Three Studies and Their
Implications for Leadership:
Ethos, Ethos, and Ethos
In this chapter we examine information from three studies. The first study focused on staff development practices in schools characterized by extremely high or low academic achievement. The second explored the belief systems of school personnel in districts containing schools with extremely high or low academic achievement. The third explored teacher perceptions of the utility of staff development chosen by individuals, faculties, or the school district. The first two studies help clarify the actions of leaders and policy makers in settings where student achievement is very different; the third helps us reflect on the design of staff development offerings where different governance modes operate—those focusing on teacher, school, and district choice.
Difference in Staff Development?*
The issue examined in this study is whether there is evidence that investment in staff development is associated with student learning— and, if so, what kinds of staff development characterize schools where student learning is highest. What can we learn from those schools?
The Georgia Council for School Performance approached the problem directly by conducting a study of consistently high- and lowachieving schools and examining the nature of the staff development experienced by their faculties (Harkreader & Weathersby, 1998).
The design had two phases: first, selecting schools differing in student achievement while controlling for demographic factors;
* The report on which the following description is based was prepared by Jeanie
Weathersby and Bruce Joyce, working from the original report by Harkreader and