01 SES 08 B, Developing Leadership
Parallel Paper Session
Research Questions, Objectives, and Theoretical Framework
In recent years, many countries (e.g. England, Australia, USA) have experienced increased accountability pressures, including policies that require all students to make sufficient progress on state/regional and/ or national assessments. The objective of this paper session is to report on findings from a mixed methods study of the effectiveness of a leadership development model for principals of high-needs, traditionally underperforming schools along the US-Mexico border.
Seven leadership practices introduced in the leadership development model were taken from an international study of successful school principals (ISSPP) that indirectly linked principals’ school improvement practices to gains in student outcomes (e.g. Day, 2005; Hallinger, 2004; Jacobson, et al., 2005; Leithwood, et al., 2004; Ylimaki, et al., 2007; Ylimaki, et al., in press): 1) Setting Directions; 2) Developing People, including Teachers, Parents, and Community Partnerships; 3) Redesigning the Organization and Capacity Building; 4) Creating Work Conditions and Structures Conducive to Continuous Improvement; 5) Managing the Instructional Program (including assessments); 6) Fostering Student Engagement Strategies; and 7) Using Deep Curriculum Content and Pedagogical Knowledge, including Students’ Cultural Backgrounds. These seven leadership skills were also indirectly linked to student achievement in the Leithwood, Louis, Wahlstrom & Anderson (2010) study. The training delivery featured a combination of two approaches: 1) ten days across three institutes with online support and 2) regional meetings between the institutes.
Research question for the mixed methods study are: Can this instructional leadership preparation program increase participated teachers and principals’ instructional leadership knowledge and skills within the 1.5 year time period? How, if at all, do the instructional leadership knowledge modules influence school improvement practices (Is the program effective?)?
Our theoretical framework primarily draws on instructional leadership literature (Hallinger & Murphy, 1986; Marks & Printy, 2003; Robinson, Lloyd, & Rowe, 2008) and studies of leadership linked to student achievement (Jacobson et al., 2005; Leithwood et al., 2010). Instructional leadership studies (e.g. Hallinger & Murphy, 1986; Robinson, Lloyd, & Rowe, 2008) suggest that a combination of leadership practices that focus on improving the work of teachers, student learning, and the school generally are positively associated with improved student outcomes and related school conditions. The most fully tested instructional leadership model developed by Hallinger and his colleagues (1986) consists of three broad categories of leadership practice: defining the school mission, managing the instructional program, and promoting school climate. Associated with these broad categories are a total of 21 more specific functions such as supervising instruction, culture building, and fostering deep understandings of subject matter content. More recent distributed leadership studies have also demonstrated that “instructional” leadership is not the exclusive domain of the principal since teachers and other support professionals play a vital leadership role in the improvement of teaching and learning (e.g. Hallinger, 2004; Marks & Printy, 2003).
References Day, C. (2005). Sustaining school success in challenging contexts: Leadership in English schools. Journal of Educational Administration, 43(6), 573-583. Glaser, B. G. & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative inquiry. Chicago: Aldine Publishing. Glesne, C. (2010). Becoming qualitative researchers: An introduction (4th edition). Prentiss-Hall. Hallinger, P. (2004, January). Reflections on the practice of instructional and transformational leadership. Paper presented at the Annual International Congress for School Effectiveness and School Improvement, Nottingham, UK. Hallinger, P. & Murphy, J. 1986). The social context of effective schools. American Journal of Education, 94(3), 328-355. Jacobson, S., Johnson, L., Ylimaki, R., & Giles, C. (2005). Successful school leadership in changing times: cross national findings in the third year of an international research project. Journal of Educational Administration. 43(6), pp. 607-618. Leithwood, K., Louis, K.S., Anderson, S., & Wahlstrom, K. (2004). How leadership influences student learning. New York: The Wallace Foundation. Leithwood, K., Louis, K.S., Wahlstrom, K. & Anderson, S. (2010). Learning from leadership: Investigating the links to improved student learning. New York: The Wallace Foundation. Marks, H. & Printy, S. (2003). Principal leadership and school performance: An integration of transformation and instructional leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 4(4), 293-331. Robinson, V., Lloyd, C. & Rowe, K. (2008). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: An analysis of differential effects of leadership types. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(5), 635-674. Ylimaki, R., Jacobson, S., & Drysdale, L. (2007). Making a difference in challenging, high-poverty schools: Successful principals in the USA, England, and Australia. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 18(4), pp. 361-381. Ylimaki, R., Bennett, J. Fan, J., & Villasenor, E. (in press). Notions of “success” in Southern Arizona schools: Principal leadership in changing demographic and border contexts. Leadership and Policy in Schools.
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