THEORY IN EDUCATION
106 Holden Hall
Office Hours: M, W-2-3:45
Or by appointment
course is intended for prospective and practicing school leaders,
and members of school communities The focus of this course is
to garner a systematic understanding of the behavior of adults
at work in the school. We will examine the organizational context
in which people work. We will explore how school leaders interact
with people in their organizations seeking to understand ways
that cause them to be understood and accepted as leaders. We will
learn how this differs from command.
will discuss theory of practice as it applies to leadership in
school that is, "real life" situations. We will discuss
organizational behavior, organizational theory, school reform,
turmoil in school, organizational culture and climate, organizational
change, leadership as a relationship with followers, motivation
first set of issues will focus on theory of practice, mainstreams
of organizational thought and organizational theory in modern
period. The second set of issues will consider the human dimension
of organization, organizational culture and climate, and organizational
change. The third set of readings will focus on leadership, decision-making
and conflict in organizations.
Sets of school-based issues will be probed utilizing a problem-based
framing approach in an effort to expose prospective school leaders
to sets of problems that will enhance their decision-making abilities.
Our use of problem based learning places students in the role
of the school administrator through the use of contexualized problem
scenarios, where they must work with others to understand and
solve problems associated with school leadership. Successful principals
must be skilled in the ability to understand formulate, and solve
problems. Discovery of the problem is one of the critical pieces
to understand in the development of successful leadership.
Requirements and Grading
The success of this class depends heavily on students to complete
all reading assignments in a thorough, thoughtful and critical
manner. This will require you to take notes while reading
assignments, write questions, and points of contention in your
preparation to be an active participant in class discussions.
There will be little lecturing in the traditional sense as the
course is intended to operate more like a seminar. Therefore it
is vital that students prepare for class by reading
the assignments. Each student is expected to co-lead
one class reading. This co-leadership will consist of the following:
introducing the key topics and issues to the class, leading the
discussion centered on questions intended to highlight themes
from the reading. Other classroom activities may be used to highlight
themes and ideas of the readings. I encourage you to think creatively
about how to carry out these activities. This will constitute
25% of the grade for the course.
are expected to prepare two written assignments for the course
in addition to a written response to a set of questions covering
course material as a culminating assignment. The first assignment
will ask you to research a scholarly journal to find an article
that discusses a current issue in organizational theory. You will
critique an article providing an analysis of the authors perspective.
This assignment should be 2-3 pages in length. The second assignment
will have you analyze a case study drawing on the information
from your text. The case will be given to you and should be returned
the next day. The third assignment will be a take-home exam (handed
out in class). You will have two days to complete and return to
me. The questions will draw from our readings, discussions, and
case studies from our class experiences. You will be asked to
respond both analytically and critically indicating your understanding
of the material presented in class. This assignment will be 10-12
pages in length. In addition, there will be in class and take
home case studies that you will read, analyze, and present summaries
to the class.
All assignments will be typed, double-spaced, size 12 font with
1-inch margins all around.
The following books has been ordered and are/should be available
at the MSU bookstore: Organizational Behavior in Education: Instructional
Leadership and School Reform. Author, Robert G. Owens (7th edition).
"I Won't Learn From You" Author Herbert Kohl
Written assignments will be assessed on the basis of their consistency
with the assignment; development and organization of the argument;
clarity of written expression; use of sources/resources.
Class participation will be evaluated on the following criteria:
demonstrated mastery of the readings, contribution to other students'
understanding and clarity and originality of thought.
will based on the following:
20% Participation, including co-leading one session and case study
20% First paper Critique of Scholarly journal article.
20% Second paper Case study analysis
40% Final paper.
Course overview and introduction
Labor Day-no class; Reading Assignment: I Won't Learn From You.
9/10 "I Won't Learn from You" p. 89-153
Behavior in Education
Chapter 1: Toward a Theory of Practice
Chapter 2: Mainstreams of Organizational Thought
Chapter 3: Organizational Theory In the Modern Period
Chapter 4: The Human Dimension of Organization
Chapter 5: Organizational Culture and Climate (First assignment
Chapter 6: Organizational Change
Chapter 7: Leadership
10/29 Chapter 8: Decision Making
Chapter 9: Conflict in Organization (Second assignment due)
Chapter 10: Motivation
Chapter 11: School Reform
Review (Take home Exam)
Final Exam due in class 4:10
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