Despite increased focus on the importance of the time principals spend on instructional leadership, there is little research on practical ways to help principals manage…
Despite increased focus on the importance of the time principals spend on instructional leadership, there is little research on practical ways to help principals manage their time to achieve this goal. The purpose of this paper is to examine the implementation of the school administration manager (SAM) process: a unique program designed to help principals orient their time toward instructional activities.
This mixed-methods study combines data from multiple sources including: case studies of four districts that involved interviews with principals and program staff in 16 schools; interviews with network-level staff and administrators; a survey of 387 principals and 378 program staff; and time use data collected by shadowers as well as a time-tracking calendar system for 373 principals.
Principals and their teams implemented the SAM process with relatively high fidelity. In addition, most participated in the program to increase time spent on instructional tasks. Indeed, principals’ time use shifted from managerial to instructional tasks as they implemented the program. However, there were important challenges related to the time and personnel resources required to implement the program as well as questions about the quality of the instructional leadership time spent.
This study describes not only time allocation, but also a process through which principals intentionally sought to shift their time toward instructional leadership activities. The insights gained from the implementation and outcomes of this process provide concrete direction for policymakers, practitioners and researchers looking for ways to change the time principals spend on instructional leadership.
The purpose of this paper is to examine relationships among governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and the organization and management of instruction…
The purpose of this paper is to examine relationships among governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations and the organization and management of instruction in US public education, with the aim of raising issues for cross-national research among countries in which the involvement of non-governmental organizations is increasing.
The paper is structured in four parts: an historical analysis of the architecture and dynamics of US public education; an analysis of contemporary reform efforts seeking to improve quality and reduce inequities; an analysis of ways that legacy and reform dynamics manifest in two US public school districts; and a discussion of considerations for cross-national research.
In US public education, dependence on non-governmental organizations for instructional resources and services is anchored in deeply institutionalized social, political and economic values dating to the country’s founding and that continue to function as constraints on educational reform, such that new solutions always emerge in-and-from the same problematic conditions that they seek to redress. The consequence is that reform takes on an evolutionary (vs transformative) character.
The US case provides a foundation for framing issues for cross-national research comparing among macro-level educational infrastructures, patterns of instructional organization and classroom instruction.
Such research would move beyond reductionist approaches to cross-national research toward new approaches that examine how histories, legacy architectures, contemporary reforms and patterns of instructional organization and management interact to shape students’ day-to-day lives in classrooms.