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Standard 5: Role of Schooling in a Democratic Society

The professional leadership preparation program provides each candidate with an opportunity to examine the principles of democratic education from a historical and policy perspective. The program prepares each candidate to understand the role of the school in preparing students as future citizens and to identify and analyze the variety of ideas and forces in society that contribute to a democratic society. The program prepares administrators who understand their responsibility in developing and nurturing public support, family participation, community engagement, labor relations and preparing students for the challenges of the future. The program includes the study of how historical and philosophical forces, as well as policy decisions and prevailing practices, have an impact on schooling.

Program Planning Prompts:

The program is designed to provide each candidate with an opportunity to understand the relationship between federal, state and local policy and practice with respect to the role that government policy has in ensuring democratic education for all students.

Throughout the entire program, candidates are engaged in dialogue, study, reflection, and activities designed to develop and enhance understandings of the role of diverse communities that constitute a democracy and the importance of involving the greater community in the life of our schools. Candidates gain understanding of the historical and philosophical influences on our schools and the roles many individuals and entities play in the development of educational policy.

In the first course, EAD 261 Introduction to Education Administration, which serves as an introduction to the field of educational administration and leadership, candidates are asked to relate their work and future work as leaders to the role of schools and to the many communities that they serve and to which they must continually respond. Candidates prepare relevant questions and interview a school leader (261 Signature Assignment 1). Candidates write a short case study from their own experience that deals with an issue related to diverse school constituencies that is presented to the class and then discussed (261 Signature Assignment 4). The instructor then ties all of the various experiences into an integrated view of the relationships that schools have with their communities.

Fieldwork activities, embedded throughout the coursework contain activities that require the candidate to explore the relationships of schools with their School Site Council, school board (269 Embedded Fieldwork Assignment 1) Parent-Teacher Organization, local community, government agencies and community agencies, and the resources and opportunities they offer to schools. While these activities may be tailored to meet the specific needs of a particular site or district, they are incorporated into the program through fieldwork experiences linked to coursework and the real life of schools (288 Signature Assignment 4).

The program is designed to provide each candidate with an opportunity to understand labor relations, contract compliance and collective bargaining as it relates to schooling in a democratic society.

In EAD 263 Seminar in Instructional Supervision, candidates bring in a copy of their district’s collective bargaining agreement and are asked to compare this agreement to those of the other districts represented. This activity culminates with a synthesis of learnings regarding labor relations, contract compliance, and the role of collective bargaining in meeting the needs of students and educators in a democratic society. A guest speaker, usually an assistant superintendent for human resources, often provides expertise in understanding of these areas.

Also in EAD 263 Seminar in Instructional Supervision, candidates are presented with an overview of the FRISK (Facts / Rule / Impact / Suggestions/Directives / Knowledge) process (a process for documenting employee discipline), which is later covered in more depth in EAD 269 Site-Based Leadership, where candidates actually write an example of a memo to an employee to be disciplined (269 Signature Assignment 1). This activity culminates with the candidate learning ways to maintain effective relationships while assuring contractual compliance and meeting the needs of students.

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