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Distributed Leadership for Learning Donald G. Hackmann University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Presentation on theme: "Distributed Leadership for Learning Donald G. Hackmann University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign."— Presentation transcript:

1 Distributed Leadership for Learning Donald G. Hackmann University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

2 Organizations tend to maintain themselves. Its only through leadership do they change.

3 Challenges for the Principalship Federal, state, and local school accountability measures call for improved leadership, which place increasing demands on principals (Grubb & Flessa, 2006; Pounder & Merrill, 2001) Federal, state, and local school accountability measures call for improved leadership, which place increasing demands on principals (Grubb & Flessa, 2006; Pounder & Merrill, 2001) Principals job has become increasingly complex (Institute for Educational Leadership, 2000) Principals job has become increasingly complex (Institute for Educational Leadership, 2000) Frustrations with lack of time, lack of resources, and pressures of external requirements have grown considerably (Valentine, Clark, Hackmann, & Petzko, 2002) Frustrations with lack of time, lack of resources, and pressures of external requirements have grown considerably (Valentine, Clark, Hackmann, & Petzko, 2002) Principalship is characterized by high turnover and a shortage of applicants (Gilman & Lanman-Givens, 2001; Schutte & Hackmann, 2006) Principalship is characterized by high turnover and a shortage of applicants (Gilman & Lanman-Givens, 2001; Schutte & Hackmann, 2006) Myths about the superprincipal or hero-principal persist (Copland, 2001; Grubb & Flessa, 2006) Myths about the superprincipal or hero-principal persist (Copland, 2001; Grubb & Flessa, 2006)

4 West Virginias Framework for 21 st Century Schools Systematic Continuous Improvement Process Culture of Common Beliefs and Values: Dedicated to 21st Century Learning for All…Whatever it Takes Student Support and Family/ Community Connections School Effectiveness Instructional Practices Curriculum Management

5 Foundation for Leadership: An Interactional View of Instruction Student Learning Professional Learning System Learning Knapp et al. (2003). Leading for learning sourcebook: Concepts and examples, p. 13.

6 Leading for Learning: Five Areas of Action 1.Establishing a focus on learning 2.Building professional communities that value learning 3.Engaging external environments that matter for learning 4.Acting strategically and sharing leadership 5.Creating coherence Knapp, M. S., Copland, M. A., Ford, B., Markholt, A., McLaughlin, M. W., Milliken, M., & Talberg, J. E. (2003)

7 Distributed Leadership: Four Usages 1. Theoretical Lens for Looking at the Activity of Leadership 2. Distributed Leadership for Democracy 3. Distributed Leadership for Efficiency and Effectiveness 4. Distributed Leadership as Capacity Building Mayrowetz, D. (2008). Making sense of distributed leadership: Exploring the multiple usages of the concept in the field. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44,

8 Distributed Leadership defined… Distributed leadership, then, means multiple sources of guidance and direction, following the contours of expertise in an organization, made coherent through a common culture. It is the glue of a common task or goalimprovement of instruction and a common frame of values for how to approach that task culturethat keeps distributed leadership from becoming another version of loose coupling…..Distributed leadership does not mean that no one is responsible for the overall performance of the organization. It means, rather, that the job of administrative leaders is primarily about enhancing the skills and knowledge of people in the organization, creating a common culture of expectations around the use of those skills and knowledge, holding the various pieces of the organization together in a productive relationship with each other, and holding individuals accountable for their contributions to the collective result (Elmore, 2000, p. 15).

9 Distributed leadership is about creating leadership density, building and sustaining leadership capacity throughout the organization. People in many different roles can lead and affect the performance of their schools in different ways.

10 Leadership activity at the level of the school, rather than at the level of an individual leader or small group of leaders, is the appropriate unit of analysis in studying leadership practice (Spillane, Halverson, & Diamond, 2004, p. 28).

11 Empirical Research on Distributed Leadership There is a thin (but growing) body of empirical evidence about the effects of distributed leadership (Harris, Leithwood, Day, Sammons, & Hopkins, 2007; Leithwood & Jantzi, 2006) There is a thin (but growing) body of empirical evidence about the effects of distributed leadership (Harris, Leithwood, Day, Sammons, & Hopkins, 2007; Leithwood & Jantzi, 2006) There is little evidence of a direct causal relationship between distributed leadership and school achievement (Hartley, 2007) There is little evidence of a direct causal relationship between distributed leadership and school achievement (Hartley, 2007) Research has investigated teacher leadership (Firestone & Martinez, 2007), role of district leaders (Leithwood et al., 2007), practices in elementary schools (Spillane, Cambrun, & Pareja, 2007) Research has investigated teacher leadership (Firestone & Martinez, 2007), role of district leaders (Leithwood et al., 2007), practices in elementary schools (Spillane, Cambrun, & Pareja, 2007)

12 Moving away from Traditional Organizational Structures Distributing leadership, in a practical sense, means a shift away from the traditional, hierarchical, top-down model of leadership to a form of leadership that is collaborative and shared. It means a departure from the view that leadership resides in one person to a more complex notion of leadership where developing broad based leadership capacity is central to organizational change and development.

13 Distributed Leadership: Three Essential Elements Leadership practice is the central and anchoring concern Leadership practice is the central and anchoring concern Leadership practice is generated in the interactions of leaders, followers, and their situation; each element is essential for leadership practice Leadership practice is generated in the interactions of leaders, followers, and their situation; each element is essential for leadership practice The situation both defines leadership practice and is defined through leadership practice The situation both defines leadership practice and is defined through leadership practice Spillane, J. P. (2006). Distributed leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

14 Promoting Distributed Leadership: Six Key Functions (Murphy, 2005) Crafting a vision, delineating expectations for teacher leadership in the school Crafting a vision, delineating expectations for teacher leadership in the school Identifying and selecting teacher leaders, linking them to leadership opportunities Identifying and selecting teacher leaders, linking them to leadership opportunities Legitimizing the work of teacher leaders Legitimizing the work of teacher leaders Providing direct support Providing direct support Developing leadership skill sets Developing leadership skill sets Managing the teacher leadership process Managing the teacher leadership process

15 Model of Distributed Leadership Focused on Large Scale Improvement (Elmore, 2000) The purpose of leadership is the improvement of instructional practice and performance, regardless of role The purpose of leadership is the improvement of instructional practice and performance, regardless of role Instructional improvement requires continuous learning Instructional improvement requires continuous learning Learning requires modeling Learning requires modeling The roles and activities of leadership flow from the expertise required for learning and improvement, not from the formal dictates of the institution The roles and activities of leadership flow from the expertise required for learning and improvement, not from the formal dictates of the institution The exercise of authority requires reciprocity of accountability and capacity The exercise of authority requires reciprocity of accountability and capacity

16 Distributing Leadership within the School Building Leadership Team, School Improvement Team Building Leadership Team, School Improvement Team Data Analysis Team Data Analysis Team Response to Intervention Team Response to Intervention Team Goal Teams (to assist with implementing each building goal) Goal Teams (to assist with implementing each building goal) Grade Level Lead Teachers, Middle Level Team Leaders, Department Heads Grade Level Lead Teachers, Middle Level Team Leaders, Department Heads Professional Development Team Professional Development Team Peer coaching Peer coaching Mentors for novice teachers, instructional coaches Mentors for novice teachers, instructional coaches Distributed leadership includes not only teachers but also other professional staff, support staff, parents, stakeholders, and students.

17 Taxonomy of Distribution (MacBeath, 2005) Distribution as cultural: practicing leadership as a reflection of the schools culture, ethos, and traditions Distribution as cultural: practicing leadership as a reflection of the schools culture, ethos, and traditions Distribution as opportunistic: capable teachers willingly extending their roles to school-wide leadership because they are pre-disposed to taking initiative to lead Distribution as opportunistic: capable teachers willingly extending their roles to school-wide leadership because they are pre-disposed to taking initiative to lead Distribution as incremental: devolving greater responsibility as people demonstrate their capacity to lead Distribution as incremental: devolving greater responsibility as people demonstrate their capacity to lead Distribution as strategic: based on planned appointment of individuals to contribute positively to the development of leadership throughout the school Distribution as strategic: based on planned appointment of individuals to contribute positively to the development of leadership throughout the school Distribution as pragmatic: through necessity; often ad hoc delegation of workload Distribution as pragmatic: through necessity; often ad hoc delegation of workload Distribution formally: through designated roles/job description Distribution formally: through designated roles/job description Lowest Highest

18 Distributing Leadership: A Developmental Process (MacBeath, 2005) Phase I: Treading cautiously Phase I: Treading cautiously Principal strategically identifies leadership needs of school, identifies people who have the requisite capacities, and assigns responsibilities to them. Phase II: Widening the scope of leadership Phase II: Widening the scope of leadership Creation of a culture that offers teachers an opportunity to learn from one anothers practice. Principal works to create an enabling environment, which encourages innovative ideas from all members of the school (teachers, pupils, staff, parents). Phase III: Standing back Phase III: Standing back Maintaining the dynamic by supporting others; culture is characterized by mutual trust and self-confidence.

19 Distributed Leadership in your School Develop a list of activities/functions/roles in which leadership currently is being distributed within your building. Develop a list of activities/functions/roles in which leadership currently is being distributed within your building. Using MacBeaths three developmental phases, identify your buildings current phase (I, II, III). Using MacBeaths three developmental phases, identify your buildings current phase (I, II, III).

20 Barriers to Distributed Leadership Identify barriers that exist within your building and district, which currently may restrict your effectiveness in developing a school culture that embraces distributed leadership. Identify barriers that exist within your building and district, which currently may restrict your effectiveness in developing a school culture that embraces distributed leadership. In small groups, discuss your lists. Are these barriers consistent or different across schools, based upon your unique organizational contexts? How can these barriers be eliminated? In small groups, discuss your lists. Are these barriers consistent or different across schools, based upon your unique organizational contexts? How can these barriers be eliminated?

21 Potential Barriers… Community (and possibly the district offices) expectation that the principal is in charge of every leadership activity Community (and possibly the district offices) expectation that the principal is in charge of every leadership activity Changing a schools culture, when teachers are accustomed to being followers Changing a schools culture, when teachers are accustomed to being followers Time: For developing leadership skills, releasing teachers to engage in leadership activities Time: For developing leadership skills, releasing teachers to engage in leadership activities Union resistance to teachers performing duties perceived to administrative (such as involvement in teacher supervision or evaluation) Union resistance to teachers performing duties perceived to administrative (such as involvement in teacher supervision or evaluation) Administrators willingness to let go when we ultimately are accountable Administrators willingness to let go when we ultimately are accountable Can create winners and losers; teachers who traditionally have been in leadership roles may perceive a loss of power Can create winners and losers; teachers who traditionally have been in leadership roles may perceive a loss of power Teachers with leadership skills may be pulled from the classroom by district administrators, to train others throughout the district. They may be recruited by other schools/districts for employment opportunities Teachers with leadership skills may be pulled from the classroom by district administrators, to train others throughout the district. They may be recruited by other schools/districts for employment opportunities

22 Implementing Distributed Leadership Working in groups: Identify additional activities in which you can involve your faculty and staff members in leadership activities in your school. For each activity, identify one or two staff members who has the knowledge, skills, and capacity to lead the initiative. Identify additional activities in which you can involve your faculty and staff members in leadership activities in your school. For each activity, identify one or two staff members who has the knowledge, skills, and capacity to lead the initiative.

23 References Copland, M. (2001). The myth of the superprincipal. Phi Delta Kappan, 82, Copland, M. (2001). The myth of the superprincipal. Phi Delta Kappan, 82, Elmore, R. F. (2000). Building a new structure for leadership. Washington, DC: The Albert Shanker Institute. Elmore, R. F. (2000). Building a new structure for leadership. Washington, DC: The Albert Shanker Institute. Firestone, W. A. (1996). Leadership roles or functions? In K. Leithwood, J. Chapman, D. Corson, P. Hallinger, & A. Hart (Eds.), International handbook of educational leadership and administration (Vol. 2, pp ). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer. Firestone, W. A. (1996). Leadership roles or functions? In K. Leithwood, J. Chapman, D. Corson, P. Hallinger, & A. Hart (Eds.), International handbook of educational leadership and administration (Vol. 2, pp ). Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer. Firestone, W. A., & Martinez, M. C. (2007). Districts, teacher leaders, and distributed leadership: Changing instructional practice. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 6(1), Firestone, W. A., & Martinez, M. C. (2007). Districts, teacher leaders, and distributed leadership: Changing instructional practice. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 6(1), Gilman, D. A., & Lanman-Givens, B. (2001). Where have all the principals gone? Educational Leadership, 58(8), Gilman, D. A., & Lanman-Givens, B. (2001). Where have all the principals gone? Educational Leadership, 58(8), Grubb, W. N., & Flessa, J. J. (2006). A job too big for one: Multiple principals and other nontraditional approaches to school leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 42, Grubb, W. N., & Flessa, J. J. (2006). A job too big for one: Multiple principals and other nontraditional approaches to school leadership. Educational Administration Quarterly, 42, Harris, A., Leithwood, K., Day, C., Sammons, P., & Hopkins, D. (2007). Distributed leadership and organizational change: Reviewing the evidence. Journal of Educational Change, 8, Harris, A., Leithwood, K., Day, C., Sammons, P., & Hopkins, D. (2007). Distributed leadership and organizational change: Reviewing the evidence. Journal of Educational Change, 8, Hartley, D. (2007). The emergence of distributed leadership in education: Why now? British Journal of Educational Studies, 55, Hartley, D. (2007). The emergence of distributed leadership in education: Why now? British Journal of Educational Studies, 55,

24 Institute for Educational Leadership. (2000). Leadership for student learning: Restructuring school district leadership. School leadership for the 21st century initiative: A report of the task force on the principalship. Washington, DC: Author. Knapp, M. S., Copland, M. A., Ford, B., Markholt, A., McLaughlin, M. W., Milliken, M., & Talberg, J. E. (2003, February). Leadership for learning sourcebook: Concepts and examples. Seattle, WA: Center for the Study of Teaching and Policy, University of Washington. Leithwood, K., & Jantzi, D. (2006). Transformational school leadership for large- scale reform: Effects on students, teachers, and their classroom practices. School Effectiveness and School Improvement, 17, Leithwood, K., Mascall, B., Strauss, T., Sachs, R., Memon, N., & Yashkina, A. (2007). Distributing leadership to make schools smarter: Taking the ego out of the system. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 6(1), Leithwood, K., & Riehl, C. (2003, April). What do we already know about successful school leadership? Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association, Chicago. MacBeath, J. (2005). Leadership as distributed: A matter of practice. School Leadership and Management, 25, Mayrowetz, D. (2008). Making sense of distributed leadership: Exploring the multiple usages of the concept in the field. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44,

25 Murphy, J. (2005). Connecting teacher leadership and school improvement. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press. Pounder, D., & Merrill, R. (2001). Job desirability of the high school principalship: A job choice theory perspective. Educational Administration Quarterly, 37, Schutte, T. J., & Hackmann, D. G. (2006). Licensed, but not leading: Issues influencing individuals pursuit of the secondary principalship. Journal of School Leadership, 16, Spillane, J. (2006). Distributed leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. Spillane, J. P., Camburn, E. M., & Pareja, A. S. (2007). Taking a distributed perspective to the school principals workday. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 6(1), Spillane, J. P., Halverson, R., & Diamond, J. B. (2001). Investigating school leadership practice: A distributed perspective. Educational Researcher, 30(3), Spillane, J. P., Halverson, R., & Diamond, J. B. (2004). Towards a theory of leadership practice: A distributed perspective. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 36, Valentine, J. W., Clark, D. C., Hackmann, D. G., & Petzko, V. N. (2002). A national study of leadership in middle level schools. Volume I: A national study of middle level leaders and school programs. Reston, VA: National Association of Secondary School Principals.


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