Recommendation One:
Create a system where principals have meaningful PD that enhances their knowledge and skills as effective instructional leaders serving students and teachers.


Role Group Strategies

Engage administrators in powerful conversations related to teaching and learning.

The Professional Development of Leaders
Lambert, L.  (2003). Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement.
This chapter from Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement examines the importance of collaborative learning among colleagues that stresses reflection, inquiry, and dialogue.  The author discusses successful teaming and leadership development strategies and provides practical examples of schools effectively developing leadership skills.

Sustaining School Improvement:  Professional Learning Communities
Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.  (2003).

This article describes the shared vision, shared leadership, and collaborative activity of professional learning communities.  The authors rate the relative effectiveness of different strategies and highlight the efforts of Lewis and Clark Middle School, in Jefferson, Missouri, to increase the level of active teaching and learning at their school.

Redefining Professional Development and Instructional Leadership Through Dialogue
Alabama Best Practices Center
Communication is vital to building consensus and shared vision within a school. This toolkit outlines a plan for engaging schools in Teacher Dialogue Forums -- structured conversations designed to help teachers reflect on real classroom experiences as well to examine research on topics related to school reform.  The authors outline the process for establishing Teacher Dialogue Forums and give detailed plans for specific forums related to professional development and instructional leadership.

Reinventing Education Change Toolkit
IBM (2002).
This toolkit, provided free of charge to anyone working in K-12 education, is designed to help school and district leaders to guide the school reform process.  The toolkit can be used to diagnose an environment for change, collaborate with members of a school change team, read real-life vignettes from education colleagues, plan a change initiative, and connect with educators worldwide.

Collaboration Lite Puts Student Achievement on a Starvation Diet
DuFour, R. (2003, Summer). Journal of Staff Development, 24 (3).
This article defines the difference between congeniality and coordination and what the author considers true collaboration: analysis of professional practices to effect change in schools.  He provides three questions that school leaders should emphasize in collaboration with colleagues: (1) What should students learn? (2) How will we know when they have learned it? (3) How can we improve student achievement? 

Designing Powerful Professional Development for Teachers and Principals
Sparks, D.  (2002). National Staff Development Council.
Dennis Sparks of the National Staff Development Council has been a leader in the field of professional development for the last 16 years.  This book, provided free of charge on NSDC’s website, outlines the critical components of effective professional learning programs and the steps that schools and districts should take to maximize the professional growth of their teachers and principals.  Topics covered include: setting the stage for powerful professional learning, providing a context for professional learning, developing school leaders, and developing teachers.

Involve administrators in the design, implementation and evaluation of action research projects.  Present action research findings to administrators as school improvement recommendations.

Action Research Tools and Resources
The Teacher Leaders Network
The members of the Teacher Leaders Network, a major initiative of the Southeast Center for Teaching Quality, recently examined the process and potential of action research as a school improvement tool.  This web page features an extensive list of action research resources.  Included are articles related to action research, sample action research projects, and reviews of books that are designed to introduce educators to the process of action research.

Introducing Schoolwide Action Research
Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development
This chapter from How to Use Action Research in the Self-Renewing School by Emily Calhoun introduces the concept of action research, describes two models of action research, and provides scenarios of two imaginary schools pursuing school improvement in different ways. 

Themes in Education:  Action Research
Ferrance, E.  (2000). Themes in Research. Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory.
This booklet introduces the concept of action research, a process of careful reflection on practice that encourages collaboration and allows teachers to address issues that are pertinent to their settings.  It provides an overview of the history of action research, an explanation of a process for completing it, stories from two teachers who have completed action research, and links to additional action research resources.

What is Action Research?
Sagor, R.  (2000). 
Guiding School Improvement with Action Research. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

This chapter from the book Guiding School Improvement with Action Research by Richard Sagor introduces the concept of and processes involved in action research.  He discusses the impact action research has on building reflective practitioners, achieving school-wide priorities, and building professional cultures and outlines a seven-step process common to any action research project.

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