ISSN : 2241-4665
Κριτικές του άρθρου
ISSN : 2241-4665
Ημερομηνία έκδοσης: Αθήνα 2 Μαΐου 2018
“Ηγεσία των Εκπαιδευτικών και Συμπεριληπτική Εκπαίδευση”
Μπούσιου Π. Κωνσταντίνου
« Leadership of Educators and Inclusive Education »
Bousios P. Konstantinos
Providing a clear definition of educational leadership leads to overlapping or competing determinations. "Educational collective leadership" includes management issues, coordinated school activities, collaborative school culture, research, continuing education, common school vision, promotion of creativity and teacher initiatives, with the principle of democracy and cooperation both as a purpose and as a method. Schools need many leaders at all levels. School leadership is more influential when it is widely distributed among educational staff. In the exercise of leadership with the participation of teachers, three basic dimensions are recognized: a) Leadership of students within the formal education system, b) Leadership in operational tasks, and c) Leadership based on the professionalism and fellowship of teachers. Inclusive education aims to overcome all of the obstacles that make it hard for everyone to participate and learn regardless of gender, nationality, social origin, sexuality, disability or performance. There have been opinions related to inclusion with foreigners, migrants or those experiencing problems in schools or with those with learning or intellectual problems. The term "inclusive education" has come to replace the terms "integration" and "inclusion" in order to change the way people have been faced with this process. Educators, through the capability offered by participatory school leadership, should enhance their presence in the definition of educational policy and inclusion practices. This requires a fundamental change in school culture, which presupposes the understanding and desire of all school teachers to engage in leadership activities. In addition, it is necessary to remove obstacles, such as the top-down exercise of leadership, the bureaucracy, the centralized system and the hierarchical culture that characterizes schools, the isolation of teachers, the limited time, the lack of previous experience and support, the constant preservation of the perception of teacher equality and others.
In the present study we are exploring which forms of leadership and in what ways, effectively promote inclusive education.
Our work was divided into three sections. In the first section, we try to clarify the concept of school leadership, to refer to its forms and to emphasize the importance of the collective exercise of school leadership for an effective, democratic and comprehensive school. In the second section, we attempt to delimit the concept of inclusive education and contrast it with its predecessors, the concepts of integration and embodiment. In the third section, we refer to the forms of leadership, practices, activities, attitudes and behaviors of both teachers and school managers who promote inclusive education.
1.1. Collective exercise of school leadership: Conceptual determinations
The literature, in the 1980s, presented the directors as powerful and authoritarian. From the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, the traditional role of leadership is being challenged and adapted to new social and educational developments  .
In the late 1990s and early 2000, political and educational conditions shifted, demanding teachers in school leadership .
In contrast to the traditional perceptions of school leadership, leadership from school teachers is characterized as a type of collective leadership and mutual co-operation in which teachers develop expertise by working collectively and interacting with each other and with their environment. It marks multiple sources of guidance , has positive effects on pedagogy, educational quality and school culture .
The assignment of a clear definition of educational leadership leads to overlapping or competing determinations  .
"Educational collective leadership" includes management issues, coordinated school activities, collaborative school culture, research, continuing education, common school vision, promotion of creativity and teacher initiatives, with the principle of democracy and cooperation both as a goal and as a method . In addition, although the distinction between the concepts of "administration" and "management" is difficult, school management aims at development, cultivation, its vision, while managing it properly .
1.2. Directors and exercise of school leadership
Research shows that directors are the key to successful collective leadership, because they are the guides, the vision, the goals of each school, the motivation for professional development of teachers and their involvement in school leadership .
The aim of a director should be to cultivate a collaborative culture and mutual trust and to remove the tendency to shift responsibilities  .
Nowadays, the idea of the director as a monarch and despot is contrasted with the executive’s image as manager and administrator, but it is also inadequate .
The role of the Director in creating the appropriate school structure is presented as follows:
(a) Distribute clear responsibilities to the teachers  
(b) Promotes teacher participation in school decision making and problem solving 
(c) Encourages and supports the autonomy of teachers in making decisions 
(d) Provides sufficient time for collaborations and research by the teachers 
(e) Creates opportunities for professional development of teachers at school 
(f) Strengthens the professional status of teachers, since teachers need to feel that their work is recognized within and outside the school community 
(g) Helps to establish constructive interpersonal relations with pupils' parents and with members of school and regional committees  
Directors have to cope with these expectations when they are aware of the needs of both their teachers and their pupils, as well as educational reforms in general .
An important factor in strengthening modern school, is not so much the effective school leadership, but the exercise of sustainable effective leadership, a leadership that emphasizes succession .
It is considered necessary to have leaders on many levels, precisely because an organization, like school, cannot flourish with the actions of the chief commander. This is the so-called affinity to leadership. The sustainability of leadership depends on many leaders and the quality of leadership must be achieved by many stakeholders .
Therefore, schools need many leaders at all levels. School leadership is more influential when it is widely distributed among educational staff .
1.3. Educators and exercise of school leadership
The literature review, referring to school leadership, in several cases, is identical to the position of the director rather than the collective action of school teachers. This is because schools remain unchanged hierarchical organizations, equalizing leadership with prestige, authority and position.
In contrast, recent research findings on effective leadership emphasize that it is not practiced by a single person but shared in school among teachers .
Although teachers have been a target and a factor in school reform for decades, they have not yet taken on dynamic roles .
In leadership’s exercise with the participation of teachers, we recognize three basic dimensions:
(a) Leadership of students within the formal education system. This relates to the pedagogical climate within the classroom, teaching, creating links with students, clarity of rules, innovative teaching methods .
(b) Leadership in functional tasks (Collinson et al., 2009). These concern the participation of teachers in school decision making, their participation in the school council, the school committee and various education committees. They also involve organizing the school, coordinating or directing a team of teachers, guiding on innovative teaching methods or educational reforms, collaborating with parents and guardians' associations, universities, local businesses .
(c) Leadership based on the professionalism and fellowship of teachers  . It recognizes their right to express their leadership skills regardless of their specialization or position at school and beyond the performance of their teaching duties .
In particular, a network of supportive mechanisms of distributive leadership is required under the following six basic dimensions :
(a) Existence of vision, interest and expectations by teachers 
(b) Creation of leadership opportunities at school 
(c) Support for teachers by encouraging and helping their lifelong training so that they can take leadership roles in their schools  
(d) Provision of resources, human and material, including time, which, although it is a crucial factor in the development of programs for participatory leadership 
(e) Provision of motivations and recognition of their work for leadership 
(f) Clarity of their role in their quest to balance their classroom responsibilities and their new responsibilities in the exercise of school leadership. It should be noted that the uncertainty associated with the teachers' leading roles also adds remarkable complications to the development of new cooperative conditions between themselves and their directors .
In this context, teachers need credibility, education, educational research, and easy access to information.
Literature often refers to the need for teachers to take part in decision-making, which affects children's learning, curriculum development, resource management, school staff selection, academic evaluation, achievement of school objectives .
2.1. Definition of inclusive education
The term inclusive education as adopted by UNESCO at the Salamanca Conference in 1994 can be read as follows: "…education for all, taking into account the needs and diversity of all, training non-exclusion " .
The term inclusion includes the right of all children to attend a comprehensive school, including the fight against discrimination and equal opportunities for all children .
Inclusive education aims to overcome all the obstacles that make it difficult for everyone to participate and learn regardless of gender, nationality, social origin, sexuality, disability or performance  .
The objective of inclusive education is to involve and eliminate the exclusion of low-performance pupils with disabilities or with divergent behavior from the comprehensive school.
The success of this goal is related to the negative attitude of teachers towards inclusive education because it impedes their school class objectives such as material coverage or high student performance .
The creation of a comprehensive school for all, respecting diversity and exploiting diversity is the ultimate goal of inclusive education .
Nowadays, the idea of school inclusion reinforces the prevalence of children with learning disabilities or people with special educational needs and, at the same time, the assumption that these children have more common points and fewer differences than other children of their age .
According to Ganevaro, the inclusion of children with special educational needs is an innovative change in the form of a traditional school that is beneficial for all students, as it contributes to "shaping a pedagogy that respects differences and accepts diversity as the highest pedagogical and social value " .
A research by Angelides, Stylianou and Gibbs  proves that participants with different ways in the educational process have a different perception of inclusion. Some argue that inclusive education emerges from the Special Education sector, some of which address the education of the disadvantaged, others that its main concern is the categorization of pupils with those with special needs, and some advocate that the term "inclusion" means the movement of some children from the special to the regular education. Opinions have also been made regarding inclusion with foreigners, immigrants or those experiencing problems in schools or those with learning or intellectual problems.
In general, however, we can say that the concept of inclusion governs the development of curricula and educational systems in many countries, although it varies from country to country, even within the education system itself. By this definition, we are not just referring to the placement of a child with special educational needs in the normal school, but also to the conditions under which we can effectively educate all children .
2.2. Correlation of the concepts of "integration", "embodiment" and "inclusive education"
The term "inclusive education" has come to replace the terms "integration" and "embodiment" in order to change the way people have been faced with this process. The difficulty in separating the concepts is that the terms "inclusion" and "inclusive education" are socially charged and thus differentiate according to status, time and content .
The term "integration" means "the systematic placement of someone within something else and the completion of the subject as an independent, integral part of a larger whole" . The term "embodiment" means "the one-way attachment and simulation of one to a totality"  and the term "inclusive education" refers to education involving all pupils, the diversity of all .
The term "embodiment" means "reciprocal acceptance by a group or a team, of one person or of one team" and the development of relationships, without the provision of any particular assistance either by the group or by any external agent, resulting in full absorption of the individual or group in formed relationships . It is a socialization process that takes place through interaction. This term is used to emphasize the efforts made to eliminate isolation and marginalization.
The difference between the terms "integration" and "embodiment" is that in the integration, the original basic characteristics of the individual or group of individuals are maintained, which are enriched and progressed to ever-increasing levels of integration, while in embodiment, the original basic characteristics disappear, from the characteristics of a wider set.
Finally, there are some basic differences between the concepts of "integration" and "inclusion", in terms of the school environment and the student, although the distinction is not so obvious. Thus, the term "embodiment" is interpreted narrowly to attribute the physical placement and adaptation of the pupil to a common school and not to its wider social and educational integration. The term "inclusion" considers it necessary to adapt the school to satisfy all pupils without exception . The term "embodiment" implies changes that occur to the disadvantaged, according to criteria of people who do not notice any disadvantage. It proposes an assimilation model, which implies that the goal is to incorporate someone who has been excluded from something that is considered normal to return to it. Additionally, the term "embodiment" does not admit the positive elements that each individual can bring to his / her learning environment, which detracts primarily from any kind of alternative, personal experience . However, the term "inclusion" translates the right to belong to the prevailing tendency and puts an end to discrimination by emphasizing equal opportunities for all students .
The role of leadership that has changed significantly in recent years is considered crucial to effective inclusive education. A large number of studies highlight the important role of leaders in the development of inclusive education .
Leader today is not only the school principal, but the tendency for leadership to be scattered and distributed to more and more people, including students  . Ryan  considers the inclusive leadership not as something hierarchical or as people mechanically performing their duties, but as a collective function in which everyone is involved or represented. This leadership is inclusive because it includes as many individuals and groups as possible and as many values and ideas as possible in decision-making and policy-making.
3.1. The role of the director in the development of inclusive education
'' The director is everything ... It is more than how he works with teachers ... he affects everything: motivation, moral, emotions, relationships with students ... with parents ... how he relates to children .... Effective managers are the ones who create a positive climate ... An inefficient person can destroy them all. " 
Director as the head of the school is the person who will or will be able to create the conditions for conversion of the school into a school team by exercising the basic administrative work and providing space and resources to the human potential school community to develop and progress.
According to Leithwood and Beatty , the development of emotional intelligence, i.e. the ability of the person in charge to perceive, recognize and take into account the feelings created in his team, and the ability to share personal feelings, as well as creating conditions of safety and openness for all members of the school community, is the most important condition for creating the real school team. A school team that we are envisioned to be a member. A school team that is open, social, friendly, productive, synthetic, collaborative, critical, progressive, essential, and inclusive.
The secret of such an attitude is not existed in the ability of the director to feel the others, but in wisdom and inner power to feel together with others.
3.2. The role of teachers in the development of inclusive education
In inclusive education programs, an important element is the cooperation of both teachers and students. For children with special educational needs, their co-education is related to the collective responsibility of the entire school community and not only to the class teacher or the specialist teacher. The separation of teachers' roles and the cooperation among teachers within the school community can influence the inclusion of children either positively, which is both desirable, or negative. When there is a clear distribution of roles and a proper and responsible co-operation of all the specialties that exist in the school community, then the program of inclusive education will be implemented and achieved, whereas if not all of them exist, there will be nothing successful and the only one who will be disadvantaged is the child with special educational needs .
This was also observed in a study carried out in France by teachers working in inclusive education schools, and the fact that the roles were not clearly separated was observed, thus influencing the proper functioning of the co-educational program and cooperation, but on the other hand, there was a great concern on the part of parents about the effectiveness of this program . Regarding the co-operation between teachers and pupils in the context of inclusive education, teachers should have discussions with students so that they do not distinguish their classmate because of their cognitive, behavioral or even external differences.
Also, another competence of the teacher is to recognize the child's accomplishments with distinctive features .
Certainly, the requirements of inclusion are enough and teachers' doubts about the effectiveness of these programs have been strongly and repeatedly highlighted in the traditional course conditions. Most of their criticism focuses on the inadequacy of teaching time, the potential inadequacy of programs, and the potential burden on the rest of the classroom students. However, the majority of teachers also report the lack of the necessary knowledge and skills that are essential for achieving inclusive programs. Nevertheless, the greatest number of deficiencies of most teachers is not so much about the subject of special pedagogy as a didactic methodology, i.e. it is not related to their readiness in relation to knowledge and educational programs but to their ability to approach different children with different methods .
What needs to be understood is that all students do not learn at the same pace and in the same way, and therefore a different approach to the objectives in the design of teaching and a different supportive structure are needed. They also mention obstacles to the inclusion of children with and without special educational needs in school building facilities and the lack of appropriate supervisory tools  .
However, the role of teachers in inclusive education programs is very important, as the teacher is the lever to mobilize such a program. The success or failure of the program depends on them. In order to achieve the success of the program, common goals and projects are needed, and thus new methods of cooperation, something that has not been the case until now. This requires both general and special education teachers to acquire new skills in areas such as organization, counseling and communication, skills that in themselves require continuous improvement of teachers  .
Researchers argue that traditional leadership theories are not the most valid in the present complexity of the school, they are not effective and do not correspond to the modern requirements of inclusive education. Instead, they substitute for inclusive leadership, not as hierarchical or as mechanically performing their duties, but as a collective function in which everyone is involved or represented.
Educators, through the capability offered by participatory school leadership, should enhance their presence in the definition of educational policy and inclusion practices. This requires a fundamental change in school culture, which presupposes the understanding and desire of all school teachers to engage in leadership activities.
In addition, it is necessary to remove obstacles, such as the top-down exercise of leadership, the bureaucracy, the centralized system and the hierarchical culture that characterize schools, the isolation of teachers, the limited time, the lack of previous experience and support, the constant preservation of the perception of teacher equality and others.
Thus, educators will overcome the leeway offered by the classroom, change their way of thinking for their colleagues and devise new ways of developing inclusive education.
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