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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Restructuring leadership for 21st century schools : how transformational leadership and trust cultivate teacher leadership

  • Author(s): Longwell-McKean, Paula Cheree
  • et al.

A growing body of literature on effective leadership styles has emerged as 21st century leaders face higher student expectations, more demands on teachers and lack of support from the public. An examination of the effects of transactional and transformational leadership provides educators with indications as to the best practices with regard to transforming the direction of schools. Proponents of transformational leadership recommend this approach as the best fit for today's changing times. Transformational leadership holds potential in the complex environment of contemporary education and therefore provides supportive conditions to build teacher leadership capacity. Transformational principals recognize the need to develop teacher leaders and the importance of supporting the development of teacher-to-teacher relationships. A review of the 4 Is of transformational leadership; idealized influence, individual consideration, inspirational motivation, and intellectual stimulation, along with implications for principals is offered as a framework for how to implement a shared leadership style that will impact teachers and students. Transformational principals know how to build associations with fellow teachers in order to further the mission of the school. Through the lens of trust theory an examination of trust on principal-teacher relationships is considered. While the literature review presents a convincing case for transformational leadership and the need for quality relationships in schools, an examination of how these two constructs intersect and impact teacher leadership is the focal point of this study

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