The Impact of Teacher Leadership on Students Literacy Achievement. Lyn Sharratt OISE/UT/YRDSB Michelle Sharratt YRDSB October, 2007

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1 The Impact of Teacher Leadership on Students Literacy Achievement Lyn Sharratt OISE/UT/YRDSB Michelle Sharratt YRDSB October,

2 Presenters Dr. Lyn Sharratt is the Superintendent of Curriculum and Instructional Services in York Region District School Board, north of Toronto, Canada. She is also an associate at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto. Study A was her doctoral thesis in Educational Administration. Michelle Sharratt is a Curriculum Consultant in York Region District School Board with classroom experience in both Primary and Junior divisions. She is Reading Recovery trained and has been a Literacy Teacher, Math Mentor Teacher, and a District Literacy Leader for the Ontario Ministry of Education. Study B was her Master s thesis at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. 2

3 To provide an interactive exploration of 2 District case studies - features include: Defining, implementing and evaluating system change focused on the impact of leadership on student achievement Distributed leadership and comprehensive professional development for teachers and administrators Lessons learned to support capacitybuilding across the District 3 C.Rolheiser & Lyn Sharratt, May 2006

4 Connecting as a Community of Learners 4 Joanne Quinn & Carol Rolheiser, OISE/UT, 2005

5 Quote Walk-About Carol Rolheiser, OISE/UT,

6 Quote Walk-About Meet one other person and share a personal connection to your quote What does it mean to you? Repeat with at least 3 partners. Carol Rolheiser, OISE/UT,

7 Themes Today Leadership 7 Carol Rolheiser, OISE/UT, 2005

8 Insert quote from Richard Elmore about instruction - Michael Fullan, Beyond Turnaround Leadership,

9 What is one system/school /classroom change or challenge you are grappling with? -Partner Share Carol Rolheiser, OISE/UT, 2006

10 Context for the Studies Study A Southeastern Ontario school district Population of 50,000 students Would electronic tools and intensive PD make a difference to teachers classroom practice in integrating technology seamlessly into instructional strategies to increase student achievement? Study B South-central Ontario school district Population of 130,000 students Would intensive professional development of schoolembedded Literacy Teachers make a difference to students literacy achievement? 10

11 Common Focus of the Two Studies Study A (1996) What leadership factors impacted on schools as learning organizations that increased student achievement? Study B (2004) What is the nature of leadership; specifically, what impact do formal leaders and teacherleaders together have on student achievement? 11

12 Leithwood s 8 Dimensions of Transformational Leadership 1. Identifying and articulating a vision 2. Fostering acceptance of group goals 3. Providing individualized support for staff members 4. Providing role modeling 5. Holding high performance expectations 6. Aligning resources 7. Strengthening culture 8. Altering structures to permit broad participation in staff decision making 12

13 Transformational Leadership Leadership is transformational when it moves away from control in order to build commitment and capacity. The key to organizational learning is to create structures that allow for staff interaction and participatory decisionmaking. ~ Leithwood

14 Conceptual Framework for the Studies Stimulus for Learning Nature of Distributed Leadership Conditions Through Which Teacher-leadership Influence is Exercised Outcomes of Distributed Leadership 14

15 Design of the Studies Study A 5 schools Interviews with 22 teachers and 2 principals Survey analyses Study B 6 schools Interviews with 3 principals and 3 teacher-leaders Analyses of 3 assessments collected by the school district 15

16 A Transformational Leader (from the literature) gives individualized support through: consideration of colleagues aspirations and feelings building of professional learning communities to share expertise giving different teachers the opportunity to lead building confidence and trust through dialogue 16

17 A Transformational Leader is a role model by: setting an example for employees to follow consistent with the leader s values contributing to teachers day-to-day enthusiasm for their work demonstrate instructional strategies to build capacity and promote trust with colleagues 17

18 A Transformational Leader provides intellectual stimulation by encouraging re-examination and re-thinking of practices persuading staff members to try new practices (without using pressure) 18

19 A Transformational Leader articulates a clear vision in order to give staff members a sense of overall purpose excite them with the vision of what they could accomplish by working together uses all available opportunities to communicate the school s vision to staff, students, and parents 19

20 A Transformational Leader fosters acceptance of group goals by working toward staff consensus in establishing priorities for school goals encouraging teachers to establish and review their own goals and professional growth not being afraid to express personal views about goals that are important for the school 20

21 A Transformational Leader conveys high performance expectations by expecting staff members to be innovative, hard-working, and professional builds a productive school culture by developing a shared set of values, beliefs and attitudes related to teaching and learning Alters school structures to enhance participation in decisions 21

22 How did we get there? Study A: The influence of the Principal as lead learner was powerful in changing teachers practice in classrooms. Study B: Going deeper in shared leadership demands shared beliefs and understandings, and will and perseverance. - Lyn Sharratt & Michelle Sharratt,

23 Results of Study A School leadership was first ranked as having an indirect effect on schools as learning organizations and thus teachers changed practices. Formal school leaders such as principals were perceived to have a significant influence on the school conditions that promoted reflective practice, changed practice and students increased achievement. 23

24 Study A Results continued School leadership had the most influence on schools implicit (the way we ve always done things) and explicit (visible learning environment) culture. In one school, the principal altered the school structure which influenced the explicit culture providing opportunities for teachers to work together. In another school, the principal s emotional and material support influenced school culture. 24

25 Results of Study B Both principals and teacher-leaders influenced school conditions, particularly through strengthening culture and altering structures. New conditions led to classroom teachers changed practices, increased skill, and reflective practice that increased students literacy achievement as demonstrated through reading and writing data on a provincial test. 25

26 1) At your table group number off 1, 2, & 3 1 read answer to #1 (pp. 9 and 10) 2 read answer to #2 (pp.11 and 12) 3 read answer to #1 (p. 13) and record some jot notes of key points (Retell) and key personal connections (Relate). Lyn Sharratt, & Michelle Sharratt

27 2) As a team of 3 report back on your sections using Retell and Relate. 3) Consider the final questions as a team and record under Reflect. - Carol Rolheiser & Lyn Sharratt,

28 Students Increased Literacy Achievement Phase 1 etell elate Phase 2 Phase 3 eflect What resonated for you? What questions were raised? What are the implications of these ideas to your own context(s)? 28 - C. Rolheiser, OISE/UT, 2006

29 Specific and Common Characteristics - Vision When school districts stay true to a commitment to a shared vision, then there is impact on teacher practice. The vision involves both vertical alignment (district, schools, classrooms) and horizontal capacity-building across schools and among leaders. 29

30 QuickTime and a MPEG-4 Video decompressor are needed to see this picture. 30 Insert the shared beliefs and understandings video clip

31 Characteristics Time Time for sharing of successful practices and teacher dialogue is critical. Leaders who provide time through restructuring or creative approaches help teachers to impact student achievement. Time, in terms of frequent interruptions to instruction (PA announcements, fundraising activities), is an obstacle to student achievement. 31

32 Literacy Block Insert video 32

33 The Literacy Teacher Role In viewing the following video clip, determine what characteristics the Teacher Leader must have to be effective. Use the video viewing sheet to jot down your observations. L. Sharratt & M. Sharratt,

34 The Literacy Teacher video 34

35 The Nature of Teacher- Leadership Teacher-leadership involves a willingness to share content knowledge and instructional expertise while being approachable, nonjudgmental, and a focused advocate for student achievement. Study A teachers said they learned more about technology from other staff members who were approachable, knowledgeable, supportive, accessible and creative problemsolvers than from technology professionals. 35

36 PD at Staff Meetings Insert video 36

37 The Nature of Teacher- Leadership Study B found 7dimensions associated with increased student achievement. Teacher-Leaders: 1. exhibit drive and perseverance 2. set high expectations 3. see wholes, not parts 4. build learning power across boundaries 5. focus on writing to teach reading 6. create more time to talk 7. involve the community 37

38 The Impact of Leaders on Student Achievement When teachers feel that they are not alone, but working together with a common purpose, a cultural shift occurs. Together, principals and teacher-leaders made successful teaching practices public. When teachers realized that they didn t have to solve problems alone and that every student belonged to every teacher and administrators, then they opened their classroom doors. 38

39 Two Dimensions of Leadership that Made a Difference 1. Setting high expectations with reasonable performance targets. Also students must be clear about what teachers expect of them, so they must be involved in their own goal-setting as part of the learning process. 2. Knowledge about assessment that drives instruction. 39

40 Assessment drives instruction Insert video 40

41 Policy Implications for District and School Leadership Practices Highly skilled literacy teacher-leaders and principals can make a difference when they take time to work alongside teachers in the classroom as co-transformational leaders. Reconsider school structures to ensure time during the school day for purposeful teacher/student/administrator dialogue focused on student learning. A learning society is one in which every person is an active learner. ~ Michael Barber 41

42 The Next Horizon Suggestions to Guide Us 42

43

44 1. Literacy is everyone s business. 2. Principals commitment to participate as lead learners is critical. 3. Embedded staffing and sustained PD for all teachers is critical. Both need to be funded appropriately. 4. Specific parameters critical to success need to be identified and utilized to guide precision in teaching and implementation. 5. Identify distractors that are roadblocks Lyn Sharratt & Carol Rolheiser, 2006

45 What are the implications of these ideas for your own work? - Carol Rolheiser, OISE/UT,

46 What Lessons Learned from these 2 case studies can guide your work in sustaining student achievement? How do formal and informal leaders sustain student improvement while sustaining the well-being of their staffs and themselves? - Lyn Sharratt & Carol Rolheiser,

47 There are no miracles that happened, Only hard work. -Helen Keller 47

48 Insert the Inspiring Video that Jane made for the LC Kick-OFF 48

49 49

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