Leadership Capacity for Lasting School Improvement

By Linda Lambert | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
The Professional Development of Leaders

In the previous chapter, I described participation patterns as a means of bringing people together in new ways. But being together is not in and of itself a basis for success in schools.

Discussion during unskilled collaborative time tends to focus on two main topics: individual problem students and instructional materials and activities. Fortunately, most teachers now recognize the need to focus on seeking outcomes equitably for all students. To do this, we must know the quality of our students' work as well as the standards of performance, and learn how to facilitate adult conversations about those topics. Teachers and other staff members must perform as leaders in their communities, understand that the leadership of adults and the leadership of students are parallel concepts, and design professional development around the skillfulness to achieve leadership in and out of the classroom.

As noted in Chapter 1, it is vital that teachers and staff members understand the linkage between learning with students in the classroom and learning with colleagues. When teachers learn to facilitate faculty dialogue, they become better at facilitating classroom dialogue; when they listen well to colleagues, they pay the same degree of attention to their students; when they reflect aloud with colleagues, they enable students to reflect aloud; and when they expect to discover evidence to inform their own thinking, they begin to expect students to do the same on the path to problem solving and understanding.

Similarly, it is important for educators to recognize the connection between our own learning and that of our colleagues. When we think in terms of reciprocity, we understand that we are responsible for our own and our

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