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School Leadership and Counselors Working Together to Address Bullying, Article Critique Example

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Article Critique

In their article, “School Leadership and Counselors Working Together to Address Bullying”, Sheila Austin(2012), Glenda Reynolds and Shirley Barnes address the issue of ongoing and ever more aggressive school bullying. Their article proposes a school-wide program in which both school personnel and parents take active action in order to stop bullying and increase safety for students. The article is very well researched and provides clear solutions to the identified problems. However, there are few problems in the manner in which the authors organized the article which diminish its effect on the readers, which will be discussed bellow.

The article is overall very clear and concise. The authors address people involved in education, such as teachers, school principles and counselors and try to address the question of school bullying practically and effectively. It first reviews an extensive literature, which proves that the authors are well-informed and bases their suggestions on previous studies. All of their arguments are supported by appropriate references are very reasonable. In addition, the article is well-structured, in sections that cover three areas of interest-previous research, school program in which the authors identify various types of students involved in bullying “Interventions”, in which the authors make proposals concerning ways of addressing bullying.

However, certain problems do exist, and they weaken the authors’ argument.  The first problem is that the main point is located very late in the paper, at the end of the literature section.  This is wrong because the readers might lose interest if they do not know what the article’s claim is from the beginning. The second problem is that there is little emphasis on the solutions themselves, which are only proposed briefly and superficially. In order to maximize the effect of the article, the authors should place the main point at the beginning of the article, and should focus more on the solutions they propose.

Transformational Leadership Behaviors of School Principals: A Qualitative Research-Based on Teachers’ Perception

Aydin Balyer’s(2012) qualitative study called “Transformational Leadership Behaviors of School Principals: A Qualitative Research-Based on Teachers’ Perceptions” tries to assess the behavior patterns of school principles and analyze whether they behave as transformational leaders of not. The article is very well organized, and the study that was effectuated is presented in detail. Research results are presented and discussed and the author’s conclusions are pertinent and derive logically from the presentation.

Balyer’s study is organized in sections and it is very well-structured. The Author provides sufficient background for the study and reviews recent and relevant studies. The literature which was reviewed is appropriate for the purpose of the study. The author also defines key-terms and explains the reasons behind the study, its purpose and the value of the study, namely, that of informing policymakers of the need to train transformational leaders in the Turkish educational system (Balyer 2012).

The methodology is discussed by the author in detail.  The research design and the sample population are described. Also, the data collection process, and the method of analysis are also explained. Byler is careful to explain the trustworthiness and the ethical considerations of the study. The minimal ethical requirements of such a study are an informed consent and maintaining the anonymity of the participants. Also, the study’s rigor and limits were stated by the author, thus respecting all the requirements for a valuable article. The author concludes that school leaders should be helped to become transformational leaders and that authorities should be preoccupied with this issue more. I agree with this conclusion but I also believe that studies on larger samples should be realized in order to understand what still needs to be done.

School Principal’s Leadership Style:

A Factor Affecting Staff Absenteeism in Secondary Schools

Lucas et al’s (2012) recent study deals with a very serious problem, namely teachers’ absenteeism, which, according to the authors, affects many countries and has serious consequences for education. The group of researchers claims that principles’ leadership has a relationship with teacher absenteeism and hopes to demonstrate the particular role of transformational leadership in this respect. The authors used a quantitative research method in their study and determined that transformational leadership has a positive influence on teacher absenteeism. Though the study is very well researched, there is a problem: the Discussion part is missing, and this makes the overall article unclear and hard to understand.

The study briefly introduces the topic and explains its necessity. The authors’ thesis s also stated clearly in the introduction, thus making clear what they are trying to find out with their study.The article contains a quantitative research and used survey design of correlation nature in order to prove its hypotheses. The method is explained to the reader, and results are presented in detail.  In the beginning of the results section, the authors give the sample size, which should have been covered in the methodology section. The research contains a large study group, 157 participants. The sample size is large enough to make the argument seem convincing.

The main problem with this article is the lack of clarity. The results are presented in a very specialized way and there is no discussion, or conclusion section. While the authors did presented the conclusion n the form of a small paragraph at the end of the article, the lack of a discussion section hinders the article because readers who cannot understand the specialized language used to present the results of the quantitative study, are left only with the brief statement that principles leadership styles do influence teacher absenteeism.

Research on Instructional Leadership Competencies of School Principles

In his article on instructional leadership competencies of school principles, Murat Gürkan Gülkan(2012) tried to assess whether instructional school leaders’ competencies vary depending on the type of school they work at and on the field. In order to reach a result, the author used a descriptive survey method, and presented his results comprehensively. The study is clear enough for any type of reader to understand, even those readers who are not necessarily specialized in reading the results of a quantitative research. However, the author’s results and suggestions cover so many areas of study and are so many (20) that they may be considered superficial. In addition, certain language issues hinder the credibility of the article.

Gürkan Gülkan organized his article clearly and logically, explaining what the study was composed of, and what he tried to demonstrate. This is a very important topic and the author presented a very comprehensive background to the study. The participant pool was as large as to comprise the entire Turkey according to the author, and of this pool, 450 participants finally took part in the study. This is a large number of respondents and therefore impacts the credibility of the study positively. The research method is carefully described and the article contains both findings and results and suggestions, thus maintaining the clarity of the study.

The problem with the article is that, even though it had a clear purpose, of determining if instructional competencies are affected by the type and field of the school, the results and suggestions cover a much wider area, thus making the main issue be lost in the richness of information provided. Moreover.language use is sometimes lacking. For example, at one point, the author says, “the population of the study is composed of all primary and middle school in Turkey” ( Gürkan Gülkan , 2012, p.629) and “since the number of schools is too many”(ibid.). This hinders the credibility of the author and makes the article seem less professional.

Educational Leadership: Change through Self Understanding

Shahid Siddiqui’s 2011 study of the manner in which self-understanding can bring about change in one’s leadership behavior is very interesting and very innovative. The author proposes the use of metaphor as a tool of self-assessing. By asking participants to describe themselves by means of a single word that encompasses their qualities, the authors propose that school leaders may be able to perceive the way they see themselves and their role. The author concluded that most school leaders assessed view themselves as givers, with the other teachers as receivers. Even though the article runs smoothly and t is very easy to follow, there are certain issues that might be addressed.

Siddiqui’s article is anchored in previous research. The author explained ho metaphor can be used to help school teachers re-evaluate their own perceptions concerning their roles and school leadership in general, and maybe, implement changes at the belief level. The study comprised participants at a Pakistani-British Council management Centre and involved 20 participants. The results are presented extensively, and are very interesting to read. The author described what metaphors school leaders chose and also gives their explanations concerning their choices. This is the main part of the study. The author then concludes the article briefly.

The study does not have methodology and discussion sections, but the article is comprehensive and clear enough even without it. The purpose of the author was not very ambitions, and he only tried to show how such an activity as the one presented in the study is helpful for assisting school leaders in changing their own leadership methods. This is merely food for thought and does not have wide or clear implications. However, it does provide an insight on how school leaders perceive themselves and also may represent the basis of further research on how leaders’ beliefs affect their leadership behavior.

References

Austin, S. (2012). School leadership and counselors working together to address bullying. Education 133(2), pp.283-290.

Bayler, A. (2012). Transformational leadership behavior of school principles: a qualitative research based on teachers’ perceptions. International Online Journal of Educational Sciences, 4(3), pp.581-591.

Gürkan Gülkan, M. (2012). Research on instructional leadership competencies in school principles. Education 132(3), pp.625-635.

Lucas et al. (2012). School principles leadership style: a factor affecting staff absenteeism in secondary schools. Journal of Emerging trends in Educational Research and Policy Studies 3(4), pp.444-446.

Siddiqui, S. (2011). Educational leadership: change through self-understanding. Bulletin of Educational Research, 33(1), pp.21-22.

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