Topic: Personal Leadership Philosophy Essay


This paper is a statement of your personal philosophy of educational leadership, which should focus on the purpose of leadership, which is why leadership is carried out and not so much how it is carried out. Your purpose of leadership is to emphasize the long-range impact you believe leadership should have on stakeholders and on the community—the outcome of leadership. As you convey your philosophy, you are to focus on its outcome rather than on methods and practices. Those are tools of carrying out your philosophy; therefore, a simple discussion of leadership strategies does not make up your philosophy of leadership.

This paper is to be supported by the body of knowledge in the field and must include references to literature from educational philosophy, psychology, curriculum, and learning theory. Treat this as a position statement–a persuasive paper. Make declarative statements of “ought” and “should.”

This paper must be 4–6 pages, use current APA format, and include a minimum of 4 references.

HEADINGS: To ensure the paper meets the requirements of the rubric, you are to include the elements listed below. Note the required headings that are to be placed in the same order in your paper as they appear in the outline below.

1.         Title Page

a.         Title: Consider the title of your paper to be your motto, slogan, or bumper-sticker version of your philosophy. It should be clear enough to give the reader some idea of what you believe about the purpose of educational leadership. Avoid statements that sound vague or flippant or that focus on procedures and practices. Consider adding a subtitle. Subtitles can bring clarity to the main title.

b.         Other Information on Title Page

•           Candidate Name

•           Candidate ID#

•           Course# and Section

•           Professor’s Name

2.         Abstract

•           Place the abstract after the title page and before the introduction to the paper.

•           The abstract should be what you would write on an employment application or what you would say verbally in an interview if asked directly about your philosophy of educational leadership.

•           First Sentence: Write your thesis statement first. It should state what you believe the long-range impact leadership should have on stakeholders and on the community.

•           Paragraph: Subsequent sentences should practically explain what you will do in your leadership to carry out the philosophy you stated in the first sentence.

3.         Introduction (Do not use a heading for this section.)

•           The purpose of the introductory paragraph is different from the abstract. Do not simply copy the abstract.

•           In this section, introduce your thesis statement that will be developed throughout the paper.

•           It is best to place the thesis statement at the end of the introduction. This serves as a transition into the rest of the paper.

o          Thesis Statement: The thesis statement and introduction to it should focus on the purpose, outcomes, goals, and impact of educational leadership. It should not address how important it is to have a philosophy of leadership and should not focus on practices. Focus on the “why” instead of the “how.”

4.         Philosophy of Educational Leadership (first heading)

•           This section should flow smoothly from the previous one and should continue to focus on the “why” of educational leadership—the long-range impact you believe leadership should have on stakeholders and on the community. Save the “how” of education for the next section.

•           This is the core part of the paper where you expound more specifically on your thesis statement.

•           State what you believe. Don not feel obligated to embrace a particularly established philosophy. However, you are to situate your beliefs among others by citing ideas that illustrate yours or are in opposition to yours.

•           Refer to the knowledge base in educational leadership that includes psychology, philosophy, and theory. Do not try to cover everything; just identify 1 or 2 key theories that might illustrate your own beliefs about the purpose of leadership.

•           Be cautious about assigning to yourself a label that you do not fully understand. If you do not understand all that the label entails, you could unknowingly convey inconsistent ideas throughout your paper.

5.         Leadership Practice (second heading)

•           This section should flow smoothly from the previous one.

•           Address what you will implement in your leadership practice, which is the “how” part of leadership.

•           What practices, strategies, or methods will you tend to use most frequently? Why?

•           What do you hope to accomplish by using these strategies?

•           Now would be a good time to go back to the introduction and ask yourself, “Did I address leadership practices in the introduction instead of the purpose/impact of leadership?” If you did, revise the introduction so that it addresses the purpose of leadership. Come back to this section to focus on the process of leadership.

6.         Relationships (third heading)

(Remember that the questions listed in this guide are only to stimulate thought. You are not required to answer them systematically. Doing so might make your paper too rigid.)

•           What is the role of the follower/faculty?

•           What is the role of the leader/administrator?

•           How should they relate to each other and why?

•           What other relationships are important in educational leadership and why?

7.         Diversity (fourth heading)

•           What diversity factors need to be taken into account by the leader?

•           How do factors of diversity impact leadership?

8.         Your Choice of Headings (optional)

•           You may insert optional headings here to address issues that are important to your philosophy of leadership.

•           Here are some ideas you might want to consider:

o          My calling

o          Parent role and relationship with leader

o          Current critical issues in leadership

9.         Conclusion (final required heading)

•           Your conclusion should tie in with the introduction somehow so that your paper displays coherence.

•           If your introduction included a metaphor, quote, theme, etc., it would be appropriate to tie back into that.

•           Both the introduction and conclusion should focus on the thesis of the paper, which is to address the purpose/outcome/impact of leadership (not the processes of leadership).


Q: I would like to use a paper or parts of a paper I wrote for another class. Is this okay?

A: Yes, as long as you do the following:

•           Get the permission of this course instructor.

•           Ensure that your paper meets the rubric for this course.

•           Cite yourself as APA requires.

•           Insert a statement in noticeable font on the title page such as this: “Portions of this paper were drawn from a previous work submitted in EDUC ***.”


•           State where you agree or disagree with some of the leading theories and theorists.

•           Because this paper is made up of your personal views, it will be graded on how well you followed the rubric, supported your ideas, and presented them in a clear, consistent manner. You may disagree with the instructor without any penalty.

•           Avoid dwelling too much on biographical or testimonial information. How you came to believe what you do is not as important as what you believe and your rationale for it.


You must use your textbook as one of your references. Incorporate into the paper some key ideas from the textbook to support or illustrate your philosophy of educational leadership or to cite ideas that are in opposition to what you believe. You may use a variety of other sources, such as:

•           Your methods and psychology textbooks

•           The Bible (Current APA permits you to cite the Bible in the body of the paper. Ensure that you have the correct number of sources listed on the reference page.)

•           Educational journals

•           Books you’ve read that have influenced your philosophy.

•           Do not use Wikipedia as a source in an academic paper. Because it is an open environment, the information is constantly being changed by registered users and is not always reliable.

•           Include at least four references. A variety of resources should be represented: books, journals, online, Christian, secular, etc.

Type of service-Academic paper writing
Type of assignment-Essay
Pages / words-4 / 1100
Number of sources-4
Academic level-Master’s
Paper format-APA
Line spacing-Double
Language style
US English

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