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ERIC Number: EJ764487
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 20
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0268-0939
The Professionalization of Instructional Leadership in the United States: Competing Values and Current Tensions
Burch, Patricia
Journal of Education Policy, v22 n2 p195-214 Mar 2007
While there has been considerable scholarship on the role of school and district leadership within instructional change, there has been little analysis of the values and orientations that undergird current policy debates about instructional leadership. This article outlines the importance of examining instructional leadership in the context of broader political and cultural debates about government and about how society should be organized. It identifies two distinct models of instructional leadership emerging as part of these dynamics: the market model and the polis model. Drawing on interviews and observations with 59 school staff across three cities and with 55 district administrators, it examines the tensions that these competing models create for school administrators working in improving schools within high poverty communities. In each district, system-wide press to improve instruction activated district management practices that contradicted reform goals of building a professional community of educators and administrators focused on teaching and learning. Further, how district staff viewed and approached their work departed in significant ways from the management practices of school administrators. Based on this research, the article identifies the importance of administrators' professional contexts in studies of instructional leadership. (Contains 2 tables and 5 notes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: Elementary and Secondary Education Act; No Child Left Behind Act 2001