The study reported on in this article examines how instructional leadership is exercised by superintendents in effective school districts. We employ concepts drawn from school effectiveness studies and from organizational literature on coordination and control in an attempt to understand how superintendents organize and manage instruction and curriculum in these effective districts. Specific instructional management practices are examined within a framework of six major functions, setting goals and establishing expectations and standards, selecting staff, supervising and evaluating staff, establishing an instructional and curricular focus, ensuring consistency in technical core operations, and monitoring curriculum and instruction. Based on interviews with superintendents from 12 of the most instructionally effective school districts in California and analysis of selected district documents, we present descriptions of district‐level policies and practices that these superintendents use to coordinate and control the instructional management activities of their principals. Similarities and differences in the patterns of control and coordination found in these districts are highlighted. The implications of the findings are then examined in light of recent findings regarding coupling and linkages in schools. The results of this study suggest that superintendents in instructionally effective school districts are more active “instructional managers” than previous descriptions of superintendents would have led us to expect. In particular, coordination and control of the technical core appears more systematic in these districts. The results do not, however, provide a uniform picture of how instruction is coordinated and controlled. A wide range of both culture building activities and bureaucratic policies and practices were emphasized by the superintendents in this study as they exercised their instructional leadership roles.
MURPHY, J. and HALLINGER, P. (1986), "THE SUPERINTENDENT AS INSTRUCTIONAL LEADER: FINDINGS FROM EFFECTIVE SCHOOL DISTRICTS", Journal of Educational Administration, Vol. 24 No. 2, pp. 213-236. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb009917Download as .RIS
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