Triple Entry Journal on article

Instruction: A triple entry journal is a 1,000 to 1,200-word journal entry that is divided into three components.

The first component involves writing a paragraph summarizing the main themes of the article.

The second component includes a reflection in response to the key points of the article. This component also requires you to research a second academic article, not in the syllabus that can inform and enrich the discussion. Include how the second article counters or bolster claims made in the first article. Wikipedia, political commentary, speeches, and media articles are not academic sources.

The final section of the triple entry journal requires you to think of and write one analytical question and its rationale. The rationale describes the significance of the analytical question being asked. Why is this question important? How does it relate to the topic? Students are warned here not to be caught up in a ‘question loop’ (series of questions), whereby the rationale is missed. Students do not need to answer the question. Students can use the question to base a discussion post.

Note: The second reference should be taken from the reference list of the main article.

Write all parts in sentence format – no bullet points. Submit an MS Word document. Use APA 7th edition referencing format for all articles. You may write in first person (i.e., use “I” statements).

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Solution

Wallin and Newton (2014) Triple-Entry Journal

This triple-entry journal focuses on the article by Wallin and Newton (2014) entitled, “Teaching Principals in Small Rural Schools: “My Cup Overfloweth.” It provides a summary of the main themes, a reflection on the key points, and creates an analytical question with its rationale.

Summary of the Main Themes of the Article

The main themes covered in the peer-reviewed article included: the existence of rural-urban gaps in educational outcomes, dual roles of the teaching principals, and the practical importance of genuine community engagement in the small rural school context in Manitoba, Canada. First,  the occurrence of significant rural-urban education gaps are exemplified by practical differences in classroom learning settings, specialized support programs, student achievement data, leader and teacher qualifications, rates of employee attrition, lower socio-economic backgrounds and reduced transition rate to secondary and tertiary education (Wallin & Newton, 2014, p.709). The authors established that gaps in educational outcomes for students who attend small rural learning facilities had a detrimental impact on the quality of educational experience for the involved students, educators and the communities as a whole (Wallin & Newton, 2014, p.710).

Another key theme covered in the article is the duality of roles of teaching principals within the small rural school environment. The authors asserted that the majority of principals in small rural schools are expected to undertake both administrative tasks and teaching roles, and hence assumes the dual role of being both the school principal and classroom teacher. Based on the data collected from interviews with 12 teaching principals, it was argued that the dual role of the principal in the small rural school context is defined by their active engagement in specified administrative tasks as well as their involvement in the provision of direct instruction (Wallin & Newton, 2014, p.709). The article established that whilst principals in large urban schools tend to lack the classroom experience associated with direct teaching, the teaching principal in small rural schools is well-placed to assume a myriad of teaching assignments alongside their instructional leadership roles. Therefore, the article demonstrated the extent to which the teaching principal in a small rural school is confronted with a wide range of administrative and non-administrative tasks and responsibilities that could not only be enriching but also become a major source of work-life imbalances.

The third theme explored in the article is the practical importance of community engagement and stakeholder participation in the small rural schooling context. Ideally, the authors acknowledged that active collaboration and partnerships between the students, educators, parents and communities played a fundamental role in streamlining the case of distributed and democratic leadership in a small school (Wallin & Newton, 2014, p.717). Moreover, the finding illustrated the centrality of collaboration and community engagement in different areas including student development and growth, maintenance of supportive and favorable learning environment, resource mobilization and utilization, decision-making and problem-solving, networking and most importantly, in team-working and teambuilding. Both internal and external collaboration with relevant stakeholders was essential in building mutual trust and mutual recognition as the starting point for enhancing the quality of relationships developed between the teaching principals with students, staffing personnel and community members (Wallin & Newton, 2014, p.718).

 

Reflection on Key Points

The authors emphasized the centrality of increased stakeholder collaboration in improving the educational outcomes and experience of students and the educators in small rural schools. According to the authors, the genuine engagement of learners, their parents, teachers and the communities in the educational policies, procedures and practices of a small school was identified to be crucial in amplifying the practical benefits of distributed leadership and instructional leadership (Wallin & Newton, 2014, p.718). For instance, the creation of sustained and long-term school-community linkages stood out as an effective mechanism through which teaching principals can secure meaningful, reciprocal and supportive relationships with the relevant stakeholders, including parents, authorities, communities and their respective leaders (Wallin & Newton, 2014, p.719). Similar conclusions are shared by other researchers who established that continuous engagement and collaboration with the communities where the small school is situated can have positive impact on the ability of the teaching principals to identify and confront some of the major challenges (e.g. workloads, the re-defined principalship, educational equity problems, school survival, role duality) experienced in the small rural school environments (Starr & White, 2008, p.7).

Another key point captured in the article under review is the practical importance of adopting a student-centered approach, and role-modeling in the school leadership process. The findings illustrated that the formation of closer student-teacher relationships was integral to creating and maintaining dynamic and flexible learning and teaching environments where the distinct needs, demands and expectations of the learners and those of staff were effectively identified and responded to at the different phases of intervention (Wallin & Newton, 2014, p.714). Moreover, the article captured the greater need for the school leadership to engage in genuine role-modeling and continuous networking with relevant parties in order to ensure relevant organizational resources and technical competencies and expertise are mobilized and utilized to promote better individual and collective performance, and to inspire increased student engagement, relationship building and motivation to learn (Wallin & Newton, 2014, 715).  On the contrary, heavy workloads, restricted resource allocation, increased bureaucratic interference and the alleged marginalization of small school principals contributed to a difficulty operating environment where a majority of teaching principals do not feel supported by the mainstream education system, and hence the occurrence of work-life imbalances, work-related burnouts and high attrition rates (Starr & White, 2008, p.7).

Analytical Question

From the teaching principal’s viewpoint, what are the factors contributing to successful school principalship in small schools in Manitoba?

Rationale

Basing on the perspectives of teaching principals, this analytical question intends to delve further into some of the main factors contributing to the success of teaching principals in the context of small schools. Indeed, the role of the teaching principal is complicated by a myriad of factors including the gendered nature of leadership in small rural schools, increased marginalization of small schools, inadequate resource mobilization, the threat of school closure and the less privileged attached to the dual role of the principal as both an administrator and teacher (Starr & White, 2008, p.8). However, the findings by revealed that the formation and maintenance of quality relationships with students, teaching staff and community members was a key source of positive energy, and a major contributing factor to successful school principalship (Wallin & Newton, 2014, p.714). Equally, the eminent role of the small school principal as public representatives of the immediate community where they serve must be further examined to determine how the formation of reciprocal relations and meaningful networking opportunities contribute to successful principalship (Starr & White, 2008, p.4). Moreover, a number of factors including staff shortages, lack of adequate organizational resources, limited scope of small school programming, lower student population, active stakeholder collaboration, and confined learning environments played a major role in shaping the dual roles associated with teaching principalship (Wallin & Newton, 2014, p.716). In practice, the study argued that a myriad of organizational, technical and structural limitations often come into play to negatively affect the educational practices and outcomes associated with small rural schools in comparison to their urban-based, larger public schools. Therefore, this analytical question aims at going beyond the challenges faced by teaching principals in favor of a better understanding of the practical opportunities and driving forces behind their success during their tenure in small schools.

 

References

Starr, K., & White, S. (2008). The small rural school principalship: Key challenges and cross-school responses. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 23(5), 1–12. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/237544752_The_Small_Rural_School_Principalship_Key_Challenges_and_Cross-School_Responses

Wallin, D.C. & Newton, P. (2014).Teaching Principals in Small Rural Schools: “My Cup Overfloweth”. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, 60(4), 708-725. DOI: https://doi.org/10.11575/ajer.v60i4.55982