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“The Role of a Leader in an Educational Process: Gender Differences and Importance of Leadership Qualities Being Developed by Students” is a topic for consideration in a dissertation project. The main aspect of this kind of work is to understand how some aspects of management (the presence or absence of a leader or the gender differences in leadership) can influence an educational process, student satisfaction, and desire to work in groups or independently.
Research has to be conducted in a college with one class. Students should not be aware of the investigation’s true essence, but informed about the differences that cannot be discussed till the experiment is over. Students are divided into three groups and provided with the same tasks, same deadlines, and same conditions. The only difference is the roles divided among the participants of the experiment.
There is one teacher in research. He performs the role of a primary leader, who controls the process and analyzes the activities of students during the whole experiment along with a researcher. The teacher is the required instructional specialist that is able to choose the most appropriate teaching strategies and explain what is expected from students (Harrison & Killion, 2007). In two of three groups, students have to choose a leader: one group should have a female leader, and another group has a male leader. The third group does not have an evident leader because its members are not provided with clear instructions on whether it is necessary to choose a leader, who takes responsibility for the mistakes or inappropriateness of the work done by a group. Due to the necessity to divide the roles without making this condition known to the whole class, it is possible to provide each group with the written assignments. The presence or absence of leaders should differentiate the communication developed in groups or promote some kind of social change (Cohen, Cook-Sather, & Lesnick, 2013).
Quantitative Assessment Instrument
As soon as the investigation begins, students have to be aware of the fact that they are participating in observational research with several different goals to be met and explained further. All students have to answer a number of questions to understand their abilities, readiness to work in groups or individually, and satisfaction with the conditions provided. For example, it is possible to use the LPI assessment developed by Kouzes and Posner (2003). The Leadership Practices Inventory is a chance for each student to develop a number of good qualities and discover the readiness to lead people and clarify the expectations the achievement of which can improve the general state of affairs. A good leader has to understand that each member of a team should be respected still be under control (Northouse, 2010). The chosen assessment instrument should be taken at the beginning of research to provide every student, who performs the functions of a leader in particular, with information about leadership and several brief facts of what a good leader should do. Other students should pass the same tests to identify their readiness to lead and their understanding of the functions of a leader.
There are several purposes that can be achieved during this experiment. First, three groups of students differ in their leaders: a female leader, a male leader, and an absent leader. The purpose is to evaluate the process of work in three groups and underline the role of a leader that is defined by students themselves. Second, the gender point has to be mentioned. It is necessary to clarify if a gender difference matters in an educational process and management in general. Finally, the attention should be paid to the students’ attitudes to a working process, their desire to work in groups or individually with a particular student performing the functions of a leader. Taking into consideration these aspects of the work, the following research purpose can be developed within the frames of the dissertation project: If a gender-differentiated leader can influence student satisfaction, desire to work and cooperate, and achieve the goals required in an educational process.
If nothing is tested in a right way, nothing can be gained and studied (Mitchell & Jolley, 2012). The experimental design with the possibility to organize a survey and ask students and a teacher the questions about the effectiveness of the choices they made has to be considered in this project (Vogt, Gardner, & Haeffele, 2012).
The research design is appropriate to achieve the purpose set because it helps to combine the personal observations with the answers to the assessments offered to each member of research. Students offer their own ideas on whether they are ready to be leaders, work under the leaders’ control, and develop their own ideas knowing that they are under the control of another person.
In general, the topic offered helps to understand the peculiarities of any educational processes and the works students have to perform within a class. Students may not even know about the importance of being guided. The current investigation is a chance to help students realize if their education can be improved by the presence of a leader of their own age or not.
Cohen, J., Cook-Sather, A., & Lesnik, A. (2013). Students as leaders and learners: Toward self-authorship and social change on a college campus. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 50, 3-13.
Harrison, C. & Killion, J. (2007). Ten roles for teacher leaders. Educational Leadership, 65(1), 74-77.
Kouzes, J. & Posner, B. (2003). Leadership practices inventory (“LPI”) Self-Scoring Instrument. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Mitchell, M. & Jolley, J. (2012). Research design explained. Belmont, CA: Cengage Learning.
Northouse, P. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Vogt, W.P., Gardner, D.C., & Haeffele, L.M. (2012). When to use what research design. New York, NY: Guilford Press.