Resource Summary

From the introduction: What does it mean to lead learning that matters in schools? This whitepaper aims to spark discussion about this question by examining the research-based qualities of school leadership that support student learning. It reviews concepts of school leadership in which leadership for learning is defined as the social behaviors of envisioning and influencing learning that matters in schools. Although leaders in positions of power can display leadership behaviors, others involved in the school – including parents, teachers, and students – also play pivotal leadership roles. The whitepaper reviews two kinds of research-based school leadership models that differ in the nature of learning that is required in order to reach the goals of school change: technical leadership models and adaptive leadership models. Though the specific leadership behaviors in each model are qualitatively different, research suggests that there are three types of key leadership behaviors in each: setting direction, developing people, and creating culture. The paper illustrates how these behaviors are manifested in the adaptive challenges faced by the Big Picture Schools.