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ERIC Number: ED533676
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006-Apr
Pages: 32
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
Preparing and Supporting Principals for Effective Leadership: Early Findings from Stanford's School Leadership Study. School Leadership Study: Developing Successful Principals
LaPointe, Michelle; Meyerson, Debra; Darling-Hammond, Linda
Stanford Educational Leadership Institute, Paper prepared for the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, CA, Apr 2006)
The School Leadership Study was designed to contribute important data on how high quality pre- and in-service programs are structured, how they implement the effective strategies noted in the research literature, and the impact of program graduates in the schools they lead. The study examines whether program components triangulate with graduate practice. It also analyzes whether graduates experiences are consistent with program claims, if principal practice reflects what they learned in the program, and if what they learned is reflected in the curriculum, instruction, and organization of schools. The School Leadership Study is guided by the following research questions: (1) Qualities of Effective Programs. What are the range of qualities and design principles displayed in exemplary programs? What are the components of effective training programs and ongoing professional development for principals? How are they designed and implemented?; (2) Context of Exemplary Programs. What role do state, district, and institutional policies play in the development of principal development programs? What does it cost to provide an exemplary professional development program?; and (3) Impact of Exemplary Programs. Are aspiring principals developing the knowledge and skills taught by these programs? Do graduates of exemplary programs report leadership practice that's more instructionally focused, relative to other leaders? Initial findings from the case studies suggest that there are some consistent cross-program characteristics at the core of these exemplary programs. Programs had a strong leader, championing their development. Recruitment and admission practices were rigorous, admitting strong candidates into the programs. Programs were aligned with national, state, district, and professional standards. Programs formed collaborative relationships, working with institutions in their region to provide a comprehensive and integrated experience for program participants. Coursework was linked to robust internships. Cohorts were not simply a way to group candidates, but used as a pedagogical tool to teach teamwork and model distributed leadership. Signature pedagogies (e.g. "Walk Throughs") appear increasingly common across programs. In addition, programs maintained an intense focus on instructional leadership. There are several differences that distinguish these programs from each other. While programs use comparable rhetoric about instructional leadership there are differences in how it is enacted through their program focus and the experiences they provide for participants. There are some philosophical differences, too, that shape the focus of the program. At some programs, the targeted learner is the individual principal while in other cases they focus on the entire system. This influences whether the programs provides a treatment for individual aspiring principals or is a lever in district reform. Data tables are appended. (Contains 12 tables.) [This paper was commissioned by The Wallace Foundation. For the main report, "Preparing School Leaders for a Changing World: Lessons from Exemplary Leadership Development Programs. School Leadership Study. Final Report," see ED533003.]
Stanford Educational Leadership Institute. Available from: Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. Barnum Center 505 Lasuen Mall, Stanford, CA 94305. Tel: 650-725-8600; Fax: 650-736-1682; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Stanford Educational Leadership Institute (SELI); Finance Project
IES Cited: ED561940