Leaders That Model Learning.

Earlier in the year, I came across 5 research based leadership practices that impact student learning. The book is called Intentional Interruption: Breaking Down Learning Barriers to Transform Professional Practice by Steven Katz and Lisa Ain Dack.  I sent the 5 practices out to all of our building leaders asking them to take a guess at which practice might have the most impact.  This highest impact practice has an effect size of .84.  Twice the impact of the next two practices combined.  I’ve highlighted the practice that has the most impact.  Leaders modeling and joining in on learning.  Boom!

“Robinson, Höhepa, and Lloyd (2009) conducted a comprehensive research review on the impacts of leadership on student achievement, with the goal of identifying a set of evidence-based leadership practices that ratchet up the quality of classroom and school practice and that ultimately lead to student achievement.”

They identified the most impactful leadership dimensions and quantified them by effect size. Five leadership dimensions emerged as especially powerful and significant:

  1. Promoting and participating in teacher learning and development (effect size = 0.84): Leadership that not only promotes but directly participates with teachers in formal and informal professional learning.

  2. Establishing goals and expectations (effect size = 0.42): Includes the setting, communicating, and monitoring of learning goals, standards, and expectations and the involvement of staff and others in the process so that there is clarity and consensus about goals.

  3. Planning, coordinating, and evaluating teaching and the curriculum (effect size = 0.42): Direct involvement in teaching through regular classroom visits and the provision of feedback to teachers. Direct oversight of curriculum through schoolwide coordination across classes and grades and alignment to school goals.

  4. Strategic resourcing (effect size = 0.31): Involves aligning resource selection and allocation to priority teaching goals.

  5. Ensuring an orderly and supportive environment (effect size = 0.27): Protecting time for teaching and learning by reducing external pressures and interruptions and establishing an orderly and supportive environment both inside and outside classrooms.

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