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ERIC Number: EJ1002233
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
Strength Training: Aspiring Principals Need Fortified Programs to Prepare Them for the Challenges They Face
Gill, Jennifer
Journal of Staff Development, v33 n6 p24-27, 31 Dec 2012
Every district wants its schools to shine, and more are recognizing that, in order to raise performance, they need well-trained principals who can shake up the status quo and create an environment where all students flourish. Indeed, in a six-year study analyzing data from 180 schools in nine states, researchers from the Universities of Minnesota and Toronto found that leadership is second only to teaching among school-related factors as an influence on student learning (Louis, Leithwood, Wahlstrom, & Anderson, 2010, p. 9). But principals who can make a difference, particularly in troubled urban schools, are in a new kind of job, one no longer centered on "books, boilers, and buses." Instead, today's principal needs to focus on improving teaching and learning. Virtually all states have taken the first step toward bolstering this type of leadership by adopting new learning-centered standards that redefine the principal's role. Some are using those standards to push for long-overdue redesigns of training programs. Urban districts from Boston to San Diego, meanwhile, are working with nonprofits and local universities to develop high-quality training that helps principals succeed--and stay--on the job. Early signs indicate that investing in training may pay dividends to students. Unfortunately, strong principal training programs remain the exception, not the rule. Too often, programs, especially university-based ones where the majority of school leaders are trained, inadequately prepare future principals for the challenges that will face them, most notably in schools with high needs. A recently published report by The Wallace Foundation, a New York City-based philanthropy that works on school leadership matters, offers five lessons about how to address the chronic weaknesses in leadership training: (1) Principal training programs need to be more selective; (2) Aspiring principals need training that prepares them to lead improved instruction, not just manage buildings; (3) Districts must exercise their "consumer power" to raise the quality of principal training so that new hires better meet their needs; (4) States must use their authority to influence the quality of leadership training; and (5) Principals need high-quality mentoring and professional development once they are on the job. These lessons for leadership training are discussed in this article.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A