How Do Principals Really Improve Schools?

Image credit:

Source: ASCD 

The following excerpts resonated with me as an educational leader.

The key to improved student learning is to ensure more good teaching in more classrooms more of the time. The most powerful strategy for improving both teaching and learning, however, is not by micromanaging instruction but by creating the collaborative culture and collective responsibility of a professional learning community (PLC).

Research shows that educators in schools that have embraced PLCs are more likely to
  • Take collective responsibility for student learning, help students achieve at higher levels, and express higher levels of professional satisfaction (Louis & Wahlstrom, 2011).
  • Share teaching practices, make results transparent, engage in critical conversations about improving instruction, and institutionalize continual improvement (Bryk, Sebring, Allensworth, Luppescu, & Easton, 2010).
  • Improve student achievement and their professional practice at the same time that they promote shared leadership (Louis et al., 2010).
  • Experience the most powerful and beneficial professional development (Little, 2006).
  • Remain in the profession (Johnson & Kardos, 2007).
The effort to improve schools through tougher supervision and evaluation is doomed to fail because it asks the wrong question. The question isn't, How can I do a better job of monitoring teaching? but How can we collectively do a better job of monitoring student learning?

Today's schools don't need "instructional leaders" who attempt to ensure that teachers use the right moves. Instead, schools need learning leaders who create a schoolwide focus on learning both for students and the adults who serve them.

Read the entire article here.