Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Elements of Diversity

Among the most populous of diverse students are those with physical or learning disabilities. These students may require adaptations in the process or product, but vigilance needs to be made not to simplify or change the curriculum, as these students both need and want to work with their peers. One of the philosophies that address the social needs of students with disabilities is inclusion; teaching students in the mainstream classroom as much as possible as opposed to pulling the student out for specialized instruction. This not only meets the students' education needs, but also the social and interpersonal aspects of their education experience.



Public education mandates a separation of church and state in the education of students, but this disregards a major passion that exists for many students. Litigation also dissuaded schools from addressing religious differences and education in schools. However, religious diversity should be seen as an opportunity to develop tolerance and understanding between members of varying religious backgrounds. To include students with diverse religious backgrounds, it is important to remember that in public education that you can teach religion, not preach religion, and this knowledge will build understanding.


Students with ethnic diversity are possibly the most observable form of diversity, yet possibly the least likely indicator of academic risk. Students of ethnic diversity are susceptible to stereotypical bias and bigotry, but background experiences may be heterogeneous with other members of the community. Ethnic differences may include cultural elements, skin and speech habits, and social interactions. Students with ethnic diversity tend to gravitate towards other members of their ethnic community, and self-isolate at times.

Sociology-Economic Status
Sociology-economic diversity is a major factor for schools, as this diversity impacts contextual experiences that students bring with them to school. The larger the diversity of status, the greater the differences in experiences and relations that these groups may have in common, which makes personalizing an educational experience for all students difficult for the teacher to provide. These students may also feel self-conscious about their monetary state, and compensate with actions that might provide disruption to the community.

Sexual Orientation
Students with diverse sexual orientations are often the targets of isolation and bullying activities from their peers. The stresses these students experience can have an adverse impact upon their education experience. These students seek community and associations with others to both express their diversity and to seek refuge from the stresses of their situations.


National Origin
Immigrant students and students with English language proficiency issues are a growing segment within the diversity element that schools must address. these are students who may also have diversity of religion and ethnicity, but due to the limitations with the English language, they have difficulty acclimating to schools, let alone perform proficiently of educational issues.


Gender is an element of diversity in schools where bias or limitations are imposed upon the group due to perception of abilities. An example of this diversity would be the membership of girls into STEM classes and fields. Generally girls are underrepresented in those areas because of the perceived limitations in those fields.


The issue of obesity in education is a recent element in which schools need to have awareness. Many issues have been associated with the trending group, from inactivity to food choices, but students with diverse body images are often isolated, bullied, or can suffer from adverse health effects from their size.


Thoughts on Diversity

My district is very much like many other districts in that we have elements of diversity, and those areas seem to always expand. As those learners from diverse backgrounds expand, assessment seems to cause the focus to narrow on those sub-groups. Schools, like mine, have become reactive to measures of accountability on assessments rather than accountability on student achievement in society. Instructional programs need more than half-measures reactive to policy, they need professional development programs that explores the underlying differences and that differentiates to provide contextual learning experiences for our students.

My district incorporates several programs, experiences, and personnel that address diversity in our school. We use the home-visit program, where staff visit the homes of at-risk students to make connections with the families and see the lives and backgrounds of their students. This program provides context for the teachers, and aids in their understanding that all students are different, have different backgrounds and situations, and require different actions for success.

Our school also allows for field trip experiences and technology resources that provide context for students. Since students come from many backgrounds, many do not have similar background experiences. By taking students on field trips, the school provides a similar experience for all students that the teacher can build upon. Similarly, technology resources in the classroom provide an opportunity to build context outside of the walls of the school. Some students take vacations or have family experiences that they can draw upon in school. Providing those resources to all students allows the students to personalize that learning.

My district also employs specific personnel to provide additional resources for students. Some of the teaching assistants roles provide reading and math supplement to students who display needs. These experiences are for all students, but a majority of the students are students with diverse needs. My district also have personnel for students with disabilities, and students with English Language Learner needs. These teachers have a strong desire to help all students, and specifically students they feel they have skills to assist.

The district leader has a responsibility to provide an educational environment and experience for the success of all students. By dedicating resources to meeting the needs of all students, the leader ensures that students have opportunities to achieve success. Leaders also must provide professional development opportunities for all teachers so that they can explore topics of diversity and the impact upon their instruction, and continue to grow in their performance and perceptions.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Diversity in Education

The United States has historically been a melting pot of cultures, and public education is an accurate representation of that diversity. Public education is defined by the aspect that education is a right for all people. Along with the right of public education for all comes the responsibility to educate all in public education. This element of diversity can either be accommodated as a public policy issue or celebrated as a representation of humanity. Either way, it is the responsibility of the educational leader to create a culture that promotes social justice and educational context development for all students.

It is not enough to be color blind in education; educators need to see the differences in each other, determine the needs of each student, differentiate instruction to educate each student, and provide opportunities to develop appreciation for diversity amongst the school and community. Gary Howard, in his article As Diversity Grows, So Must We, describes five phases that schools go through to embrace diversity in education: building trust, engaging personal culture, confronting issues of social dominance and social justice, transforming instructional practices, engaging the entire school community.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Moral Leadership Chapter 7 Collegiality as a Professional Virtue

  • There is widespread agreement that collegiality among teachers is an important ingredient of promoting better working conditions, improving teaching practice, and getting better results.
  • Understood as a form of professional virtue, collegiality is another powerful substitute for leadership.
  • Barriers to achieving collegiality in schools are both structural and attitudinal.
  • Contrived collegiality, by forcing people together, can take a toll on a teachers' time and compromise their professional autonomy.

The Dimensions of Virtue
  • There are two dimensions of collegiality as professional virtue. The first involves the fulfillment of obligations that stem from memberships - in the case of the school, membership in the teaching profession and in the school as a community.
  • The second dimension of collegiality has to do with why one behaves collegially.
  • What makes two people colleagues is common cause, shared professional values, and a shared professional heritage

Collegiality and the Control Paradox
  • Every organized human activity ... gives rise to two fundamental and opposing requirements: the division of labor into various tasks to be performed and the coordination of these tasks to accomplish the activity.
  • One way to solve the control paradox is through collegiality as a substitute for leadership.
  • The six strategies are
1. Directly and closely supervising teachers
2. Standardizing the work of teaching
3. Standardizing the outcomes of teaching
4. Emphasizing professional socialization
5. Emphasizing purposing
6. Structuring for collegiality and natural interdependence
  • If the strategy does not fit the level of complexity, the level of complexity will change to match the strategy
  • If form does not follow function, function will be shaped to fit the form.

Direct Supervision
The simplest way to control the work of people who have different responsibilities is to have one of those people take responsibility for the work of others.

Standardized Work Processes
Standardized work processes represent a form of coordination achieved on the drawing board before work is actually undertaken.

Standardized Outputs
Standardized outputs as a form of control are achieved when everyone is required to produce similar products or reach the same level of performance

Professional Socialization
In relying on professional socialization, one need not standardize either work processes or outputs to solve the control paradox. The term professional socialization means the upgrading of the knowledge base forteaching and an emphasis on teachers' professional obligations

Purposing and Shared Values
As a form of control, purposing and shared values can provide the substance of symbol management, furnishing the "glue" that binds people in a loosely connected world.

Collegiality and Natural Interdependence
When collegiality and natural interdependence are used, the control paradox can be solved through informal communication and the need for people to cooperate in order to be successful.

  • As work gets more complex, the emphasis must shift, from direct supervision to standardized work, standardized outputs, and emphasis on professional socialization, purposing, collegiality, and natural interdependence
  • Complex structures result in simple behaviors, and simple structures result in complex behaviors.

Collegiality can be another substitute for leadership, as the organization works for one another because of attachments that are made working towards the same goals. Collegiality can be strategists in six steps: direct and close supervision, standardization of work, standardization of outcomes, emphasizing professional socialization, emphasizing purposing, and structuring for collegiality and natural independence. These strategies work toward developing a set of behaviors that range from simple to complex, and can be modified to meet the complexity level of the organization.

This chapter attempts to describe collegiality and the effects that it has as a substitute for leadership. Collegiality is the professional socialization of the organization towards a goal. As the organization develops goals and visions, it will migrate across a continuum of complexity. The issue is that there are multiple communities within the organization that mint be at various levels of complexity and collegiality, and some leaders or members of the organization cross-section those communities, so their collegiality level may be different through their various interactions. I specifically think of staff that may work part time in a middle school and part time in the high school; the organizations may have differing approaches to collegiality and followership which may add emotional stresses.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Moral Leadership Chapter 3 The Sources of Authority for Leadership

  • When we base our leadership practice on bureaucratic authority, teachers respond appropriately or face the consequences.
  • Psychological authority is expressed in the form of motivational technology and human relations skills. When we base our leadership practice on psychological authority, teachers are supposed to respond to our personality, and to the pleasant environment that we provide, by behaving appropriately and collecting the rewards we make available.
  • Principals' being instructional leaders and basing their practice on teaching-effectiveness research or school-effectiveness research: in other words, rely on technical-rational authority. Technical-rational authority exists in the form of evidence derived from logic and scientific research.
  • Expect teachers to respond in light of what is considered to be true.
  • The true leader is one who builds in substitutes for "follow me" leadership, which enable people to respond from within.
  • "Follow me" leadership, in other words, is management-intensive.
  • It tends to induce a state of subordination among teachers
  • Professional authority, in the form of seasoned craft knowledge and personal expertise
  • Teachers can be expected to respond to common socialization, accepted tenets of practice, and internalized expertise
  • Moral authority- duties derived from widely shared values, ideas and ideals
  • Teachers can be expected to respond to shared commitments and felt interdependence
  • What to follow: the shared values and beliefs that define us as a community
  • Why: because it is morally right to do so
  • Whom should we follow: Ourselves as members and as morally conscious, committed people
  • expect and inspect
  • Most school administrators tend to see knowledge and skill about how to motivate, apply the correct leadership style, boost morale, and engineer the right interpersonal climate as representing the heart of what school administration is- the "core technology" of the educational administration profession
  • Psychological leadership cannot tap the full range and depth of human capacity and will
  • There are better motives for teachers', students', and parents' involvement than the leader's personality or psychological rewards
  • Being a successful administrator depends not on the adequacy of one's view, not on the educational policies that one adopts and how reasonable they are, and not on how successful one is in communicating these reasons to others.
  • Like other professionals, teachers cannot become effective by following scripts. Instead, they need to create knowledge in use as they practice - becoming skilled surfers who ride the wave of the pattern of teaching
  • Professional authority as a basis for leadership assumes that the expertise of teachers is what counts most
  • When there is conflict, knowledge yields
  • Professional authority is a very powerful force for governing what teachers do. For it to take hold, however, we need to increase our investment in teacher preparation, professional development, and other efforts to upgrade teaching
  • We can do much to advance leadership by moving moral authority - the authority of felt obligations and duties derived from widely shared professional and community values, ideas and ideals - to center stage.
  • We must direct our efforts to creating learning communities in each school.

This chapter focuses on the sources of authority that leaders have to influence the school: bureaucratic, psychological, technical-rational, professional and moral. These 5 sources of authority elicit different outcomes based on the level of followership. The main purpose of exercising authority is to provide development and increase instructional practice.

I feel that these stages are relatively appropriate through professional authority. Once entering into the phase of moral authority, the emphasis on leadership shifts from the leader in the professional phase, where the leader becomes facilitator to the organization. Moral authority to me seems to be tricky because control is left to the shared values of the organization. where this can be a drawback is if the organizational values shift over time and are out of perspective with the goals of the organization. In this case, the leader must employ various other sources of authority to steer the organization, which might cause some alignment issues.

Once an organization is at the professional and moral authority stages, there seems to be a connectedness between the leader and organization, so much so that any change in leadership might disturb the organizations maturity. A new leader entering an organization at an advanced phase needs to observe and flow for a while while gauging where the organization is at, and then contributing to the organization. In this sense, it is extremely important for the organization to hire for that leadership position based on the qualifications of the leader and the direction of leadership and goals for program improvement, but also for the followers in the organization to have input. Once an organization reaches the professional/moral levels, the leader is both authority and follower, and must have comfort and skill (and experience) in leading from this position.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Practice of Purposing

In his book Moral Leadership, Thomas Sergiovanni describes the stages in the process of purposing: say it, model it, organize for it, support it, enforce it, and express outrage. This process is beneficial when planning for a change within the school. This practice associates with the bureaucratic authority model, because it is management intensive and directed by the leader. However, when implementing a change, this might be the developmental level of the school for accepting a change; thus it seems that it could be the appropriate practice to achieve meaningful change.

The process the leader would use to direct the change would be to make the purpose known by implicitly stating the purpose for the change. Then the leader would model the change by walking the talk. By organizing for the change, the leader insures that resources such as human, monetary, and time resources are available. Once the resources are organized, they are provided as a support for those whom the change would effect. As activities are underway, monitoring of progress needs to be made to insure that the staff are incorporating the change and the leader enforces the process of change. Finally, the leader needs to express outrage at any non-compliance with the change to reinforce the magnitude and necessity of the change, and the importance that it makes to the leader and the organization.

Through the implementation of the practice of purposing, though management intensive, the process can achieve change results that shift the focus of the organization towards a path that can lead towards an intended outcome.

"Leadership for meaning, leadership for problem solving, collegial leadership, leadership as shared responsibility, leadership that serves school purposes, leadership that is tough enough to demand a great deal from everyone, and leadership that is tender enough to encourage the heart -- these are the images of leadership we need for schools as communities." (Sergiovanni, 1996/1997)

Works Cited
Moral Purpose, Community Must Guide School Reform, Says Sergiovanni. (1996/1997, Dec/Jan). The Developer.
 Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Servant Leadership

In John Barbute's article Becoming a Servant Leader: Do You Have What it Takes, he details characteristics of servant leadership developed by Robert Greenleaf and Larry Spears. These are characteristics that are observable in most leaders who demonstrate servant leadership. These characteristics are: Calling, Listening, Empathy, Healing, Awareness, Persuasion, Conceptualization, Foresight, Stewardship, Growth, and Building Community.

Servant leaders have many of these characteristics inherent, and can develop some of the characteristics, but their ultimate goal as servant leader is to develop those traits in others within the organization, becoming both a leader of leaders as well as servant of servants. When exploring this list of 11 characteristics, I feel that five of these characteristics may play a particularly important role in educational organizations: calling, empathy, stewardship, growth, and building a community.

A calling is an internal pull towards something, a drive or desirous feeling that moves one to seek an answer. When someone is called to education, their calling is to teach, or serve, their students and to develop a greatness in others. A calling is not something that a leader can cultivate in others, you either have a calling to education or you don't. What the leader can do however is to develop the awareness in whether one is called to serve others in education or not. A calling is a passion, and one cannot be a great teacher without being passionate. By helping others to hear their calling, the leader can ensure that passionate teachers are in their schools.

Empathy is an important trait in educators because of the realization that all students are at different places and have different backgrounds. All of their stories are different, so there is not one "right" way to teach something. Through demonstrating empathy, teachers can get to know their students and understand their thoughts, and then adjust their instruction. Empathy is another trait that is difficult for a leader to cultivate, the leader can maintain point of view and perception of various ideas as they plan with their organization. Through modeling empathy in their interactions, the leader can encourage and motivate others.

Stewardship is what the leader displays to demonstrate that they are willing to aid in the development of the organization, and not it self-interest. Stewardship is the understanding that the organization is the focus of efforts, and that others will step in afterwards to continue to movement. Through realization that one is not indispensable within the organization, then one can commit their efforts to maintaining and continuing the efforts being made. The leader can help develop stewardship in the staff through the use of grade move-ups, where the teacher moves grades with the class, or providing opportunities for staff to switch grade levels. These situations allow teachers to see continuity in curriculum amongst grades, but also to realize that they are not just grade level teacher, but a teacher within the school, of and for all students.

Schools are in the business of teaching and learning, and learning is growth. Growth is something that should be stressed and analyzed. Focusing on learning within instruction will lead to the need for proof of learning. Proof of learning illustrates growth. Leaders can use this in two ways to cultivate in the school. Leaders can use growth data to analyze school and grades successes and needs. Leaders can also encourage self-growth and development in teachers, to perfect practice and increase knowledge.

Building community
The ultimate goal of any servant leader is to create a community, a team of professionals working together, for one another, to achieve a vision. The leader can cultivate community in the school by providing opportunities for staff to work together, to identify goals, to identify solutions, and to work together to achieve those solutions. If one person pushes a rock, when the person stops pushing the rock stops rolling. But when a leader can get everyone to push the rock, people can become interchangeable, come and go, yet to rock will continue to roll. When the rock is rolling, more are likely to join in and lend a push. The community pushes the rock, the leader makes sure the rock is rolling in the right direction

Through the development of these characteristics in the organization, the leader can transform the school into a learning and growing organization that serves one another and the students.

Sources of Authority

Thomas Sergiovanni defines the sources of authority in his book Moral Leadership as Bureaucratic, Psychological, Technical-rational, Professional, and Moral. Each of these sources has purpose, depending on where the organization is on a developmental level. If one were to look at these sources as a continuum, then selecting the correct source of authority might depend on where on the continuum the organization lies, with the note that selecting the incorrect level might have adverse effects on organizational effectiveness. Selecting a bureaucratic source when the organization is at a professional or moral level might make the staff feel micro-managed, while selecting a professional source when the organization is at a bureaucratic level might make the organization feel that the leader is aloof and not connected. To achieve the most effectiveness, it is important to use influence at the level of the organization to achieve the most impact.

When exercising influence at the bureaucratic level of authority, the leader manages the organization and provides direction for the organization. To improve instruction, curriculum and assessment at this level, the leader would be working with teachers, providing guidance and monitoring for followership. Attendance at workshops and development opportunities will be directed by the leader based on where the leader feels the organization and teacher needs to go. The leader has expectations and the organization must know their roles to achieve those expectations.

When leaders employ the psychological source of authority, they are working to make the organization a positive place to work, using their interpersonal skills to motivate the organization. When the organization wants to work for the leader and towards the leaders goals, they will follow the suggestions of the leader to improve teaching and learning.

When employing the technical-rational source of authority, the principal is the instructional leader, having more knowledge and skill, and expecting the organization to follow their authority because they have more training. This style can achieve increased teaching and learning if the leader actually does have more skills and knowledge of curriculum and assessment, they are willing to share that knowledge, and the staff are willing to learn.

As the organization demonstrates professional authority, the leader has experience and the staff have developed expectations. A word I use for this type of organization is a mature organization, on that has been together and developed together. the leader in this organization is a member of the organization on a flatter level, rather than hierarchical authority. To improve teaching and learning using professional authority, the leader has knowledge and expectations of the organization, but the organization has knowledge and expectations of the leader, forming a team approach to further their collective development.

The moral source of authority is a continuation of the professional source, but matured further, to the point of seeing the truth behind the work. The organization not only seeks to do the work correctly for teaching and learning, but seeks to do the right work for students and their development. The leader can increase teaching and learning using this form of authority by fostering discussions that delve deeper into the meaning of education, seek to expand what the organization can do for the students, and encourage teachers to take an active role in seeking solutions. The leader is among leaders, and their authority is derived from the knowledge that they are supportive and willing.

Moral Leadership Epilogue

  • Strong medicine is good medicine only when used properly
  • When administrators "minister" to the needs of the school, what appears superficially to be managerial and routine communicates meaning in context.
With great power comes great responsibility. It is the responsibility of the leader to ensure that people are not a means to an end, and that the organization serves the moral purpose for student success.

Works Cited
Sergiovanni, T. (1992). Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Classroom Instruction That Works

In the book Classroom Instruction that Works, Robert Marzano details nine instructional strategies that correlate to increased student learning. By examining instructional practices and integrating elements of these strategies, teachers will increase the rate of student learning.

To introduce these strategies to a staff as a plan to increase student learning, it would be best to begin by examining current results and practices to determine areas of strength and weakness. Many times, the disaggregated data from state tests provide scores broken down by the various strategies being assessed, and through that analysis the staff can determine areas where improvements can be made. Next, using the research from Marzano's book and the correlated percentile increases associated with the strategies, the staff can determine which focus strategies would provide the best return on investment. Once the strategies are selected, it is important for the school leader to provide resources that the teachers can use to develop their increased use of the strategies. Resources could be protected time for PLC, learning resources, mentoring opportunities with high flyers, or physical resources to aid in the implantation such as technology tools.

Here is an analysis of the strategies and curricular areas where these strategies can address.

Similarities and Differences
This strategy includes classifying information, organizing informational into representations that make meaning, and summarizing the qualities of each as they relate to one another. This is a great strategy to use in language arts for character comparisons from literature studies or for use in science to classify traits and behaviors of mammals.

Reinforcing Effort and Providing Recognition
This strategy includes developing ways to provide opportunities for student work to be displayed or published, thus increasing their intrinsic motivation towards quality work and effort. This trait transcends many curricular areas, but examples could include posting artwork from fine arts classes in art shows around the region or displaying as exemplar thesis paper through use of document camera for analysis of positive elements within the paper.

The use of questioning allows for the cueing and recognition of prior knowledge, and also includes graphic organizers to chunk the information for recall. Curricular areas where this can have an impact would be in social studies when discussing causes of the Civil War or through the use of Socratic questioning to lead the class towards enlightenment about a topic related to the causes of the war.

Homework is used to reinforce material learned to increase retention and transfer, and also as a means to introduce a topic that will be developed upon later. A curricular element would be in literature class when requiring reading prior to class so that the class can extend past the required reading. Math classes are also a great example, as teachers often require homework to reinforce the topics discussed during class and aid in the retention and recall of those processes.

Hypotheses involve the application of inductive and deductive reasoning. Science classes focus on hypotheses as they work with experiments in physics courses to determine outcomes and make associations. Hypotheses are also used in algebra courses to test the formulas.

Nonlinguistic Representation
Nonlinguistic Representations provide a framework for organizing or interpreting information in diverse ways, either from physical representations such as models or multimedia resources such as video clips or clip art. This strategy can also be integrated into multiple curricular areas, such as journalism class where students create graphics to associate with their presentations, or in science class when multimedia clips are presented to provide contextual understanding prior to developing a topic such as adaptations of animals in the Taiga biome.

Setting Objectives
Objectives are possibly the most fundamental strategy, as it provides the foundational understanding for the entire lesson. This sets the goals for the lesson and focuses the feedback towards specific direction. Objectives should be used in every lesson so that students know the target for learning, and the feedback can direct the students and keep them on target. Objectives should be specific enough to focus the learning, but also allow for differentiation of product or process based upon student readiness.

Summarizing is a skill where students take the information presented and chunk it into meaningful portions that can be detailed back to the teacher or class. Summarizing is an important skill in language arts classes when taking a selection of reading and condensing it for main ideas. Summarizing is also evident in Social studies classes when students present in class on topics related to the culture of ancient Egypt.

Cooperative Learning
This strategy employs the use of grouping to provide multiple influences and interpretations on a topic through the type of grouping, whether formal, informal, or base grouping. Groups are important in language arts/reading classes, as students of similar abilities can read in a group and synthesize the material on a similar reading level. those same students can also be grouped in multiple-ability groups so that students can experience and extend their understandings of the selections from a different point of view and interpretation.

Several of these strategies can be implemented within instructional practice to increase student learning. Professional development opportunities that seek to increase the utilization of these strategies should focus on professional learning communities, where teachers can use Marzano's book with a book study and share best practices with these strategies to provide resource to one another as they work to implement these strategies into their professional practice.

I have personally also developed professional learning opportunities associated to the book Using Technology with Classroom Instruction that Works by Howard Pitler. This book follows Marzano's nine strategies and describe how to use 21st century tools within those strategies. I provide the training as a summer course, where teachers can self-select the course, which already tells me that the teacher is both motivated to incorporate technology into instruction and willing to evaluate and improve their instructional practice through focusing on high impact strategies for student learning. The strategies are described individually with resources that compliment those strategies being detailed. Teachers also offer their own practices to share with the group. At the conclusion of the course, teachers will know about the strategies, understand how to integrate technology tools for addressing those strategies, and contribute a successful integration during the following school year.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

School Leader's Influences on Student Learning: The Four Paths

Dr. Kenneth Leithwood recently authored an article about four paths where leaders can illustrate influence for student learning. This article describes the act of influence on the part of the school leadership as it applies to four areas, or paths: Rational, Emotional, Organizational, and Family. Each path has attributes where effective leadership can impact student learning through selecting correct variables to impact student learning and then proper application of influence.

The Rational path includes the knowledge and skills needed throughout the school to impact student learning. There are specific variables, such as instructional strategies, that can impact student achievement. Other variables relate to the school climate, and how visionary leadership contributes to the culture of success for the school. Professional learning has a large impact for student learning, but it is important to realize that it is not just professional development, but also the development of people.

The Emotional path is a very powerful path for improving student learning. Emotions correlate to cognitive processing because as the learner feels safer and more trusting in their environment, they are better able to process and integrate learning. As teachers feel that they have the ability to make a difference, they are more willing to work to achieve those ends.

The Organizational path includes the policies and procedures that coordinate the educational infrastructure of the school. Part of The focus on variables that make an impact is to explore which variables have the greatest impact, and in the organizational path possibly the variable with the largest impact on student learning is instructional time. As leaders develop policies and procedures, protecting and ensuring instructional time is imperative, and can be accomplished by lessening distractions from teachers such as discipline issues and administrative tasks.

The Family path is one of the areas of lesser focus historically, therefore it has possibly one of the largest impacts due to it's relative absence from inclusion in traditional variable exploration. Through the provision of school/parent interactions, such as home visits, meaningful committees, and parent volunteering, the leader has the opportunity to establish a culture of familial expectations that impact student learning. The key to this path for the leader is vision and communication, as parents will follow a leader they can understand and trust.

To achieve progress towards increasing the influence the leader has upon the variables within the four paths, it is important to establish a culture of distributed leadership, where teachers have the efficacy to make a difference, parents have the trust to participate actively, and leaders have the vision and knowledge to realize which variables make the greatest impact and to exert influence to impact student learning.

How Leadership Influences Student Learning - Dr. Kenneth Leithwood from ULethbridge Faculty of Education on Vimeo.