepts of competent development and professional support from educational managers and administrative commands that relate to changes.

Analysis will apply the tools of the mixed method approach which incorporates both quantitative and qualitative tools.

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