Leadership and diversity
Leadership is one of the aspects that leads to the development of effective learning institutions. It shapes the methods that run institutions such that success is achieved. It is important to note that the issue of diversity has become essential in every organization for the purpose of promoting equality. It entails individual differences that distinguish people from each other. The view is that, by considering diversity, it becomes easier to develop an environment that suits the needs of each. The most affected areas are urban settings as they contain people from various areas who focus on particular goals (Brighouse, 2008). It, therefore, becomes inevitable to analyze leadership issues in the urban locations and the different contextual and cultural themes that are primarily related to urban leadership, and particularly in schools. The school that the paper purposes to analyze is The Lycée Français de New York. The idea is to examine the characteristics of the urban school context in addition to the characteristics of children found in the institution. The characteristics, in this case, include; percentage of kids considered ethnic minorities and those that are bilingual and multilingual. In essence, it can be derived that classes are increasingly becoming multicultural. In essence, The Lycée Français de New York teaches French while it is dominated by English speakers and hence making it challenging for teachers in meeting the needs of the groups. Traditionally, students who are taught in a multicultural classroom are at a deficit primarily because they must learn the art of interacting with unfamiliar people, identifying the language differences, and their cultures. In the case of The Lycée Français de New York, the teachers, who are predominantly native English and French speakers, have the responsibility of guiding students in a diverse environment in regards to individuals from various cultures with the focus put on achievement.
The Lycée Français de New York that began its operations in October 1935 provides a perfect avenue of highlighting leadership problems that have been encountered in the past to the present about multi-cultures and diversity encompassed in urban schools. The institution receives support from American and French nationals, thus supporting the essence of diversity in urban schools. It is important to note that the school was originally an American private institution. It took the name as a tribute to an educational system that unanimously was recognized for quality and discipline, as well as highlighting its personality and originality of the French culture when compared to the American context. At the start of the school, it had 24 students, but by the 70s, the population had grown to over 1000, as well as receiving a vast expansion of the facilities; including the buildings and facilities. Since 1935 over 35,000 students have registered at the Lycée Français de New York (LFNY) and it is one of the most diverse institutions in New York. For instance, it is estimated that the school has over 150 nationalities and hence reporting a high number in its history. Therefore, the organization presents an excellent example of a public institution that is diverse in addition to having tremendous changes since its inception.
Diversity and leadership
The primary objective of this paper is describing the characteristics and features of The Lycée Français de New York, including the past and current changes. The paper will explore the nature of the challenges and opportunities of leadership in the school, the ways in which the school administration responds to the challenges, as well as the relevance and notion of the leadership of place. Another factor to put into perspective is personal and professional practice in regards to the leadership theories, conceptual issues and policy and practice. An analysis of scholarly works will be included to analyze the views of various scholars in addition to a reflection of the implications of adequate leadership and diversity will be highlighted.
By exploring and developing the understanding of the ways in which leadership is bound to context and culture, it becomes easier to comprehend the means to improving the core offer of all stakeholders involved in a multicultural context, as well as those that deal with urban education. From a personal perspective, the analysis is relevant in exploring leadership skills that are adequate or rather necessary for a diverse environment by which one becomes culturally sensitive when interacting with others.
Leadership and diversity theory and research
From a general perspective, urban schools, such as The Lycée Français de New York, tend to be multicultural and are playing a huge role in making changes in organizations in the current world. For this reason, it is vital to comprehend and adopt relevant and appropriate responses to the culture and context of a global teacher, as well as the professional work of individuals in the world. There is need to consider methods that leaders in public institutions use to develop the skills required for meeting the needs of a diverse environment. The methods put into view the changing dynamics of school organizations, as well as the community in general, by which it becomes less challenging in successfully leading urban schools that are diverse. According to Riley (2009), leaders in urban environments should be capable of focusing on understanding the context of the school community so that they begin conceptualizing the challenges that students face while learning at a diverse institution, as well as the problems they face in their day to day activities. In essence, once they comprehend these challenges, professionals in the education field will be able to create a school environment that is better matched to the needs of students. Brighouse (2008) presents a comprehensive analysis of the role of leadership in the urban environment. For instance, Brighouse (2008) asserts that to be a leader in urban schools, and in particular those serving students from families that face various socio-economic challenges, they have to show aspects of character. They should also exhibit a range of qualities that include indomitable will, as well as show a passion for success that can brook no denial. Be that as it may, there are various researches that support passion and commitment to be among the attributes associated with effective leadership that includes Davies and Brighouse (2008) as well as Day (2004). It, therefore, becomes important to question the unique competencies and skills required for leaders in an urban context for them to perform effectively.
The definition of an urban school in the U.S. is quite direct when compared to defining an urban school in the U.K. The reason is that the American society has no instances of social and economic deprivation, but is characterized by a vast diversity primarily due to the immigration policies adopted by the American Government (Urias, 2012). For this reason, the Lycée Français de New York is characterized by wide diversity, including faith, cultures, race, as well as the aspect of multilingualism and bilingualism. It is important to note that there is a problem with defining what an urban school is. For instance, Harris (2002) and Grace (2006) have recognized the problem: Grace (2006) articulates that it is how urban school leaders respond, deal with the contradictions and diversity in their environment that measure, and define their work’s impact. On the other hand, Harris (2002) recognizes the difficulties that face scholars in identifying urban schools due to variance in the complexities of societies, as well as the relations highlighted by communities dictated by multi-connected problems.