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Distributed Leadership for Learning David Quinn University of Florida West Virginia Institute for 21 st Century Leadership November 2008.

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Presentation on theme: "Distributed Leadership for Learning David Quinn University of Florida West Virginia Institute for 21 st Century Leadership November 2008."— Presentation transcript:

1 Distributed Leadership for Learning David Quinn University of Florida West Virginia Institute for 21 st Century Leadership November 2008

2 How would you define… At your tables come up with a definition for distributed leadership Record your definition at: No Googling


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

5 West Virginias Framework for 21 st Century Schools

6 Leading for Learning: Five Areas of Action 1. 1.Establishing a focus on learning 2. 2.Building professional communities that value learning 3. 3.Engaging external environments that matter for learning 4. 4.Acting strategically and sharing leadership 5. 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 defined… 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).

8 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.

9 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.

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

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

12 Second Order Change (Jerry Valentine) Significant departure from the norm Deep change affecting values, beliefs, and assumptions Slow, evolving process over time Addresses complex problems requiring new, thoughtful, and often creative comprehensive solutions Double-loop learning (organizational) where new strategies are needed and created to solve the problem Becomes institutionalized in the culture of the organization

13 Distributed Leadership: An Example An impromptu meeting was convened by a group of teachers who were not comfortable with playground supervision. This self-directed group sketched out a plan and shared it with their colleagues. They agreed to implement the plan and monitor it for a period of time by examining both student discipline data and teacher input. The plan eventually was deemed successful and the ad hoc committee disbanded.

14 Distributing Leadership: A Developmental Process (MacBeath, 2005) 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 Creation of a culture that offers teachers an opportunity to learn from one anothers practice. Principal works to create an enabling environment, encourages shared leadership and a shared vision among staff as to where the school is going. Innovative ideas are encouraged from all members of the school. Phase III: Standing back Maintaining the dynamic by supporting others; culture is characterized by mutual trust and self-confidence.

15 Where are you in distributing leadership? Click one of the options on:


17 Distributed Leadership in your School 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).

18 Barriers to Distributed Leadership Identify barriers that exist within your building and district that 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?

19 Potential Barriers… 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. Time for developing leadership skills, releasing teachers to engage in leadership activities. Union resistance to teachers performing duties perceived to be administrative (such as involvement in teacher supervision or evaluation). Principals unwillingness 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. 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.

20 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.

21 References 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. 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), 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, 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, 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, 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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