In the world of education, prevailing theories and modes of reform are usually a long time coming. In the last decade a body of research emerged and supported the connection between collective leadership in successful schools and is a key philosophy in the work we do at California GEAR UP.
A new and expansive study recently released further supports collective leadership and the role principals have in successfully implementing shared power at the school site.
Effective principals encourage others to join in the decision-making process in their schools, said the study, which was commissioned by the New York-based Wallace Foundation and produced by the University of Minnesota’s Center for Applied Research and Educational Improvement, in St. Paul, and theOntario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.
The long-awaited study, published this week, is the largest to date to focus on the principals role in collective leadership. It attempts to get beyond the broad statement that school leadership is important and digs into just what types of leadership appear to make the most difference when it comes to improving schools. In order to answer that question, the foundation devoted $3.5 million and six years to surveying more than 8,400 teachers and 470 school administrators. Additional interviews were conducted with more than 1,000 educators at the school, district, and state levels. In addition, researchers observed 310 classrooms. The study also tied the data to student test scores in mathematics and English.
How does this study influence our work in schools? What do you think about the study?