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Learning-oriented leadership cultivates teacher leaders

By Ellie Drago-Severson and Christy Joswick O’Connor
February 2023
In our work with school leaders, practitioners frequently tell us that leading schools while navigating the complexities of current times is too difficult for a principal to do alone. Collaboration has always been important, but even more so now, with all the stresses and unknowns we are facing. In this context, shared leadership is essential. While scholars have suggested many models of shared leadership among principals and teachers (Boyce & Bowers, 2018; Diem et al., 2022; Young et al., 2022), less is known about how to translate models of shared leadership into practice and build teachers’ leadership capacity in schools (Campbell et al., 2022; Young et al., 2022). To meet that need, we created a developmental approach we call learning-oriented leadership that principals and district

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References

Boyce, J. & Bowers, A.J. (2018). Toward an evolving conceptualization of instructional leadership as leadership for learning: Meta-narrative review of 109 quantitative studies across 25 years. Journal of Educational Administration, 56(2). doi.org/10.1108/JEA-06-2016-0064

Campbell, T., Wenner, J.A., Brandon, L., & Waszkelewicz, M. (2022). A community of practice model as a theoretical perspective for teacher leadership. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 25(2), 173-196.

Diem, S., Welton, A.D., Walters, S.W., & Clark, S.P. (2022). Understanding the politics of race, equity, and neoliberalism in everyday leadership. A companion guide to handbook of urban educational leadership: Theory to practice, 103.

Drago-Severson, E. (2016, January). Teaching, learning, and leading in today’s complex world: Reaching new heights with a developmental approach. International Journal of Leadership in Education: Theory and Practice, 19(1), 56-86.

Drago-Severson, E. (2012). Helping educators grow: Strategies and practices for leadership development. Harvard Education Press.

Drago-Severson, E. (2009). Leading adult learning: Supporting adult development in our schools. Corwin & Learning Forward.

Drago-Severson, E., O’Connor, C., & Blum-DeStefano, J. (2018). When teams hit rough waters: Navigate challenges with a developmental approach. The Learning Professional 39(4), 54-58.

Ingersoll, R., Dougherty, P., & Sirinides, P. (2017). School leadership counts. New Teacher Center and the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, University of Pennsylvania.

Joswick-O’Connor, C. (2020). A longitudinal developmentally intentional leadership institute for teacher leaders: A case study of the experiences of 13 teacher leaders. Columbia University.

Louis, K.S., Leithwood, K., Wahlstrom, K.L., & Anderson, S.E (2010). Investigating the links to improved student learning: Final report of research findings. University of Minnesota.

Spillane, J.P. (2012). Distributed leadership. John Wiley & Sons.

Wenner, J.A. & Campbell, T. (2017). The theoretical and empirical

Young, M.D., O’Doherty, A., & Cunningham, K.M.W., (2022). Redesigning educational leadership preparation for equity: Strategies for innovation and improvement. Routledge.


University Professor at Teachers College Columbia University | + posts
Christy joswick oconnor

Christy Joswick-O'Connor (christy.joswickoconnor@gmail.com) is a director of curriculum in the Florham Park School District in New Jersey.


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