School Leadership for Students With
Course Enhancement Module Anchor Presentation #4
Involves Parents &
• Identify the importance of high
expectations for students with
• Explain key dimensions of instructional
leadership and relevance to students
• Describe the relevance of collective and
distributed forms of leadership for
students with disabilities.
What Is Instructional
What activities are part of
Dimensions of Instructional
• Three dimensions encompassing 10 specific instructional
leadership functions (Hallinger et al., 2013):
o Defining the school mission.
o Managing the instructional program.
o Developing the school learning climate.
• Identify four school leadership activities (Leithwood, Harris,
& Hopkins, 2008)
o Building vision/setting directions.
o Understanding and developing people.
o Redesigning the organization.
o Managing the teaching and learning program (p. 29).
Importance of Instructional Leadership
“the skills and knowledge that matter in
leadership . . . are those that can be connected
to, or lead directly to, the improvement of
instruction and student performance. Under
this definition, principals’ core work is
instructional improvement, and everything else
is instrumental to it” (p. 58).
& Students With Disabilities
(Billingsley, McLeskey, & Crockett, 2014)
1. Setting high expectations/academic
2. Promoting a positive disciplinary
3. Facilitating high-quality instruction and
4. Support teaching effectiveness.
1. Academic Press/High
• Normative emphasis on academic success.
• Achievement goals and standards high and
• Review of 20 research studies demonstrate
link between academic press and student
achievement (Leithwood, Patten, & Jantzi,
• School leaders help set expectations.
• Staff and others involved in goal setting,
communicating, and monitoring of learning
goals (Robinson et al., 2008).
Ruleville Central Elementary: Provide
“rigorous and relevant educational
experiences daily that will enable students
to develop positive social, emotional, and
intellectual relationships and compete
with students at premier institutions
locally, nationally, and globally.”
Academic Press in Practice
• Specific practices that reinforce academic
oSetting clear goals for student
oFocus on instructional time.
oCommunicate high expectations to
students (e.g., expected classroom
behavior, challenging assignments,
Academic Press & Students
• Establishing high expectations for all,
including students with disabilities.
• Students with disabilities expected to work
toward the same standards as all students.
• Strong achievement orientation a
distinctive factor in successful inclusive
schools (Dyson et al., 2004).
• Collective responsibility for educating
students with disabilities among all in
2. Positive Disciplinary Climate
(Leithwood et al., 2010)
• Key goal is a safe, orderly, productive,
and positive learning environment.
• Linked to student achievement.
• Academic press + a positive disciplinary
climate: explains more achievement
variation between schools than these
two variables working alone (Leithwood
et al., 2010).
Positive Disciplinary Climate in
• Orderly environment and
• Preventing disruptions.
• School-wide frameworks to
teach and improve behavior.
School-Wide Positive Behavioral
• Focused on prevention.
• Three tiers of intervention with progress monitoring:
o Primary (clear behavioral expectations, taught,
supervised and reinforced).
o Secondary (range of supports provided for those
not responding to primary).
o Tertiary (specialized and individualized supports for
students exhibiting chronic and high-risk
• Linked experimentally to decreased behavior referrals
and improved achievement (Horner et al., 2009).
Example of PBIS in
Positive Disciplinary Climate and
Students with Disabilities
• Students with disabilities, like other
students, benefit from SWPBS systems.
• Students with disabilities may be served
at any tier.
• Significant behavioral needs are
addressed in Tier 3.
3. High-Quality Instruction &
• Promoting the use of high-quality
• Ensuring that teachers have
opportunities to learn about and use
instructional practices supported by
• Protecting instructional time.
• Monitoring student progress on regular
basis to determine progress toward
Response to Intervention (RtI)
Three assumptions (Deshler & Cornett,
1.All students can learn.
2.Teacher instruction most powerful in
predicting student success.
3.Schools must provide all students with
supports to benefit from education.
Response to Intervention (RtI)
• Universal screening.
• High-quality instruction.
• Data-based decision making.
• Frequent progress monitoring.
• Increasingly intense levels of instructional
• Fidelity measures.
From: IRIS Module (RTI for Mathematics)
• Create protected time in the schedule
so that Tier 1 literacy instruction occurs
daily from 7:45-9:15 a.m.
o Two adults in every classroom.
• Additional Tier 2 and Tier 3 instruction
at the end of the day.
o Students in lowest quartile.
o Small groups.
o Highly qualified teachers.
Video: Response to Instruction
Boulevard Elementary School
Save the Last Word for Me
• To deepen and extend our thinking
about promoting effective instructional
• Groups of four.
• Leader to be timekeeper.
• Handout 1 and homework reading
(Deshler & Cornett, 2012).
High-Quality Instruction &
Students With Disabilities
• Intensive, individualized instruction at Tier 3 may
define special education (Brownell et al. 2010).
• Use of evidence-based practices (EBPs) proved to
enhance effectiveness for students with disabilities
• Importance of differentiated instruction/Universal
Design for Learning (UDL).
• Need for administrative support for differentiated
instruction at the school level:
o Professional learning.
o Collaborative cultures.
o Support individual teachers’ efforts.
Use of one’s “knowledge, skills,
and abilities . . . in an
environment conducive to
teaching and learning”
Ladson-Billings, 2008, p. 207 (emphasis added)
• Recruiting and hiring.
• Teacher induction.
• Ongoing, embedded professional
learning (professional learning
• Supportive culture:
o Inclusive culture—collective responsibility.
o Collaboration among teachers.
o Effective communication.
• Effective job design:
o Clarity about valued activities.
o Schedules that supports instruction and
• Instructional supports:
o Protects teachers from interruptions and
unnecessary clerical tasks.
From a Special Educator
"My environment is wonderful. I have a really
strong support system, and the principal is
flexible and gives us feedback. She gives us
ideas about what to do with reading too. She
trusts us and allows us to make the decisions,
which is very powerful for teachers . . . I am
not isolated. Isolation and student behavior is
why a lot of my friends leave teaching.”
(Bishop, Brownell, et al., 2010, p. 87)
Instructional Leadership at
• Principals are not the only leaders.
• Multiple individuals take responsibility for
• Roles may be formal or informal.
• Teachers play a major role in inclusive
• Numerous examples of teacher leadership
in special education.
Billingsley, B. (2007). Recognizing and supporting the critical roles of teachers in special education
leadership. Exceptionality, 15(3), 163-176. [In special issue, titled, The Changing Landscape in Special
Billingsley, B., McLeskey, J., & Crockett, J. B. (2014). Principal leadership: Moving toward inclusive and
high-achieving schools for students with disabilities (Document No. IC-8). Retrieved from University of
Florida, Collaboration for Effective Educator, Development, Accountability, and Reform Center website:
Bishop, A. G., Brownell, M. T., Menon, S., Galman, S., & Leko, M. (2010). Understanding the influence of
personal attributes, preparation, and school environment on beginning special education teachers’
classroom practices during reading instruction. Learning Disability Quarterly, 33(2), 75-93.
Brownell, M. T., Sindelar, P. T., Kiely, M. T., & Danielson, L. C. (2010). Special education teacher quality and
preparation: Exposing foundations, constructing a new model. Exceptional Children, 76, 357-377.
Crockett, J., Billingsley, B., & Boscardin, M. L. (Eds.). (2012). Handbook of leadership & administration for
special education. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
Deshler, D. D., & Cornett, J. (2012). Leading to improve teacher effectiveness: Implications for practice,
reform, research, and policy. In J. B Crockett, B. S. Billingsley, & M. L. Boscardin (Eds.), Handbook of
leadership & administration for special education (pp. 239-259). New York, NY: Taylor & Francis.
Dyson, A., Farrell, P., Polat, F., Hutcheson, G., & Gallannaugh, F. (2004). Inclusion and pupil achievement
(Research Report No. 578). Retrieved from National Archives website:
Elmore, R. F. (2004). School reform from the inside out: Policy, practice, and performance. Cambridge,
MA: Harvard Education Press.
Goddard, Y. L., Neumerski, C. M., Goddard, R. D., Salloum, S. J., & Berebitsky, D. (2010). A multilevel
exploratory study of the relationship between teachers’ perceptions of principals’ instructional support
and group norms for instruction in elementary schools. The Elementary School Journal, 111(2), 336-357.
Hallinger, P., Wang, W., & Chen, C. (2013). Assessing the measurement properties of the principal
instructional management rating scale: A meta-analysis of reliability studies. Educational Administration
Quarterly, 49(2), 272-309.
Horner, R., Sugai, G., Smolkowski, K., Todd, A., Nakasato, J., & Esperanza, J. (2009). A randomized control
trial of school-wide positive behavior support in elementary schools. Journal of Positive Behavior
Interventions, 11(3), 133-144.
Ladson-Billings, G. (2009). Opportunity to teach: Teacher quality in context. In D.H. Gitomer (Ed.).
Measurement Issues and Assessment for Teacher Quality
(pp. 206-222). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Lee, V., Smith, J., Perry, T., & Smylie, M. A., (1999). Social support, academic press, and student
achievement: A view from the middle grades in Chicago. Chicago, IL: Consortium on Chicago School
Leithwood, K., Harris, A., & Hopkins, D. (2008). Seven strong claims about successful school Leadership.
School Leadership and Management, 28(1), 27-42. doi:10.1080/13632430701800060
Leithwood, K., Patten, S., & Jantzi, D. (2010). Testing a conception of how school leadership influences
student learning. Educational Administration Quarterly, 46(5), 671-706. doi:10.1177/0013161X10377347
Louis, K., Leithwood, K., Wahlstrom, K., & Anderson, S. (2010). Investigating the links to improved
student learning: Final report of research findings. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota.
Robinson, V., Lloyd, C., & Rowe, K. (2008). The impact of leadership on student outcomes: An analysis of
differential effects of leadership types. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44, 635-674.
Theoharis, G., & Brooks, J.S. (2012). (Eds.). What Every Principal Needs to know to create equitable and
excellent schools. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Tomlinson, C. A. (2008). The goals of differentiation. Educational Leadership, 66(3), 26-30.
York-Barr, J., & Duke, K. (2004). What do we know about teacher leadership? Findings from two decades
of scholarship. Review of Educational Research, 74, 255-316.
York-Barr, J., Sommerness, J., Duke, K., & Ghere, G. (2005). Special educators in inclusive education
programmes: Reframing their work as teacher leadership. International Journal of Inclusive Education,
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