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Questar Instructional Leadership PP

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(1)

Investigating the Links to

Improved Student Learning

Seashore-Lewis, K; Leithwood,

K.; Wahlstrom, K; and, Anderson,

(2)

What School Leaders Do to

Improve Student Achievement

(3)

Consider:

(4)

Prior Research has Identified Four

Categories of Core Leadership Practices:

• Setting Directions

• Developing People

• Redesigning the Organization

(5)

Discuss:

What can principals do

specifically

in each of these

(6)

Compare:

(7)

Top Three Answers

What leadership practices on the part of school

principals are considered, by principals and teachers,

to be helpful in supporting and improving classroom

instruction?

• Focusing the school on goals and expectations for

student achievement

• Keeping track of teachers’ professional development

needs

(8)

Implications for Practice

• Instructional improvement requires a school-wide

focus on goals and expectations for student

achievement.

• Principals play a key role in supporting and

encouraging teachers’ professional development

needs. Leaders have a role to play in keeping track

of those needs, as well as providing resources and

materials to improve teachers’ repertoire of

(9)

Implications for Practice

• Policy makers and practitioners should avoid promoting, endorsing, or being unduly influenced by conceptions of instructional

leadership which adopt an excessively narrow focus on classroom instruction. Classroom practices occur within larger organizational systems which can vary enormously in the extent to which they support, reward, and nurture good instruction. School leaders who ignore or neglect the state of this larger context can easily find their district efforts to improve instruction substantially frustrated.

(10)

Instructional Leadership:

Digging Deeper

(11)

Study Questions

1. What does instructional leadership look like to

teachers?

2. Are teachers’ reports of instructional leadership

similar in substance to what principals have to

say about instructional leadership?

(12)

Types of Evidence Examined in the Study

• Teacher Surveys

• Student Achievement Data

• District leader, Principal and Teacher interviews

(13)

Teacher Survey Results

• The survey contained 131 items which asked about principal leadership behaviors deemed likely, in previous research, to influence teachers’ instructional behavior.

• After factor analysis of the responses, two factors emerged: • Factor 1: 10 items – Instructional Climate

Factor 2: 7 items – Instructional Actions

(14)

Factor 1: Instructional Climate

Instructional Climate is about influencing the

context in which instruction takes place.

Discuss:

How can principals do this?

(15)

Factor 2: Instructional Actions

In order to turn their visions of high student achievement into reality, high-scoring principals are actively engaged in providing direct support to teachers.

Discuss:

How can principals do this?

(16)

Interview Findings: Three Behaviors Distinguishing

High-Scoring from Low-High-Scoring Principals

1. High scoring principals have an acute awareness of

teaching and learning in their schools

2. High scoring principals have a direct and frequent

involvement with teachers, providing them with formative

assessment of teaching and learning.

(17)

Other Study Findings

Intentional classroom visits are more effective than

“popping in” or being visible

Principal engagement with individual teachers to ensure

that the school’s vision would be realized was seldom

occurring

Many teachers prefer to be “left alone”

Department heads provide little or no instructional

leadership

Discussions about teaching and learning occur informally

between colleagues and peers

Instructional leadership was more commonly

(18)

Discussion:

(19)

Consider:

(20)

District Instructional Leaders:

Clearly communicate expected standards for high

priority areas of instruction

Have a detailed plan for improving instruction across the

district

Are active and effective in supporting excellent

instruction

Clarify the steps that school leaders and teachers need

to take to improve the quality of instruction

Actively monitor the quality of instruction

(21)

Implications for Practice

1. District leaders should acknowledge, and begin to reduce, ways in which principals are limited in their capacity to

exercise instructional leadership by the work required of them in their role as it is currently structured. District administrators are normally aware of the managerial effectiveness of their principals regarding immediate tasks and problems. District leaders need to find ways to help secondary and elementary school principals work with teachers in order to improve. They also need to help principals structure their work schedules in order to find sufficient time to do this.

(22)

Implications for Practice, continued…

3. Principals need to be held accountable for taking actions that are known to have direct effects on the quality of teaching and learning in their schools. Creating a vision for instructional

improvement is not enough. Districts should expect principals to take targeted action aimed at implementing instructional leadership within each school.

4. Most districts will need to have honest and in-depth

discussions with their principals to develop procedures for systematically and practically monitoring implementation of instructional leadership. The needs and circumstances of elementary and secondary school principals may need to be differentially addressed, however the bottom line would have each principal expected to take specific steps to enact

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