Leadership Communication in Education
Introduction Involvement of researchers in administration of schools and leadership professions has resulted to ...Read More
Involvement of researchers in administration of schools and leadership professions has resulted to development for the need to perform the study of leadership process of communication (Adams, 2001). There have been extensive research work on the skills and process of communication as a way through which leaders in the learning institutions can be effectively communicate in a way that would help them to lead their institutions most efficiently. According to La Plant, ideal communication produces long lasting results that affect all corners of education process. Pinter and Ogawa expressed their opinions and stated that superintending is communicating. They conducted a research about various school leaders and the conclusion they made was that communication skills expressed by the leaders is an important element. They also stated that the most important aspect of the school leaders in their jobs is their ability to effectively with people. Another study based on interview and survey revealed that leaders who are effective are recognized by their ability to effectively communicate. These leaders can interact with others effectively since they are much aware of communication etiquettes
This study utilizes interviews, skills of effective communication and the practices of school leaders selected from both urban and rural areas. The leaders are examined to identify the lines of effective communication they use to achieve their learning visions, development of the school cultures, and promotion of institutional programs that promote the learning activities for the students as well as development of the school professionals in different faculties.
The main focus of the school model is to share the goals and the visions, communication methods that are effective, learners' high expectations, the learning communities, accountability and a study environment which is secure and stimulating. If there is the lack of effective communication among the leaders in any school and other key stakeholders like students, teachers and parents, the school performance will be impeded (Adams,2001). There we more compensation of communication than speaking. Leaders should enhance good communication behaviors for them to uphold effective communication with other people. School leaders’ skills of communication including open door policies, regular meetings, verbal and non-verbal one can help to enhance effective communication with other people. There have been many studies on different communication pathways used be the school leaders to communicate to the teachers when sharing the visions, goals and objectives of the school.
The focus of the study is the skills of communication that principals from both urban and rural schools use. There are great differences depicted by the urban and rural schools. For example, the schools have varying degrees about women education. According to millennium development goals report by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) there is a need to dedicate due care to the programs that promote education for the women. There should also be the creation of awareness about the importance of women education in our societies. The researches that have in the past been done have revealed that education for the mothers is a great determinant for the success of the child. The data in the research conducted indicated there is high prenatal mortality in different parts of the globe. The rates at which many children are dying in most rural areas especially in Africa is much high compared to the rate of mortality for the children in the urban areas. The UN report indicates that the illiteracy level at the urban areas is much lower than illiteracy level at the rural area. Due to the high levels of illiteracy at the rural areas, many young girls tend to be married. A World Bank report in 2001 indicated that the illiteracy level in the rural areas was 40.6%. It is a very high level of illiteracy that schools should work hard to reduce (Lambert, 2003).
Rural education is one of the areas that have had a great impact on all the areas of life. The main target of the study is the rural and the urban area schools and effective communication methods that school leaders could use to improve performance in their institutions (Mazzarella, 2008). Despite there being differences in location of the schools, tools of communications that different schools employ in their operations also differ. For example in most schools located in the urban areas, technology in communication has become the norm and not rules exception. On the other hand, implementation of the technological means in the rural schools is at ongoing For the rural schools to fully adopt the technology as their means of communication, it will take time. Urban schools will thus always remain at the front positions while compared to the schools located at the rural areas (Danielson, 2006). Leaders in both rural and urban schools should thus look for the best communication tools that will enhance good performance of their institutions. They should also understand that effective communication by the leaders will pay a great role in the performance of their institutions.
Purpose of the Study
The role of the study is to see how the principals in charge of schools at both rural and the urban schools use effective communication. The other purpose of the study is to examine different communication tools used by the leaders in rural and urban school communities when they want to deliver their learning visions. It also involves development of school cultures, and enhancement of the instructional program favorable to students. It also promotes development staff members of the school profession. It will enhance good leadership of the schools and thus foster performance at both rural and urban school (Northouse, 2007).
i. To have the issues of effective communication in both urban and rural areas addressed, the questions below were formulated to aid in the study (Rowe, 2007).
ii. How can effective communication by the school leaders shape the visions of learning?
iii. What role does effective communication play in the development of cultures in the schools?
iv. Which are the tools that school leaders use to enhance effective communication and how does it promote a good working environment among the students?
v. How can profession growth of the staff members in the school be promoted by effective communication by the school leaders?
This part explains the roles that principals in charge of the schools play and their communication, communication in relation to the visions of learning and communication in development of cultures in the schools. It also explains how effective communication can promote a conducive environment for learning by the student and the role communication play in the development of teachers' profession (Zeitchik, 2012).
Communication and the role of principals
Many studies have shown that principals with good communication skills are effective in their administration roles. A study that Marzano and Waters conducted indicated that principals who are effective have two pathways through which they communicate to entire school community (Kruse, 2013). The principals should be truthful, ask questions and encourage feedback from the school community members. Effective principals ensure that the communication with the students, teachers and the parents are done on a regular basis. McEwan indicated in his research findings that principals who have been successful are communicating on one hundred percent through speaking, listening, reading and writing (Parkin, 1997). Most often, written communication will be used by the principals to the staff, parents and the students in the school. Use of correct spelling and grammar by principals while communicating is of great importance for effective communication by the leaders.
The roles that school principals play demand them to have adequate skills and cognitive schemes. Regarding the findings of Leithwood and Steinbach, principals’ common disposition will involve zeal, great passion and enthusiasm for children education and for schools that deal with educating the children. The school shares passion and enthusiasm with its community through the ideology of care, equitable education for all students with no any discrimination case and the values of social justice.
Leaders who have been successful shows awareness to the needs and the aspirations that their colleagues, the parents and the students they serve have. They are shown to be skilled communicators with ability to listen the ideas given by other people. They apply these ideas to solve their problems. The warning has been given by Deal and Bolman about leadership values that could be conflicting and whose management may be problematic. Liwood and Steinback conquer with the argument that the sensitivity to emotions of the leaders need attention.
Effective leaders observe the ethics of their profession. These leaders also treat the people they serve with respect and honesty (Furman, 2002). They also enhance the values of modeling their ethical behaviors each day. Principals who have been effective ensure that they have always done the right thing bearing in mind that the bottom line of their schools is the welfare of their students. Begley and Johansson confirmed that morals and values depicted by the school principals make the role of the school leaders stronger (Woods, 2004).
Communication related to work is another important area in the role of the school principals. According to Bridge, managers spend around seventy percent of their time when communication face-to-face with other people at their places of work (Johnson, 1990). There is a continuous state of emotions that the principals are involved with at their schools (Protheroe, 2006). Principals encounter the cases of teachers who are rebellious, parents who are illiterate and students who are excited. Effective communication is an important element that aids the school principals during the process of decision making in their schools (Glaze, 2005). Teaching in the 21st century has become a challenging exercise due to the advancement in technology, globalization of economies and social, political life.
As a result of these changes, he school principals have a great responsibility of improving students (Jantzi, 2000). He or she also has to interact with the school community for them to be in a position of making the changes that will improve learning in the school (Cheng, 2004). Here are other expectations ha are set on the school principals which helps to nurture the development of good performance by the students and the teachers (Sergiovanni, 2001). The critical aspects of good leadership that school principals should have included; Identification and implementation of clear visions in the schools encouragement of group goals recognition and provision of personal enhancement. There is provision of motivations on academics and provision of the effective model. Principals should also set high expectations that will be based on appropriate communication (Stansbury, 2001).School leaders who tend to be democratic and have challenges of communicating are faced with a number of challenges (UNESCO, 2002). These issues include enhancement of open stream of thought to enable people to be fully knowledgeable, use of critical feedback and reflection to access thoughts and crises and offering assistance for the well-being of other people.
Communication and vision learning
Principals who endorse a vision that could be easily identified are the ones who are effective. There is always excuses offered by the principals who are less effective. The schools governed by successful principals are always successful as he envisions all those around them to work for the accomplishment of the school mission (Hoyle, 2000). They can easily convince the community around them to buy into the visions of the school by stressing the prospect of a school that is successful (Cheng, 2000). Effective communication enables the principals to communicate clear visions to all the stakeholders to foster the success of the schools. Principals who are effective can communicate he schools objective in a clear manner and continually encourage the schools towards achievement of these objectives (Wong, 2000).
Effective communication enables the school principals to communicate a shared vision about the future performance of the school. These visions should be compelling to the people so that they can take part. The leaders in the schools should ensure that they offer guidance to the people on the guidelines that have been set for the future management and performance of the schools. The requirement for fulfillment of the goals that have been set for the future performance of the institutions should be development and guidance (Pitner, 2001). It allows the school management to have accountability and thus release the policies that show clear responsibilities and developments that involve the senior members of staff in the school (Leithwood, 2004). School leadership is the mission of the school distributed to the entire community of the school.
Education leadership is mostly stressed on as it predominantly present distinct features. Communication is one of the prime feature contemplated by those who yearn to be principled leaders. Communication chiefly the feature that principled leaders should have to get off a good start to attain innumerable exploits in life. Communication is the art which is used to convey a meaning into the target group to initiate a shared comprehension (Stogdill, 2002). For effectual communication, the paramount aspect to contemplate is for the message to be assimilated and apprehended by the target recipients, all parties that are incorporated should have a collective language. There are discrete types of communication that involve: tone of voice, body language, singing, speaking, nonverbal, sign language, writing and eye contact (Mischel, 1986). In the research on communication in education leadership predominantly prominent leadership, experts are the primary focus. The recommendation is that when it comes to leadership in education, communication is basic essential aspect. Therefore, it is vital for leaders to upgrade their communication and problem-solving skills to stimulate positive and cohesive relationship with their counterparts (Newstrom, 1993).
On leader's research, several deductions were made on frequent analysis with a few leadership experts; to foster suitable leadership inschools, we should begin by initiating conversations. This takes part in different forms namely one on one, sustaining, partnering and inquiring (Weick, 1999). Each conservation should share collective elements that involve; reflection of the belief and experiences, search for apprehension, shared motive, respective listening and lastly dutiful listening. It shows that teacher leaders should dream on making variance by engaging with colleagues in running their professional culture. Numerous leaders have concluded that communication is a paramount segment in leadership, and they have affirmed that for refined maximization of student learning, communication within distinct levels of education is indispensable (Weick, 2001).
Moreover, they affirmed their believe that good communication encourages creative interaction linking employees in a working environment (Weldy, 2001). They presented the ways that nurture positive interaction in the communication exercise. They analyzed that a robust communicator should be in the front to help others to be in right and not to take a chance on them. He or she should assist others to succeed in their endeavors and have a positive attitude on issues (Leithwood, 2006). Leaders should keep away from gossips by investigating what they heard before communicating it to the audience to avoid being irrelevant. School principals should always try to speak positively about others when an opportunity arises, and increase one lacks something positive to talk about the best thing is to remain silent (Mark, 2003). One should understand that good leaders develop with ideas to meet the needs of the public instead of adopting an idea that worked for someone else.
It is important for leaders to develop communication, and problem-solving skills. Schools should offer reinforcement to leaders' effort and perpetuate the motivation of leaders in all years (Marzano, 2005). On research valid reasons with proofs shows that provide few opportunities on for proper conversation on important issues. In return, leaders who fails to advocate leadership in their institutions face anxious, frustrated colleagues, internal doubts, and they feel discouraged by conflicting expectations.
By focusing on various books and articles, there are emphases on how communication is vital in education leadership (Leithwood, 2005). Communication is the same in all perspectives and it may have consequences on numerous operation. This means that communication accounts on success and failure of numerous institutions. Without potent communication, some people may feel unhappy and this show how open discussions are vital. Lack of open discussion makes some parties feel neglected, and this results to secede or division of certain people. Many leaders in innumerable institutions have succeeded as a result of potent communication that enables them air their manifestos to their comrades (Law, 2010). Therefore, communication is paramount in education leadership and anyone with a willingness to become a leader should communicate effectively.
Leadership communication need one to visualize on success, have a clear set of values, integrity and lastly have honesty in their performance of duties (Jackson, 2008). An effective leader must have a sense of purpose to others through communication linking the administration and the students. This is achieved by communicating what should be done, its importance, the process of undertaking it, and steps to be followed to attain institutions mission and objectives (Patrick, 2008). Leaders should understand people and what is expected of them to keep away from confusion and frustrations which come about from lack of guidance by pertinent authorities.
Communication is important for large scale innovation and implementation of proposed grievances for successful leadership. There have been many changes through transformation of leadership style that are inspired by appropriate communication. Effective communication gives clear direction as guidance. It motivates other colleagues through inspiration and intellectual stimulation (Parkin, 1998). Communication in education leadership creates clear and compelling visions vital to make changes that will boost education.
Communicating a clear vision in small scale leadership should be enhanced by the school leaders (Bass, 1990). The schools management should have inspiration on the clear sense of purpose and guidance to the students on the good governance. Good leaders are made not the allusion that exist among many that they are born (Jago, 1982). Good leaders develop through a training process that never ends, education, self-study, and trainings there for one to become a good leader it must be a process. There is a series of events through continual work and study of leadership in education. Best leaders strive to study so as to improve their leadership skills other than resting in their past knowledge.
Communication plays a vital role in leadership since leadership is a process that influence accomplishment of goals and objectives in an organization. This makes it coherent and cohesive. Communication has effect to leadership because proper communication has an impact on building or harming the relationship between the management and the students. It is essential for the leaders to develop good communication skills so as to find solutions to the problems that affect performance in their schools
There are impacts that school principals have on the teachers as they negotiate the directions that the schools should take for achievement of their goals in the future. There are four forms of power that the schools employ and they involve; indirect power, direct power, consciousness controlling power and power that is institutionally based. Direct power involves persuading the other people to implement the tasks they would have done under other conditions. On the other hand, conscious controlling power is the influence that refines the understanding of people and changes their opinions regarding different issues that happens in the school. Power that is based on the institution on the other hand captures the influence laid down in the structures and social technology that works in the institution. Other measures to help in the improvement of the working conditions and performance in the school. The leaders in the schools should have proper means of communication to have convincing power to people around the school. They will improve the learning environment for their students in the schools they are working in.
Communication and Development of school Culture
Effective communication by the principals enables them to be the heads of schools at any place. Through their leadership, the school is able to develop a cohesive environment that could be favorable to every student. School principals are important factors for success of the students, innovation in the schools and creation of a suitable learning environment. The school culture ids established depending on the leadership that different principals’ show (Ivancevich, 2007). They thus set the pace for the school in future in terms of the learning environment and its performance. The leadership that principals provide in their schools affects the climate and culture of the school directly. Principals that have always been successful in their schools have always pay attention to the cultures of their schools as well as establishment of as collaborative environment of work. Effective communication has been one of the elements that play a big role in school administration among the principals in various schools across the globe.
There are some factors of communication that could help in improving the climate and cultures in the school. The process of communication could be favorable to the principals inspiring them to lead as examples. Empowerment of the school community could be via decisions made in a timely manner (McEwan, 2003). School principals should communicate encouragement to all stakeholders in the school in order to make them part of the school. They should also inform the school communities of the strategies that have been set by the school for future success. School leaders should develop a culture of listening to the ideas given by the school community such as teachers, students and the parents as a way of preventing emergence of groups of people who may disagree with the future plans Adams, B. (2001).
Effective communication inspires different people in the school to feel that their work is meaningful and of great importance in development and success of the school. Effective communication among the school leaders builds confidence in the school. Principals should be the core developers of the school programs that could foster good relationship among all stakeholders (Lamb, 2004). Effective communication exhibited by the school leaders is an important aid to creation of unit among all the stakeholders in the school.
Communication on the Promotion of Institutional Program Conducive to Student’s learning
Effective principals have continuous assessment for the school programs and learning for their students. They use information to inform the other stakeholders in the school of the future practices and plans that the school has laid down in the future. To all successful leaders, learning by the students is the key area to focus on (Whitaker, 2003). The process of education mainly focuses on children. The main role given to the principles in the schools include planning, supervising the school staff members and other workers, setting of the goal in their institution, reinforcing the school programs and assessing the performance of the institutions.
The school leaders should use the tools of effective communication empower and offer encouragement to beginning teachers. It will greatly impact the teachers to be dedicated in their work and thus produce good results (Wenger, 2000). Effective communication that has been exhibited by most successful principal is a good tool for growth of the schools in different parts of the globe. The finding of a study that have recently been conducted indicated that principles play a big role in promoting the retention of the teachers by respecting them, being good listeners and giving them support they require in their work.
The study have mainly focused on examinations of the tools that school principals use when they are building the school culture, learning environment for the students, developing the profession of the school staff and development of the learning vision in relation to communication. The study also focused on exploring utilization of communication by the principals in rural and urban schools. It also examined the tools of communication that principals in the rural and urban schools use when communicating to the school community. In the study, the role that communication plays in development of culture, learning visions and development of the staff profession was examined. It also examined how school leaders use communication to deliver the school programs and how effectiveness of communication could have effect to them.
Procedure of Data Collection
The main methods that were used in collection of the data were interview, survey and questionnaires. The people involved in collection of the data were school principals, teachers, students and parents. For the interview of the principals, there were five questions asked that included: Their communication patterns, promotion of learning programs, development of school cultures and professional growth of the teachers. The time of interview was dependent on the length of response by the principals.
The findings were that principals in different schools located in rural and urban areas use different tools of communication. Effective communication affects performance of the school and is essential in motivation, growth and inspiration of all stakeholders in the schools. Communication has effects on development of learning programs, school cultures, and development of staff profession and creation of a conducive learning environment. Successful school leaders exhibit effective communication that helps them to enhance harmony among all school community.
In conclusion, communication is a tool that all leaders in education should enhance to foster good results. Effective communication among the school leader uplift performance of their institutions. It also encourages them to build up a good learning environment for their students, development of school culture, promotion of school programs and development of culture for the schools. School leaders should develop good communication skills to foster good performance for their institutions. In most cases, communication affects the interaction of the school leaders with the school community which directly affects the schools success. School principals should focus on delivering quality services to their students and empowerment of beginning teachers, students and parents so as to make them feel as important part of the school. It will greatly impact of future performance of the school.