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(solution) Jeremy S. Peacock Science Instructional Leadership: The Role of

Summarize the attached article. It should be at least 750 words. Max similarity is 10 %. 

Jeremy S. Peacock Science Instructional Leadership: The Role


of the Department Chair




With science teachers facing comprehensive curriculum reform that will


shape science education for decades to


come, high school department chairs


represent a critical resource for instructional leadership and teacher support.


While the historical literature on the department chair indicates that chairs are in


prime positions to provide instructional


leadership, it is also clear that chairs?


ability to provide such leadership is limited by lack of line authority, time, role


conflict, and ambiguity. Yet the literature


and practical experience indicates that


department chairs can exert a positive


and important influence on instruction


and learning within high school science


classrooms. Drawing on a historical review of the literature on high school department chairs and on recent literature


in science education and instructional


leadership, this article presents a conceptual model of science instructional


leadership for high school department


chairs and discusses implications for researchers and practitioners. The model


includes four interdependent leadership


capabilities for science instructional


leaders: (1) science leadership content


knowledge, (2) negotiating context and


solving problems, (3) building a collegial learning environment, and (4) advocating for science and science education. Introduction


With the publication of A Framework


for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council [NRC], 2012) and release


of the Next Generation Science Standards (Achieve, 2013), science teachers


face a comprehensive curriculum reform


that will shape science education for decades to come. The Framework lays out


Keywords: department chairs, instructional


leadership, science education, high school,


conceptual model 36 a vision for science education in which


all students ?actively engage in scientific and engineering practices and apply crosscutting concepts to deepen their


understanding of the core ideas in these


fields? (pp. 8-9). Alongside this national


standards movement, the state and local


contexts for science education are constantly shifting in response to political


and social pressures, economic realities,


student needs, and science and education


research findings.


To provide science teachers with any


hope of thriving in this complex environment and achieving the NRC?s vision,


science education leaders must provide


ongoing, targeted support. High school


science teachers strongly identify with


their academic departments (Siskin,


1994). In fact, science teachers may


experience a greater connection to the


field of science education than to local


school improvement issues (Melville,


Hardy, & Bartley, 2011), and science


departments represent communities of


science educators as much as they do organizational units of schools (Melville &


Wallace, 2007). As leaders within these


communities, high school science department chairs represent an important


resource for instructional leadership.


Unfortunately, chair leadership is underresearched and under-used in schools


(Weller, 2001).


An empirical answer to the question


of how chairs can effectively act as instructional leaders within their schools


represents a gap in the science education


literature. However, existing literature


provides a useful framework for ongoing


research and professional practice in this


area. This article (1) presents a synthesis


of historical literature on the high school


department chair highlighting the challenges, contexts, and practices of chairs


enacting instructional leadership and (2)


proposes a conceptual model of science


instructional leadership informed by the historical review and by the recent literature in science education and instructional leadership. Aimed at practitioners


and researchers, the goals of this work


are to enhance our understanding of


chairs? instructional leadership practice


and to highlight the role chairs can play


in science curriculum reform. The High School Department


Chair: ?A race horse with


plow-horse duties?*


While early publications were largely


anecdotal, a historical review of academic writing on high school department chairs dating from 1910 reveals a


surprisingly consistent picture of the position. Early writings, published though


1959, provide a useful historical perspective on the topic, while empirical


studies published since 1960 illuminate


major themes that must inform current




Early Writings (1910-1959)


In the earliest publication found on


the topic, Meriwether (1910) reported


chairs experienced ?ambiguities and


inconsistencies? (p. 276) from the very


inception of the role. Other authors (e.g.


Heinmiller, 1921) described the multifaceted nature of the role, including responsibilities for pedagogy, supervision,


and administration. The first empirical


study in the field, Koch?s 1930 survey of


superintendents, principals, and chairs,


revealed qualifications, selection procedures, and compensation for chairs


varied widely, and he suggested chairs?


effectiveness was limited by ?routine


obligations? (Koch, 1930a, p. 263).


While Koch (1930b) argued a key role


of a chair was to ?close the gap between


the classroom and the principal?s office?


(p. 340), survey respondents reported


this function was severely limited by the


time available to visit the classrooms of


other teachers. Koch (1930b) concluded,


SCIENCE EDUCATOR ?the department headship is in confusion? (pp. 348-349) with little agreement


on the function of the position or the criteria for selection of chairs.


Authors writing in the 1940s and 1950s


delivered a familiar message. Invoking


the colorful analogy that heads this section, Axley (1947) referred to the chair


as ?a race horse with plow-horse duties?


(p. 1)* in arguing many schools failed


to take advantage of chairs? specialized


skills. Axley?s (1947) survey indicated


chairs were too busy with teaching and


?petty details? (p. 1) to focus on their


main function of instructional supervision and many chairs were not consulted


on personnel issues affecting their team


of teachers (Axley, 1947). After analyzing the specific duties expected of chairs,


Novak (1950) suggested a lack of specialized training left ?few, if any, who


feel equal to all of the requirements?


(p. 91). Rinker (1950) suggested chairs


should maintain simultaneous focus on


supporting students and teachers and on


links to the academic, professional, and


school communities while also performing clerical duties. Foreshadowing a later


theme, Rinker also argued chairs should


be advocates of change rather than protectors of the status quo.


These early articles preview three


themes that must continue to inform


any research on the department chair


position. First, chairs were expected to


play an important role in the ongoing


improvement of teaching within their


departments. Second, multiplicity and


ambiguity defined the chair?s role as they


were tasked with instructional improvement in addition clerical, administrative,


managerial, and extracurricular duties.


Finally, the role ambiguity mentioned


above, the need for specialized leadership skills, and the lack of release time,


appropriate compensation, and line authority severely limited chairs? ability


to fulfill their promise as instructional




Empirical Studies (1960-2012)


Empirical research in the field began


in earnest with King and Moon?s (1960)


survey, which was the first of 11 studies of chairs? roles and responsibilities


SUMMER 2014 VOL. 23, NO. 1 conducted during the 1960s and 1970s.


Beginning in the 1980s, researchers diversified their approaches by employing


a wide range of qualitative and quantitative methods to provide in-depth descriptions of chairs? work in schools and


to analyze relationships among specific


factors affecting chairs? leadership efforts. The school reform movement


that began in the 1980s also influenced


research topics, leading to an increased


focus on instructional leadership and


school change (Hallinger, 2005) and


on distributed leadership (Spillane,


Halverson, & Diamond, 2001). International scholars also began to take up


this topic with studies conducted in at


least nine countries outside the United


States. While individual studies exhibit


strengths and weaknesses, the consistency of findings paints a reliable portrait of the chair as a professional who


is asked to do too much in too little time


and with too few resources. However


beyond these limitations, several important themes emerge from the literature


that point to the potential for the chair to


act as an instructional leader in the high




Barriers to leadership. King and


Moon (1960) concluded that while the


status of the role had been in flux for


30 years, chairs could play an important


role in instructional improvement. Likewise, Weller (2001) suggested ?chairs


are in an ideal position to facilitate instructional improvement because of their


daily contact with teachers and their own


instructional expertise? (p. 74). However, the most dominant theme in the literature highlights the barriers chairs face as


a result of the ambiguous and multifaceted nature of their role. Survey research


(e.g., Berrier, 1974; Manlove & Buser,


1966) conducted during the 1960s and


1970s revealed chairs were engaging in


a combination of administrative, supervisory, curricular, and instructional duties similar to those described in earlier


publications. According to these studies, the lack of official job descriptions,


release time, and authority were the


factors that most limited chairs? effectiveness. Verchota (1971) was the first author to invoke role theory, a perspective that would dominate department


chair research beginning in the 1980s,


in his analysis of the position. Verchota


concluded chairs experience role conflict


because they are expected simultaneously to take the narrow view of a teacherspecialist and the school-wide view of


an administrator-manager. Despite this,


Verchota found chairs exerted greater


influence over teachers than did school




From 1980 through 2012, researchers published 30 studies (Table 1) on


chairs? general roles and responsibilities. These studies represent over 30


years of research in schools across the


United States and in four other nations


(i.e., Australia, Canada, Malaysia, and


the United Kingdom), and methods vary


from surveys of hundreds of educators to


self-studies of single department chairs.


Across this diversity, five themes emerge


clearly and consistently. First, chairs are


expected to carry out a variety of administrative, managerial, supervisory, curricular, and instructional responsibilities.


Second, chairs experience role conflict


as a result of their positioning between


teacher and administrator. Third, unclear


expectations and lack of time and other


resources lead to role ambiguity. Fourth,


chairs, administrators, and teachers agree


chairs should increase their focus on instructional improvement. Fifth, schools


can improve chairs? effectiveness by


providing release time and remuneration, delegating more formal authority, and providing targeted professional


learning for chairs. Even in the face of


these barriers, chairs can play a role in


instructional leadership (Anderson, 1987),


and existing literature can inform our understanding of the practices and contexts


that are important as chairs enact such




Leadership context. Department


chair leadership is highly contextdependent and is influenced by chairs?


experience and personal qualities, teacher


characteristics, departmental cohesion


and shared vision, leadership approach,


subject-related issues, school administration, school and community contexts,


37 Table 1: Summary of Research on the Roles and Responsibilities of Department Chairs, 1980-2010




Kottkamp & Mansfield, 1985


Pellicer & Stevenson, 1983 ?








? Girard, 1984 ?




? Shimeall, 1987 ?








? Busher, 1988


DeRoche, Kujawa, & Hunsaker, 1988 Hulsey, 1988


Orris, 1988 Adduci, Woods-Houston, & Webb, 1990 Fletcher, 1991


Kaminski, 1991 ?




































? Worner & Brown, 1993 ?


? ?




Bliss, Fahrney, & Steffy, 1996 ?








? 38 Key Findings


Role conflict and role ambiguity are related to powerlessness.


Role ambiguity, and to a lesser extent role conflict, are also related to perceived burnout.


Chairs reported low rates of burnout.


Most districts did not have job descriptions or provide additional compensation or time.


Roles most often identified as important for the chair were selecting instructional materials, designing and


revising curriculum, assisting teachers in improving instruction, providing inservice training, and coordinating


the instructional efforts of the department.


Chairs conducted managerial, supervisory, curriculum, teaching, and administrative activities.


These activities led to role conflict and uncertainty.


The most prominent conflicts were inadequate time and remuneration, too many clerical duties, lack of


teacher preparation and resources, staff morale problems, and lack of support.


Chairs receive little release time and no secretarial help.


Administrative and clerical functions were perceived as most important.


Teacher evaluation was less important.


There was agreement between functions and selection criteria.


Chair reported reduction in role overload and positive affective results for teachers after delegating


departmental duties while providing appropriate support in these delegated duties.


Most schools did not have formal selection or evaluation procedures.


Most chairs did not have release time.


Most important perceived areas of responsibility were budgets, goals and objectives, curriculum, textbooks,


and scheduling.


Chairs were perceived as leaders in schools and in their departments.


Chairs would prefer more involvement in school decision-making.


Three factors contributed to higher role perceptions of chairs: departments of 10 or more teachers, formal


selection by boards of education, and annual remuneration of at least $1000.


Groups agreed as to how chairs spend their time, but disagreed on the amount of time spent.


Principals and chairs perceived chairs spent more time on tasks than did teachers.


Chairs spent greatest time on management and communication tasks.


Groups agreed that the chair role should be expanded to increase responsibilities in management,


communications, personnel, and curriculum.


Principals and chairs favored expansion of the staff development role.


Principals reported greater support for expanding supervision role than chairs or teachers.


Identified six determinants of the chair role: job description, dual functions of curriculum/instruction and


administration, chairs? goals, agreement by role senders, professional learning opportunities, and resources.


Job description, goals, agreement among role senders, and professional learning are sources of role ambiguity.


Functions and resources are sources of role strain.


Chairs spent the majority of their time on managerial tasks.


All groups agreed that chairs should focus more on ?encouraging, stimulating, and motivating teachers?




Chairs reported that the most important competency was serving as a link between teachers and the




Chairs and teachers agreed that the least important competencies related to supervision and evaluation of




Principals and chairs disagreed on the extent to which principals shared decision-making.


Principals and chairs agreed on the following major responsibilities of chairs: conducting department


meetings, setting department goals and objectives, selecting materials and supplies, maintaining an inventory


of materials and supplies, serving as departmental spokesperson, representing the department as adviser to


the principal, and administering the department budget.


Principals also identified the following three as important: ensuring departmental consistency, recommending


the department budget, and informing the department members of new developments in the field.


Principals indicated that chairs should also take more responsibility for monitoring departmental goals and


objectives, implementing curriculum change, developing school policies, stimulating professional growth of


department members, handling departmental public relations, and promoting instructional change.


Chairs reported the rank of responsibilities as administrative, communication, and instruction.


Chairs identified the roles of administrator, facilitator, instructional leader, and transitional. English and math


chairs were inclined toward facilitation and instructional leadership, while science and social studies chairs


reported more emphasis on administration.


Nearly one-third of chairs aspired to greater instructional leadership.


Teachers perceived chairs to provide moderate level of instructional leadership and reported preference for


chairs to increase emphasis on instructional improvement and assessment.


There was no clear connection between chair reported roles and teacher perceptions of IL. No connection


between chair roles and collegiality. SCIENCE EDUCATOR Table 1: Contd.,




R. Korach, 1996 Key Findings


? Chairs perceived themselves to spend more time on their role than did teachers.


? Teachers placed more importance than did chairs on protecting instructional time and supporting teachers?


professional learning.


W. Korach, 1996


? Administrators placed higher value on the supervisory role while chairs placed higher value on the


management role.


Brown & Rutherford, 1998


? Chairs enacted all five approaches (i.e. servant leader, organizational architect, moral educator, social


architect, and leading professional) in the leadership typology.


? Leadership is enacted within practical constraints and local contexts.


? The majority of chairs? time was spent on teaching, modeling good practice, and managing their departments


with little time left for improving teaching and learning.


Abolghasemi, McCormick, & Conners, 1999


? Chairs -principal congruence was a better predictor of teacher support of school vision than was principals?


visionary behaviors or structural coupling.


? Principals influence teachers directly, but the influence is stronger when mediated by chairs.


Glover & Miller, 1999b


? Chairs in schools whose management structures were focused on teaching and learning were more likely to


spend time on leadership activities.


? Department meetings and student support consumed almost half of chairs? non-teaching time.


? Many chairs were interrupted during class time to address issues or support other teachers.


Wise & Bush, 1999


? Chairs assumed a larger role in school management as a result of national education reforms.


? Chair decisions influenced primarily by department members, followed administration.


? Chairs had inadequate time to carry out all of their responsibilities.


Schmidt, 2000


? Transition from teacher to chair was characterized by negative emotions resulting from role ambiguity, feelings


of powerlessness, shortfalls in goal attainment, and strained relationships with teachers and students.


? Chairs coped with these emotions by viewing their leadership role as an extension of their teaching role rather


than a result of a formal title.


James, 2001


? Chairs who received release time and compensation experienced less role ambiguity, less role conflict, and


less concern regarding resource adequacy. They also had more positive perceptions of the chair role.


? There were two distinct role configurations, evaluating administrator and program improver, for chairs in


various schools.


Weller, 2001


? Lack of training, line authority, and voice in schoolwide decisions all limit chair effectiveness.


? Essential knowledge and skills for chairs include human relations, communication, leadership, group


dynamics, flexibility, diplomacy, teaching practices, and subject knowledge.


? Most did not list instructional supervision or curriculum development because of lack of time and




? 85% believed chairs should be more involved in curriculum and instructional improvement.


Collier, Dinham, Brennan, Deece, & Mulford, 2002 ? Chairs? initial expectations for the role did not match the reality.


? Administrative duties constituted a greater portion of chairs workload than duties related to curriculum and




? Chairs recommended reducing their teaching load and administrative duties to free time to spend with




? Chairs perceived working with teachers and contributing to school change as the most positive aspects of their




? Chairs cited lack of time, workload, external pressures, being caught between administrators and teachers,


and dealing with under-performing teachers as negative aspects of the position.


Marotta, 2002


? Administrators and chairs perceived management, supervision, human relations, organization, and


programming all to be very important, but chairs assigned greater importance than did teachers.


? Principals perceived the chair role to be supervisory while teachers perceived it to be administrative.


Skinner, 2007


? The chair role is constantly enacted and negotiated and is characterized by ?complexity and contingency? (p.




? The role can be characterized by the concept of heteroglossia (i.e. tensions within language that lead to




? Reflective practice and self-study rather than fixed professional development is the most appropriate approach


to make sense of and improve one?s practice in the chair role.


Surash, 2007


? Chairs need skills to address vision, climate, management, community, citizenship, and larger community




Onn, 2010


? Chairs perceived themselves to have a high competency level in interpersonal relations and moderate


competency levels in department administration, curriculum development, supervision and mentoring of


teachers, and professional development.


Willis, 2010


? Chairs identity constructed through stakeholder interactions within complex school context.


? Chairs functioned within the school hierarchy to serve as conduits, nurturers, department clerks, and resource


managers. SUMMER 2014 VOL. 23, NO. 1 39 and lack of time (James & AubreyHopkins, 2003; Ryan, 1999). Within


these contexts, chair leadership is dynamic and socially constructed, and


chairs? internal sense of authority moderates these factors (James & AubreyHopkins, 2003). Clarke (1980) found


teachers, principals, and chairs held


different expectations for chairs? supervisory behaviors and that chairs generally followed their own expectations or


modified them to better align to principal


expectations. The wider literature indicates the most salient contextual factors


are school leadership structure, school


change, and academic subject.


Leadership structure.


Existing literature indicates school


leadership structure is the most important factor influencing chairs? practice


and often contributes to role ambiguity.


Johnson (1990) and Glover and Miller


(1999a) reported school leadership


structure influenced how chairs balanced


various leadership styles (e.g., transactional vs. transformational and collegial


vs. managerial). Chairs tended to act


as initiators, rather than inhibitors, of


change in schools that provided appropriate professional learning and involved


chairs in curriculum planning and development and in school planning and


policy making (Glover & Miller, 1999a).


Johnson (1990) also found the ambiguity of chairs? dual roles as teachers and


administrators provided ?productive


tension? (p. 177) for some chairs and


a major challenge for others. Chairs in


Zepeda and Kruskamp?s (2007) study


practiced instructional supervision in


an intuitive and differentiated manner


because they received neither direction


from the school principal nor appropriate professional learning. Todd?s (2006)


survey of school administrators and department chairs revealed principals? and


assistant principals?, but not department


chairs?, instructional leadership behaviors correlated with student achievement. Todd (2006) suggested further


research is needed to determine whether


there is an indirect link between department chair instructional leadership and


student achievement.


40 Several researchers have concluded


chairs enjoy their greatest influence in


schools that promote distributed leadership and collegiality. Wyeth (1992)


found formal structures for shared decision making, delegation of authority by


the principal, and evaluation of teachers


by department chairs supported chairs?


influence. Similarly Brown, Boyle, and


Boyle (1998, 1999) concluded chairs


were most effective in schools with


collegial management structures characterized by collaboration among departments, alignment between departmental


and school priorities, and involvement


of chairs and teachers in school decision


making. Along with supporting chairs?


influence, Numeroff (2005) found collegiality reduces teacher uncertainty and...


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