leadership_theory_paper.pdf

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1 Running Head: PROJECT BASED LEARNING Organizational and Leadership Theory: Implementing Project Based Learning ED 7820 Principals of Educational Administration 1897 North Summit Drive Dalton, Georgia 30721 803-600-2729 [email protected] Instructor: Ted Ray
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2 Running Head: PROJECT BASED LEARNING 1. In order to ensure the success of all students, it is critical that all students be offered the same high quality education. This education should be free of inequities caused by tracking, labeling, or inability to design a curriculum for all students. I believe that the best way to ensure the success of all students is to use a Project Based Learning approach. Research shows that students who experience Project Based Learning are more proficient in collaboration and 21 st Century skills that those who do not (Passon p. 252). Furthermore, Bell (2010) states that “three times as many PBL students achieved the highest possible grade on the national exam that the students at traditional school” (p. 40). This is especially significant because it supports the progressive side of the progressive versus traditional school debate. Due to the fact that educators are firmly divided on either side of the traditional versus progressive debate, implementing a fully progressive curriculum is alienating for some teachers. In order for teachers to accept and practice Project Based Learning, it is necessary for them to buy into the concept. Whether or not the administrators employ Theory X or Theory Y leadership greatly affects teacher buy in and what they value while at work. I believe that the only acceptable type of management theory in a Project Based Learning school is Theory Y. Students are managed from a Theory Y perspective, and therefore teachers should be as well. Creativity and self-efficacy are critical to the Project Based Learning process, and therefore teachers should possess these qualities as well. Furthermore, students must be trusted to be self-directed and exercise self-control, which are key principles in the Theory Y management
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3 Running Head: PROJECT BASED LEARNING theory (Valesky p. 18). In order to be successful in Project Based Learning, teachers must not only utilize Theory Y management, but they must also be subject to it. 2. Knippenburg (2007) states that “For most people in work organizations, the organization as a whole is a relatively abstract entity. Their day-to-day work experience is shaped far more by the work group, team, department, or work unit than by their organization as a whole” (p. 295). Because groups are so important to the work place, it is critical that careful planning be used when forming groups. The implementation of Project Based Learning requires that teams of teachers work together in order to design work for students. Gorton and Alston (2009) state that two major conditions that must be set in order for groups to function well are sharing goals and having a spirit of cooperation and teamwork (p. 19). In order for both of these conditions to be met, groups should share a vision and purpose.
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