Transformational leadership supports a “leader of leaders” model within a school. This type of leadership works to create a positive school culture, set a school-wide vision and build capacity in other members of the learning community. Transformational leadership can flourish in a learning environment because it because it focuses on the needs of the students, teachers and community through the lens of large systemic change. This view not only addresses these needs through “big picture” goals but also taps into the strengths of others. As Leithwood (2007) discusses in the Jossey-Bass Reader on Educational Leadership, this type of leadership, driven by shared values and high expectations, fosters a positive culture with a dedicated and inspired staff.
Transactional leadership, driven by the accountability movement, is a model of leadership found in many schools. This type of leadership is characterized by a strong school leader that is focused on the teaching and learning in their school. They use various control measures and extrinsic rewards to motivate staff members. Transformational leadership can impact the way an administrator leads a school, because it changes the focus of the leader. The focus becomes a broader, value-based leadership based on building leadership in may ways, by many people, with intrinsic rewards and shared school goals. This type of leadership may be harder to witness and pin point because it is so tightly interwoven with the school culture. Administrators may spend less time managing the teaching environment and more time building leadership capacity from within the school.
The transformational theory can positively impact school goals when applied by an administrator in leading technology integrated instruction. This application includes empowering teachers to use technologies to engage, motivate and teach their students, without the dictation of pecific tools. The administrator would build leadership skills in technology teacher leaders to support colleagues and the school vision. Technology professional development would focus on the overarching themes of student learning, engagement and 21st century skill development.
Leithwood, K. (2007). Chapter thirreen. In The Jossey-Bass Reader on Educational Leadership
(2nd ed.). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.