Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Workshop 7:
Professional Development for Principals

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Principle: Principal as Lead Learner

Focus question: What is effective professional development for principals?

Professional development for principals is an important tool for reform. Some of the models of effective professional development for teachers also work with principals. In the process, principals learn that taking time for their own professional development is not taking time from their schools.

Workshop 7 – Preparatory Readings

We suggest that you read the following article, included in the Appendix at the back of this Guide, prior to viewing Workshop 7:

Workshop 7 – Videoclips

Paula Howard–NSRF
"Staying healthy"

At an Annenberg Institute for School Reform National School Reform Faculty (NSRF) Meeting, principals reflect on the toll to health, personal life, and relationships and describe some of the steps they have taken to alleviate the stress of being a principal.

Rob Evans Group Session–NSRF
"Purpose and conduct"

At another NSRF Meeting, Rob Evans discusses how principals need to keep focused on what they can change–namely, purpose and conduct.

Wendy Shapiro–Central East Middle School
"Principals''Critical Friends Group"

For several years, Wendy has been the leader of a principal's Critical Friends Group (CFG). In the early evening, principals gather in Wendy's office for a monthly discussion about school leadership issues. At this meeting, one principal gets help with a staff problem. In the interview segments, Wendy describes how the CFG is structured and sustained.

Bette's Consultancy–NSRF
"Bette's dilemma: tracking"

At a meeting with other principals and teachers, a middle school principal, Bette Manchester, follows a protocol for discussion called a consultancy in order to get help with opposition to her plan to eliminate tracking in math.

Workshop 7 – Site Discussion Questions

(remember to choose a Structure from those listed on pages 12 to 14)

  • How do you find/make time for our own learning without feeling as though it is taking away from your school?
  • What is the difference between an informal network of principals and a formalized one? How do you get a network started, nurtured, and sustained?
  • What is the best use of a principal's professional learning time?
  • As the principal in my school, what knowledge and skills do I need to increase student learning? How do I acquire it?
  • Describe a professional development experience that had a major impact on your leadership skills.
  • How will you build on the professional development that was formed in this workshop?

Additional Activity – Consultancy

As a group, you may want to get together in groups of four and try a consultancy. Here is an outline of the protocol:

Time: 30 minutes


  • Presenter(s) whose work/issue is being discussed by the group
  • Facilitator who participates and keeps time
  • Consultancy group, the others present for the protocol


  1. (5 min) The presenters give a quick overview of their work/dilemma. They give the context and highlight major issues or problems with which they are struggling. The consultancy group is silent.
  2. (3 min) The consultancy group asks clarifying questions. The presenters respond to the questions, but there is no discussion of their responses by the larger group.
  3. (10 min) The consultancy group then talks with each other about the work/dilemma and issues presented. What did you hear? What didn't you hear that you needed to know more about? What do you think about the issues? The conversation should be about the strengths and gaps. The presenters are not allowed to speak during this discussion, but instead listen and take notes.
  4. (7 min) The presenter then responds to the discussion, followed by a whole group discussion.

Workshop 7 – Bibliography

Aronstein, L. and K. DeBenedictis. "Principal Power: Key to Site-Based Management." If Minds Matter: A Forward to the Future. Eds. A. Costa, J. Bellanca, and R. Fogarty. Palantin, IL, Skylight, 1992.

Darling-Hammond, L. and M. W. McLaughlin. "Policies that Support Professional Development in an Era of Reform," Phi Delta Kappan April 1995.

Evans, R. The Human Side of School Change. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996. 9:183-205.

Evans, P. and N. Mohr. "Professional Development for Principals: Seven Core Beliefs." Phi Delta Kappan March 1999.

Farsan, R. Management of the Absurd. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1996.

Fullan, M. "Coordinating School and District Development in Restructuring." Restructuring Schools: Learning from Ongoing Efforts. Eds. J. Murphy and P.Hallinger. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1993: 186-202.

Fullan, M. "Coordinating Top-down and Bottom-up Strategies for Educational Reform." The Governance of Curriculum. Eds. R. Elmore and S. Furman. Alexandria, VA: Assoc. for Supervision and Curriculum, 1994: 186-202.

Fullan, M. "Guidelines for Action." What's Worth Fighting for in the Principalship. New York: Teachers College, 3. (1997): 25-41.

"How I Confronted HSPS (Hyperactive Superficial Principal Syndrome) and Began to Deal with the Heart of the Matter." Phi Delta Kappan Jan 1996: 336-345.

Little, J.W. "Norms of Collegiality and Experimentation: Workplace Conditions of School Success," AERA Journal 19. 3 (1982).

Maeroff, Gene. "The Principal as a Team Builder." The Principal. May 1993.

Maurer, R. Beyond the Wall of Resistance, Austin, TX: Bard, 1996.

Osterman, Karen F. and Robert Kottkamp. Reflective Practice for Educators. Newbury Park, CA: Corwin, 1993.

Sergiovanni, T. J. Moral Leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1992.

Sergionvanni, T. J. The Principalship: A Reflective Practice Perspective. Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 1991.

Smith, Wilma F. and Richard Andrews. Instructional Leadership: How Principals Make a Difference. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 1989.

Web Sites

American Association of School Administrators. Internet Address: http://www.aasa.org/

Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Internet Address: http: //www.ascd.org/

Education Week. Internet Address: http://www.edweek.org/search.html?qs=professional+development&ref=ew

Eisenhower National Clearinghouse Professional Development site. Internet Address: http://my.goenc.com/

Follow the Leader: School Principals in Training. Internet Address: http://www.education-world.com/a_admin/admin048.shtml

National Association of Elementary School Principals. Internet Address: http://www.naesp.org/

National Education Goals: By the year 2000–Professional Development. Internet Address :https://www2.ed.gov/legislation/GOALS2000/TheAct/sec102.html

Society of Research Administrators' Grantsweb. Internet Address: http://web.fie.com/cws/sra/resource.htm


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