A Companion to the PBS Documentary for Promoting Leadership for Learning 

Vivian Elliott
Senior Consultant
National Staff Development Council

Project Director
Joellen Killion
Deputy Executive Director
National Staff Development Council

THE PRINCIPAL STORY Field Guide: A Companion to the PBS Documentary for Promoting Leadership for Learning is a resource to help plan and facilitate interactive viewing sessions of the full film and film clips to principals, aspiring principals, supervisors and mentors, preparation program directors, and others interested in the role of school leadership. It is designed to be used by facilitators to enhance and deepen viewers’ understanding of the leader’s role and serve as a resource to promote school leaders’ professional learning.

Download the Field Guide PDF (1,450KB)

The field guide will help facilitate interactive viewing sessions in a variety of settings. Section 2 is designed for audiences that view the full clip reel, which illuminates school leaders’ essential responsibilities in promoting student learning. Sections 3 to 6 are designed for groups that watch an individual clip to highlight one of the four themes. Section 7 provides tips for viewing the full documentary.

Each section includes an overview of the theme, a description of the film clip, a sample agenda for a viewing session, and additional pre- and post-viewing prompts to lead deeper discussions. Viewing sessions can vary from a classroom of aspiring principals, to a professional development workshop for 50 principals, or an auditorium open to an entire school community. Facilitators can use any section individually or with others, and tailor the agendas and discussion prompts to meet the needs of their audience.

The National Staff Development Council developed this field guide with support from three educator focus groups that met in the winter of 2009. Two focus groups were hosted by the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals and met in Alexandria, Va. Each focus group included 12 attendees. A third focus group of five educators was hosted by the National Staff Development Council and met in Littleton, Colo. The focus group attendees are acknowledged on pages 53-54.