Sources of school leadership: Their influence on school capacity, teaching, and learning
This study explores how the interaction of principal and district leadership contributes to develop school capacity to improve teaching in math and science. Theories of distributed leadership suggest that school leadership involves several different leaders who perform leadership tasks. These tasks can increase the human, economic and social resources of the school to improve teaching. This dissertation analyzes teaching practices and traces the different variables that influence such practices, including aspects of school capacity and principal and district leadership. From a micropolitical perspective, the study analyzes how the interaction of principals and district leaders influenced the performance of leadership task. The study based the analysis on three cases.
Findings indicated that teachers, who learned about inquiry-oriented math and science, incorporated these strategies into the design of their lesson. However, the successful implementation of these strategies depended on teachers' expectations about their students. If teachers had low expectations, they used direct instruction. These findings suggested that both pedagogical knowledge and high expectations about students were necessary to implement authentic pedagogy. Time and curriculum influenced and were influenced by the teachers' knowledge of pedagogy and expectations of their students. Longer engagement in reform promoted understanding of pedagogy. Understanding the pedagogy was necessary to implement the curriculum. Leadership vision of teaching and vision of how to promote institutional change were necessary to implement authentic pedagogy. Principal and district leaders had different and competing visions. The interaction between district and principal visions and tasks to accomplish those visions in a context of high accountabilities, gave place to different types of leadership alignments: antagonistic, parallel, and complementary. Leadership alignment showed that leadership distribution affected the negotiation of visions and the distribution of power. This alignment also contributed to teachers' commitment.
0514: School administration