Leadership Theories

Leadership Theories

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  • The educational context serving as the focus of this storyboard is middle school, stemming from my experience as a teacher of 6th grade students.
  • Leadership Theories and Styles Hannah Lane (Heintzelman) EDME 505
  • This leadership theory is relevant in educational settings due to meeting the needs of different individuals and groups. For example, a teacher of high school students in an Advanced Placement English course will use a different leadership style than a teacher of middle school students in a learning support classroom.
  • According to “Ten Leadership Theories in Five Minutes” (Morgan, 2014), the Situational Leadership Theory postulates that leaders should adapt their leadership style to match the situation that they face.
  • The Style Theory of Leadership, or Behavioral Theories assume that successful leadership depends on the leadership style and how leaders behave. Examples of the Style/Behavioral Theories are Autocratic, Democratic, or Laissez Faire (Mind Tools Content Team, n.d.). Kurt Lewin developed this framework in the 1930s. 
  • Each style can be used in an educational setting for different purposes, as explained below.
  • In the Autocratic Style of Leadership, leaders are demanding and makes decisions without team input. This style of leadership is appropriate when decisions need to be made quickly and when team agreement is not necessary for success (Mind Tools Content Team, n.d.).
  • This leadership style can be effective for teachers who teach students who need guidance, structure, and boundaries, such as middle school students. Administrators may also employ autocratic leadership when making decisions that do not require input from the entire staff.
  • According to the Mind Tools Content Team, Democratic, Participative Leadership is a style that revolves around setting goals, guiding team discussions, and making the final decision, while also realizing that followers and team members have valuable skills and should be consulted. Followers feel like they are part of the process.
  • This theory is appropriate for middle school teaching because students feel valued when their opinions and concerns are considered. This builds a positive relationship between the teacher and the students. This style promotes student choice, such as choosing a preferred topic or project format or voting to read as a class or independently.
  • This leadership theory can be effective for administrators in education or teachers who work with highly skilled and motivated students. A laissez faire style will not be the most effective style for middle school teachers due to the structure and boundaries needed in a middle school setting.
  • Laissez Faire Leadership is when a leader is very hands-off and includes empowering team members/followers to make decisions and organize processes with “little or no guidance" (Mind Tools Content Team, n.d.).
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