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Good cop, bad cop: Exploring school principals’ emotionally manipulative behaviours

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich, Ori Eyal
Educational Management Administration and Leadership, Volume 45, Issue 6, 2017, Pages 944-958

Abstract

Research on school principals’ behaviours that affect teachers’ emotional state is limited. Currently, the focus is primarily on extreme manifestations of mistreatment and emotional abuse; normative daily behaviours, such as emotionally manipulative ones, have yet to be explored. The purpose of the present study is to investigate primary school principals’ manipulative behaviours, i.e., principals’ actions aimed at enlisting others to advance their goals by stimulating emotions. Based on the self-report scale of Austin et al. (2007), we developed a modified other-report scale to explore principals’ emotionally manipulative behaviours with both negative and positive orientations. The scale was used in a cross-sectional field survey, in which teachers rated their principals’ manipulative behaviours. We found support for the prevalence of both types of principals’ emotionally manipulative behaviours and of their effects on teachers’ negative and positive emotions arising from interactions with the principals. We also found that principals who ranked higher in negative and positive emotionally manipulative behaviours self-reported having greater controlling tendencies. The findings and their implications are discussed.

Effects of principal-teacher gender similarity on teacher's trust and organizational commitment

In press
Izhak Berkovich
Sex Roles

Abstract

In many Western public primary school systems, the gender composition of the principals is more heterogenic than that of the teachers, but research on the effect of gender on social psychological processes related to school leadership is scarce. The present work aims to address this lacuna by exploring the effects of principal-teacher gender similarity in the Israeli public primary school system, where most teachers are women, on teachers’ trust in their principals and on organizational commitment. Data from 594 female public primary teachers working with male and female principals were analyzed. The results show that when the principal and teacher are of the same gender, both affective and cognitive trust in the principal are higher. Moderation analysis indicated that female teachers’ affective trust in male principals increases with relational duration. A second moderation effect that was found indicated that gender similarity and cognitive trust in principal have a negative interactive effect on teachers’ continued commitment to school, countering the positive effect of gender similarity on commitment. The results and their implications are discussed, and future research is recommended.

A cross-national examination of the effect of the Schwartz cultural dimensions on PISA performance assessments

In press
Pascale Benoliel, Izhak Berkovich
Social Indicators Research

Abstract

In recent years, PISA assessments have become more frequent, and transnational borrowing and policy adaptation have steadily increased, with implications on national education reform policies. The growing impact of globalization in education policy seems to have reinforced the underlying legitimacy of an educational world that lacks cultural diversity. This study seeks to highlight cultural dimensions as significant indicators of disparities in educational performance across countries in international tests. Combining data from the World Values Survey with the PISA scores database, we examined how the Schwartz cultural dimensions relate to student PISA achievement at the national level. Results of regression analysis indicate that when controlling for GDP per capita, Conservatism (i.e., tradition, conformity, and security) remains the best predictor of PISA test results in the three core disciplines. Cultural dimensions in general, and Conservatism in particular, play a significant role in explaining academic achievements per country. Paradoxically, while globalization, in some instances, has led to positive educational policies and multicultural values that challenge Conservatism and Traditionalism, Conservatism may ultimately serve to build the group identity, social cohesion, and national solidarity necessary in this dynamic global era. This study emphasizes the need for comparative exploration that takes into account the influence of cultural dimensions at the national level. This is something that we hope will assist educational administrators to make their educational systems both more effective and more socially responsive.

Social justice leadership in education, activism and social change: Conceptual framework and discussion in the Israeli context

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Studies in Educational Administration and Organization, Volume 35, Pages 191-222

Abstract

This article discusses social justice leadership in education, aiming to contribute to the Israeli discourse on this issue. The article resorts to international literature to point out the gap between the conceptualizations of social injustices and desired social changes, which are described as linked with multiple social systems on one hand, and with social justice leadership that operates only within schools on the other. The purpose of the article is to extend the conceptualization of social justice leadership in education and associate it with the concepts of activism and social change. The article embraces a socio-ecological perspective and reviews works on social justice leadership in education, activism, and social change in order to present the idea that in the presence of existing barriers to social justice, educational leaders should serve as activists in schools, communities, and in the policy arena. The article offers a macro framework focusing on individual leaders in the field, and emphasizes the need to maintain coherence between intentions, actions, and outcomes in order to promote effectively social justice in a socio-ecological system. The article also discusses the possible tensions that can emerge in a heterogeneous, multicultural, and sectoral society such as the Israeli one as a result of trying to translate abstract ideas of social justice into concrete actions and suggests a cooperative and pragmatic approach as a way to deal with this complexity.

Publication in Hebrew

Beyond qualitative/quantitative structuralism: The positivist qualitative research and the paradigmatic disclaimer

In press
Izhak Berkovich
Quality and Quantity

Abstract

Scholarly discourse concerning the distinction between qualitative and quantitative approach often takes on a binary character. This structuralism undermines the legitimacy of positivist qualitative research, a unique method frequently used in social science research. In the present essay, the author argues that positivist qualitative research should be recognized as a unique form of qualitative research. The essay focuses on three issues: (a) the paradigmatic roots of positivist qualitative research, (b) the components of positivist qualitative research as an empirical research approach, including a typology for mapping various manifestations of partially and fully positivist qualitative research, and (c) incorporating a paradigmatic disclaimer section in articles to improve the quality of qualitative research, positivist and non-positivist alike. Recognizing positivist qualitative research as a distinct and legitimate type can improve qualitative studies in social science.

Educational reform hyperwaves: Reconceptualizing Cuban's theories of change

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Journal of Educational Change, Volume 18, Issue 4, 2017, Pages 413-438

Abstract

The present work builds on Larry Cuban’s (1990) seminal work on reform waves. The research explores reform waves in Israeli educational policies since 2000s. The historical case study analysis focuses on conservative and liberal-progressive reforms in education, and reveals that these reforms took place as reoccurring alternating cycles, connected with political and institutional pressures that promote reform waves. The paper argues, however, that it is necessary to further develop Cuban’s theory because it does not provide an explanation for the temporal frequency of reform waves. The paper suggests betwixt and between situations as factors pushing reform waves into hyperdrive. The paper ends with a discussion of the implications of reform hyperwaves.

Methodological review of studies on educational leaders and emotions (1992-2012): Insights into the meaning of an emerging research field in educational administration

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich, Ori Eyal
Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 55, Issue 5, 2017, Pages 469-491

Abstract

Purpose
This a methodological review of the literature on educational leaders and emotions that includes 49 empirical studies published in peer-reviewed journals between 1992-2012.

Design/methodology/approach
The work systematically analyzes descriptive information, methods, and designs in these studies, and their development over time.

Findings
The review suggests that scholarly interest in educational leaders and emotions has increased over time, and identifies methodological patterns in this body of research. The results are compared with methodological data from other syntheses in the disciplines of educational administration (EA) and organizational behavior (OB) for the purpose of using the findings to produce broader insights into the meaning of an emerging research field in EA.

Originality/value
The findings of the methodological review are interpreted from two conceptual perspectives: functionalist and critical. Together, they offer a holistic portrayal of the meaning of producing scientific knowledge in an emerging research field in EA.

Emotional reframing as a mediator of the relationships between transformational school leadership and teachers' motivation and commitment

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich, Ori Eyal
Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 55, Issue 5, 2017, Pages 450-468

Abstract

Purpose
Empirical evidence links transformational school leadership to teachers’ autonomous motivation and affective organizational commitment. Little empirical research, however, has focused on the emotional mechanisms behind these relations. Following the argument in the literature that transformational leadership can transform followers’ emotions, we examine whether teacher’s experience of emotional reframing by principal mediates the relationships between transformational school leadership and these work-related outcomes (i.e., teachers’ motivation and commitment).

Design/methodology/approach
Questionnaires were used to collect information from 639 primary school teachers nested in 69 randomly sampled schools. The data were analyzed using multilevel path analysis software.

Findings
The results indicated that the effect of transformational school leadership behaviors on teachers’ autonomous motivation was fully mediated by emotional reframing, and that the effect of transformational school leadership on affective organizational commitment was partially mediated by it. We further found an indirect relationship of transformational school leadership with affective organizational commitment through emotional reframing and autonomous motivation.

Originality/value
The present study makes a unique contribution to the literature by confirming that teachers’ sense of emotional reframing is a key affective mechanism by which school leaders influence teachers’ motivation and commitment.

Reflections on leadership preparation programs and social justice: Are the power and the responsibility of the faculty all in the design?

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 55, Issue 3, 2017, Pages 261-279

Abstract

Purpose
Fundamental aspects of educational leadership preparation programs regarding social justice are embodied in program design elements, yet the scholarly community did not adequately address these issues.

Design/methodology/approach
The essay suggests that organizational theories dealing with person-environment fit can shed light on the models, possibilities, and limitations of various preparation programs.

Findings
The essay proposes a meta-conceptual framework that builds on Schneider’s attraction-selection-attrition theory and on the socialization literature to classify leadership preparation programs by design. In addition, the paper reflects on the implications of program design in relation to the power and the responsibility of the faculty.

Originality/value
The essay argues that design decisions made by the faculty a priori enable and constrain its power and responsibility. The conclusion is that design decisions should be made by faculty with awareness of these issues.

Will it sink or will it float: Putting three common conceptions about principals' transformational leadership to the test

In press
Izhak Berkovich
Educational Management Administration and Leadership

Abstract

In discussions about transformational leadership theory, three conceptions frequently emerge: (a) principals’ transformational leadership behaviours are more prevalent in national contexts than are restructuring-oriented; (b) principals’ transformational behaviours are more effective than transactional behaviours; and (c) principals are either transformational or transactional. These conceptions are repeatedly addressed but seldom explored in an empirical manner. Accepting conceptions as given might result in flattening scholarly discourse and depriving practice of research knowledge. The present paper aims to investigate these conceptions based on data derived from published works and from the author’s database. The results of the investigation suggest that conceptions about principals’ transformational leadership in education are unsupported by empirical exploration. Educational leadership research may be improved by periodically subjecting conceptions to empirical test and incorporating in future works only those that show empirical support. Such exploration is necessary to maintain relevance in an applied research field such as education.

The effects of principals’ communication practices on teachers' emotional distress

In press
Izhak Berkovich, Ori Eyal
Educational Management Administration and Leadership

Abstract

Educational leadership plays a significant role in school success, which it is said to achieve through its effects on teachers’ emotions, attitudes, and behaviours. However, the knowledge of how school leaders influence teachers’ emotions is greatly limited. Most existing evidence focuses on general explanations that are not the result of controlled research designs, which is why we lack solid operative knowledge on principals’ emotional support of teachers in emotional distress. The present study seeks to address this lacuna. Our approach focuses on interpersonal communication aimed at expanding the operative knowledge about emotionally supportive communication in principal-teacher relations. The study is based on the experimental vignette method, which makes it possible to infer causality. The data were collected using a sample of 113 primary school teachers. The study found that principals’ empathic listening is associated with greater attributed emotional reframing (i.e., positive emotional change), irrespective of the message that principals communicate; however it is only the presence of reframing message, whether empowering or normalising, that influences the actual reframing of negative affect.

The mediating role of principals’ transformational leadership behaviors in promoting teachers’ emotional wellness at work: A study in Israeli primary schools

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich, Ori Eyal
Educational Management Administration and Leadership, Volume 45, Issue 2, 2017, Pages 316-335

Abstract

The present study aims to examine whether principals’ emotional intelligence (specifically, their ability to recognize emotions in others) makes them more effective transformational leaders, measured by the reframing of teachers’ emotions. The study uses multisource data from principals and their teachers in 69 randomly sampled primary schools. Principals undertook a performance task to allow assessment of their emotion recognition ability; half the teachers’ sampled (N = 319) reported on principals’ leadership behaviors and the other half (N = 320) on teachers’ subjective perceptions of principals as promoting teachers’ reframing of negative emotions into more positive ones. Data were analyzed through multilevel structural equation modeling. Findings indicated a cross-level relationship between principals’ transformational leadership behaviors and teachers’ emotional reframing, as well as a relationship between principals’ emotion recognition ability and their transformational behaviors. Furthermore, the study revealed that principals’ emotion recognition ability has an indirect effect on teachers’ emotional reframing through principals’ transformational leadership behaviors. The results provide empirical support for the claim that transformational leadership promotes emotional transformation. The theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed.

The educational aims of the OECD in its TALIS insight and lesson reports: Exploring societal orientations

In press
Izhak Berkovich, Pascale Benoliel
Critical Studies in Education

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore the societal orientations (individualist vs. collectivist) of educational aims, in constructions of teacher professionalism framed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Teaching and Learning International Survey (TALIS) insight and lesson reports. The critical discourse analysis of OECD TALIS documents suggests that the OECD discourse on teacher professionalism attested to a dual orientation: individualist and anti-collectivist. Our results contribute to the theoretical understanding of the educational aims of the OECD, which lead the global discourse in education, and of the cultural orientation that is part of its conceptualization of new professional teaching. The article discusses the implications of its findings.

Policymakers' regulatory mindset, the regulatory governance body of the system, and the regulated soul of educators

In press
Izhak Berkovich
Comparative Education Review

Abstract

The article aims to explain how regulation in education operates in the neoliberal age. The paper discusses two possible regulatory implementation strategies: congruent and transforming. Congruence regulation strategy adopts a regulation mechanism set according to the array of circumstances, as determined by the nature of the goals and by conflict level in a given context; transforming regulation strategy aims to reshape the array by defining the existing policy circumstances. I argue that neoliberal policymakers favor transforming regulation as a leading strategy to implement policies that result in tightening the regulatory governance of the education system and of professional culture in education.

Pedagogy out of order: Relinking critical teaching with the dialogical aspect of transformative learning

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Teachers College Record, February 15, 2016

Abstract

This commentary is a criticism of the dominating technical approach to critical teaching, which the author views as inherently linked with promoting what Jack Mezirow called transformative learning. The author suggests that both cognitive and dialogical orientations are necessary to promote authentic transformation through critical teaching. The author discusses the problems involved in over-focus on the technical cognitive aspect in critical teaching, and welcomes a dialogical focus in critical teaching as a way to promote students’ authentic transformative learning.

School leaders and transformational leadership theory: Time to part ways?

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 54, Issue 5, Pages 609-622

Abstract

Purpose

After decades in which transformational leadership theory has prevailed as the dominant paradigm in leadership scholarship, critical voices have started raising serious concerns about its falsifiability, suggesting that transformational leadership theory should be abandoned. Although transformational leadership is key to conceptualizing ideal school leadership, the discourse did not find its way into the education field. The present work aims to address this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The essay combines a review of the critique of the falsifiability of the transformational leadership theory with a discussion of the utility and fit of the theory.

Findings

On the 25th anniversary of transformational leadership theory, I suggest to the educational administration community not to abandon transformational leadership, but to address its shortcomings and look toward future challenges as the community contemplates the promises the theory holds for the field.

Originality/value

The essay examines the current status of the transformational leadership theory in the field of educational administration and offers an interpretative critique.

There is no 'T' in school improvement: The missing team perspective

Journal paper
Pascale Benoliel, Izhak Berkovich
International Journal of Educational Management, Volume 31, Issue 7, 2017, Pages 922-929

Abstract

Purpose
The concept of teams tend to be marginalized in the scholarly discussion of school improvement. The present paper argues that teams play a crucial role in promoting an holistic integration of school operation necessary to support school change. Specifically, the paper outlines the dynamic of effective teams at times of school improvement.

Design/methodology/approach
The article presents the concept of teams, elaborates on their central function as a ‘coupling mechanism’, and describes the reciprocal relations between teams and school change.

Findings
The article emphasizes the reciprocal effects of teams and change, suggesting that teams can serve as key change agents in school restructuring processes, specifically when balancing between ‘coping’ and ‘pushing’ forces. Based on the model, effective team leadership and effective school leadership at times of school change are introduced. Practical implications are discussed for school leaders.

Originality/value
The integration of the concept of teams into the school improvement discourse might assist school leaders to develop processes and procedures that will enable both school teams and schools to react more effectively in times of change and restructuring.

The corrupted industry and the “wagon-wheel effect”: A cross-country exploration of the effect of government corruption on public service effectiveness

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Administration and Society, Volume 48, Issue 5, 2016, Pages 559–579

Abstract

The present study addresses a topic neglected by the public administration literature: government corruption and its effects on public service systems. Specifically, the study focuses on the institutionalized form of government corruption and offers a framework to explain how corrupt industry operates. The results indicate that in countries with a high level of corruption, a higher ratio of public expenditure on education is associated with less effective educational outcomes, supporting the “wagon-wheel effect” (i.e., policy aimed to promote public service quality leads to its deterioration). The implications of the results for the administration of public service systems are discussed.

Educational leaders and emotions: An international review of empirical evidence 1992-2012

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich, Ori Eyal
Review of Educational Research, Volume 58, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 129-167

Abstract

The aim of the present article is to review the international evidence about emotional aspects related to educational leaders. The review focuses on empirical studies published in peer-refereed educational journals between 1992 and 2012. First, we address the importance of researching emotions for understanding educational leaders. Next, we present the method used in the production of this narrative review. The bulk of the article presents empirical evidence from 49 studies organized along themes. Three central themes have emerged in the review: (a) the factors influencing the leaders’ emotions, (b) leaders’ behaviors and their effects on followers’ emotions, and (c) leaders’ emotional abilities. Within each theme, we present subthemes that include summaries of the relevant key findings. The article concludes with several methodological recommendations and an outline of possible directions for future research.

A socio-ecological framework of social justice leadership in education

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 52, Issue 3, 2014, Pages 282-309

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to present the gap between conceptualizations of social injustices and the desired social transformation that addresses multiple social subsystems and levels on one hand, and social justice leadership that addresses intra-school efforts on the other. The paper aims to expand the conceptualization of social justice leadership and tie it together with concepts of activism and social change.

Design/methodology/approach
The paper adopts a socio-ecological perspective. It reviews works about social justice leadership in education, activism, and social change to present the notion that in light of existing social justice barriers educational leaders should serve as activists in schools and in the community and policy areas.

Findings
The paper presents a macro framework, focussing on individual leaders in the field and on the consolidation of intentions, actions, and outcomes in a manner necessary for using social justice as an effective socio-political agenda in a socio-ecological system.

Originality/value
The paper presents a conceptual framework which can enable practitioners and researchers to better understand social justice efforts.

Neo-liberal governance and the ‘new professionalism’ of Israeli principals

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Comparative Education Review, Volume 58, Issue 3, 2014, Pages 428-456

Abstract

The Israeli Ministry of Education has recently initiated a program of reform in the training of public school principals that aims to expand state licensing regulations for educational leaders. This article suggests that the principals’ training and licensing (PTL) reform should be linked to the attempt by Israeli policy makers to institutionalize evaluative neoliberal governance in the Israeli education system. To support this suggestion, the article traces the historical development of PTL policies in Israel to set the new centralized reform in its neoliberal context, and links it to the rise of “new professionalism” in Israeli educational administration. The innovative framework presented here links educational governance and PTL policies together to facilitate a systematic analysis of licensing regulation policies and reforms in other national contexts.

Between person and person: Dialogical pedagogy in authentic leadership development

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Academy of Management Learning and Education, Volume 13, Issue 2, 2014, Pages 245-264

Abstract

This paper is a critique of the dominant functionalist discourse in authentic leadership theory, which shapes the manner in which we perceive authentic leadership development. As an alternative, I offer adopting dialogical philosophy as a theoretical lens for conceptualizing authentic leadership development. Drawing on various dialogical communication works, I explore how dialogical pedagogy can be used to improve authentic leadership development. I suggest eight components of dialogical pedagogy that can be adopted in authentic leadership development: self-exposure, open-mindedness, empathy, care, respect, critical thinking, contact, and mutuality. The advantages, limitations, and implications of dialogical pedagogy for authentic leadership development are then discussed.

A multidimensional approach in international comparative policy analysis based on demographic projections

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Population Research and Policy Review, Volume 32, Issue 6, 2013, Pages 943-968

Abstract

The present study adopts a multidimensional approach to classifying countries in international comparative policy analyses. The article builds a data-based typology founded on future demographic projections of the United Nations. Latent class analysis is used to identify various demographic profiles of countries based on fertility rates, net migration rates, and dependency ratios. There is great value in identifying future changes in population composition, as it enables governments to set policy agenda, prioritize needs, and prepare better for what lies ahead. The paper demonstrates the value of such typology to social services, by analyzing the demographic profiles and estimating their implications for future challenges in educational provision. The contributions of the paper to international comparative policy analysis are discussed.

Third sector involvement in public education: The Israeli case

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich, Vincent J. Foldes
Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 50, Issue 2, 2012, Pages 173-187

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this article is to address the involvement of third sector organizations in state public education in Israel, with emphasis on the decision‐making processes affecting the geographic distribution of service provision.

Design/methodology/approach
A collective case study approach was used to investigate non‐governmental organization (NGO) procedures for the deployment of the educational services they provide. The study was based on semi‐structured interviews with key personnel and on documents from four NGOs operating in the Israeli public education system.

Findings
The article illustrates the extent of third sector organizations’ involvement in the Israeli public educational system, in most cases operated with significant governmental funding. The findings reveal two main factors in the NGOs’ decision‐making process that affect their operational deployment: the type of financing model they adopted and the nature of their relationship with the Ministry of Education.

Practical implications
The paper’s findings have led to several policy recommendations. It recommends that NGOs be more aware of their financing model and more critical in its appraisal. It also recommends that the state take into account the vision and financing model of NGOs and its own strategic responsibility for reaching nationwide social goals when selecting partners.

Originality/value
The study examines the increasing involvement of NGOs in state public education. As trends of privatization and democratization continue, the number of NGOs operating in the public education system continues to rise, and their importance continues to increase.

Making the right choice: Ethical judgments among educational leaders

Journal paper
Ori Eyal, Izhak Berkovich, Talya Schwartz
Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 49, Issue 4, 2011, Pages 396-413

Abstract

Purpose
Scholars have adopted a multiple ethical paradigms approach in an attempt to better understand the bases upon which everyday ethical dilemmas are resolved by educational leaders. The aim of this study is to examine the ethical considerations in ethical judgments of aspiring principals.

Design/methodology/approach
To examine the ethical considerations involved in school leadership decision making, a specially designed ethical perspective instrument was developed that draws on the multiple ethical paradigms. This exploratory instrument was pre‐tested for validity and reliability among school principals and students of educational administration. The research sample consisted of 52 participants in principal training programs in Israel.

Findings
Negative correlations were found between choices reflecting values of fairness and those reflecting utilitarianism and care. In addition, negative correlations were found between choices reflecting values of community and those reflecting care, critique, and profession. Critique turned out to be the value most widely adopted by educational leaders to solve ethical dilemmas, followed by care and profession.

Originality/value
The common notion in the literature is that the various ethics complement one another. There is, however, little empirical work on ethical judgments of educational practitioners. The importance of this exploratory research is twofold: first, it examines the extent to which multiple ethical considerations can be taken into account simultaneously; and second, it identifies the prevailing values that come into play most often.

No we won’t! Teachers’ resistance to educational reform

Journal paper
Izhak Berkovich
Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 49, Issue 5, 2011, Pages 563-578

Abstract

Purpose
Teachers’ resistance to educational reform has been explored, with special attention given to the reasons driving opposition and the resistance practices employed inside school walls. These studies have not, however, examined the agenda setting strategy employed by teachers opposing new policy on the national level, nor has any extensive study focused on the messages or rhetoric characterizing their opposition. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the rhetoric and images used in web‐based campaigns by teachers to secure public support for their resistance to the “New Horizon” reform in Israel 2007 teachers’ strike.

Design/methodology/approach
This study employs a descriptive case study methodology to illustrate the bottom‐up political strategy employed by teachers seeking public support for their opposition to reform. Content analysis of entries and manifestos posted on prominent teachers’ weblogs and partisan school web sites during Israel’s 64‐day teachers’ strike in 2007 was conducted. Texts discussing the reform and its leaders, as well as educational and policy issues were analyzed inductively, divided according to meaning units, and then grouped together into categories.

Findings
Data indicate that the media, and specifically the internet, are perceived as major arena for garnering legitimacy and support. Teachers’ rhetoric of resistance to reform was found to be characterized by: the use of emotional and rational appeals, the attempt to present teachers as “champions of education”, the use of dramatic labeling addressed at reformist leaders, and symbolic images of political parties.

Originality/value
The paper presents a conceptual model of political processes in the education system. The findings show the agenda setting strategy as reflected in teachers’ cross‐level bottom‐up attempts to influence politics. Furthermore, teachers’ rhetoric in resisting educational reform shows great similarity to the rhetoric of political campaigns. Theoretical and practical implications of findings are discussed.

National challenges, educational reforms, and their influence on school management: The Israeli case

Journal paper
Ori Eyal, Izhak Berkovich
Educational Planning, Volume 19, Issue 4, 2011, Pages 44-63

Abstract

Considering Cohen, March and Olsen’s (1972) “garbage can model,” this paper seeks to examine how educational reforms, adopted by Israel from pre-statehood to contemporarily times, have impacted the role of principals and whether these reforms have prepared them to address challenges of the system. Using second-order historical sources, the paper employs a socio-historical based data analysis to examine the complex relationship between policies, structures, and values and their impact on the role of the principal. For each historical period in the Israeli education system the paper discusses the immediate societal challenges, the origins of the adopted reforms, and the influence of these reforms on the role of the school principal and his/her ability to respond to the challenges placed before him/her. This analysis demonstrates how imported policies and international trends, that are loosely connected to local social, cultural, political and educational contexts and the first fundamental layer of centralized reform adopted in Israel, have impact policy-making and limited the principal’s response to contemporary socioeducational challenges. It is consequently argued that because the system is consistently delayed in adopting educational reform, principals have been forced to respond to the challenges of yesterday instead of focusing on future, and even current challenges. Few studies have employed both the “garbage can model” and a sociohistorical perspective for studying policy-making in education and its influence on the evolution of the role of the principal. The present novel study has the potential to fill this gap in our knowledge by analyzing long-term processes and turning points that have simultaneously shaped the principals’ ability to face societal challenges.

From personal ethos to organizational vision: Narratives of visionary educational leaders

Journal paper
Raya Yoeli, Izhak Berkovich
Journal of Educational Administration, Volume 48, Issue 4, 2010, Pages 451-467

Abstract

Purpose
Successful visionary educational leaders promote a shared vision with great commitment and manage to connect other organizational members to it. In spite of this, the source of their personal commitment to the organizational vision has not yet been the subject of extended study. The purpose of this paper is to correct this by investigating leaders’ personal ethos; the personal experiences and values which form their motives and personality. This paper furthermore considers the influence of personal ethos on the content of the vision promoted in educational organizations. Finally, it explores the link between leaders’ personal vision and the organizational vision they promote.

Design/methodology/approach
Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with visionary educational leaders. These interviews were narrative in nature and aimed to explore the development process and the interrelation of personal and organizational vision in an educational framework.

Findings
Data indicate that visionary educational leaders do not separate their personal vision from their organizational vision. Furthermore, the educational leaders interviewed told of formative experiences which affected their worldview and shaped their personal ethos. Personal ethos proved to be a key element in formulating the leaders’ personal and organization vision. Four prominent factors emerged as central to the personal ethos of educational leaders: identity, culture and values, professional experience, and family.

Originality/value
The findings suggest that educational leaders should engage in a process of self‐reflection in order to form a significant personal vision to which they can fully commit. Furthermore, the insights of leaders about what is important to them can enable an open dialogue with other organizational members and the development of a shared vision.