Students are not getting sufficient meaningful learning from the assessment they are getting. The key reason is that in many assessments the stakes are so high that teaching attentions move to passing the assessment instead of transferring useful skills to the students. The constructivism theory has been a key feature of literature that has recently been on curriculum networks and teachers’ manuals. It offers the role that learners’ education should cover. Learners have a role to play in their education, and they have to be the leaders, as much as they are receiving guidance from the teaching fraternity. The assumption here is that a student learns on demand, but this not always the reality and students end up on the wrong side (Lynch, 2012).
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When constructivism is incorporated to learning leadership, the teacher takes the initiative as the leader to seek the student’s point of view. The students become stakeholders in the learning process. The lessons become collaborative work where the teacher works with big ideas make decisions. However, influencing leadership skills for teachers based on a constructivism perspective is difficult because there is a need for rigorous intellectual commitment. The students that will be recipients of the teaching will also need to persevere. Unfortunately, all this is supposed to work in the context of other systematic process of education, which may not provide all the necessary support and space for using the constructivist approach to teaching leadership skills in educational settings (Lynch, 2012).
As leadership continues to be a subject of inquiring and a feature of higher education, new information continues to point to the need for an interactive paradigm. Leaders and followers have to be able to maintain flexible roles. They have to accept constant change. They need to work in teams. In some cases, they have to embrace decentralization in the decision-making process. In the educational setting, leaders and followers influence the outcome of learning. On the other hand, the reliance on credentials acquired from the education process to qualify leaders has also caused many school leaders to lose the meaning of leadership development.
Leaders can eventually move beyond short-term requirements by following the humanistic approach. Leaders can learn the importance of having a positive spirit of accomplishment. This belief in a desirable outcome that is attainable and can be used in reality is necessary (Owen, 2015).
Rather than consider leadership skills as packaged products that can be taught in one setting, the humanistic approach calls for the use of different approaches that recognize individual differences and circumstantial influences on the learning process. In fact, it calls for the input of socioeconomic and economic conditions as they affect the learning of leadership skills. Besides, the humanistic theory requests trainers to be listening, focus on empowerment, show appreciation, embrace good qualities such as devotion and respect because these eventually transfer to their students. It shows that the transferred learning is not only what is taught, but also what students learn by interacting with their trainers in an educational setting (Owen, 2015).
The behaviorism theory sees leadership as an objective set of qualities that the leader has to master. The theory considers this as a set of skills that leaders must have. Thus, it is very particular while the constructivism and humanistic approaches were centered on being responsive to circumstances. Thus, in this approach, no virtue or inborn potential is needed. Leadership is all about actions and knowing these actions and taking them will be the skills that leaders need. Anyone can be a leader with the training, and that explains why the behaviorism theory has been the most prevalent of the leadership theories used in many training institutions. It is easy to apply because it does not burden the trainer with the need for developing a contextual process for student leaders (Day, Harrison, & Halpin, 2009).
The application of the three theories of leadership skills training shows diverse approaches and understanding. The behaviorism theory pushes stakeholders to focus on a systematic approach to training while the other two theories have been focusing on the personality characteristics of both the learner and the teacher. While they are effective, they also demand additional infrastructural adjustment that many training systems are not able to provide. Without bending rules, it is almost impossible to infuse the preferred outcomes to the training scenario. However, given that leadership skills are in reality people skills, the humanistic and constructivism approaches still have a role to play and have been very prevalent in scenarios where there is high stake accountability accompanied by a need for long-term outcomes.
Day, D. V., Harrison, M. M., & Halpin, S. M. (2009). An Integrative approach to leader development: Connecting adult development. New York, NY: Psychology Press. Web.
Lynch, M. (2012). A guide to effective school leadership theories. New York, NY: Routledge. Web.
Owen, J. E. (2015). Innovative learning for leadership development. San Francisco, CA: Jossey_Boss. Web.