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Role of Instructional Leadership. Purpose of Session. Explore the term ‘Instructional leadership’ and what it means to our roles Examine research of what is effective instructional leadership

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purpose of session
Purpose of Session
  • Explore the term ‘Instructional leadership’ and what it means to our roles
  • Examine research of what is effective instructional leadership
  • Link instructional leadership to the current agenda regarding improvement, improvement improvement ……..
what is it
What is it?
  • Educational leadership
  • Curriculum leadership
  • Leader of learning
  • Transformation leadership
  • Transactional leadership
  • It’s what’s behind the title that matters!
  • Most popular theme in leadership over the last two decades
  • Origins in Northern America
  • Despite its popularity it is often not clearly defined
instructional leadership
Instructional leadership
  • Instruction = the process or act of teaching: education
  • Leadership = a person who rules, guides, or inspires others

Collins Dictionary

leadership matters
Leadership Matters!
  • “A highly effective school leader can have a dramatic influence on the overall academic achievement of students.”

Michael Fullan 2005

leadership matters even more
Leadership Matters even more!
  • It is now more than 20 years since leadership was identified as one of the key components of ‘good schools’ by HMI, who stated that, without exception, the most important single factor in the success of these schools is the quality of the leadership of the head.

Dept of Education & Science

why the importance of this type of leadership
Why the importance of this type of leadership?
  • ‘Improved classroom instruction is the prime factor to produce student achievement gains’

Odden & Wallace

why the importance of this type of leadership9
Why the importance of this type of leadership?
  • ‘Another great irony of public schooling is that the office of curriculum and instruction traditionally has so little influence on…. curriculum and instruction.’ Results Now M Schmoker
  • ‘Too much of the educational leadership literature is long on “harmony”, “consensus” and sentiment, feel good pressures that float high above the hard fundamental necessities of school leadership. Most especially, leaders need practical ways to monitor and require-effective instruction and high quality curriculum.” Results Now M Schmoker
why the importance of this type of leadership10
Why the importance of this type of leadership?
  • ‘When leadership is focused on results, on urging a formal, frequent review of the impact of instruction, teaching improves.’ Results Now M Schmoker
  • For school improvement to occur instructional leadership needs to be in existence.

A Mission of the Heart, Public Agenda

what are the elements of instructional leadership
What are the elements of Instructional Leadership
  • Resource provider, instructional resource, communicator and visible presence (Smith and Andrews)
  • Encourager, facilitator of the study of teaching and learning, facilitator of collaborative efforts amongst teachers, establishing coaching relationships with teachers, using research to make instructional decisions & using adult learning principles (Blasé & Blasé)
what are the elements of instructional leadership contd
Direct assistance to teachers in their day to day activities, development of collaborative groups amongst staff, designing effective staff development, curriculum development, & use of action research

Glickman, Gordon and Ross-Gordon

What are the elements of Instructional Leadership contd
what are the elements of instructional leadership contd13
What are the elements of Instructional Leadership contd
  • Defining schools mission, managing curriculum and instruction, & promoting a positive school climate

Hallinger, Murphy et al

  • Understands effective practices in curriculum, instruction and assessment and the ability to work with teachers on the day to day problems that relate to these topics.


  • Define Instructional Leadership
  • Share with partner
leadership matters15
Leadership Matters!
  • “Sustainable leadership doesn’t equivocate. It puts learning at the centre of everything leaders do. Students learning comes first, then everyone else’s in support of it.”

Stoll, Fink and Earl 2003

instructional leadership practice viviane robinson 2007
Instructional Leadership Practice :Viviane Robinson 2007
  • Establishing goals and expectations
  • Strategic resourcing
  • Planning, coordinating and evaluating teaching and the curriculum
  • Promoting and participating in teacher learning and development
  • Ensuring an orderly and supportive environment
instructional leadership characteristics david hopkins
Instructional Leadership characteristics : David Hopkins
  • Ability to articulate vision and values about student learning and achievement, and to make connections to behaviour
  • Understanding of pedagogy
  • Understanding of development and maintenance
  • Strategic orientation and to plan medium term
instructional leadership characteristics contd david hopkins
Instructional Leadership characteristics contd: David Hopkins
  • Understanding capacity and its role in sustaining change
  • A commitment to promoting enquiry: the how rather than the what
  • Commitment to professional development and managing a teachers life cycle
  • Ability to engender trust and provide positive reinforcement

Connections to DIAf

Think Systemically

Listen & Respond

Share Leadership

Attend to Culture



Set Direction

Focus on Learning

Make data count

what does instructional leadership look like
What does instructional leadership look like?
  • If you were to go into a school /preschool where there is effective instructional leadership what would you see, feel, hear?
  • Make a list of 8-10 ‘concrete’ bits of evidence?
  • Would it look different in the different sectors ie preschool, primary, secondary?
‘School improvement is most surely and thoroughly achieved when teachers engage in frequent, continuous and increasingly concrete talk about teaching practices... capable of distinguishing one practice and it's virtue from another.’

Judith Warren