Leadership Development: Principal Congress 2010 Resources

The theme of the Principal Congress 2010 was: Mobilizing Leaders’ Knowledgeto Close Achievement Gaps in Ontario Schools.Available upon request are video highlights on the topics indicated below, from the speaker for the day Dr. Richard Elmore Gregory R. Anrig Professor of Education Leadership at Harvard University. Elmore presented findings from his research on theories of action as a pathway to instructional improvement. His presentation included key concepts from the book Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning by City, Elmore, Fiarman, and Teitel, (2009).

Contact: ldb@ontario.ca

#1: Ontario – Change in a Parallel Universe – Find out why Elmore describes Ontario as a “parallel universe.” Elmore highlights the work of Robert Kegan as he discusses the need to acknowledge and understand the impact of loss through the change process when focusing on instructional improvement.
Learn more about the Ontario Educational System:
All Systems Go: The Change Imperative for Whole System Reform by Fullan (2010)
Learn more about strategies for leading change in oneself and others in:
Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization (Leadership for the Common Good) by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey (Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard Business Press, 2009)

#2: Psychological Safety – Powerful learning requires psychological safety. Elmore talks about the instructional rounds strategy which creates a psychologically safe environment for learning.
Find out more about how the instructional rounds strategy creates a safe space for learning in:
Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning by City, Elmore, Fiarman, and Teitel, (2009).

#3: The Impact of Individual and Collective Efficacy – Elmore discusses the results of Goddard and Goddard’s research on individual and collective efficacy and their implications for school improvement.
Learn more about Goddard and Goddard’s research:
A multilevel analysis of the relationship between teacher and collective efficacy in urban schools by Roger D. Goddard and Yvonne L. Goddard, Teaching and Teacher Education v17 n7 p807–818 (Oct. 2001).

#4: Three Ways to Increase Student Achievement – Elmore identifies three key strategies to increase student achievement.
1. Increasing teachers' knowledge and skill
2. Raising the level of the content
3. Changing the students' role in the instructional process
Learn more about successful strategies in Ontario for increasing student achievement:
Literacy and Numeracy Strategy
Student Success / Learning to 18
Think Literacy
Leading Math Success

#5: Task Predicts Performance – Elmore believes the focus of administrators' observations of practice should be on the tasks that students are being asked to do.
Read more:
In Conversation: Leading the Instructional Core (PDF, 593 KB) – Richard Elmore, volume ii, issue 2, summer 2010.
School Leaders' Influences on Student Learning: The Four Paths by Leithwood, Anderson, Mascall and Strauss (2010).
Doyle, Walter. Academic Work 1983. Review of Educational Research. 1931, Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association. 00346543. Location: Dallas SIL Library 370.5 R32e.

#6: Theory of Action – A theory of action is an if… then statement that examines your theory of what you are going to do to get the results that you want to achieve. Elmore discusses the characteristics and qualities of an effective theory of action.
Read more about theories of action in:
Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning” by City, Elmore, Fiarman, and Teitel, (2009).

#7: Elmore's 4th Law – Elmore explains why an administrator may see effective instructional practices occurring in the classroom but not see evidence of change in the external test results, and what to do about it.
Read more about Elmore's 4th Law in:
Instructional Rounds in Education: A Network Approach to Improving Teaching and Learning” by City, Elmore, Fiarman, and Teitel (2009).

#8: The Need to Declutter – Elmore states that the purpose of a good theory of action should be to cut through the clutter and to decide what clutter should be discarded.
Read more:
How to Change 5000 Schools: A Practical and Positive Approach for Leading Change at Every Level by Ben Levin (2008).

#9: Teamwork and Closing – Teaming creates micro-cultures in an organization. Elmore believes it is the role of the administrator to manage these micro-cultures if effective, coherent and sustainable change is going to occur.
Learn more about promoting collaborative learning cultures in:
Ideas Into Action –Promoting Collaborative Learning Cultures. Bulletin #3, fall 2010.
What's Worth Fighting for: Working Together for Your School by Fullan and Hargreaves (1991).
The Adaptive School: A Sourcebook for Developing Collaborative Groups (2nd ed.) by Garmston and Wellman (2009).
Protocols for Professional Learning by Easton (2009).

Further reading:

  • Here are some of the references made by Leithwood and Elmore at Congress 2010 and  a few more that you might find interesting.
  • Bandura, A. (1997). Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. NY: Worth Publishers.
  • Bryk, A. S., & Schneider, B. (2003). Trust in schools: A core resource for school reform. Educational Leadership, 60(6), 40-44.
  • Gladwell, M. (2009). What the dog saw and other adventures. NY: Little Brown and Company.
  • Goddard, R., Hoy, W. K., & Woolfolk Hoy, A. (2000). Collective teacher efficacy: Its meaning, measure and impact on student achievement. American Educational Research Journal, 37(2), 479-507.
  • Kegan, R. and Laskow, L. (2009). Immunity to change: how to overcome it and unlock potential in yourself and your organization. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.
  • Leithwood, K., & Beatty, B. (2007). Leading with teacher emotions in mind. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin
  • Murphy, J. (2010). The educator's handbook for understanding and closing achievement gaps. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.