What does a superintendent do to lead central office transformation and to strategically support student and professional growth in schools?

Our research shows that such leaders focus on hands-on instructional improvement work across their districts and do so from a teaching and learning stance. Such work includes:

  • Helping staff adopt and use a clear definition of high-quality teaching and instructional leadership to align their school support
  • Support their staff in leading central office transformation
  • In smaller systems, engaging in learning-focused principal supervision themselves

AERA Highlight: The importance of practice to superintendents' instructional leadership

During the 2018 meeting of the American Educational Research Association, University of Washington College of Education Professor, Meredith Honig, discussed findings of an in-depth investigation of the daily practice of six superintendents who aimed to lead for equity-excellent teaching and learning for each and every student, especially students of color, students from low-income families and others traditionally underserved in public schools-and who invested in intensive coaching to help them do so.

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Research Use as Learning: The Case of Fundamental Change in School District Central Offices (2017)

What happens when central offices try to fundamentally change their central office? This article explores that question in six districts using sociocultural learning theory, andĀ finds that central office administrators varied in their appropriation of five research-based ideas between and somewhat within districts. These findings elaborate research use as a learning process that may require particular, intensive internal leadership.

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