Needs & Barriers In Inclusive Leadership In Primary Schools: An Experience From The Field
A key concern today is the question about the Inclusive leadership in our nation’s primary schools as it increasingly relies on diverse learners, multidisciplinary teachers, and a community of different cultural heritage, and teachers. But simply throwing a mix of key elements of good schools together doesn’t guarantee qualitative cum productive performance of schools for society as well as country; it requires inclusive leadership — leadership that assures that all members feel they are treated respectfully and fairly, are valued and sense that they belong, and are confident and inspired.
In this study, an investigation was conducted for the needs and barriers of Inclusive leadership in primary schools. This study determined that why we need Inclusive leadership in primary schools? and what are the key barriers to instrument these approaches in schools? An interpretive approach to a case study was in place, where experience has been gathered from an experienced head of schools. Apart from this exercise, some primary schools have been visited to get hand-on experiences regarding the requirement of Inclusive leadership and to validate the field experience for its barriers.
This case study considered advocacy exercises for the establishment of Inclusive leadership in primary schools of India. This study found that the establishment of Inclusive leadership in primary schools may play a vital role in quality education for learners and make a school democratic in manner.
To conclude, this study sought the needs and barriers to inclusive leadership that influence the school environment in becoming a democratic school. Finally, this study proposes that Inclusive leadership ought to be in place in primary school to help the learner in many aspects of their future life as a responsible citizen of the country.
The emergence of democratic schools and the dominance of inclusive leadership and are the most significant developments of the 21st century in democratic countries of this world. The new role that inclusive leadership might play, the new gates it might open and the unknown world it might bring to light are the wombs of the future for democratic primary schools.
Inclusive leadership in primary schools eradicates negativism and develops a positive attitude in thoughts, words, and deeds for students as well as teachers too. It develops self-esteem, respect for others, the strength of character, moral and human values. It helps us in contributing skills and energy towards creating a better society and builds a good personality.
Inclusive leadership in primary schools teaches the art of leading successful leadership and transforms value-based behavior among learners. It encourages creativity and positivity, the culture of sharing, collaboration for professional development, humility and visible commitment for schools.
Inclusive leadership in primary school can be utilized in several ways to bring academic excellence. Some of an important way maybe –
Numerous academic disciplines are interested in leadership studies as it is a critical underlying factor in achieving the goals and objectives of the democratic school. However, findings from an uncountable number of leadership-based research suggest an overt emphasis on leader behaviors much more than the effects of leader behaviors on their subordinates (Hollander, Park, Boyd, Elman, & Ignani, 2008). This supports the position of Burns (1978) who noted that leadership behaviors vis-à-vis the attendant characteristics should not be separated from the needs and goals of their follows. It is therefore important to take a close look at a leadership style in primary schools that is more focused on needs and in developing future leaders for society as well country too. Also, in the ever-changing school environment, calls for the type of leadership that can adjust, adapt, be flexible and see things from all-inclusive perspectives have become critical. This is so because organizations’ key success factors are not dependent on their practices and procedures, but by leaders who display characteristics of inclusion (Janakiraman, 2011).
In development theory and attendant studies, the concept of inclusiveness is used to espouse the need to actively involve the poor and less privileged in developmental decision-making, implementation and execution processes (Wuffli, 2016). Specifically, inclusive leadership is used to depict leaders who encourage and value contributions from others, thereby shaping the belief system of their subordinates that they are genuinely appreciated (Nembhard & Edmundson, 2006). Inclusive leadership ascribes so much emphasis on ‘doing things with people, and not to people’ (Hollander et al., 2008). In essence, Carmeli, Reiter-Palmon & Ziv (2010) succinctly summarized inclusive leadership as a leadership style where leaders exhibit openness, accessibility, and availability in the course of interacting with their followers. Suffice to say that given the characteristics of the inclusive leadership style, subordinates are usually encouraged to speak up about situations in the workplace (Bowers, Robertson, & Parchman, 2012), knowing that their leaders are open to their suggestions, are accessible to discuss issues, and are readily available to work with them in achieving organizational goals and objectives. Interestingly, it is critical to note that some studies have examined how inclusive leadership
can exert organizational outcomes. These studies were done in educational (Ryan, 2006; Garrison-Wade, Sobel, & Fulmer, 2007; Rayner, 2009; Fierke, Lui, Lepp, & Baldwin, 2014) and religious (Echols, 2009) settings. Though very few studies have been done to find the needs and barriers regarding the Inclusive leadership in primary schools therefore it caught my attention to understand and connect these themes with field experiences.
Inclusive leadership seeks as a leadership style as exhibit openness, accessibility and availability in the course of interacting with their followers, encouraged to speak up about situations in the workplace, accessible to discuss issues, and readily available to work with the team to achieve organizational goals and objectives.
The leadership style is intended to complement, not to replace traditional leadership. It does not seek to deny the importance of studying how things go wrong, but rather to emphasize the importance of using the scientific method to determine how things go right. In primary school, inclusive leadership can be both an applied and a theoretical subject, it can be utilized in several ways in schools like value integration, bringing harmony among students as well as teachers and promote learning in class, etc.
In primary school, inclusive leadership may teach the art of leading a successful professional life and transforms valued behavior among students. It brings about harmony and national integration. It encourages creativity and positivity in a school environment, creating a culture of accumulation, possessiveness, selfishness, and greed. These ultimately stifle the inherent qualities of an inclusive leader that may promote collaborative learnings in primary school.
The above-given needs may be some important need behind the advocacy of inclusive leadership in primary schools.
During the listening, the experiences of experienced teachers in the field felt that there are some barriers to implement this inclusive leadership concept in primary schools. Some of the key barriers are hereunder –
So, Inclusive leadership may teach the art of leading a successful professional life and transforms valued behavior among students and teachers too. It may bring about harmony and national integration. It may encourage creativity and positivity in a school environment, creating a culture of accumulation, possessiveness, selfishness, and greed. ·
Therefore, Inclusive leadership in primary school is a relatively nascent field to develop the mindset for national integration through good schooling. Its emphasis on what goes right with quality education and explores the factors that make the life of students and teachers worth living, such as happiness, leadership, positive emotions, positive character strengths, and positive institutions. Hence, Inclusive leadership has a vital role in national integration and it may create good citizens for a progressive country.
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