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ERIC Number: EJ1030989
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 5
ISSN: ISSN-0276-928X
A Vivid Illustration of Leadership: Principal's Actions Propel Struggling School's Turnaround
Dodman, Stephanie
Journal of Staff Development, v35 n1 p56-58, 62 Feb 2014
School leadership is second only to classroom teaching as an influence on pupil learning. Research makes clear that leadership must be at the forefront when attempting to reform underachieving schools. The question is: What kind of leadership? Not just any type of principal leadership will suffice for schools striving to build the instructional capacity necessary for student achievement. Rather, leadership that simultaneously leads a school forward while distributing power throughout the faculty is considered the path to creating not only a successful school as measured by achievement tests but also a learning organization. In a learning organization, stakeholders "assume internal responsibility for reform and maintain momentum for self-renewal". School improvement becomes the job of vested insiders rather than outside experts. When the author studied a high-needs, high-poverty school that had made remarkable improvements in student achievement, she discovered the relationship between leadership, classroom teaching, and learning to be illustrated in vivid color. For this school, enhanced student achievement relied on leadership rather than better test preparation or a new curriculum. Principal leadership was the catalyst for an entire school transforming who they were and what they did. So what did this leadership look like in action? How did a school with limited internal capacity transform into a success when so many other schools have been unable to do so? This article offers a glimpse into some of the steps a first-year principal took to turn his school into an organization that valued learning and embraced change. The author concludes that while leadership is certainly more than just a principal, the importance of the principal's actions for student learning is striking. The principal of this high-poverty school shows that what is necessary for real improvement is to not just go through the motions, but rather focus on developing the capacity to actually learn how to change.
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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