The Principal Story Learning Guide

To advance the professional learning of aspiring and current school leaders

The Principal Story

Unit 1: Shaping a vision of academic success for all students



Purpose: Unit 1 provides participants with an opportunity to identify principal behaviors focused on setting, communicating, and shaping a vision. It also guides them in applying solutions to ensure success. Follow these links to move through the sections of this unit. Approximate Time: 4.5 – 5.5 hours.


 

Facilitators: Adult learning professionals may use this web-based learning tool in principal preparation courses or in workplace study sessions. Facilitators may encourage participants to take advantage of the writable PDFs to record and save their responses. For onsite study groups or classes, the facilitator may choose to print relevant worksheets and provide them to participants. Depending on class structure and learning goals, facilitators will use these tools to provide group and individual learning experiences within the following structure:

     Consider ideas and connect with others
   Watch the film clip
   Read the excerpt
   Complete the activities

 

 


 

Consider ideas and connect with others

Think about the role of a school principal in shaping a school vision. Independently, respond to questions on the worksheet and exchange responses with a partner. Connect with others, if applicable, to discuss common themes.

  1. What does it mean for principals to shape a vision of academic success for all students?
  2. What examples or results of effectively shaping a vision can you share from your own experience?

Return to top



 


 

Watch the film clip

View a clip on sharing a vision of academic excellence to see research in practice. Use the Big ideas chart to guide independent note-taking while viewing.

In this clip, viewers meet principals Tresa Dunbar (Nash Elementary) and Kerry Purcell (Harvard Park Elementary) and learn about their schools. Ninety-eight percent of students at Nash and 87% of students at Harvard Park come from low-income families. Both principals articulate their vision for their schools and explain why they became principals. Tresa focuses on the challenges related to working with new teachers, and Kerry highlights the progress she and her staff have made in the improvement of student learning. [Time: 2 minutes, 47 seconds]



 

Return to top



 

Read the excerpt

Excerpt from: The School Principal as Leader: Guiding Schools to Better Teaching and Learning (The Wallace Foundation, 2013), 7–8.

Although they say it in different ways, researchers who have examined education leadership agree that effective principals are responsible for establishing a schoolwide vision of commitment to high standards and the success of all students. Read more...

Return to top



 

Complete the activities

Working in small groups or at their own pace, learners observe, discuss, engage, and reflect on the ideas and information presented in the film clips and related materials. Follow these links to tools that include writable PDF files to support this work.

     Activity 1: Discover personal assumptions
   Activity 2: Review research
   Activity 3: Link research with practice
   Activity 4: Take action
   Activity 5: Reflect


Return to top