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Beyond the Initiatives: Developing instructional leadership in school principals as a system-wide effort to improve the quality of classroom instruction.

  • Author(s): Aguilera, Sondra Denise
  • Advisor(s): Trujillo, Tina
  • et al.

This design research effort implemented a series of intervention activities designed to support a small group of elementary school principals improve their instructional leadership practices. The purpose of this research was to improve the skills of principals to lead instructional improvements identified through classroom observations, work with their school-level Instructional Leadership Team (ILT) to create teacher professional development that addresses the instructional improvement, and implement the leadership moves necessary for leading instructional change in their context.

A sample of three principals with more than 3-years principal experience and those who were participating in the Balanced Literacy Cohort were asked to participate in this design challenge. Principals participated in the Instructional Rounds (IR) process over a 6-week span, received pre-training, participated in three IR sessions to collect base-line data on their Problem of Practice, identified and designed a Next-Level Work Plan, collaboratively implemented teacher professional development with their Instructional Leadership Teams (ILTs), and reflected on their progress.

Data were obtained from principals and from teachers on the Instructional Leadership Teams (ILTs) to provide a description of how principal instructional leadership behaviors faired while participating in Instructional Rounds and how this process shaped professional learning. Participants completed pre and post surveys, interviews, IR sessions, and created teacher professional development plans. These data were analyzed against an instructional leadership rubric and evaluated how the Instructional Rounds process shaped instructional leadership behaviors in participating principals.

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