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When this takes place, it is up to the principal to implement the required changes through his influence on the teachers. This is a very time consuming and perseverant effort for all administrators and that includes principals. This brings us to another point that has to be enquired among principals - their perseverance. At the same time, principals are the natural leader among teachers and they are always expected to give the direction and support for all teachers.
This includes providing guidance for identification, selection and development of programs to meet the needs of the students subject to the vision of the school. He also has to ensure that teachers are provided the time, resources, and opportunities for professional development so that the entire curriculum is taken care of. This is probably the most important duty for a principal, and unless the curriculum is actually put into effect, all changes are meaningless. Another area of problems that principals face is with regard to getting the teachers with proper certification for the class. Sometimes, this is not possible, and when this happens, it is important that the principal provides the required support to the teacher. This is sometimes helped by pairing the new teacher with another who is an expert in the subject. (Principals as Curriculum Leaders: New Perspectives for the 21st Century) This is also a set of capabilities for the principal, and it is a necessary part of education and this can be understood only by psychological evaluation of the principals.
The only difficulty is that probably not enough study has been done regarding the process of education in schools. At a senior level, in 1977 there was the publication of Missions of the College Curriculum, brought out by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, an essay on the difficult situation of teaching at the undergraduate level. This asked that there be a revival of core and general education. At around the same time, Harvard also began a renewal of its core curriculum, and that began a wide discussion on the subject. That brought out books like "The closing of the American Mind" in 1987 by Allan Bloom and "Illiberal Education" by Dinesh D'Souza in 1991. These were all results of recognition that there has been a declining level of general knowledge, analytical skill, changes in demography, increase in feminism and multiculturalism among the college students. This has also led to dissatisfaction among the faculty of the environment where teaching is to be conducted. (Trends in General Education and Core Curriculum: A Survey)
This has led to many institutions to go back to previous models, along with the values they had. In America it has been seen that on an average it has taken about two and a half years to change back. Even in Harvard, the change back policy started in 1975 when a Task Force on the Core Curriculum was started. This task force came out with its report in 1978 and the curriculum was changed during a four-year period from 1979 to 83. The change takes time as a consensus has to be reached on the curricular issues and this lasts from philosophical questions to course requirements. Then one goes on to program goals, degree requirement, structure of departmental majors and minors, course content, skill requirements, teaching and counseling techniques, assignment and test design, and methods and standards of assessment. (Trends in General Education and Core Curriculum: A Survey) Thus one cannot be certain that any change that we see today as being for the good of education is permanent.
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Parents as Partners" Retrieved at http://www2.edc.org/mcc/par_int.asp. Accessed on 23 May, 2005[continue]
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