The purpose of utilizing different types of leadership styles in education is mainly to improve the quality of teaching, that of learning, and to create a unique and effective combination of both. As the competitiveness in the world of education increases, the implementation of these styles becomes more and more important. The role of every individual starting from the principal, teachers, to the students is important, and the ultimate goal remains the enhancement and upkeep of the teaching-learning relationship.
The job of every individual in this process is to create the necessary conditions for teachers to develop and execute their own teaching styles and methods, in a manner that is simple and most effective for students. Also, the development of other aspects of the educational framework, such as association with external groups that facilitate better teaching and learning, the care of the infrastructure, etc., all come under the purview of educational leadership.
In education, the different leadership styles that are known to be most effective have been mentioned here. Ultimately, however, the type that will be most effective is one that suits the personality of the leader, i.e., the principal, and the openness of the group members, i.e., teachers, to the types that are implemented within the educational framework.
It is also known as hierarchical leadership. Here, the principal is at the top of the ladder, where the decisions taken and actions delegated intend to promote student growth and learning. Thus, goal-setting, provision of essential resources for goal achievement, supervision of teachers, and coordination of the tasks necessary to achieve the goal come under the purview of the principal. For this method to be successful, the principal must continually seek the betterment of entire educational system, and possess a personality that will help in the implementation of the aforementioned requirements of instructional leadership.
This is one of the rarely practiced styles in education, because in today's day and time, a principal is expected to perform more managerial tasks than the instructional. Also, this method has not proven very effective as it focuses only on the growth of the students, not the teachers. In education, leadership styles are meant to focus on collective growth that involve all members of the framework.
In the educational framework, visionary leadership plays an important role. It is defined as the creation of a vision by the leader (principal), the implementation of which is then carried out by the members of the group (teachers). The vision here may or may not be shared, in that, it may generate solely in the mind of the principal for the teachers to follow and implement, or created and developed as a group.
Whatever the case, the involvement of the group at all levels is essential, so that it is effectively executed. Ultimately, it is the teachers who have to execute it, thus involving them at the stages of planning itself is necessary. Furthermore, while the principal may have adapted to a new way of thinking, waiting till the teachers begin to adapt themselves to this vision is important. Not everyone is ready for a change, so providing enough time to respond and adhere to it matters.
In order for this method to be successful, encouragement, planning, analysis, assessment, and development of the plan is essential. Simply by dreaming of a positive change that brings the educational framework into a new light, one cannot hope to realize the change. Here, it is the job of the principal to encourage this vision and ensure that it translates into a concrete reality at the grass-root level, i.e., the classroom. One may also consider this style to be a form of transformational leadership.
Contrary to the methods of instructional leadership that are traditional, the facilitative or participative leadership style, as the name suggests, refers to the involvement of the leader as well as the staff members in the process of decision-making and implementation. While the hierarchical structure remains the same, it is the involvement of every member in the decision-making process that makes it different from the other styles. Here, however, there is an issue of accountability, which does not lie in one hand, but may shift from person to person depending on the intensity and the outcome of the decision taken.
Even if it is a group decision, one would consider the principal to be accountable as the leader of the educational organization. In such a case, first understanding the system, and preparing colleagues and staff members for the purpose of facilitative administration is essential. Depending on the personality and decision-making abilities of every individual, this style can be embraced over time. It can definitely enhance the performance of the teachers and prepare them for future administrative roles.
Ideally, everyone does possess some leadership skills that are then modified to suit the requirements of the framework and organization. Thus, for any of these methods to be effective, bringing those inherent leadership qualities to the fore will make the necessary difference, and bring about the required change. The development of a vision, and its execution based on planning and management is what will ultimately fulfill the necessities of educational leadership, and facilitate the relationship between teaching and learning.