Instructional Leadership

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Background
There has been much discussion regarding the relative effectiveness of different leadership styles in bringing about improved student performance. Instructional leadership is one of the most useful tools in creating a forward-looking, student-centered school environment. Instructional leadership can be defined as "those actions that a principal takes, or delegates to others, to promote growth in student learning." In practice, this means that the principal encourages educational achievement by making instructional quality the top priority of the school and brings that vision to realization. The role of an instructional leader differs from that of traditional school administrator in a number of meaningful ways. Whereas a conventional principal spends the majority of his/her time dealing with strictly administrative duties, a principal who is an instructional leader is charged with redefining his/her role to become the primary learner in a community striving for excellence in education. As such, it becomes the principal’s responsibility to work with teachers to define educational objectives and set school-wide or district wide goals, provide the necessary resources for learning, and create new learning opportunities for students and staff. Benefits

The result of instructional leadership is a collaborative learning environment where learning is not confined to the classroom and is the objective of all educators. Instructional leadership is an important departure from the ancient model of administrator as authoritarian. Inherent in the concept is the idea that learning should be a top-down process. If those in charge of the school are excited about learning, then they will share their enthusiasm throughout the community. Those who learn to be instructional leaders acquire many characteristics that are beneficial to their schools and communities. Instructional leaders exhibit a clear sense of direction for their schools and prioritize and focus attention...
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