1 THE ESSENCE OF THE PRINCIPALS ROLE IN A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL By KEITH L. TILFORD A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2007
2 2007 Keith L. Tilford
3 To my parents, sisters, niece, nephews, and my BTMS family who have supported me through this challenging process
4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I express gratitude to my parents, Larson and Judy; my sisters; Angie, Jessica, and Cricket; and my niece and nephews; Cody, Drew, Kristen, Roland, Larson-Blake, and Conner. I appreciate their support even t hough seeking my Ph.D. made my visits to Kentucky shorter and less frequent. I also thank my family at Buddy Taylor Mi ddle School. During the six years I worked full time as a teacher and commuted to classes in Gainesville or Orlando, they were unwavering in their support for me. My principal, Kathy De Palma, assisted me in every possible way. Her efforts to help me were invaluable. Most importantly, Melissa Atkinson-Brock, Terri Morris, Joann Atkinson, and Jill Landi were there to stand by me throughout the entire process. I never could have continued without their daily support. Several university stud ents also were important in he lping me through the program. The members of the Orlando cohort not only allowed me to join their group part-time but provided me with excellent opportunities to reflect on what I was learning. Twila Patten provided me with much needed support in the closing year of my program. Jenn Jacobs and Crystal Hawthorne were great friends through the process as well. Robin Crawford, Chris Barnes, Cherry Kay Douglas and Angela Rowe also are deserving of my thanks for their willingness to listen and help me with whatever pape rwork I needed to get done. I acknowledge and appreciate the time my co mmittee members, Dr. Nancy Dana and Dr. Frances Van Diver, provided to guide me through the qualifying exam and dissertation process. A great deal of thanks goes to Dr. Jim Doud. Besides the numerous hours he spent providing feedback on my dissertation drafts, through his sk ills as an instructor Dr. Doud caused me to become more reflective on th e process of leadership.
5 Finally, I could never have completed the di ssertation process with the help of Diane Yendol-Hoppey. She guided and supported me thr ough the entire process, constantly pushing me to revise and improve my drafts. Her w illingness to spend untold hours wading through my drafts and then following them up with persona l meetings to help me talk through my thoughts were critical to my being able to complete the dissertation. I owe Diane a great deal of gratitude.
6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ........10 LIST OF FIGURES................................................................................................................ .......11 LIST OF TERMS/SYMBOLS/ABBREVIATIONS.....................................................................12 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ............15 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................17 Background..................................................................................................................... ........17 Principals and PDSs............................................................................................................ ....18 Research Context............................................................................................................... .....19 Selection Criteria............................................................................................................. .......20 Study Limitations.............................................................................................................. ......21 Significance................................................................................................................... .........21 Conclusion..................................................................................................................... .........22 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE........................................................................................24 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........24 History of the PDS............................................................................................................. .....24 The Standards.................................................................................................................. .......27 Characteristics of a PDS Principal..........................................................................................31 Structural Frame..............................................................................................................32 Human Resource Frame..................................................................................................36 Political Frame................................................................................................................ .39 Symbolic Frame...............................................................................................................45 Conclusion..................................................................................................................... .........48 3 METHODOLOGY.................................................................................................................50 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........50 The PDS Partnership............................................................................................................ ...50 Theoretical Framework.......................................................................................................... .51 Research Design................................................................................................................ .....53 Participant Selection........................................................................................................54 PDS context of Countryside.....................................................................................54 PDS context of Parkway..........................................................................................55 PDS context of Benton.............................................................................................56
7 Data Collection................................................................................................................57 Data Analysis.................................................................................................................. .60 Epoche and Researcher Statement...................................................................................63 Trustworthiness...............................................................................................................66 4 BRENTS PORTRAIT...........................................................................................................70 Introduction................................................................................................................... ..........70 Brent as a Teacher and Teacher Leader..................................................................................70 Brent as a Principal........................................................................................................... ......77 Brent as a PDS Principal....................................................................................................... ..85 Summary........................................................................................................................ .........93 5 BRENTS PDS PRINCIPAL THEMES...............................................................................100 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........100 Principal as Change Agent....................................................................................................100 Applying Pressure with Support....................................................................................100 Systematically Preparing Teachers to Lead..................................................................104 Principal as Collaborator......................................................................................................107 Mission Sharing.............................................................................................................107 Mission Visioning.........................................................................................................110 Principal as Culture Maker...................................................................................................112 Teacher Leadership.......................................................................................................112 Relationships.................................................................................................................114 Principal as Inquirer and Learner.........................................................................................117 Reignited Appreciation for Theory...............................................................................117 Personal Growth............................................................................................................118 Facilitating Inquiry........................................................................................................121 Principal as Protector......................................................................................................... ...122 Principal as Knowledge Broker............................................................................................124 Summary........................................................................................................................ .......126 6 TANYAS PORTRAIT........................................................................................................132 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........132 Tanya as a Teacher and Teacher Leader...............................................................................132 Tanya as an Elementary Principal........................................................................................134 Tanya as a PDS Principal.....................................................................................................140 Summary........................................................................................................................ .......153 7 TANYAS PDS PRINCIPAL THEMES..............................................................................159 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........159 Principal as Change Agent....................................................................................................159 Principal as Collaborator......................................................................................................162 Empowering Teachers...................................................................................................162 Working with PDS Participants.....................................................................................164
8 Principal as Culture Maker...................................................................................................167 Relationships.................................................................................................................167 Culture of Reflection.....................................................................................................168 Principal as Inquirer and Learner.........................................................................................169 Facilitating Inquiry........................................................................................................170 Inquiry and Reflection...................................................................................................172 Principal as Protector......................................................................................................... ...172 Principal as Knowledge Broker............................................................................................173 Summary........................................................................................................................ .......175 8 RACHELS PORTRAIT......................................................................................................180 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........180 Rachel as a Teacher and Teacher Leader.............................................................................180 Rachel as an Elementary Principal.......................................................................................183 Rachel as a PDS Principal....................................................................................................186 Summary........................................................................................................................ .......205 9 RACHELS PDS PRINCIPAL THEMES............................................................................211 Introduction................................................................................................................... ........211 Principal as Change Agent....................................................................................................211 Accountability versus Tradition....................................................................................211 PDS and the School Mission.........................................................................................213 Principal as Collaborator......................................................................................................215 Responsibility for interns..............................................................................................216 University Partnering.....................................................................................................218 Principal as Culture Maker...................................................................................................219 Staffing....................................................................................................................... ...219 PDS program.................................................................................................................220 Principal as Protector......................................................................................................... ...222 Principal as Inquirer and Learner.........................................................................................224 Theory......................................................................................................................... ...224 Everyone Learns............................................................................................................225 Principal as Knowledge Broker............................................................................................227 Summary........................................................................................................................ .......229 10 CROSS-CASE ANALYSIS.................................................................................................235 Theme Comparisons.............................................................................................................235 Principal as Culture Maker............................................................................................235 Principal as Collaborator...............................................................................................238 Principal as Change Agent............................................................................................239 Principal as Inquirer/Learner.........................................................................................241 Principal as Protector.....................................................................................................244 Principal as Knowledge Broker.....................................................................................245 Four Frames.................................................................................................................... ......247
9 Summary........................................................................................................................ .......251 11 DISCUSSION..................................................................................................................... ..254 Review of the Study............................................................................................................ ..254 Lessons Learned................................................................................................................ ...254 Implications................................................................................................................... .......260 Future Research................................................................................................................ ....262 Conclusion..................................................................................................................... .......264 APPENDIX A RESEARCH FINDINGS ORGAINZED BY BOLMAN AND DEALS FOUR FRAMES......................................................................................................................... .....266 B PDS DEMOGRAPHICS FOR 2006-2007 SCHOOL YEAR..............................................272 C PRINCIPAL INTERVIEW GUIDE.....................................................................................273 D PRINCIPAL QUESTIONNAIRE........................................................................................275 E PDS PRINCIPAL THEMES................................................................................................276 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................277 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................284
10 LIST OF TABLES Table page 2-1 National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education standards for Professional Development Schools....................................................................................49 10-1 Cross case analysis by themes.........................................................................................253
11 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1 Brent as a principal....................................................................................................... .....97 4-2 Brent as a PDS principal................................................................................................... .98 4-3 Four frames dominance fo r Brent as a PDS principal.......................................................99 5-1 Brents PDS principal themes..........................................................................................130 5-2 Relationship between the Four Frames and Brents PDS principal themes....................131 6-1 Tanya as a principal....................................................................................................... ..156 6-2 Tanya as a PDS principal.................................................................................................157 6-3 Four frames dominance for Tanya as a PDS principal....................................................158 7-1 Tanyas PDS principal themes.........................................................................................178 7-2 Relationship between the Four Frames and Tanyas PDS principal themes...................179 8-1 Rachel as a principal...................................................................................................... ..208 8-2 Rachel as a PDS principal................................................................................................209 8-3 Four Frames dominance for Rachel as a PDS principal..................................................210 9-1 Rachels PDS principal themes........................................................................................233 9-2 Relationship between the Four Frames and Rachels PDS principal themes..................234
12 LIST OF TERMS/SYMBOLS/ABBREVIATIONS Term Definition Adequate yearly progress (AYP) The federal governments benchmar k to evaluate the success of public schools Boundary crossers Individuals within a PDS who hold more than one role (e.g. a mentor teacher who also teaches a methods course for university students) Behavior resource teacher (BRT) An elementary teacher on special assignment who does not teach a class and whose duties typically incl ude assisting the principal with student behavioral matters Curriculum resource teacher (CRT) An elementary teacher on special assignment who does not teach a class and whose duties typically in clude assisting the principal in curriculum matters Exceptional student education (ESE) Term commonly used to identify programs associated with the education of students who are iden tified as being exceptional based on federal guidelines Field advisor Refers to a graduate studen t or an adjunct faculty member employed by the university who is responsible for supervising interns or preinterns The Holmes Group (Holmes Partnership) A consortium of universities, publ ic school districts, teachers associations, local organizations, a nd national organizations that is focused on reforming teaching and learning in public schools and institutions of higher educa tion (Holmes Partnership, n.d.) Human resource frame The perspective from whic h organizations are viewed as an extended family where the needs of the indi viduals are considered in reaching the units goals (Bolman & Deal, 1997) Individualized Education Plan (IEP) An annual document required by the federal government that addresses the educational needs of exceptional education students Interns Graduate education students placed in a full-time, 14-week, inclassroom experience during their fifth year of study Leadership The process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group in efforts toward goal achievemen t in a given situation, (Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson, 1996, p. 91).
13 Leadership frames Four perspectives used to analyze leadership; human resource frame, political frame, structural frame, and symbolic frame (Bolman & Deal, 1997) Mentor teacher A regular classroom teacher assigned either an intern or pre-intern Phenomenology A qualitative research method where the researchers goal is to explore how human beings make se nse of experience and transform that experience into consci ousness (Patton, 2002, p. 104) Political frame The perspective from which organizations are viewed as arenas or jungles where conflict arises in a competition for power and scarce resources (Bolman & Deal, 1997) Portraits Stories designed to captu re the richness, complexity, and dimensionality of human experience in social and cultural context, conveying the perspectives of th e people who are negotiating those experiences, (Lawrence-Light foot & Davis, 1997, p. 3) Pre-interns Last-semester seniors placed in a four-hour, four days per week, classroom experience that lasts a period of 14 weeks Professional Development School (PDS) An elementary or K-8 public school where a minimum of five dyads or pre-interns are placed for their pr e-internship during either the fall or spring semester and university personnel are assigned to serve as on-site coordinators for the program PDS network The collection of the PDSs and the partner university Principal An administrator of one of the PDSs Roles The various formal and informal positions held by individuals and groups within the PDS network whic h includes the leadership styles of the principal such as au thoritarian or collaborative Simultaneous renewal The continual improvement of the school and it s practices, guided by learning connected to inquiry work and initiatives from within the school Site coordinator The university person res ponsible for facilitating program needs at the school site, the go-between for the university and K-12 administration Structural frame The perspective from which the leader attempts to reach organizational goals through developing rules, roles, goals, policies, and other structures (Bolman & Deal, 1997)
14 Symbolic frame The perspective from which the leader attempts to reach organizational goals by inspiring staff through a focus on building culture (Bolman & Deal, 1997) University personnel People employed by the uni versity and have some involvement in the PDS program
15 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy THE ESSENCE OF THE PRINCIPALS ROLE IN A PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT SCHOOL By Keith L. Tilford August 2007 Chair: James L. Doud Cochair: Diane Yendol-Hoppey Major: Educational Leadership My research study explored how principals ma ke sense of their ro le in a Professional Development School. Previous research rela ted to Professional Development Schools has focused on teachers and university students, whil e few empirical studies have been focused on principals and the role they play in K-12 a nd university partnerships. This phenomenological study was conducted to contribute to the em pirical literature on PDS principals. Using Seidmans interview protocol, intervie ws were conducted with three elementary PDS principals. The resulting data were transcribed and then convert ed into portraits to describe the significant lived experiences of each of th e participants. From the portraits, six themes emerged: (a) principal as change agent; (b) prin cipal as collaborator; (c) principal as culture maker; (d) principal as inquirer/learner; (e) prin cipal as protector; and (f ) principal as knowledge broker. Bolman and Deals Four Frames were used as a tool to analyze the leadership styles of the three principals. Each of the participants wa s found to operate to some degree in each of the
16 frames, but the Symbolic Frame served as eith er the primary or secondary perspective from which they operated. The Political Frame was th e least used by two of the three principals. Findings of this study also provided a list of characteristics which ma y contribute to the potential success of principals in Professi onal Development School settings. An openness to change, a willingness to work collaboratively w ith university personnel, and a commitment to school renewal were three qualities present in each principal. The findings of this study also indicated that pr incipals at different stages in their career can serve effectively as Profe ssional Development School leaders as they assume one of three stances: developing, integrating, and culminati ng. The study indicated that Professional Development School work can serve the professional growth needs of principals in addition to facilitating growth of staff and students.
17 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Background From the publication of A Nati on at Risk in 1983 (U.S. Depart ment of Education) to the passing of the No Child Left Behind (U.S. De partment of Educati on, 2002) legislation, stakeholders in the field of education have tried to address concerns related to student achievement. To compound the troubling issue of school reform, the last decade has seen an increase in the difficulty public schools experience recruiting a nd retaining quality teachers. Responding to these issues has been a priority for many colleges of education and public schools. In the late 1980s, deans from 100 research universities began meeting in response to this concern for the quality of teacher educa tion in America (Holmes Group, 1990, p. vii). Through these meetings, the concept of the Professional Development School (PDS) was created. This assembly of university represen tatives, who collectivel y comprised the Holmes Group, envisioned close partnerships between K-12 schools and university Colleges of Education that would work collaboratively to improve teacher education in both settings. The PDS was also recommended by other profes sional organizations as a possible solution to the reform needs of public schools in th e United States. Th e National Commission on Teaching and Americas Future (1996) supported the creation of PDSs in its publication titled What Matters Most: Teaching for Americas Future Also, Darling-Hamm ond (2000) echoed the push for the creation of PDSs in her report concerning teacher quali ty and shortages. Many other researchers and organizations ha ve suggested strategies for imp rovement and reform that are foundational components of the PDS, including sp ecific changes in professional development, collaboration, and learning in context by teache rs (Barth, 1990; Chrisman, 2005; DuFour, 2003; Hirsch, 2004; Johnson & Kardos, 2002; La nger & Colton, 2005; NEA Foundation for the
18 Improvement of Education, 1996; Teitel, 2003; U. S. Department of Education, 1995; Wiggins & McTighe, 2006; Willis, 2002). In 2002, Levine repor ted that approximately 30% of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Edu cation (NCATE) colleges and universities were reported as being involved in PDS work. The Holmes Group (1990) defined a PDS as a school for the development of novice professionals, for continuing development of e xperienced professionals, and for research and development of the teaching profession ( p. 1). NCATE (2006) has identified seven characteristics of PDSs including : (a) shared responsibility for learning by all partners; (b) a focus on meeting students needs; (c) professional learning for both pre-service and in-service teachers within the context of practice; (d) boundary-spanning roles undertaken by both school and university faculty; (e) the use of inquiry to guide learning; (f ) the public sharing of teaching practice; and (g) the entire focus of the school geared toward the le arning of all students, teachers, and faculty. Principals and PDSs The PDS reform movement, led by educationa l leaders in the United States, has been viewed as a significant influence on school impr ovement and teacher education during the last decade (Teitel, 1999). Given that the principal is a key component in any collaborative school reform effort (Kersh & Mastal, 199 8), the principal has been identifi ed as the critical ingredient in all stages of PDS work (Foster, Loving, & Shumate, 2000). Given the importance of the principal in the success of the PDS, we need to better understand the pr incipals role in PDS leadership. Although learning abou t the operation of PDSs and thei r membership has received a significant amount of research atte ntion in the last decade and a ha lf, little research has focused on principals and their role as leaders in PDSs. Adding to the limited empi rical research in this field is important.
19 The National Commission on Teaching and Americ as Future (1996) described principals as the key leaders and gate keepers when it comes to reforming schools. Miles (1983) wrote of the importance of the principal in institutiona lizing changes at the building level. If local school districts and universitie s are to take the advice of numerous groups and leading researchers to create PDS networks, we must be better informed about the leaders who will help implement and nurture these reforms. Those w ho support the notion of PD Ss generated lists of characteristics (Cramer & Johnston, 2000; Mitche l, 2000) that a school leader should possess, but these frequently contradictor y recommendations were supporte d by little empirical research. This lack of specifics can make it difficult to pred ict what type of leadership styles are the most supportive of PDS work. Accordi ng to Trachtman and Levine (1997) To date, little attention has been paid to the kind of leaders needed to build Professional Development Schools, or to the nature of effective leadership for collaborative, restructuring environments. Indeed, frequently leaders are not even iden tified (p. 76). In response to th is void in the literature, my study explored the work of three PDS principals work ing within one university and K-12 collaborative. The purpose of my study was to better understand the phenomenon of principal leadership within one network of elementary PDSs, and the follo wing research question was addressed: How do principals make sense of their role in a PDS? Research Context Through a phenomenological approach, I explor ed the perceptions of three elementary PDS principals in regard to their leadership ro les. To answer these questions, I interviewed elementary PDS principals us ing Seidmans (1998) three in terview protocol for conducting phenomenological studies. From these interviews, portraits of each principal were created. The interview data were analyzed for themes for each individual principal and then compared across cases.
20 The principals in this study were the leaders in three sc hools within a 10-school PDS network affiliated with a Research I university in north central Florida. The universitys elementary education program was unified with it s elementary special education program. The program was five years in length with the fifth y ear being a masters degree year. During the last semester of their fourth year, st udents were placed in dyads fo r a 14-week pre-internship. As pre-interns, the students were t ypically placed with one mentor teacher, spending time in the classroom four hours per day, four days per wee k. University personnel, most often graduate assistants referred to as field ad visors, supervised the pre-interns and instructed them in seminar on the remaining weekday for a period of two to three hours. Students earned three hours of credit for the seminar and an additional three hour s of credit for the four days of pre-internship work. For the second year, every elementary educati on pre-intern from the university was placed in a PDS. The number of pairs ranged from four to nine in each school Two school sites were combined into one cohort. The cohorts took thei r elementary social studi es methods course and a reading course together. These courses were held at one of the two school sites when space was available. In some cases the seminar clas ses were not combined in to cohorts, but instead were taught by the field advisor fo r each schools group of pre-intern s. During the fall semester, there typically have been four to six school sites. In the spring this number may rise to 10. The schools have been involved in the program from two to seven years. Selection Criteria The three principals selected to participat e in this study were chosen based on their individual efforts to implement components of NC ATEs (2006) seven charac teristics of a PDS. The elements of NCATEs (2006) PDS Standa rd I Learning Community and Standard III Collaboration were the primary bases for evaluati ng the principals for inclusion in the study.
21 The participants were selected based on their mo vement toward an inquir y stance, participation in collaborative opportunities with other pr incipals, university personnel PDS groups, and a collaborative spirit with their field advisors and university students. Additionally, the anticipated willingness of the principals to participate was al so taken into consideration. Several candidates were excluded because of their high level of i nvolvement with other un iversity partnerships either separate from the PDS work or collaborati ons that had been well es tablished prior to their school becoming a PDS site. Study Limitations Limitations suggest possible threats to a st udys trustworthiness a nd acknowledge potential shortcomings of the research design. These restri ctions often result from the need to narrow the scope of the study and may influence the outcome. This section identifies the limitations of the study. Limitations relate to the credibility of the study design. The limitations of this study included: 1 The assumption was made that principals were honest in their res ponses to th e interview questions and member checks. 2 As a phenomenological study, the results are base d on the perceptions of the participants. No triangulation was done to check the accur acy from the perspectives of other PDS participants. 3 The three principals from this study may not be accurate representatives of the typical PDS principal. Significance This study provided benefits to several groups First, by learning the essence of the principals role in a PDS, principal training programs can incorporate the necessary components in their plan for leadership preparation. Dr ake and Roe (1999) argued that principal training programs at the non-doctoral level had traditiona lly been primarily focused on administration and management, despite the fact that colleg e professors acknowledged the greatest proportion
22 of the training should be geared toward institu ting or maintaining school improvements. Barth (1990) argued that the principal is the key to a good school. Als o, he believed the principal was the one who leads teachers to grow and learn, or the school remains stagnant. Drake and Roe (1999) stressed the importance of having principals who can lead in the specific context of the schools. Therefore, educators must be more in formed about principal le adership in the PDS. Second, by understanding how the principal e ffectively supported PDS development, efforts to increase student achievement can be enhanced. Several studies have identified the links between PDS work and student achieve ment (Brown, Murphy, Natale, & Coates, 2003; Pine, 2003; Trathen, Schram, Shomaker, Mald anado, & McKinney, 2003; Wiseman & Knight, 2003). Lashway (2003) wrote a bout the challenges involved with principa l preparation connected to student achievement: Facing new roles and heightened expectations, pr incipals require new forms of training and university preparation programs are coming unde r increased scrutiny. In particular, the demand that principals have a positive impact on student achievement challenges traditional assumptions, practices and structures in leadership preparation programs. (p. 1) Third, this research study could guide superint endents and university faculty in selecting sites and personnel for the creation of PDSs. Four th, the findings from this study could serve as a guide for principals who are working or will be working in a PDS, providing them with insight into the qualities, characteristics, and actions that PDS leaders identified and used to make sense of their role. Conclusion Given that the principal plays a crucial role in the success of a PDS, the Holmes Groups vision for school reform through th e creation of PDSs cannot be achieved without the presence of effective principal leadershi p. This study was conducted to in form the various stakeholders about principals leadership roles in the PDS. Chapter 2 reviewed the ex isting empirical research
23 that offers insight into the principals work in a PDS. In Chapter 3, the research methodology was shared. In Chapters 4, 6, and 8, portraits of the three PDS principals were presented. In Chapters 5, 7, and 9 the themes that emerged from the portraits of the indi vidual principals were shared. A cross-case analysis was shared in Chapter 10. A final discussion along with lessons learned and recommendations for further research were shared in Chapter 11.
24 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction This chapter sets the stage for this study by re viewing the empirical research related to the research question: How do princi pals make sense of their role in a Professional Development School (PDS)? The chapter begins by reviewin g the history of the PDS movement, followed by a review of the PDS Standards formulated by th e National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). The final section covers the characteristics of PDS pr incipals that emerged from the empirical research and organi zed around Bolman and Deals (1997) Four Frame Model of Leadership History of the PDS Concerned for the quality of teacher educati on in the United States, deans representing American research universities began meeting in the late 1980s to deve lop a vision for improving education. The Holmes Group, as they were ca lled, were committed to making our programs of teacher prep[aration] more vigorous and connect edto liberal arts education, to research on learning and teaching, and to wise practice in the schools (Holmes Group, 1990, p. i). The Holmes Group eventually evolved to include othe r stakeholders concerne d with the countrys teacher education programs. What began as a series of conversations among teachers, administrators, and teacher educators in 1988 led to six seminars that produced thoughts on what schools could look like and needed to be in order to meet the in creasing demands of society. The purpose of one of the Holmes Groups three main reports, Tomorrows Schools: Principles for the Design of Professional Development Schools was to argue the purposes and outline the dimensions of the tasks of connecting a university-based education school to one or more public elem entary and secondary schools so as to create a new educational institu tiona Professional Deve lopment School (Holmes Group, 1990, p. viii).
25 These Professional Development Schools woul d be designed around si x principles: (a) teaching and learning for understanding; (b) cr eating a learning community; (c) teaching and learning for understanding available for ever ybodys children; (d) continuing learning by teachers, teacher educators, and administrators ; (e) thoughtful long-term inquiry into teaching and learning; and (f) inventing a new institut ion to achieve these goals. The Holmes Group wanted to move beyond the earlier curriculum-base d attempts at school reform in the 1960s and the emphasis of knowledge production in university laboratory schools. They sought something more powerful than a university laboratory school that could in fluence public education. The consortium wanted something th at had staying power (p. 3). Other reform efforts have also called for the use of PDSs in order to improve the quality of teacher education and retain the best teachers. In What Matters Most: Teaching for Americas Future the National Commission on Teaching and Am ericas Future (NCTAF) (1996) supported the idea of yearlong internships for pre-service teachers in Pr ofessional Development Schools. The commission considered the connections forged by the university and K-12 schools crucial in reforming education. In tandem with these new program initiatives more than 200 (out of 1,200) schools of education have created Professional Developmen t Schools that, like teaching hospitals in medicine, provide new recruits with sites for intensively supervised internships where they can experience state-of-the-art practice that is aligned to their coursework. They also provide sites for research and schooland uni versity-based faculty, creating more powerful knowledge for teaching by putting research into practice and practice into research. (p. 80) The NCTAF envisioned a new context fo r teacher preparation that would honor collaborative knowledge construc tion between practitioners and researchers. Simultaneously, during the 1990s, Levine (1992) made called for p rofessional practice school s (p. 2). Levines professional practice school design was one rest ructured to take on the responsibility of educating pre-service teachers as well as support ongoing res earch directed at improving
26 practice (p. 2). Levine stressed that the primary goal of educa tion was to foster the academic and social learning of children, but she also wrote of the importance of equity, inquiry, and building an environment supportive of the learning and growth of all participants One of the basic assumptions underlying profes sional practice schools, as stat ed by Levine is: If one hopes to have teachers teach in different ways, one must change the way teachers are taught themselves (p. 13). Clearly, a strong connectio n exists between Levines call for professional practice schools and the Profe ssional Development Schools envisioned by the Holmes Group as they both emphasized creating a lear ning culture for all participants. As national conversation grew around the c oncept of PDSs, Abdal-Haqq (1998) noted the various references to PDSs emerging in the liter ature. These included pa rtner schools, clinical schools, and professional practice schools. She id entified four goals and principles that were common to these schools regardless of their names: a) preparation of preservice te achers and other school-based educators; b) professional development of practicing teachers and othe r school-based educators; c) exemplary practice designed to maximize student achieve ment; and d) sustained, applied inquiry designed to improve students and educator development. (p. 6) Abdal-Haqq emphasized the goal of professional learning for both prospective and practicing teachers while attending to exemplary practi ce systematically studied through inquiry. Teitel (1998) contributed exte nsively to the lit erature related to school-university collaboratives. He defined the PDS as: complex partnerships formed by two or more institutions in mutual renewal and simultaneously trying to expand profe ssional development opportunities at both institutions, engage in resear ch and development, and improve the education of children, adolescents and prospective teachers. (p. 1) Teitels definition emphasizes the work of simult aneous renewal with partnership schools rather than a reliance on the demonstr ation of exemplary practice as the foundation of PDS work.
27 As the literature related to PDSs deve loped during the 1990s and the work assumed multiple names, a call was made to clarify the central elements of PDSs. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education responde d to this call by outlining a series of PDS standards. The Standards In the spring of 2001, NCATE published its report titled Standards for Professional Development Schools After the development of test sta ndards and three year s of piloting, the group released this report outlining five standards addressing the ch aracteristics of PDSs. These standards, outlined in Table 2-1, include a focus on: learning community, accountability and quality assurance, collaboration, equity and di versity, and structures, resources, and roles. Standard I (NCATE, 2001) addresses the concep t of learning communities. Five elements were identified within the standard including: (a) support for multiple le arners, (b) inquiry, (c) shared vision based or research and practitioner knowledge, (d) serve as an instrument of change, and (e) extend learning community. Support for mu ltiple learners means that students, P-12 faculty, university faculty, pre-service teachers, pa rents, and community members are all part of the learning community and should be afforded th e opportunities to learn and grow. The second element, inquiry, is used at all levels of the school and university. This stance blends learning, staff development, and accountabilit y with the PDS. Development of a shared vision of teaching and learning that is grounded in research and practitioner knowle dge is the third element in the learning community standard. The PDS goals and practices are to be based upon current research, as well as the knowledge and skills of the participants The last two elements of Standard I suggested that the PD S should serve as an instrument of change and that the learning community extends beyond the institution, P-12 sc hool, and the local community. The need for school reform and improvement of the teaching pr ofession were the reasons that PDSs came into
28 existence. Therefore, one goal must be for the PD S to work as an instrument of change. Also, establishing relationships with university departments other than the college of education and across schools is important to th e concept of a learning community. Barth (1990) also emphasizes th at principals are the leader s of a school-based learning community. Although not specifically referr ing to PDSs, Barth suggests that through establishing the appropriate stru ctures, a principal can encourage the development of a learning community. Barth suggests that principal support fo r teacher inquiry is essential. This emphasis may mean a change in the eval uation procedures or staff deve lopment plans for the school is needed. Finally, Barth explains that it is the principals responsibility to allow learning community and inquiry work to occur as the lead communicator. The principal is entrusted with building and maintaining relationships with those individuals both inside and outside the school. These structures are essential elements for a pr incipal to consider in establishing a learning community. Standard II is accountability and quality assu rance. The five elements framing this standard are: (a) developing pr ofessional accountability ; (b) assuring public accountability; (c) setting PDS participation criter ia; (d) developing assessments, collecting information, and using results; and (e) engaging w ithin the PDS context (NCATE, 2001). Developing professional accountability is tied to the purpose of the PDS as maintaining the shared mission and assessing the status of that mission through ongoing inquiry into ach ieving the intended goals. In a similar tone, public accountability targets the developmen t of strategies to include the public as participants, as well as to make them aware the results of the PDS work. Participation criteria include the idea of accreditation standards, open and public selection of PDS participants, and commitment of those participating to be trained to assume the new roles they will be undertaking
29 and creating standards for those pre-service teache rs being trained in th e program. Under this standard, determining the success of the PDS program through the development of assessments and using the collected information to inform an d improve are very important. These ideas are strongly connected with the concep t of renewal. Finally, crucia l to quality a ssurance is an awareness of the school context and ensuring th at the university and its PDS personnel are working consistently to maintain and increase their knowledge about the school as well as the national, state, and lo cal policies that effect the schools operation. The principals role in PDS accountability and quality assurance is st rongly connected to the schools goals and mission. As the leader, th e principal establishes the individual school goals within the struct ure of federal, state, and local mandates (Matthews & Crow, 2003). Principals provide training for their staff that assists the staff in successfully taking on their new PDS roles. The principal also determines the criteria for success in the PDS program at the school. Additionally, the principal plays a crit ical role in inviting outsiders to become participants in the school. The principal provides these outsid ers enough access to increase their chances of becoming insiders, thus allowing the PDS partnership to enhance their knowledge of the context in which they are working. Collaboration is Standard III. The three el ements within this standard include: (a) engaging in joint work; (b) designing roles a nd structures to enha nce collaboration and developing parity; and (c) systematically recognizing and celebra ting joint work and contributions of each partner (NCATE, 2001). NCATE stresses the importance of empowering all participants to be involved in different pro cesses within the PDS. Structures and roles must be created that facilitate this work and strive to guarantee equal participation while limiting domination by any individual or partner within the collaborativ e. Finally, an important goal is
30 celebrating success within the collaborative as celebrations allow the shared PDS work to become integrated into the culture of the school. The principal is most often the person respons ible for deciding the structures that exist within his school. A principal lays the groundw ork for collaboration by inviting all staff to participate. Principals can also design structures that make part icipation easy for staff members. Celebrating collaboration through sharing inquiry projects at f aculty meetings or encouraging events where all participants are invite d help build the collaborative spirit. Standard IV addresses diversity and equit y. Ensuring equitable opportunities to learn, evaluating policies and practices to support equi table learning outcomes, and recruiting and supporting diverse participants ar e the elements defining this standard (NCATE, 2001). The PDS program should provide opportunities for stude nts from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. Policies should foster achievement among these students. Also, the PDS should include diverse participants from the schools and university. Establ ishing an equitable environment is a major responsibility of the prin cipal. As principals do the hiring for schools, they are key to bringing in dive rse participants. The structures and policies a principal designs can foster equitable opportunities for learning. Standard V addresses structur es, roles and resources (NCATE, 2001). The five elements that are used to guide PDSs toward meeting this standard include: (a) establish governance structures; (b) ensure progress toward goals; (c ) create PDS roles; (d) acquire and allocate resources; and (e) use effective communication. The first element is the establishment of governance and support structures. The structures, roles, and govern ance are the first steps to making PDS work successful and these are frequen tly determined by the principal. Principals create these roles and structures so that th ey support the PDS wor k. Making public the PDS
31 goals also brings the PDS work into the mainst ream culture of the school. This communication is crucial to achieve these goals. As a part of the accountability of the work, a principal can use these structures to ensure progress toward the PDS goals. Principals can create roles which complement the collaborative work. Finally, the principal can work to obtain and then allocate resources for the support of the PDS work. The NCATE (2001) Standards for PDSs, although not written specifically for the principal, provide a compass whereby principals need to gu ide their staff and other PDS participants. As indicated, many of the standards outlined coul d not be accomplished without the effective leadership of a principal. In order to r each the goals outlined by the Holmes Group (1990), NCATE (2001), Levine (1992) and others calling for reform in education, effective principal leadership is a critical ingredient. Characteristics of a PDS Principal Given that the role of the PDS principal is key to the development of the NCATE goals, a review of the empirical research provides a framework for understa nding the PDS principal. In one example, Kersh and Mastal (1998) conducted an analysis of studies on K-12 and university collaboration. The role of the princi pal was considered in this analysis. The school principal is a key person in co llaborative school reform. The principals position in these partnerships is uncomfor table: he or she must accommodate the administrative expectation of the principal as a strong leader while simultaneously releasing power to teachers to participate in decision-making in the collaborative. For any sustained partnership, the principa l must continuously, vigorously, and openly support the partnership. (p. 6) Foster, Loving, and Shumate (2000) also acknowledge d the essential function of the principal, stating that the principal must be involved in all stages of the PDS work. Cramer and Johnston (2000) pointed out that many articles emphasize the importance of the principal in schooluniversity collaborative experience, yet they ack nowledge that a limited number of empirical
32 studies have focused on the principals role se parate from teachers, students, and university personnel. Given the importance of the principal in th e PDS movement, an understanding of the key characteristics of effective PDS principals is essential. After analyzing the limited empirical literature related to PDS principal leadership, I noticed the themes emerging from the literature related to Bolman and Deals (1997) Four Frame Model of Leadership As a result, I used the structural, human resource, politic al and symbolic frames to he lp organize the literature. According to Bolman and Deal, Frames are bot h windows on the world and lenses that bring the world into focus. Frames filter out some things while allowing others to pass through easily. Frames help us order experience and decide what to do (p. 12). The studies reviewed were organized using this framework and these studies provide insight into how PDS principals might filter and organize their PDS leader ship activities. A table of these studies organized by frame, source, and finding can be found in Appendix A. Structural Frame The structural frame is compared to the mach ine or factory by Bolman and Deal (1997). Those leadership characteristics in this frame fo cus on rules, policies, go als, procedures, formal relationships, and specialized roles. Social arch itecture is the image of leadership which Bolman and Deal associate with the structural frame. So cial architecture is matc hing the structure to the task of the organization and this is the basi c leadership challenge when operating from a structural stance. The structural frame provide s a lens for examining the specialized role the PDS principal plays in generating rules, policies, goals, and procedures with some of the other central concepts being analyzed occasionally. In a study exploring the impact of PDS partnerships on the pr ofessional lives of university and school-based administrators, Stroble and Luka ( 1999) arrived at a list of the 10 most frequent
33 activities in which the leaders participated. Many of these activities were either clearly structural in nature or could be closely li nked with the structural frame. For example, principals were involved with organizing and attending meetings, serving on committees, coordinating activities between the university and the PDS, assigning interns, direct ing projects and making site selections. Mitchel (2000) also added insight about the stru ctural activities of a PDS principals work. As a principal in an urban PDS, Mitchel wr ote about her own experi ences and efforts to strengthen the PDS work. To foster success, she specifically requested two promises from the superintendent: (a) she wanted the school to have the authority to make decisions about events that affected the school; and (b) for the school no t to be held accountable for district and state mandates that were not legal issues. Interesti ngly, Mitchel structured the school so that many decisions were made by the stakeholders. This di stribution of leadership allowed her to focus on more important issues of instru ctional leadership, student empowe rment, and increasing parental involvement. She used a distributed leadership structure (Lambert, 2005) to create rules, procedures and policies that enab led the faculty and parents to ma ke decisions for and about the school. This gave them ownership in the outcome s. Overall, Mitchel st ressed the importance of the principal fulfilling the role of instructional leader and the participants being involved in decision-making in order to fost er success in her urban PDS. Bowen and Adkisons (1996) study on the institutionalization of Professional Development Schools also provided important insight into how the principal used structure to promote success. Data were collected through site visits, document review, and interviews with key participants in seven elementary schools part icipating in the Texas Centers for Professional Development and Technology. Bowen and Adki son found that creating a structure which
34 establishes rules, policies and pr ocedures that support the PDS is critical. Administrative pressure also has a role in fostering buyin among staff. Bowen and Adkison wrote: High administrative commitment to the innovati on is necessary, but not sufficient, to assure institutionalization. However, wh en administrative commitment leads to administrative pressure on teachers to part icipate and administrative supports (e.g., assistance, staff development opportunities) to help them do so effectively, teachers efforts to work at an i nnovation increase. (p. 7) How principals define their own roles is importa nt to consider when st udying the literature. Bowen and Adkison (1996) reported that one prin cipal in their study described his role as a facilitator. Structure also influenced the role s that the principal could assume within PDSs. They found that the structure of the PDS and amount of assistance available had an impact on the roles that the principals undert ook. For example, the less suppor t the principals had, the more they focused on the basic operational functions of the PDS. The degree to which they could attend to the structural factor s influenced whether they focused on activities related to coordination and management or teacher growth and professional imp act within their PDS principal role. Cramer and Johnstons (2000) book chapter on th e principal in a PDS presented a unique insight into how the structural fr ame influences the principals ro le in attending to the needs of multiple stakeholders. In working collaboratively with the university personnel and his staff, the principal alone was responsible for making explicit district policies and political issues that needed to be considered in PDS work. The que stions that he raised in planning meetings provided other participants with a glimpse into those institutional issues allowing for more effective planning and troubleshooting. The principa l, Don, shared, From a principals point of view, the university initially s eemed insensitive to the routines and needs of the school that a principal has to manage (p. 69). The principa l must help others more fully understand the conditions and structures under which his school works. The principal also noted that
35 collaboration, an activity which requires structur al elements, is challenging because he never received any leadership trai ning related to collaboration. Trachtman and Levine (1997) metaphorically de scribed the multiple ways that principals conceptualize their roles in the PDS and these conceptualizatio ns each require unique structural configurations to support them. The roles they identif y are the bureaucrat, parent, cheerleader, ostrich, storyteller, gardener, juggler, and jazz player. Although they provide characteristics of each role, they point out that principals are comb inations of these metaphors. For example, the parent guides as though the head of a family. The cheerleader stays on the sideline doing more than cheering and encouraging. The ostrich choo ses to be uninvolved and continues to work on his own. The ostrich does not focus on build ing the learning community in the PDS. Storytellers work, through their us e of stories and tales, to inform and include all participants in the process. The gardener looks at the condition s to gain a diverse picture of what is going on and to develop a plan to addre ss that particular climate. Fa irly dispersing scarce resources among participants is one of the balancing acts th at a juggler leader must perform. Finally, the jazz player improvises by taking what is given to him and creates an organization that produces harmony. Trachtman and Levine stressed that principals are real people and are mixed metaphors, combinations of the roles they desc ribed affected by the c ontext of their time, place, and history (p. 77). Through survey research, Leslies (1994) di ssertation study captured the attitudes of principals toward the six PDS Holm es principles. The survey result s suggested that principals in South Carolina rated the invention of a new in stitution as their most important and significant task. The principals in the st udy viewed their role as a facilit ator of the development of new PDS structures within their school and district as being important.
36 Principals may be put in the position of modi fying their existing leadership roles due to their involvement in PDS collaboratives. Accord ing to the empirical liter ature connected to the structural frame, leadership in a PDS can be, a nd most often is, different in a collaborative environment which is at the heart of the PDS concept. For this reason, principals must understand their current roles and be prepared to change how they lead in order to nurture the growth of the PDS. The research clearly show s the importance of creatin g structures including rules, policies and goals to support the PDS mission. Human Resource Frame The family is the metaphor which Bolman and Deal (1997) used to describe the second or human resource frame. Needs, skills, relationships feelings, and participa tion are all leadership activities within this frame. Empowerment is the image associated with this frame of leadership, and the basic leadership challenge is to align th e organization with the ne eds of the people in the organization. The bulk of the findings associated with the studies of principals in PDSs are clearly affiliated with this fr ame and they include an emphasi s on the principals support of teachers professional skill development as well as the cultivation of teacher leadership. The PDS focus on professional developmen t and creating a learning community are strongly connected to the human resource frame. PDS learning communities blend the central concepts of skills, needs, and relationships w ith the philosophy that ev eryone learns. Mitchel (2000) emphasized the important ro le principals play in nurturi ng and valuing teachers attempts to learn and grow. Additionall y, Cramer and Johnston (2000) id entified providing opportunities for professional development as a key ingredient in fostering change in the PDS. Lees (2002) study of 80 PDS principals produced some of the most substantial data connected to the central concepts of needs and skills. Through the use of a survey, the researcher gathered data on elementary PDS principals per ceptions of their roles and res ponsibilities. The Likert-type
37 components of the survey were used to determin e what administrative behaviors the principals felt were important and the frequency with which they engaged in certai n behaviors. Lee found that the principals perceived supporting the professional growth of the teachers as a very important activity in which they participated frequently. Lees research found that female principals placed a greater importance on suppor ting a learning community and fostering the sharing of power within the PDS th an did their male counterparts. The importance of relationships seems to be at th e heart of effective leadership in the PDS. Trachtman and Levine (1997) stated that by de finition, PDSs are collaborative ventures (p. 76) and collaborative adventures requ ire relationships. A school-based administrator in Stroble and Lukas study (1999) of a PDS partnership verba lized the importance of the connection between relationship building and collaboration: Build ing relationships is the keybeing a support system has always been my style, but this has ma de me more aware of all the people that always need to be involved if change is implemen ted and sustained (p. 131). Many other PDS researchers have arrived at sim ilar conclusions about the importan ce of building relationships in a PDS (Ambrose, Natale, Murphey, & Schum acher, 1999; Dempsey, Hart, & Lynch, 1997; Foster et al., 2000; Mitchel, 2000). Principals in each of these st udies stressed the significance of fostering strong, trusting relati onships in order to lay the gr oundwork for beginning the process of change, as well as making c ontinuous renewal a possibility. Participation is one of the central concepts within the human resource frame. Meetings, shared decision-making, and teacher leadership are important avenues for stakeholders to become involved in PDS projects. These exampl es appear frequently in the literature. Trachtman and Levine (1997) posited that leadersh ip in a collaborative en vironment is different than that which occurs within one organization b ecause boundaries are blurred, turf issues arise,
38 and new cultural norms need to be established (p. 77). Thus, PDS principals must create relationships across boundaries. In their study of principals, Foster, Lovi ng, and Shumate (2000) identified seven core characteristics which they believed effective administrators possessed. One relational characteristic focused on a leadership style that supported inclusion. Th ey argued that todays PDS leaders rely on teachers, co mmunity partners, and university personnel in the organization to assist in leading toward change. Similarl y, Levine (1992) suggested a shift away from the principal as the PDS leader to deepening the fo cus on the teachers role leading change within the PDS. She supported the idea of teachers be ing the ultimate authority on conditions that affect professional practice (p. 13). Also, Po well and McGowan (1996) found in their study of 12 teachers that teacher participation in the PDS was based on their expect ation of having greater control over their work environment and pr ofessional growth. Bullough, Kauchak, Crow, Hobbs, and Stokes (1997) also emphasized the im portance of cultivating human resource. They found in a study of 49 PDS principals and teachers th at principals needed to be involved initially in the PDS, but also that teachers be given m ajor responsibility for setting policy and program design (p. 163) early in the PDS development process. Dempsey, Hart, and Lynch (1997) captured the writ ten reflections of two PDS principals in West Virginia who attended to the cultivation of teacher leadership. Hart, a high school principal, emphasized that shared decision-making resulted in better teacher buy-in than if he were to make the same decision on his own. In this same study, the elementary school principal, Lynch, also emphasized the opportun ity to share decision-making oppor tunities with her staff. The authors concluded that collaborative decisi on-making creates a context where teachers are more willing to confront the concerns that might arise in the PDS. In a similar tone, Lees
39 (2002) research found that developing a school culture conducive to student learning and supporting the staffs professional gr owth were the highest rated PDS activities of principals in the study. Using the human resource frame to organize the PDS principal empirical literature highlights the importance of building trusting relationships and working closely with staff critical leadership attributes for the PDS principal. The research clearly shows the connection between the principals ability to foster a collaborative environment and the perceived success of the PDS. Political Frame Power, conflict, competition, organizationa l politics, bargaining, negotiation, scarce resources, and coalitions are all key elements in the third frame, the political frame. Bolman and Deal (1997) applied the metaphor of the jungle to this frame. This metaphor compares the events in an organization to life in the jungle. They state that, the jungle is a politically charged world of conflict and the under-re gulated pursuit of self-interes t (p. 348). Advocacy is the image of leadership that accompanies this frame, leaving the leader to speak for the interests of less powerful constituents. The basic leadership ch allenge in this frame is to develop an agenda and a power base. The political frame is one that creates difficulty in reviewing the literature. With the exception of the issues of power, c onflict, scarce resources and coalitions, little empirical research exists about the PDS principals work in the political frame. Power becomes an issue based on the type of leadership the principal assumes. Cramer and Johnstons work (2000) presen ted a viewpoint that is somewhat atypical in PDS leadership, according to the existing research. Principal Cram er stated, In many ways, Im pretty autocratic about things (p. 63). But Cramer acknowledged he was also willing to release his power to those whom he felt could handle it. The balancing act of jumping from an autocratic approach to
40 a democratic leadership strategy is one of the challenges faced by PDS principals (Dempsey et al., 1997). However, the same principal in the st udy noted the insecurities of the staff associated with his top-down mandates. The loss of power by the principal can lead to anxiety for both the principal and staff. Bowen and Adkisons (1996) research on institutionalization of PDS innovations addressed the issues of admini strative pressure. In their study, they determined that administrative pressure paired with administrativ e support increased the efforts of the teachers to work at the innovation. Dempsey, et al. (1997) argued that surrenderi ng power to teachers placed them in a position where the principal had to collaborate more. Similarly, in their listing of characteristics considered central to the effective PDS principal, Foster et al. (2000) identified a leadership style that includes flexibility, situational ity, direction, inclusion, and reflection as some of those traits (pp. 81-82). This role ca n be a change for many principals, requiring them to distribute some power they are accustomed to having to their staff. Regarding conflict and scarce re sources, several controversies arise for a PDS principal. One issue of conflict that surfaces is between those faculty member s who are direct participants in the PDS and those faculty members who are not (Bowen & Adkison, 1996). In most cases, only a limited number of pre-service teachers can be placed in a school, possibly leaving some willing participants without university students to be assigned to them. Also, some teachers choose to remain on the sidelines, avoiding i nvolvement in the PDS work of the school. Concentrating the distribution of scarce resources to those facu lty involved in the schools PDS work can create conflict. Bowen and Adkison (1996) highlighted the impo rtance of providing s upports to increase the chances that the PDS concept will become institutionalized, despite challenges due to the
41 specific context of the school. Such issues, f aced on a daily basis by all principals, included dealing with staff issues, sche duling, and so forth, which they referred to as environmental turbulence (p. 20). Trachtman and Levine (1997), in their work related to changing leadership in PDSs, also addressed this challenge. As principals worry about the political schisms between PDS members and their colleagues, some respond by limiting the ways that the PDS is allowed to differ from the rest of the school. When principals opt for keeping the family together, they reject the Professional Development School as a leve r for whole school improvement. (p. 79) This is a true challenge of the Holmes Groups design. One of the purposes of the PDS is to improve the entire school. This can be quite a dilemma for the principal viewing his leadership through the political lens. The principal must constantly question his or her use of power by asking questions like, How much discord can and should be created and tolerated without compromising the school mission? When do I stop applying the pressure for change? Cramer and Johnstons (2000) research also addressed the issue of conflict. The staff members at the PDS site shared with the principa l that if the university was unwilling to change they did not want to be a part of the program One issue addressed in their book concerns the issue of talking about school in school (p. 60). A great deal of discomfort can arise when conversations about the actions and activities of school are offered up for judgment and criticism. Reality versus utopia and the ideal way to teach are very subjective. Criticism of the way things are done at the school or in a partic ular classroom in essence can be construed as critiques of the school culture, wh ich in turn can be viewed as a reflection on the members of the culture, the school faculty, staff, and administrati on. The schism that often occurs between the universitys goals for the methods and delivery of curricula are often in opposition to what is supported by and goes on in the individual teachers classroom. In the PDS, everything is visible and gets talked about. Everybody knows whats going on with everything. Ive seen faculty or student s who bring up situations in schools that are
42 not particularly good practice and this become s a major topic of discussion for longer periods than it should. (p. 60) This statement from a principal illuminates one of the most significant political challenges in the PDS. He recognized how this disconnect coul d weaken the foundations of the partnership. Subjectivity on what is good and bad have to be c onsidered according to this administrator. Campoy (2000) presented similar findings from her review of 24 PDS studies. In addition to disagreements about pedagogy, the changing roles of teachers and university faculty were also areas of tensions. As teachers begin taki ng on leadership roles, the transition can be uncomfortable for them, the principal, and even their peers. Additional responsibilities in combination with the time require d of a classroom teacher place s another layer of challenges upon the teacher leader. Interestingly, one of the te nsions can be within th e individual teacher as that person moves into a teacher leader role. The role of mentor teacher can cause teachers to question their own practice, causing them to question what they are doing and if they need to change (Cramer & Johnston, 2000). In sharing the lessons that were learned from her study, Campoy (2000) suggested the importance of knowing the pedagogical and cultural norms of both institutions, as well as discovering each entitys capacity to work collaboratively toward shared goals. Also, addressing early difficulties in the partnership was recommended. Allowing sma ll challenges to fester can harm the growth of the PDS. Each of these st udies highlights the political co mplexity of PDS work and the elements of the political frame that complicates a PDS principals work. Another aspect of the political frame is the sharing of scar ce resources. Time, financial resources, and manpower are the th ree topics addressed most in th e literature. Stroble and Luka (1999) found that 16 of 17 princi pals and university-based admi nistrators reported increased demands on their time as a result of their collaborative efforts. These administrators noted that
43 their roles and duties were impact ed in one of three ways: no imp act, additional roles and duties, or shifts in roles and duties. The added duties identified were additional meetings, more time in the field, added constituencies, and more interactions with ar ea administrators. Also, their availability to others, includi ng PDS groups, advisory councils, a nd visiting schools increased as a result of the necessity to respond creatively to requests of various forms. Bowen and Adkison (1996) listed how principals spent their time as one of the concerns emerged from their research. The additional responsibilities th e principals had to take on as a result of their PDS work took time away from other activitie s which needed to be done. The dilemma of scarce resources resulted in se veral researchers offering recommendations. Bowen and Adkison (1996) discovered that the amount of support provided to the PDS determined the roles which the principal was able to take. The more support a PDS received, the less of a managerial role was re quired of a principal, freeing th at individual for more missionfocused work. They also suggested that PDS de velopers can assist PDS principals by providing resources in such forms as additional f unding for technology. Sim ilarly, Campoy (2000) addressed resources in her secti on on lessons learned, stating the need to develop a funding plan. Despite issues related to limited resources, bene fits in this area were also noted in the literature. Cramer and Johnston (2000) highlig hted the resources provided to PDSs free-ofcharge. These included university support for c ontinuous assistance in the classroom and the professional development of teachers. The princi pal in one study (Ambrose et al, 1999) touted the benefit of ready access to a hos t of experts (p. 6) as a resu lt of being associated with the university and other PDSs th rough their collaborative work. The allocation of resources in the form of preservice teacher assignments is another aspect of the political frame. Stroble and Luka (1999) identified assigning interns and practicum
44 students as one of the most fr equent activities reported by bo th university-based and schoolbased administrators. Deciding who has an intern placed in their classroom is akin to allocating an additional resource to that teacher. In Cram er and Johnstons (2000) book chapter, Cramer shared his perceptions of the benefits in having student teachers. He described a new level of professional commitment that helped support th em in questioning their own practice (pp. 6061). He also offered the idea of assigning st udent teachers as a reward for good teachers. Mitchel (2000) viewed the reality of the fishbow l, often initially consid ered as being negative, as having promoted reflective practice and enco uraged deeper evaluation (p. 509). Intended growth was promoted as the result of being observed by outsiders. Campoy (2000) addressed some of the challe nges associated with the allocation of resources. In looking at 24 PDS st udies, Campoy identified two areas of concern: (a) the lack of time for collaboration and planning, and (b) the qu estions associated with school and university reward systems for those involved in PDS work. The lack of re wards for additional work often leads to principals being unwilling to become involved in PDS work (Cramer & Johnston, 2000). Building coalitions is anothe r central concept in the political frame. The high school principal in a study of two PDSs in West Virginia (Dempsey et al., 1997) shared that he worked from the premise that everyone has to move al ong together (p. 46). He felt this helped reduce some of the insecurities and a nxieties associated with change. Additionally, the principal felt this coalition of decision-makers and their fami liarity with one another made the faculty more aware of the types of problems he had to face as a principal. Campoy (2000) offered in her lessons learned that building a broad commitment of support (p. 132) was an important lesson learned for moving the PDS forward.
45 The concept of a jungle is an appropriate metaphor for the PDS from the lens of the political frame. The principal must face and eff ectively handle the lack of resources, conflict, and issues of power. Using the political frame, the PDS empirical literature suggests that the principal needs to be aware of the challenges asso ciated with the distributi on of scarce resources, making sure that those engaged in PDS work as well as those who are not involved are treated equitably. The literature also suggests that princi pals need to be trained in the management of conflict to determine how much pressure to apply in order to facilitate ch ange. In addition, they need to know how to effectively f ace issues related to change. Fi nally, principals need to be well prepared to work collaboratively and to foster teacher leadership. Symbolic Frame The basic leadership challenge within the symbolic frame is to create beauty and meaning in the organization. The carnival, theater, or temp le is the metaphor associ ated with the symbolic frame. Inspiration is the image of leadership and the central concep ts are culture, meaning, metaphor, ritual, ceremony, stories, and heroes (Bolman & Deal, 1997). Clearly, culture is overwhelmingly the most mentioned concept with in the symbolic frame, with ritual/ceremony, meaning/metaphor, and stories/hero es being present. It is im portant to note, however, that meetings and planning, while typi cally classified as structural functions, can fall within the symbolic frame when their primary function is to maintain or enhance the culture of the organization. If the meetings offer no real oppo rtunity to participate or change the roles and structure of the school, then they are clearly symbolic actions. But without more detailed information, it is difficult to determine if they ar e merely theater instead of being structural or political events. The symbolic frame connect s the PDS principals work to develop a new culture of simultaneous renewal. Simultaneous renewal focuses on the mutual and continual growth of both school and unive rsity personnel and is emphasized as essential to PDS work.
46 Establishing and maintaining a school culture supportive of the PDS concept is one of the most crucial aspects associated with PDS work. This has major implications for the school principal. Trachtman and Levine (1997) wrot e, A PDS needs more than the principals blessing. It is not merely an add-on program, but represents a change in the school culture and demands organizational and structural changes (p. 86). Their findings explicitly highlight the need to simultaneously shift structures in or der to create a new cu lture. Mitchels (2000) reflections on her role as an urban principal highlighted her perceptions on the importance of school culture. She considered providing leadership to shape a school culture that would support their PDS work as her first prio rity. Many of Mitchels key poin ts tied directly to the school culture: building relationships, working collaboratively, empoweri ng students, increasing parent participation, and so forth. Also, Lieberman and Miller (1990), in a conceptual piece on building a culture to support teache r inquiry, wrote that reconstruction of leadership roles was one of the five essential elements for establishing this culture. Borthwick, Stirling, Nauman, and Cook (2003) pr esented five factors associated with achieving successful school-univers ity collaborations. The first tw o factors had components that were clearly related to school cu lture. In factor one, partic ipants considered common goals which could be articulated. They shared decisi on-making and increased responsibilities of the school-based players as some of the key elements necessary to establishing and maintaining a successful school-university partnership. The par ticipants placed in th e second factor category had a greater concern for the survival of th e new culture, placing the maintenance of the partnership as more important than any specific go al. They viewed the actual collaboration as a positive force for effecti ng school change (p. 345).
47 New rituals and ceremonies often become part of the new culture of a PDS. Mitchel (2000) wrote of celebrations, awards, recognition, re treats, and social activities that were a part of her schools culture. Ambrose et al. (1999) presented how, through their partnership, the university and schools became part of each others cu lture by helping hire staff, engaging in staff development, and participating in program evaluations. Mission and change were also symbolic concepts that seem to be clos ely tied to successful PDSs. Mitchel (2000) referred to the relentless focus on the missi on of the school as being the glue that held their PDS partnership together. Sh e attributed the transformation of the work to their search for deeper meaning and to having a moral purpose (p. 511). The three principals in a study by Foster et al. (2000) shared a belie f in the importance of having a vision of what a quality PDS program looked like and having the ab ility to establish an environment conducive toward reaching that vision. The faculty at Mo rgantown High felt their principal not only had a vision of what the school might become, but also felt that he did a good job of communicating that vision to them (Dempsey et al., 1997). The importance of being able to communicate vision was also supported by Bowen and Adkisons (19 96) research. In their recommendations on how PDS developers could support prin cipals, they suggested providing training to assist them in communicating their vision and promo ting buy-in among the faculty. It is important to remember that the four frames are lenses used to view leadership from the various perspectives. Overlap between the frames exists. Operating from multiple frames is important for effective leaders. Bolman and Deal (1997) wrote: Each of the frames highlights significant possibil ities for leadership, but each is incomplete in capturing a holistic picture. Ideally, managers combine multiple frames into a comprehensive approach to lead ership. Still, it is unrealistic to expect everyone to be a leader for all times and seasons. Wise lead ers understand their own strengths, work to expand them, and build teams that can provide leadership in all four modesstructural, political, human resource, and symbolic. (p. 317)
48 Conclusion Although the call for Professional Development Schools was issued nearly two decades ago, the research has focused primarily on the te achers and pre-service teachers within those institutions (Trachtman and Levine, 1997). Cram er and Johnston (2000) also pointed out in their work that the principal is rare ly the focus of research studie s about the PDS. Trachtman and Levine (1997) added: To date, little attention has been paid to th e kind of leaders needed to build Professional Development Schools, or to the nature of effective leadership for collaborative, restructuring environments. Indeed, frequent ly leaders are not even identified. Most literature about Professiona l Development Schools focuses on the changing role of teachers in school-university collaboration or on the characteristics of the new school culture. In fact, PDSs are typically thought of as teacher-centered projects. (p. 76) This highlights the need for additional research on principal leadership in the PDS. As indicated in this review, the PDS requires strong leadership in order to achieve its goals. Bolman and Deals (1997) Four Frames provide a framework for understa nding what elements are key to strong PDS leadership. The absenc e of a strong research base to inform PDS stakeholders on the traits and training needed to prepare, nurture, and guide pr incipals in their schools is troublesome. If this major effort, proposed by the Holmes Group (1990) and other education reformers, to improve the preparation of future teachers and provide enrichment for those already in the profession is not done properly, American society faces the risk of seeing yet another attempt at rejuvenating our educational system fail For this reason, future research must capture how PDS principals make meaning of their roles in the PDS setting. The purpose of this study was to explore the es sence of the principal s role in the PDS and how these principals make sense of their role. Through phenomenological interviews, the researcher adds to the knowledge base of PDS pr incipal leadership. In Chapter 3, the research methodology and research design are described.
49 Table 2-1 National Council for the Accreditat ion of Teacher Education standards for Professional Development Schools Standard Elements Standard I: Learning Community Support multiple learners. Work and practice are inquiry-based and focused on learning. Develop a common, shared, professional vision of teaching and learning grounded in research and practitioner knowledge. Serve as an instrument of change. Extend learning community. Standard II: Accountability & Quality Assurance Develop professiona l accountability. Assure public accountability. Set PDS participation criteria. Develop assessments, collect information, and use results. Engage with the PDS context. Standard III: Collaboration Engage in joint work. Design roles and structures to enhance collaboration and develop parity. Systematically recognize and celebrate joint work and contributions of each partner. Standard IV: Diversity & Equity Ensure equitable opportunities to learn. Evaluate policies and prac tices to support equitable learning outcomes. Recruit and support diverse participants. Standard V: Structures, Roles & Resources Establish governance and support structures. Ensure progress toward goals. Create PDS roles. Acquire and allocate resources. Use effective communication.
50 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Introduction The principal is a key component in buildi ng successful collaboratives between P-12 schools and universities and yet they are seldom the focus of empirical studies (Cramer & Johnston, 2000; Trachtman & Levine, 1997). Incr easing our knowledge base in this area is important. The purpose of the study was to better understand the phenomenon of principal leadership within one network of elementary PDSs. To achieve this purpose, the following research question was addressed: How do principals make sense of their role s in a PDS? In this chapter, I provide a description of the PDS partnershi p, a rationale for the use of qualitative methods as well as specifics about why phenome nology served as the appropriate framework for answering the research question. Additionall y, I describe the design of the study including participant selection, data collection, and data analysis. Fina lly, I outline the strategies used to increase the trustworthine ss of the study are presented. The PDS Partnership The PDS partnership in this study was initia ted in the fall of 1999 as a part of the universitys reform efforts (Bondy & Ross, 2005). Th e change in the program was the result of fours years of work. The goal of the reform was to integrate the elementary education and special education programs into one unified pr ogram. The partnership exists between the university and 10 elementary schools. Each PDS s ite has 10 to 20 pre-in terns, a school-based field advisor, and mentor teachers. Starting in the spring of 2006 every pre-intern from the university was placed in dyads at a PDS site for th eir field experience. The pre-internship occurs the last semester of their senior year. The st udents from one school site comprise one-half of a cohort. The groups of pre-interns from two school s combine to form a full cohort. The students
51 are enrolled and instructed as a cohort in an intermediate read ing course and a social studies methods course. In most cases, these courses are taught at one of the school sites. Pre-interns also participate as students in a seminar instru cted by their assigned field advisors. Also, preinterns are required as a part of their field experience to comple te an inquiry project in which they study an individual child in their placement. The 10 schools vary in the depth and breadth of their PDS work. The principle differences in the schools led by the three principals in this study and the other schools related primarily to the degrees of collaboration and inquiry. The th ree principals involved in the study are the ones who work most collaboratively with the university through the PDS program. They communicate more frequently with university pe rsonnel and take a more hands-on approach with the program. The PDS work is also more in tegrated into the daily life of their schools. The use of inquiry has evolved in the partnership sinc e its inception. The study participants are three of the principals that have embraced inquiry th e most. The principals either conduct their own inquiries, work with faculty to facilitate th eir conducting of inquiry, or make themselves informed of the inquiry that is going on in their schools. Theoretical Framework The research question guiding this study was, H ow do principals make sense of their role in a PDS? Given this resear ch question, this study was well suited to a qualitative design because qualitative methods facilitate study of issues in depth and detail (Patton, 2002, p. 14). Patton argued that phenomena reveal themselves gradually through the natu ralistic designs of a qualitative study. Additionally, Creswell (1998) identified four reasons for choosing a qualitative methodology: (a) the re search question is stated as a how or why question; (b) the topic needs to be explored; (c) there is a need to present a detailed view of the topic; and (d) the participants need to be studied in a natural setting.
52 In order to study a phenomenon such as PDS leadership, it is critical to have an opportunity to look at the principa ls role in-depth and in context. This study met the four criteria for qualitative studies (Creswell, 1998) First, the research question explored how principals made sense of their role in a PDS. Second, there was litt le empirical literature addressing PDS principal leadership (Trachtman and Levine, 1997). Third, because principals are responsible for running schools, being inform ed about their role in PDS leadership was important. Fourth, because PDS work is integr ated into the culture of the school, it was important to study the principals in their own contextual settings. Within the qualitative research design, th e researcher situated his study within the constructivist paradigm. Schwandt (1994) wrote: The constructivist or interpretivist believes th at to understand this world of meaning, one must interpret it. The inquirer must elucid ate the process of meaning construction and clarify what and how meanings are embodied in the language a nd actions of social actions. (p. 118) This study explored the world of three principals. The data gath ered from the interviews was used to construct how the prin cipals made sense of their ro les as PDS leaders. In the constructivist view, knowledge and truth are created. Constr uctivism is founded in the belief that the unique experiences of indivi duals and the way they make sense of the world are valid and worthy of respect (Crotty, 1998). Since understanding the activitie s and interactions of the principals leadership within their individual schools is the central focus of this study, a constructivist approach is appropriate to capture their sensemakings as well as recognize the importance of the context where they lead. In this study, I sought to understand the knowledge created by the principal related to their un ique lived experiences of PDS leadership. Given that the purpose of this research proj ect was to better unde rstand the phenomenon of principal leadership within one network of elementary PDSs, a phenomenological framework
53 was used to investigate each principal in the stud y. Phenomenology is a research strategy designed to find the essence and meaning of a phenomenon. In this case, the phenomenon was principal leadership within a PDS and a phenome nological research method was used to answer the research question. Moustaka s (1994) described phenomenology: The aim is to determine what an experience means for the persons who have had the experience and are able to provide a comprehens ive description of it. From the individual descriptions general or universal meanings are derived, in other words the essences or structures of the experience. (p. 13) Kvale (1996) expressed phenomenology as an attempt to make the invisibl e visible (p. 53). Van Manen (1990) stated the goal of phenomen ological studies as trying to discover the meanings of the lifeworld of the object bei ng studied. Phenomenological approaches emerge the constructivist paradigm in that they search for the participants uni que experiences and how each participant makes sense of those experiences. Patton (2002) offered that the concept of e ssences is one that di fferentiates phenomenology from other forms of qualitative research. Van Manen (1990) shared the following concept about phenomenology and essences: The essence of a phenomenon is a universal wh ich can be described through a study of the structure that governs the instances or particul ar manifestations of the essence of that phenomenon. In other words, phenomenology is the systematic attempt to uncover and describe the structures, the internal meani ng structures, of lived experience. (p. 10) Similarly, the purpose of the study was to uncove r how principals make sense of their PDS experience by uncovering and describing the intern al meaning structures of their leadership experience (Patton, 2002). The goal of this rese arch was to determine the essence of the principals lived-experience as a leader of a PDS. Research Design The first section of the research design incl udes criteria for partic ipant selection. The contexts of the elementary PDSs led by the thr ee principals are addres sed. Data collection
54 procedures and analysis technique s are explained, followed by a rese archers statement. Finally, an explanation of the studys trustworthiness is discussed. Participant Selection The participants in this study were principals in three public elementary schools in a school district in north central Florida. These three principals participated in a PDS network with a large, Research One University in north central Fl orida. Their school district is comprised of 24 elementary schools, seven middle schools, seve n high schools, and seven special educational centers. Of these schools, 16 failed to meet Ad equate Yearly Progress standards (AYP) during the 2005-2006 school year. Eight of the schools that failed to ma ke AYP goals were elementary schools. Criterion sampling, a type of purposive sa mpling, was used to select participants based on a pre-determined criterion, which in this case, was service as a principal in the PDS network. Through my affiliation with the PDS network, I was able to gain access to the participants. I contacted the principals in person or by email and invited them to participate in the study. Permission to conduct the study was obtained by completing the universitys Institutional Review Board process. The three principals se lected for this study were : Brent at Countryside Elementary School, Tanya at Parkway Elementa ry School, and Rachel and Benton Elementary School. A description of each school follows a nd specific data describing each of the three schools is included in Appendix B. PDS context of Countryside Countryside Elementary School has been involve d in the PDS partnership for seven years. This school, serving students in grades 3-5, is the smallest of the three in the study with approximately 430 students. The staff is very stable demonstrated by the fact that Brent normally hires only one to two new teachers a school year. This rural school, located 15 miles north of a city of approximately 100,000, is one of th e oldest in the district With a minority rate
55 of 38% and a free and reduced lunch rate of 54% Countryside is a diverse school. Countryside failed to meet AYP during the 2005-2006 school year but was successful in meeting the federal standards in the 2006-2007 school year. Brent has been principal at Countryside for 15 year s. It is located just down the street from Jetton Middle School which had previously served as the all-black high school. Both schools are located about a mile from Main Street in the small town. Co untryside Elementary School is important to the community. Parents tend to be very supportive of the school and Brent. Although the community is experiencing growth parents and grandpare nts of many of the children at Countryside were stude nts at the school themselves PDS context of Parkway Tanya had been principal at Parkway Elemen tary School for seven years. Parkway has participated in the PDS program for two years. Due to shifting growth in the city, the school which was previously considered a suburban sc hool is becoming increasingly diverse and is developing characteristics of an urban school. Because of the changing community and recent rezoning, the population of students has changed. The minority rate has increased to 44% and the free and reduced lunch rate is at 43%. The PK-5 school serves nearly 700 students. Parkway failed to meet AYP during the 2005-2006 school year but met eh federal standards in the 20062007 school year. Parkway is located approximately three miles fr om the university. Loca ted at the corner of two busy streets, Parkway is surrounded by houses and located close to a city park and nature trail. There is a large core of veteran teachers at Parkway, but in the past several years Tanya has had to hire more than 10 teachers. Ther e are more than 50 teachers at Parkway.
56 PDS context of Benton Rachel has been principal at Benton Elementary School for four years. Benton has served as a PDS school for two years. Benton serves approximately 600 PK-5 students. The schools minority rate is 29% and the free and reduced lunch rate is 49%. The community of Benton is experiencing a great deal of growth which has en abled Rachel to hire ne arly one-fourth of the staff in just four years at the school. The rural school is located approximately 15 miles from the university. Benton has been invol ved with the PDS program for 2 years and met AYP during the 2005-2006 and 2006-2007 school years. Criterion sampling, a kind of purposive sampling, was used to select the participants (Patton, 2002). According to Patton, Purposive sampling focuses on selecting information-rich cases whose study will illuminate the questions under study (p. 230). Th e selection of Brent, Rachel, and Tanya was purposeful in that their high level of part icipation in the PDS partnership work improved the possibility of producing thic k, rich explanations. The principals were selected based on the depth of their schools par ticipation in the collaborative network. The individual schools implementation of the NCA TE (2006) PDS Standards were also considered in selecting the principals for participation. Th e principals who were not selected were either less involved in the partnership work, inquiry at their school was conduc ted to a lesser degree, the PDS work was less integrated into the daily operation of their schoo ls, their schools were involved more heavily in some other collaborative work, or some combination of these factors. The principals were invited to participate in the fall of 2006; individual interviews at their school site occurred during the fall of 2006. Th e university Institutional Review Board (IRB) process was completed. In line with the IRB ag reement, pseudonyms were used to protect the confidentiality of the principals and their schools.
57 Data Collection Data were primarily collected through interviews. The interview was designed to elicit from the participants stories about their ex periences and how they make sense of their experiences. Kvale (1996) described the role of an interviewer using metaphors. One of the metaphors he used was the interviewer as miner. In this metaphor, the interviewer seeks to uncover the knowledge waiting in the subjects inte rior uncontaminated by the miner (p. 3). The goal of my study was to uncover how the PDS principal made meaning of his or her role. The research interview adopted a conversa tional orientation drawin g on Kvales orientation (1996): The qualitative research interview is a construction site of knowledge. An interview is literally an inter view an interchange of views between tw o persons conversing about a theme of mutual interest (p. 2, emphasis in original). Rubin and Rubin (2005) also expressed the va lue of the qualitative interview as allowing the researcher to understand and reco nstruct experiences in which he did not participate. In this reconstruction of the events, the researcher is metaphorically co mpared to a skilled painter, placed in contrast to a photographer. The resear cher selects fine points from the interview and uses them to create an image from the themes. The purpose of conducting interviews for this stu dy was to determine the stories of others. Patton (2002) wrote: Qualitative interviewing begins with the assumption that the perspective of others is meaningful, knowable, a nd able to be made explicit. We interview to find out what is in and on someone elses mind, to gather their st ories, (p. 341). I sough t to uncover information from the principals perspectives and use that data to reconstruct thei r experiences through the creation of portraits. Interviewi ng is a valuable data collection tool in phenomenological studies because participants are able to e xplicitly share their feelings and be liefs. This made selection of the qualitative interview the most l ogical choice for data collection.
58 Seidmans (1998) phenomenological interviewi ng technique was used in this study. Seidmans (1998) phenomenological, three-interview protocol was used as the foundation for the research. This model recommended that the research er conduct three separate interviews of each participant. Each of these interviews has a specif ic purpose. The intent of the first interview was to collect background information on the interview ee. Called a focused-life history, the goal of this session was to put the partic ipants experiences into context and to have them tell about themselves and the topic in the present. In th is session, the principals were asked to describe their career in education from co llege to the present. Principals were prompted to speak specifically about their practicum experiences, th e schools where they worked, various roles in which they have served in the education fiel d, positive and negative experiences, and their experiences with K-12 and university collaborations. Session II was designed to determine the cont emporary experiences of the participant in detail (Seidman, 1998). The goal of this session was to ask for stories to elicit details. The principals were asked to share stories during this interview rela ted to topics ranging from the history of their school as a PDS to challenges associated with their role and how their leadership has evolved. The participants reflection on the meaning of their experien ce was the purpose of Session III (Seidman, 1998). This session addressed the in tellectual and emotional connections between the participants work and life. Through looking at the factors in their life and their current experience in context, the conditions for reflectin g are established. Principals were asked to consider how their actions had impacted the pr ogram and their beliefs about their role and actions as they related to the PDS.
59 Seidman (1998) recommended the interviews be scheduled for 90 minutes each session, with all interviews conducted within a three-day to one-week time period. Seidmans approach was modified by combining Sessions I and II into a single session for one of the principals. This was done because of time constraints. Additiona lly, questionnaire was given to the principals prior to interview Session I. The purpose of th is questionnaire was to collect some of the background information including the names, da tes, and locations of former school and university affiliations. The interview protocol is found in Appendix C and the questionnaire is located in Appendix D. A combined approach was used in creating the interview guide (P atton, 2002). Blending the standardized open-ended interview format w ith the interview guide technique was chosen by the researcher. This format was beneficial in th at it allowed me to identify specific questions to be asked in exactly the same manner, but permitt ed flexibility for probing and exploring certain subjects in more depth. Moustakas (1994) supported the idea of similar interviews: The phenomenological interview involves an in formal, interactive process and utilizes open-ended comments and questions. Although the primary researcher may in advance develop a series of questions aimed at e voking a comprehensive account of the persons experience of the phenomenon, these are varied, altered or not used at all when the coresearcher shares the full st ory of his or her experience of the bracketed question. (p. 114) Through thoughtful listening and ap propriate probing, a researcher can increase the richness of the data. The spontaneity of the interview and the flexibility permitted by the semi-structured format enable the interviewer to interpret as he progresses through the inte rview and work to fill in gaps and omissions that can increase the de pth and detail of the data (Kvale, 1996; Rubin & Rubin, 2005). The strength of the interview as a technique for data collec tion is the ability to interact. To increase the chances of getting a comprehens ive picture of the meanings and essence of the principals work in the PD S network, questions for the inte rview were created based on my
60 experiences with PDS work and from insights that emerged from review of related research data. Additionally, one principal in th e PDS network, as well as two university faculty who possessed background in leadership and PDSs, respectively, previewed the interview guide to assist the researcher in creating a comprehensive set of questions. The final questions, broken down by each session, are reported in Appendix D. The three interview sessions were recorded using an audio tape r ecorder. Kvale (1996) recommended using this procedure to record the interviews to allow the interviewer to focus on the topics and dynamics of the interview. Bentz and Shapiro (1998) suggested the use of the tape recorder to prevent the researcher from pre-mature ly placing data into alr eady extant categories. The audio tape recorder maintained th e data in their primitive state. For example, the protocol probed to understa nd the story of how the school became a PDS, to illustrate a typical day in the PDS, to outline their roles and responsib ilities within the PDS, and to share stories of change rela ted to the principals work within the PDS. The final series of questions were designed to elicit reflections fr om the principals on what their shared stories mean and how they make sense of th eir role as a PDS principal. Data Analysis Seidmans (1998) approach was used to anal yze the data. I began by creating portraits, similar to Seidmans notion of stories, from th e interview data. Lawr ence-Lightfoot and Davis (1997) wrote about portraits: Portraitists seek to record and interpret the perspectives and experien ces of the people they are studying, documenting their voices and th eir visionstheir au thority, knowledge and wisdom. The drawing of the por trait is placed in social and cultural context and shaped through dialogue between the portr aitist and the subject, each one negotiating the discourse and shaping the evolving image. The relati onship between the two is rich with meaning and resonance and becomes the arena for navi gating the empirical, aesthetic, and ethical dimensions of authentic and compelling narrative. (p. xv)
61 Creating portraits from narratives, such as those elicited from interviews, has been compared to fitting pieces of a puzzle together (Lightfoot 1983). Lightfoot wrote about the completed puzzle: A tapestry emerges, a textured piece with shapes and colors that create moments of interest and emphasis (p. 16). My goal was to gain insight into the essence of each principals role with his or her PDS context. It is my belief that represen ting the data in the form of a portrait best paints the picture of the context and how the principal interacts within that context. Seidmans (1998) basic structure for creating profiles was used to transform the data into portraits through the process of studying, reduc ing, and then analyzing. The studying phase occurred as the tapes were transcribed independe ntly. Each interview was listened to at least three times. The transcripts were then read and edited. During the initial transcription, significant pauses were indicated. Filler phras es such as you know and um and ah were omitted. Repeated words and phrases were omitted unless I identified them as seeming significant. Basic grammatical errors were also corrected. On the second and third review of the tapes, grammatical errors were corrected while changes were made to words and phrases that were misheard during the initial tran scription. Next, using Mishlers (1995) st rategy, the transcripts were reassembled by changing the sequence of the interview data into a more ch ronologically accurate portr ait. The transcripts were read and categorized by periods in the prof essional lives of the individual principals. The sections were then cut, reordered, and pasted into the appropriate sections. Seidmans (1998) reduction occurred during the re assembling and completion of th e transcripts. The reduction phase consisted of eliminating words, phrases, an d stories that were re petitive or were not integral to the story based my understanding of the experiences and contexts of the individual principals.
62 The next phase included reading the original transcripts and reordere d narratives. From these two sources a portrait was created for each pr incipal. The events were summarized in the narrative using the most significant passages to illu strate the key points in each principals story. The resulting portraits are presented in Chapters 4, 6, and 8. After completing portraits for each principal, I returned to Seidmans (1998) model and began analysis by marking individual passages wh ich were studied to determine names for the emerging themes. An example of the themes can be found in Appendix E. After the portraits were constructed and the th emes determined, I analyzed the principals leadership styles through the different lenses of Bolman and Deals (1997) Four Frames These lenses provided a variety of perspectives from wh ich to view the way principals made sense of their leadership. According to Bolman and Deal, Frames are both windows on the world and lenses that bring the world into focus. Frames filter out some things while allowing others to pass through easily. Frames help us order experien ce and decide what to do (p. 12). These four frames allowed me to organize the three princi pals leadership belief s and actions using the structural, human resource, politic al, and symbolic frames. Additionally, the frames were used to further study the six themes to look for conne ctions. This analysis is presented at the conclusion of the portrait chapters. After the portraits had been completed, the list of characteristics developed, and the themes developed, the individual chapters were taken ba ck to the principals for member checking. During this follow-up interview, additional questi ons were asked to clarify content from the original interviews. Also, dur ing this recorded meeting, the principals shared their thoughts about the portrait, themes, and metaphors. Da ta collected from the member checking were
63 integrated into the findings to offer a more accurate reflection of th e lifeworld of the principals. The final portraits and thematic analyses are pres ented in Chapters 4 through 9. In an effort to study this phenomena of PDS principal leadership across the cases, in Chapter 10 a cross-portrait analysis was created to identify commonalities. A table was created identifying the themes representing how each prin cipal made meaning of his or her roles. I reviewed each theme and considered whether it wa s present or absent for each individual. The result was used as evidence to indicate the most dominant themes associated with the essence of the principals role in a PDS. These findings were then reported in Chapter 10. Epoche and Researcher Statement Epoche, which comes from the Greek, means to refrain from judgment (Moustakas, 1994). The goal in using this technique was to look at the data, putting aside any pre-existing ideas about the object being studied. However, the pr ocess of Epoche does not mean the researcher operates as a blank slate. Husserl (1931, as cited in Moustakas) wrote: The phenomenological Epoche does not eliminate everyt hing, does not deny the reality of everything, does not doubt everythingonly th e natural attitude, the biases of everyday knowledge, as a basis for truth and reality (p. 85). Each of these areas was considered as I bracketed my bias in this study. My career in education produced some possible biases. Serving as a middle school teacher for 12 years influenced beliefs and opinions. The first 11 of those y ears were spent in a relatively small Florida public school district located several hours from the university. During my tenure in that district, I was employed by principals who were constantly focused on changing programs in order to improve student achi evement. I was the first staff member hired at the middle school by the new pr incipal I had worked for as a teachers aide in southwest Florida. One of the principals primary goals in the first four y ears of his tenure was to transition
64 the school from a junior high model to a middle school philosophy. I took on several leadership roles connected to this attempt at change: team leader, department head, and chairing various committees. I was responsible for designing the sc hedule for the pilot year of the new format and the schedule for the following two years. The leadership roles enabled me to become connected with other principals and county o ffice personnel which led to future opportunities outside the classroom. Despite my enthusiasm for change, many of my co-workers were resistant, occasionally leading to uncomfortable moments. This cause d me to question why some of my peers would oppose changes that research demonstrated could lead to positive outcomes. I came to view teacher resistance to change in the status quo as barriers to over come, always fearing resistance to change no matter how potentially positive the changes might be. The two principals in that district also re spected teacher leadership. They encouraged teachers to come to them with ideas for improvi ng the school. I view teacher leadership as a critical component in school reform and improve ment. I believe a lack of significant teacher leadership and the absence of an open door policy from the principal in a school are viewed as negative aspects of a school culture. The belief in the importance of teacher leadersh ip and promoting school reform is part of what has led me to strongly connect my work to the PDS. During my previous experiences in education, I came to view the cohesiveness a nd power of teams of teachers as crucial components to meeting the needs of students and to continuously moving forward. At each of the schools where I was employed full time, teams worked closely together. In many instances they met on an almost daily basis. Curriculum a nd student issues were discussed and often led to processes where the team modified procedures or structures to im prove the educational actions at
65 the school. The majority of the teams were compri sed of either one-half or one-third of the grade level teachers. For the most part, the teachers ta ught all the same students. The teachers of the other students were on different teams. The teams had an identity as well as power. Another critical component of my beliefs a bout reform was professional development. The district in which I worked placed great em phasis on professional development activities. In all but one year of my employment, the distri ct provided system-wide professional development days to coincide with state pr ofessional development days in October. I attended district workshops on a variety of topics and also t ook the opportunity to at tend state and national conferences presented by organizations such as the National Middl e School Association, National Council for Teachers of Mathematics, and the National Council for the Social Studies. I also taught district workshops on cooperative learning and serv ed as a facilitator for the districts new teacher induction program. The PDS program at the university started five years prior to this study. I was directly involved in the program for three of those years a nd was a key player in the first expansion of the network beyond the two init ial schools. As a field advisor and course instructor, I was in one of the schools almost daily for one year, and inve sted a great deal of time trying to support the success of the PDS work. Additi onally, I served as an administ rative intern for one of the principals in this study. Considering these previo us experiences in the program, I realized my background and prior experiences wi th the university PDS networ k could potentially impact the study. I was very emotionally and professionally invested in the PDS program and wanted to make sure that the research had only positive impacts on the program. Issues that emerge from this researcher stat ement that could lead to possible bias include my strong connection and desire for building and maintaining a successful PDS network, the
66 relationships that were built with principals a nd teachers, my awareness of each schools culture and climate, as well as my propensity for chan ge, teacher leadership, teaming, and professional development. Trustworthiness I was acquainted with all three principals pr ior to the start of the study and had worked very closely with two of them One of my roles was to de velop rapport with each of the principals in order to facilitate a trusting re lationship during the interview portion of the study. Seidman (1998) referred to rapport as getti ng along with each other, a harmony with, a conformity to, an affinity for one another (p. 80). He cautioned agai nst carrying the goal of establishing rapport to an extreme, arguing that too close a relati onship in the interview study can confound the data. I had built an acquaintance-type relationship with two of the principals and was a professional friend with the third principa l prior to the start of the interviews. The participants involvement, along wi th the participation of the researcher in the PDS network, facilitated the development of suffi cient rapport for this interview study In qualitative research studies, the concept tr ustworthiness must be considered. Merriam (1995) wrote: Qualitative research assumes that reality is constructed, multi-dimensional, and everchanging; there is no such thi ng as a single, immutable real ity waiting to be observed and measured. Thus, there are interpretations of reality; in a sense the researcher offers his or her interpretation of someone elses interpretation of reality. (p. 54) Lincoln and Guba (1985) offered four terms to de termine trustworthiness in qualitative research. These terms are credibility, transferability, de pendability, and confirmability. These four concepts are used to assist the researcher in framing the trustworthine ss of the study. Lincoln and Guba provided several strategies for increasi ng the credibility, transf erability, dependability and confirmability of a study.
67 Patton (2002) explained that credibility in a qualitative study depe nds on three elements: rigorous methods, credibility of the researcher and philosophical beli ef in the value of qualitative inquiry. To addre ss credibility, the researcher us ed several of the strategies recommended by Lincoln and Guba (1985). I first considered the strategy of triangulation to address credibility. Triangulation assists a researcher in producing an audit trail. Patton (2002) identified triangulation of sources analyst triangulation as a feature of cred ibility. Triangulation of sources was accomplished through conducting inte rviews with three different principals. Patton defined the triangulation of sources as checking out the consiste ncy of different data sources within the same method (p. 536). Member checks were also used to enhan ce credibility (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). The researcher had the participants review the tran scripts of the interviews, the themes, and the portraits at the end of the initial analysis stag e. The use of member checks assisted in the verifying of themes and correcting of misconceptions. Lincoln and Guba (1985) describe transferabil ity as the fittingness of the study findings for generalization to apply in other contexts. The trustworthiness factor of transferability is best addressed through thick description. Morro w (2005) wrote the following about thick description: Thick descriptions, transcending research para digms, involve detaile d, rich descriptions not only of participants experi ences of phenomena but also of the contexts in which they occur. The thickness of the descriptions re lates to the multiple layers of culture and context in which the experi ences are embedded. (p. 252) I attempted to provide rich, thick description by de veloping portraits, as well as including direct quotes and numerous examples from the interviews. The rich, thick descrip tion allows the reader to determine the level of transferability to their own context.
68 Dependability refers to the extent which th e study is reliable (Lincoln & Guba, 1985). Confirmability addresses the objectivity of th e study. Dependability and confirmability are established through auditing. The steps in the res earch process have been identified from the formation of the questions, selecti on of participants, data collection, to data analysis in order to maximize the chance that other researchers could re plicate the study. This clear audit trail helps enhance dependability and confirmability. As a final step, the maintenance of a reflexive journal of the research process served as a strategy for demonstrating trustworthiness (L incoln & Guba, 1985). Patton (2002) wrote the following about reflexivity and its impor tance to the qualitative researcher: Reflexivity reminds the qualitative inquirer to be attentive to and cons cious of the cultural, political, social, linguistic, and ideological origins of ones own perspective and voice as well as the perspective and voices of those one interviews and to those whom one reports. (p. 65) The use of a journal was used to assist me in be ing attentive to the issue of reflexivity. This reflexive journal was used not only to document th e research process and timeline, but to allow the outside reviewer insight into my persona l thoughts, questions, and emerging ideas. In summary, I tried to establish trustworthine ss through the following st rategies: (a) rapport development and member checks, (b) thick description, (c) audit trail, and (d) a reflexive journal. This study focused on understanding the phenome non of principal leadership in a PDS. Through a phenomenological lens, interviews we re conducted to explor e the essence of the principals role and how he or she makes sense of that role. The individual portraits, metaphors and lenses used to make their work will be discussed in Chapters 4, 6, and 8. Chapters 5, 7, and 9 provide an analysis of each portrait and offer th emes inherent in the way principals make sense of their PDS work. In Chapter 10 a cross-case an alysis of the themes that emerged from the
69 three portraits is shared. Finall y, a discussion of the implications of this study is discussed in Chapter 11.
70 CHAPTER 4 BRENTS PORTRAIT Introduction In this chapter, Brents beliefs and lived e xperiences as a PDS principal are explored to provide a comprehensive descripti on of Brents life as a leader a nd PDS principal. In order to convey these lived beliefs and experiences, I crea ted a portrait to record and interpret Brents perspectives and life events in a way that docum ents his voice, vision, knowledge, and wisdom. Although his professional roles (t eacher, teacher leader, princi pal, and PDS principal) are distinguished for the purpose of sharing Brent s portrait, these roles are overlapping and integrated in that each aspect of Brents portrait influe nces other aspects of his portrait. I begin by tracing Brents evolution as a teacher and teacher leader followe d by a description of his work as a principal. The next sect ion highlights Brents PDS beliefs and lived experiences. This chapter, shaped by dialogue betw een the portraitist and the participant, illustrates Brents lived experiences emerging within his own unique so cial and cultural context at Countryside Elementary School. Brent as a Teacher and Teacher Leader When Brent entered the field of education in the late 1960s, it was a politically turbulent time in the South. Many school districts were being placed under court order to desegregate their schools. Brents in-school experiences as a pre-service teacher were in both segregated and recently de-segregated schools. Through these pl acements he was afforded the opportunity to work with children from a variety of backgrounds. But, I learned from that. It was funny. It was kind of a lesson for me as a young teacher. Kids kind of decide whether you are okay or not and for whatever reason, both the white and the black kids decided that I was okay. That was at the intern ship. [Session 1, Lines 411-417]
71 These field experiences taught him something im portant about children. Regardless of their ethnicity, the students reacted to Brent based on his actions and character. He learned that students responded to the way he treated th em by treating him in a similar fashion. Brents pre-service experiences helped him see beyond race and socio-economic status. One of his placements was at a new school. Serving the economically advantaged, almost exclusively white children, the school was not what Brent expected. He described the culture as being very chaotic. Brent compared his expe riences in the economically-advantaged school to his experiences working as a tutor in an allblack high school prior to desegregation, a school that he described as having a culture of resp ect. Through this comparison, Brent learned the impact that school culture can have on the children. You've got a bunch of poor country kids up here You've got a bunch of poor country kids in Marshall County. Kids are not really that much different anywhere. Even at Carlise [economically advantaged school] where I was, it was just different cultures. You see what's different. Kids arent really that mu ch different from one place to another. But what they encounter and how they respond to their environment I think is what makes them act different. [Session 3, Lines 268-273] The climate of the school played an important ro le in how the children acted and reacted. He came to believe that issues of poverty or differen ces in race were not the determining factors in how the children behaved. Brent saw how the va rious environments of the schools where he did his pre-service work played a large pa rt in the behavior of the students. After graduating with a degree in English, a tight job market in the area made Brent decide to return to the university to earn his masters de gree. After being counsel ed that there were not likely to be any more high school English jobs the following year, Brent pursued a masters degree in elementary education. During this ti me, he began forging relationships with both teachers and administrators in the district throug h his participation in ev ening classes in which
72 many of the students were district employees. On ce Brent finished his degree, he was hired to teach fifth grade at a local elementary school. Almost from the onset, Brent was groomed with in this elementary context to become a teacher leader. Looking at teacher leadership when I worked at Balch Elementary, I th ink that one of the things that was very apparent and I saw the same thing from the people who were at Andrews in the old days, was the expectation that you are a leader a nd you were told You are leader. You were groomed as a leader and there was not a se nse of keeping you down, or hidden, or in the classroom. I remember th e second or third year that I was at Balch with a principal who was kind of daffy in he r own way, but she just said, You will be a principal someday and you need to be a prin cipal. She would take me to principals meetings and send me to things. [Session 3, Lines 327-333] As a result of working with this principal who be lieved strongly in fostering teacher leadership, Brent was exposed to the importance of nurturing leadership within th e school by encouraging faculty to envision themselves in leadership role s and placing teachers in situations where they could learn about th e principalship. Brent left his job at Balch Elementary to work at Greenberg Middl e School. While at Greenberg, he worked for another principal who believed strongly in encouraging teacher leadership. However, at Greenbe rg the structure provided Brent with even more opportunities to practice his leadership skills. Brent had a chance to take on more formal leadership roles since responsibility was delegated to teams and Brent served as a team leader. At Greenberg it was the same kind of thing. We were expected to be leaders. We were taught that we were leaders but also that what was diffe rent there was the school was organized more democratically. Again, this is the late seventies, early eighties, midseventies when it started. But the school was built, this was the early middle school movement, under a very different kind of organiza tional structure. There was still a lot of talk about differentiated staffi ng with some people who were ha lf-time assistant principals, half-time teachers. But again, we were teams. We started out initially to be multi-age teams but it kind of changed back into grade le vel teams by the time I got there. We were allowed to manage and were kind of required to manage most of the day-to-day operations of our team. We would meet usually once ever y week or two weeks. When I became team leader, we would talk about what we were doing to make sure were all on the same page so that the sixth grade isn't doing something that is going to create proble ms for eighth grade.
73 Occasionally, we would have curriculum kind of meetings across grade levels. [Session 3, Lines 350-362] While at Greenberg, Brent learned the power of more democratic organizational structures and how teachers could manage their day-to-day op erations. With the introduction of the middle school structure, a focus on teams, and the respon sibility for decisions pl aced in the hands of teachers, Brent deepened his understanding of teach er leadership. Under this structure, Brent was a working member and leader of a team that collaborated to solve daily issues and problems. This team functioned across grade levels to facilitate the ope ration of the school. The middle school structure also influenced the culture of Greenberg. In addition to empowering teams of teachers to take responsibilit y for the day-to-day operations of the school, the established culture included an acceptance of diversity as well as a sense of fun. The deliberate scheduling of social events encouraged a congenial atmosphere. There were a lot of social kinds of things th ere at the school . There were always parties, fun things, and goofy days for bot h the students and teachers. The faculty generally got along. For a big faculty we got al ong well. There were a lot of quirky folks and eccentric and colorful people there. I th ink that was probably valued and accepted more there and encouraged to a certain extent. We weren't made to behave as much as we were at the previous school where I was at, but yet there wa s a sense of in novation, of fun. Sometimes you would do things just because they're fun, just for kids and for adults. [Session 3, Lines 362-368] Brent appreciated the social aspect of Greenbergs culture and the role it played in developing and maintaining an atmosphere based on positive relationships. Although he had been exposed to positive experiences at other schools where he interned and worked, Greenberg was the school where teachers were given freer reign to be themselves. While the goofy days and social activities played no direct role in student achievement, Brent r ecognized their value in having a positive impact on the school culture. Empowering teachers to make decisions was a primary component in the culture of Greenberg Middle School. The pr incipal provided the staff with significant practice in decision-
74 making as teacher leaders. Following the exampl e set by this principal, Brent chose to use his teacher leaders in helping run the school. A lot of leaders came out of that group. If we had a problem, sometimes we would go to the principal and be like, Sol ve this problem for us, and he'd say I don't know what to do about that. Yall can solve this better than I can so y'all just figure this out, tell me what you want to do and that is fine with me. You know, I have actually said that to some folks. [Session 3, Lines 368-372] Being allowed and expected to make decisions a bout what affected him and his team was very powerful for Brent. It is a philosophy that Br ent demonstrates today as a principal. He empowers his teachers to make those decisions th at impact what goes on in their classroom. Brents experience at Greenberg Middle School allowed him to see how empowering teachers can strengthen their leadership skills, just as it did for him and many of his Greenberg peers. Although Brent had the benefit of working fo r two principals who believed in building teachers leadership skills, during his work at Balch and Greenberg he was exposed to two distinctly different types of l eadership. Brent learned how two different principals, one with a democratic style and the other with an authoritarian style, could fo ster teacher leadership. Brent shared the following information about the principal of Balch Elementary School. She was a real different style but she was ve ry proud of the fact that her school produced leaders and she did look for leaders to hire. I think what was different there was it was very authoritarian and run by her rules. But in terms of who was in charge of what and encouraging us and just saying that you will go back to school, You will get your masters degree, you are going to be a prin cipal, you are going to do this, she did that. [Session 3, Lines 334-339] Brent understood that this principal hired pe ople she thought could become strong teacher leaders, and she encouraged her staff member s to improve themselves by continuing their education or taking on new leadership roles. Despite the fact that her scho ol was authoritarian in structure, the principal at Balc h valued her staff members and nur tured their ability to lead and grow. As a result of these experiences, Br ent embraced the power of teacher leadership.
75 After more than 10 years as a classroom teacher at the elementary and middle school levels, Brents desire to be challenged helped him move to a job in the district office. Brents exposure to leadership opportunitie s as a teacher helped him feel confident that he could move on to a district-level job. Br ent explained his choice to chan ge jobs in the following way: I guess I left teaching for the district office pa rtially because I had been encouraged to do that. At both of the schools where I taught, both at Balch and Gr eenberg, it seems like by the time I hit about four or five years. you struggle and you try and get everything figured out. You get good at it, or at l east you think you do. Then for me, both times, about the time when I started to get things figured out then it was almost like it wasn't quite as interesting. It was easier. I enjoyed it, bu t it just seemed to be something, kind of like, Okay, what is next? I guess is the feeling I had. I had been encouraged by my principal there. In fact, he let me know of some ope nings and he encouraged me to apply for a couple of district level pos itions. [Session 1, Lines 57-64] As a result of these experiences, Brent recogn ized the importance of challenging teachers who are open to change. When he felt he had thi ngs figured out, Brent pursued opportunities that would provide him with the chance to learn and grow as an educator. After his years as a teacher, Brent was prepared for a new challenge This understanding has led Brent to recognize the importance of challenging the teachers he leads today. After leaving his role as a classroom teacher Brent initially worked with the gifted education program at the district office. In subs equent years, he was as ked to take on additional roles related to exceptional stud ent education (ESE). In the beginning, Brent was given a great deal of freedom and minimal direction, which he felt was appropriate. When Brent was hired, special education and Student Services was the department where gifted education was housed. Over a period of time, superiors determined that Brent and gifted education should be moved to the General Education Department. During this time, Brent was a part of a strong teaming network of employees in the General Education Department. We were a pretty good team and a whole bunch of new subject area people that had only been on board for a couple of years. We were over on that side of the building. We worked very well together. It was kind of exp ected that the 12 of us subject area people,
76 would work together and support each other be cause it was all about district curriculum and helping schools. Then the other thing, since our job was work ing with the schools, that is where we actually spent most of our time. [Session 3, Lines 208-215] Partnering with co-workers and school-based personnel across subject areas was a pivotal component of Brents work at the district office. Brent recognized that the team worked well together, staying focused on their common goals connected to helping the schools. While working at the district office, he noted some differences in leadership styles. He was exposed to leadership that was more democra tic than authoritarian. In this job, Brent was provided with a list of objectives but he was allowed the flexibility to achieve those using his own strengths and skills. I think that there was some flexibility there. I found a lot more when I was in the Regular Education Department because it was more like, Here's what you need to accomplish. We set some objectives and wed work with one of the directors. If I was floundering or confused or whatever, then my director would ki nd of get me pointed in the right direction. As far as telling me what to do everyday, that was kind of the joke down there. Student Services had a check-in/checkout board where you had to have a daily schedule and what time you were going to be at the schools. Over in, we called it the Curriculum Department versus the ESE department, it was just a ssumed that you were out doing what you were supposed to be doing and you we re. [Session 3, Lines 216-225] Having an established goal and additional support if needed to do his job were resources that Brent valued. Brent appreciated the autonomy and the fact that he knew his supe rvisor trusted that he was doing what he was supposed to be doing. Departments directed by individuals who chose to micromanage their staff were considered somewhat of a joke by Brent and his coworkers. In sharing his story about the independen ce he was given in the General Education Department, Brent reflected back on his second y ear working in Student Services. Due to a change in leadership, the philosophy had changed a nd he did not like the re sulting changes in the department.
77 It was not Here are all the thi ngs that you have to do, so here's how we do it. And we had a fairly collegial group of folks there but then when the ESE director changed and then it was more of a big brother looking at you, that kind of lack of trust. We need to check up on you. The whole tone of it changed rather abruptly. And I di dn't like that at all because, just like everybody else there, I wa s working my butt off and we were already putting in 10-hour days or more. And then for somebody to want to know, we said we would be back from this school at 1:30 a nd it is a quarter to two, you know that kind of nonsense. That bugged me. And that really ca me from the top. I had never had a problem working hard and didn't really mind the sc hedules too much, but just the idea that somebody's got to check up on me. If you need to check up on me then I shouldn't be down here at all. And that had a ve ry profound impact. [Session 3, Lines 234-244] As a professional, Brent resented that he and hi s co-workers were being checked up on. He felt that his hard work and past performance demonstrated his competence and commitment. Working in an environment lacking in trus t and respect had a profound impact on Brent. In his last years at the district office, Brent returned to the ESE Department. The experience left him feeling very di senchanted with leadership especi ally at the district level. Brents employment back in the ESE Department was a very negative experience. It was probably the worst year and a half of my professional career because it had devolved into. where there was no trust, there was no collegiality, there was no sense of mission. ESE had just degenerated into a bunch of bur eaucratic compliance folks. [Session 3, Lines 244-248] The lack of trust and teamwork made the job undesirable for Brent. Because of the negative experiences he had at the district office, he decided to return to the classroom as a teacher at the Roland Center. He had abandoned his desire to become a principal. Brent as a Principal Brents negative experiences during his work at the district office helped him decide not to pursue a job as a principal. Even though he had completed the certific ation requirements in educational leadership, Brent planned to remain as a classroom teacher at Roland. However, when leadership changed in the form of a new superintendent so did Br ents plans. The new superintendent was a former colleague. She ca lled him and instructed him that he would be
78 doing a principal internship at C ountryside Elementary. Brent told her that he had changed his plans and no longer wanted to be a principal. The new superintendent convinced Brent that completing the principal internship was something th at he needed to do. Br ent finally agreed and completed his principal internship at Countryside. At the end of his internship, and because a new school had been built, Brent was offered the principalship at Countryside, which he accepted. Countryside Elementary is a rural school, lo cated about 20 miles outside of a city of approximately 100,000 people in North Central Florid a. The school serves students in grades three through five with approximately 430 st udents and 35 teachers. In the 2006-2007 school year, Countryside earned a school grade of A up from the previous years grade of C based on the states grading system. The state gradi ng system, in place since 1999, rates schools from A to F based on state test scores with cons ideration given to student learning gains and the previous years performance by individual st udents (Florida Department of Education, 2004).Countryside did not meet Adequate Yearly Progress, as defined by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 in the 2005-2006 school year but did meet AYP standards in the 2006-2007 school year. The school has a minority rate of 38% and a free and reduced lunch rate of 54%. Since grades were issued as a part of the states accountability system in the 1998-99 school year, Countryside has earned two A grades, two B grades, and five C grades. Brent has served as principal at Countrysi de Elementary for 15 years. As Brent began describing his work as a princi pal, he shared important stories from his past experiences to illustrate the importance he places on school culture and teacher leadership. Brent explained how events from early in his educa tional career influenced his leadership style. For example, Brent described how his pre-servi ce teacher experiences helped him learn about
79 leadership and school culture. He reflected on his first placement at Jetton, a racially segregated school, which was much different than his own educational experience as a student in an integrated Catholic high school in South Florida. Brents work in the all-black school taught him some very important lessons connected to leadership and culture that influe nced his leadership at Countryside today. There was a scarcity of materials. The other thing that I noticed was when I came to Jetton was that the campus was absolutely spotless. The level of the stude nt conduct, the good manners for lack of another word, when I wa s on campus, and I was a 20-year-old college student. When I would come in there was a sense of a decorum and protocol from both the adults and the students on campus that wa s radically different. Everything was, Good morning. Yes sir. Youd see students in th e hallway. When I was walking back, they would greet you and that was the way they tr eated teachers and each other. [Session 1, Lines 256-263] Even though the school was lacki ng in materials and he entered the all-black school as one of very few whites, Brent was treated with a great de al of respect. Everyone at the school displayed respectful attitudes toward ev eryone else. He recognized a nd appreciated the way he was received by those in the school. As a result, Brent seeks to establis h that same level of respect in his school today. In addition to learning how a climate of resp ect was something that echoed within the walls of that school during his internship, Brent was also exposed to the challenges faced in a recently integrated high school. In this experien ce, he was able to observe how a clash of two cultures created an atmosphere of hostility which gave rise to a third subculture. The challenges to the school culture, created by external forces produced challenges among staff and students. I went in the spring of and they started in the fall of as a desegregated school. There were a lot of black student s living in the area that I thi nk they were bused into town to Carver or whatever the black high school and so they didn't want to be there. That was part of their community, part of their cu lture and it had been e ssentially closed down and been boarded up so they were angry about that. The black stude nts at North Marshall didn't want to be there. They had gone to wh erever they had been. Their parents had gone there and there was a lot of her itage and tradition at their al -black high school. They didn't want to go to some redneck high school where nobody wanted them and didn't like them.
80 And that was very obvious. And then, of c ourse, that area is very rural so the white students did not want the black st udents there. [Session 1, 329-340] Brents keen observation allowed him to r ecognize the impact the change had on both the students and the adults in the building. The re sistance to this mandated change negatively impacted the relationships in the school among both the teachers and students. Not only did the students remain separated by race, but the majori ty of the adults remained separated too. The same kind of rift we saw between the stud ents, we saw in the faculty. There was the black faculty who had all been assigned th ere. They, for the most part, did not communicate. They were an older group. I was 20-something so they might have been 40. But it seemed to be largely a predominantly older, white group of faculty who had been there forever and then an older group of black faculty who had been at Carver or wherever they had been forever. They did not communicate. They did not acknowledge one another. Again, the black teachers did not want to be there, white teachers did not want them there. Both their whole life and car eer had been upset a nd everybody kind of knew it. [Session 1, 357-364] Changes imposed by outsiders were resented by th e school faculty. No one in the school took on the challenge of building an integrated school cu lture. The staff was not happy with the forced integration. Brent was able to observe how the toxic culture hampered efforts to educate the children. Brent also described a third subculture that em erged within this toxic culture, a culture he chose to become a part of. Unlike the teachers who had come from two well-established schools with distinct cultures, a gr oup of younger teachers working at North Marshall established a subculture unlike the one that existed in the rest of the sc hool. They communicated with everyone and, more importantly, th eir focus was on the students in the school, not the adults and adult issues. There was a third group on the faculty whic h was the young teachers who drove in from Princeton, because it was hard to get jobs and so maybe a fourth of a third of the faculty, and this was people that actually came to the lounge. The 20-somethi ngs were the groups that tried. They thought they were going to interest kids. They communicated with each other. They werent part of this old system and even though a couple of the young black
81 and white teachers had come from the communities, it was like they just werent part of that culture. They communicated very openly. [Session 1, 364-370] Brent learned an important lesson about changi ng culture during his internship at North Marshall. What he saw related to this schoo ls culture would impact him when he became principal. Newer teachers who had not been a pa rt of the old system empowered themselves to resist the toxic environment. He also learned that the culture of a sc hool could be changed and that teachers could play an important role in instigating and sustaining that change. Brents experiences at North Marshall influen ced how Brent operates as a principal today. A large part of Brents job entail s working with his staff. Conve rsations with Brent reveal his dedication to creating a positive school climate. He seems to accomplish this by empowering his staff. Brent focuses a great deal on teacher le arning and professional development and puts great stock in building teacher leaders. Brent places great pride in the leadership roles his teachers assume. When I asked him how many of his teachers he considered to be leaders, he replied in the following way: Well I would like to think that all of them are em erging leaders at one point. In terms that the ones who are making an impact beyond just the 20 some kids in their classroom, I would say a good half of them maybe, some of them, much more so, I mean look at what Kenny is doing. I mean he is way out in front with a couple others kind of close behind him. But, we try to talk a bout that. Now I look for leadership in teachers. But I think everybody, with possibly one or two exceptions, sees themselves as some type a leader, in terms of trying to contribute something to moving the school towards where ever it ought to go. I think that most of the people have ki nd of come to understand that leader ship isnt about jobs or roles or titles or things like that. It is just a bout initiative and getting people to come along with you and make some changes a nd that sort of thing. And I think in that regard, a good half of the pe ople I think are pretty producti ve leaders. Even the younger teachers, I see them kind of coming along, some faster than others. I think a couple young ones just really don't have the experience to understand what that means yet. A couple older ones are doing avoidance, Leave that to somebody else. But most of them are moving along real well. [Session 2, 353-366] Brent believes that teacher leadership is a cr itical component of the positive school climate established at Countryside Elemen tary. Brent looks for leadership in his faculty and as a result
82 has found it in the vast majority of his teachers. Also, Brents de finition of leadership might be different than other principals definitions. He be lieves that leadership is not grounded in formal positions but instead emanates from an individuals desire to make a difference or spur on change. Although his staff is very active in taking on res ponsibilities, Brent has taken steps to build leadership skills in his teachers. Brent helped to bring a masters/specialists degree program (PIES) to his school. This program was designed with the intention that the teachers would take a common core of classes, many related to sc hool culture, inquiry, and learning communities. But then they would be allowed to earn a degree in an area suited to their goals, whether it was educational administration, readi ng, gifted education or other pr ograms. Brent had 12 teachers from his school participate in the program. He discussed his motivation for working to bring in the program. My intent at the beginning w ith the PIES program was to id entify a core group of teacher leaders and these are your discip les. These are the true beli evers, your key influentials. They will take everybody with them. Me i ssuing mandates, directives and writing memos and making rules and procedures, that doesn't cha nge a school. It is when the belief system and the way we do things around here is not just controlled but define d by the leaders, the teacher leaders of the building. The other thi ng, Im not going to be here forever and so if we don't have that part of the culture, or that kind of leadership infused into the culture, or an awareness of the need for that then it is lik e, what is going to happen when I leave. Will someone come on and either do the same things or do different things? I would hope that the best part of what we've done doesn't really change after I've le ft. leadership and inquiry and taking care of each other and those sorts of things that I hope are part of the culture here. Those are the things that I hope sustain themselves not through me but through all the people, even if they go, then they have created th at in other schools. [Session 2, Lines 296-310] By fostering the leadership skills of his staff, Brent created a group of teac hers he believes will positively impact the growth of the school. This critical mass of people enables Brent to keep the school moving and adapting to the challenges they face. Brent recognizes that mandating
83 change is not the best method. But, helping hi s staff grow will enable Brent to improve his school. As a part of fostering teacher leadership, Bren t releases power to his staff. He shared stories that demonstrated how he empowered his staff to make decisions about what affected them. In one situation, Brent was going to have to miss a building concerns meeting. This county-mandated groups purpose was to address teacher concerns about what was going on in the school. Brent gave the committee the opti on of rescheduling the meeting or holding the meeting without him. They chose to meet without him and solve what they could. They had several items and they kind of sai d, Well, lets do this, We need Brent to buy this, or This is what we recommend. In so me places those meetings are very adversarial. I know some schools where principals just hate them. They dread them because it is like, first you have some people bitching about stupid st uff or trying to interpret the contract so that they dont have to do things. Then you have also got princi pals doing stupid stuff, Im going to make you because I am in charge. Its all about, I can make you, No you cant, sort of stuff. We just havent had that here for a long time. So they had four, five, six items. I forget. Most of them, a couple, they just figured out. A couple of them, they needed me to buy something; This is what we want to do. You buy this. That solves the problem. And then another one that was just kind of a head-scratcher. But they did it. They wrote it up and gave it to me the next day. But they were conf ident that I would do what they recommended that I do but they also knew that, I think they know that this is where this is really something that Brent needs to decide or this is something that he would want us to figure out. I think over time they've kind of figured out where that is. I don't know that that's the best way to do it because but for a situational th ing where it really goes back to the whole teacher leadership issu e. If we are going to take it upon ourselves to figure out some solutions or problems, th e more that we can fi gure this stuff out by ourselves, then the less the principal has to issu e edicts and directives and tell us what to do. The less I have to tell people what to do the easier my job is, the more I can focus on more important things instead of bos sing people around. [Session 3, Lines 629-648] Brent chooses to be a principal that empowers his teachers. While many leaders might use a building concerns meeting to wiel d their power, Brent uses it to generate responsibility in his teacher leaders in leading their school. They were able to successfully resolve the issues that had been brought to the committee. Allowing the teachers to provide solutions to the problems enabled Brent to attend his prin cipal meeting and not have to reschedule the meeting again.
84 Through fostering leadership in his teacher s and promoting a positive climate, Brent always keeps the goal of schooling in mind. He recognizes that remaining focused on the destination is critical to the success of his school and the staff. Brent does not let his flexibility distract him from the goal. I think people need to have a moral compass that develops early. It is like, there are things that are right and wrong. everything is not situational. Pedagogical ly I think there are some things that are right and wrong too, or at least you have to define that in your philosophy, you're espoused platform, or whatev er you want to call it. And if you don't do that then the wind, the current, the political ti des, and the pressures from above or outside are just going to blow you all over the place and you will never get anywhere. One of the things that we know for certain about the influe nces of the forces that act on education is they are, much like when you are sailing, you've got wind blowing this way, current blowing you another way, somebody's orders te lling you to go a third way and then there are rocks and shoals ahead of you. So how do you get through all of that? If you don't have your pedagogical compass then. you need to know where you are headed to be able to maneuver, I think, around all these obstacl es and fight all of the influences and pressures, and all the forces that are k eeping you from. [Session 3, Lines 84-96] During his years as a teacher and administrato r, Brent has seen how educators can become distracted from the primary goal of educating the children. Daily struggles paired with outside influences can result in leader s and staff losing the compass that helps them focus on the purpose of their work. He believes an educators pedago gical compass is necessary to keep them on the right path. It is important for educators to know what they believe in and know which direction their compass points. Through his leadership, Br ent strives to help his teachers develop and define their own compass points. Brent believes strongly in the importance of establishing an environment that fosters a positive school climate. Brents experiences as a university student exposed him to both toxic and respectful school cultures. In combination with his years in the district office where he worked in two departments, one department wa s dominated by a culture of collaboration and the other by a culture of mistrust in which th ere was a high degree of structure.
85 Teacher leadership is highly valued by Brent. During his years as a teacher he worked for principals that encouraged him to take on roles th at enabled him to develop his leadership skills helping him develop as an educat or. Brents leadership as a pr incipal is about sharing power with his staff, which is facilitated through sc hool culture and teacher leadership. Empowering teachers and fostering growth are the methods Brent uses to encourage and support teacher leadership and create the positive school culture. Figure 4-1 summarizes the way Brent makes sens e of his role as prin cipal and illustrates how his leadership role rests on his beliefs abou t school culture and teacher leadership. Brent believes strongly and puts great effort into buildin g a collaborative school culture. He works to build the leadership skills of his teachers and al so empowers his faculty to lead. The intersection of these three stances in Brents role as a principal di rectly impact growth at Countryside in teachers, students, and himself. Brent as a PDS Principal Brent believes the partnership work has enable d him to facilitate growth in himself, his teachers, the school, and the university. Brents prior educational experiences contributed to how he has made sense of his role as a PDS pr incipal. He attributes his prior experiences working in partnerships as a major influence on how he operates as a PDS leader and how he has attempted to contribute to the simultaneous re newal of all participants (Holmes Group, 1990). For example, during his time at the Roland Center Brent had the opportunity to work in a unique partnership. This business partnership with a la rge corporation was esta blished to assist the alternative school in meeting the educational needs of the students through work w ith the faculty and administration. The component of that partnership that sta nds out most for Brent was the focus on staff development.
86 Another significant thing from when I was at Roland Center we had bus iness partnerships. They were a little newer in the district then and probably for some of them better defined, but one of our partners was BellSouth. They act ually had some executives who as a part of their job were to help us. They were s upposed to spend however many hours a week. They could help them do whatever they n eeded to do. Well one of the things that BellSouth did for us was they opened up all of their staff development to Roland teachers. They had, probably like most bi g stable organizations did back then, an extensive catalog of classes most of which were taught by inhouse trainers and some that they would, I think they would probably circul ate around from different divisions or regions or whatever. As I understood it, part of what they did th en was that, regardless of where you were at BellSouth, you put in so many hours per year You took so many workshops, courses, usually like two-day things, sometimes three, or sometimes there might be an afternoon thing. But part of your job was to not just stay current with the technical skills but most of these courses were actually just kind of the human machinery stuff, everything from looking at personalities, unders tanding work habit types, communication skills, dealing with customer service issues, some very well de veloped well crafted co urses. I got to do a couple of them. But the coolest thing was that that was part of what they did. Part of your job was getting better at your job. [Session 3, Lines 428-444] Brent learned to appreciate quality staff devel opment especially when it is connected to organizational learning. He suppor ts the idea of workshops that are designed to demonstrate how to teach skills in a new or different way. Ho wever, Brent recognizes that there is more to teacher learning than just improving their instru ctional delivery techniques. Brents prior partnership experiences led him to value the learning produced fr om the collaboration between the participa ting partners. The partnership between Roland and BellSouth pr ovided valuable resources, especially in the form of staff development. However, Brent noted that those t ypes of partnerships are hard to duplicate and that partnerships re quire time. Making time to promote, maintain, and improve the collaborative work is something Brent is wil ling to do. As a PDS principal, building and maintaining relationships with pe ople at the university is something that Brent considers very important to the health and c ontinued growth of the PDS. Keeping the PDS moving in a positive direction I think that there need to be good relationships. From a school's standpoint the th ings that I think are pretty important are good relationships with the folks in the university. What y'all have done and the folks that have come out here have done a good job of duplicating that human machinery, keeping
87 the lines of communication open. Having people want to talk with you so you can talk about interns and pre-interns and those kind of things. I think that is pretty important. [Session 3, Lines 500-505] Brent believes building positive relationships with the university is important. Besides being willing to take on roles outside of his school, whether those mean he serves on some university board or committee or presents at a state or na tional conference, Brent works collaboratively with the university. Brent is even willing to act as a boundary span ner and do the dirty work associated with prospective teacher development when it needs to be done. In one case, an unsuccessful and quite contrary pre-intern created problems in th e program. The pre-intern was showing up late or not at all and was often not prep ared as required. A dditionally, the pre-intern was acting in an unprofessional manner with her mentor teacher, peer interns, and students. Brent shared what transpired after his conversations with the university director of the pre-internship program. She [pre-internship director] sa id it would be a whole lot easie r if you would just kick [the pre-intern] out because we have to go through all of these process things. If you kick her out, then she is just out. And so I did. We ll that just created a huge problem over there, although they anticipated that a nd expected that she would be cause there had been kind of a pattern of this earlier in her career over th ere. So she appealed that and the department heard it and it was turned down and appealed to the dean. The dean just said Too bad, get over it, take a hike. She went higher up, appealed to the Provost and it got to the president's office because she was supposed to graduate and she had already, was going to go back home, find a job and do all that. The university ombudsman came out and met with me and met with the teacher and said, T he mother has flown in from somewhere out on the West Coast and brought lawyers in and done all that. She is raising a stink. Tell me the situation. We had everything fairly we ll documented, talked with me for little while and talked with the teacher for little while, went back and told the mother, You go take a hike, the kids not graduating. I appreciated that all the way up the line that people had the spine to say no. And this was a politically kind of dicey situation because this girl apparently did have some connections and felt that because of that she didn't have to go by the rules and did not graduate when she t hought she would and ended up having to stay and take that placement over again somewher e else. But the folks over at McGaughey Hall, golly they get most of the brunt of it, because those things consume a lot of time. And since I'm not really a part of that process, they can't appeal or gripe or anything about what I do. And I don't even have to talk to t hose people, parents, if I don't want to. And they just said, Sounds good to me. You should have done it. You either show up for work or you don't. [Session 2, Lines 177-199]
88 As a partner, Brent is willing to do what is needed in order to keep the collaboration on track. He did not shy away from an unpleasant task even when it would have been very easy to do so. Understanding and accepting that the university wa s constrained in how quickly the issue could be addressed, Brent accepted the role of bad guy to remove the inadequate pre-intern from the classroom. This benefited not onl y his school and students but also the university, which in turn strengthened the partnership a nd deepened his own role in th e process of te acher education. When it came time to discuss the PDS work and his school, many of Brents experiences from the past as well as his beliefs about lead ership and education seemed to converge. Brent described the need for him to help his staff m ove away from their prev ious experiences with student interns. He had to help them understa nd the idea of working colla boratively with a pair of pre-interns, assisting them in cond ucting inquiry projects, and understanding the responsibilities of serving as a teacher education site for a gro up of 10 to 18 college students. He recognized that this would be very challenging. I guess to help the teachers change we just had to define the roles as different, so that when the teachers were having trouble getting out of the hostess role, we just had to keep going and say, Now where are you?pa rticularly in terms of pr oviding feedback and planning. [Session 2, Lines 85-88] Brent spoke several times contrasting the old role with the new role teach ers assume in working with pre-interns. The old role, which he referr ed to as hostess was about providing a nice place to do an internship. Brent defined the curre nt mentor role as one of collaboration, where the mentor teacher and pre-intern s work side-by-side, learning t ogether. In a PDS, the mentor shares responsibility for the le arning of the pre-interns. U nder the old model, the shared responsibility was not present. Brent acknowledges that mentor teachers need mo re than one-time training. They need to be provided support throughout the e xperience. There is the challe nge of keeping the teachers on
89 board. The duties associated w ith the new roles, although provid ing benefits, also lead to additional challenges. When asked how he keep s his teachers involved in the PDS work, Brent responded: You have to keep teachers in the loop, helpi ng to redefine the mentor role as it evolves, although we've kind of got them trained once. If we don't revisit that then I think that we can lose that. I think we're doing a better job of that now as we develop an inquiry stance with the teachers. That part of the internship has become a lot easier. In some cases it has even dovetailed where the intern s and the teachers are doing [inquiry together]. I think that providing the leadership opportuni ties for the teachers is nice. [Session 3, Lines 509-514] Brents efforts to work with his staff and k eep them involved in the program are ongoing. He attributes the schools move toward an inquiry stance as improving the teachers understanding of their role as mentors. Brent believes that keeping the teachers informed as members of the partnership is also contributing to th eir growth as prof essional educators. Beyond his commitment to keeping his teachers involved in the partnership work, Brents unsolicited conversations about teacher inquiry provided insi ght into his knowledge and understanding of the PDS program and the goals of PDSs. Brent shared what he believed to be the role of inquiry in the PDS work and the im pact it has had on both hi s staff and his personal evolution as an administrator. You know, inquiry so what? You are supposed to be doing something and contributing something to the school. But I think that. I was probably stuck and probably still would be stuck into that third quadrant. And wh at I have done, particularly through inquiry which is a result of the PDS relationship, has re ally helped me get in to the fourth quadrant with most of the faculty or at least the culture of the school. It is something that is kind of invisible to everyone but me a nd maybe a few others that come out here and work. That might be the most important thing I have contribu ted to this school. It is the one thing that anybody on the outside would never even know or r ecognize. But yet in terms of what the school is going to be like five or 10 years afte r I leave, that might be important. I think that might be the most useful thing that I've done. I think that's a direct result of what the PDS has done for me because you can only do so much for the school. [Session 2, Lines 46-57] Brents reflection on his leader ship about quadrants connect s to Hersey, Blanchard, and Johnsons (1996) Situational Leadersh ip. Brent believes his collabora tion with the university has
90 helped him make the move from Quadrant III wh ich focuses on sharing ideas with his staff and facilitating decision-making into Quadrant IV, wh ich characterizes principal work as delegating and turning responsibility for decision-making and implementation over to his staff. He considers fostering a culture where teacher lead ership is the norm and developing an inquiry stance as the most important changes he has contributed to Countryside. However, the PDS collaboration and its work we re not the first time Brent was exposed to teacher inquiry. Brent provided some insight into his past with inquiry and described where it has led him as a school leader. Brent has alwa ys considered himself a reflective educator, working to improve his skill. Brent told the st ory of how he had recently searched out an old textbook from a course he took as a university stud ent. He reflected on what he had been taught about the role of the educator as an agent of change. Brent went on to add how the PDS work with inquiry had clarifie d that philosophy for him. What I think was missing from that, which wa s really kind of what has helped me to develop my inquiry stance is that it was very random. B ack then, it was like you try something and sometimes it works and there wasn 't a thoughtful approach to that. I mean I could have chosen to do that if I had wanted to although I don 't typically approach things that way. If I had been provided a format or a frame for thinking about experimentation or innovation I probably would have done a whol e lot less floundering. If I had done more reflecting and then a little bit more research and had a little bit better use of, or familiarity with data on how I was doing, I probably coul d have made more gains in less amount of time other than just kind of a random approach that I tried. But then I was still better off than some schools where you just weren't allo wed to do anything because that was the case in a lot of schools back th en. [Session 3, Lines 393-403] Despite his stance toward being a reflective educat or, Brents attempts at inquiry during his years as a teacher fell short. The PDS work provided Br ent with a structure to improve his skills as a reflective educator. He believes that if he had be en exposed to formal inquiry as a teacher, the way his staff is now experiencing it, he would have developed more quickly as an educator. Besides moving Countryside and its faculty towa rd an inquiry stance, the PDS partnership has produced other benefits for Brent and his sch ool. Despite the fact that he has been very
91 active in the PDS work at his sc hool, the partnership has actually created more time for Brent to work on other things. The benefits of PDS have create d time, which I think, going back to what I said earlier, the more teachers become leaders, and the better we ge t at this stuff, then thats less stuff that I have to do, administrivia kind of tasks, so I think that creat es more time and opportunity to do other things. So, am I working harder than I used to? I dont th ink so. I think I am doing different things. I like the things, Id rather do that kind of thing than go to all these meetings and do all the observations or whatever I am doing. I enjoy doing that more than going around with a long list of things to check on and do and a ll that, those kinds of tasks that other people are now doing or dont even need to be doing. [Session 2, Lines 274-282] The growth of his staff in being able to act as teacher leaders and effectively handle administrivia and other smaller tasks that can be done without Brent has provided him with human resource that have created opportunities for him to use his ti me differently. As a result, Brent is able to take more opportunities to vi sit classrooms, conduct formal observations of preservice teachers, and attend meetings, classes, and conferences related to the PDS work. Beyond inquiry for the teachers and providing th em opportunities to flourish as leaders, Brent recognizes his own need to learn and grow. As an example of his need for selfimprovement, Brent tends to leave jobs after a period of time. When asked what caused him to changes jobs, he spoke of cycles. Brent felt afte r four to five years in a job, he began to feel comfortable and was prepared for new challenges. He appreciates the dynamics associated with change. Since Brent has been a principal for n early two decades, I questioned him about why he had not changed jobs since coming to Countryside. I guess the job is so much different and so much more complex that af ter 15 years I am just beginning to feel almost like I've got it figured out and I know I don't yet because it changes. But I have never really felt until fairly recently that I was really beginning to understand and getting the hang of the job because the nature of the principal's job, is in many ways a very different, di fferent job than it was even 15 years ago. It is always changing and the demands are such, and the folk s change, the politics changes, curriculum changes, mandates from the outside change. A nd so I think it is very hard to get to the point as a principal where you th ink, Okay I have really got th is figured out. [Session 1, Lines 76-86]
92 Brent expressed a belief that the role of principal is strongly c onnected to change. Because the nature of schools is so dynamic, it is difficult to master the job of principal. This makes it necessary for a principal to be adaptable and able to face ch ange. This philosophy about the importance of learning connects strongly to Brent s leadership in the PDS. The challenges of change associated with the PDS partnership have served as an energizing force for Brent. Beyond his personal growth, Brent also acknow ledged the impact the PDS work has had on the growth of the school. The renewal create d by the collaboration with the university has also helped keep Brent at Countryside instead of moving on to another job. It is tough to change me first. The PDS, mo re than anything else, has changed the school by taking me from where I was probably six or seven years ago, which was kind of in a fairly comfortable state of, Okay we used to suck in a lot of stuff and now we are pretty good, weve got some ribbons and awards so it is pr etty easy to start co asting at that point. That is probably the end of that first lifecy cle of principalship. And that probably would have been a good time to change sc hools, although I wasn't inclined to do that at that point. But, had this not come along, then I think that my growth would have kind of leveled out. And then you kind of begin to tweak things. Then all of our old changes, and innovations, and all that become the new status quo that we preserve and we protect and so then the school becomes just kind of stagnant. But I th ink the school is a very different kind of a place now just because of our relationship and the PDS and whats happened. Not just to the teachers, but to me too. [Session 2, Lines 57-68] Brent credits the PDS partnership with helping him grow as a leader which has resulted in changing Countryside. The nature of the PDS wo rk has transitioned him to another level of learning and helped keep him past his typical five-year cycle in his career positions. Brent believes the partnership has prevented the school from becoming stagnant. Brent believes the partnership work has not onl y been beneficial for himself and his school but has helped the university grow as well. Through working together closely, Brent feels the partnership has helped each member better understand the perspectives of the other. Since doing this partnership wo rk, I believe weve had the same impacts on the university as they have had on us. One of the things that I've contributed would be the same thing that they contributed to me was maybe a some what better understand ing of the challenges that we have out here. I think it is really ea sy to say for us out here, Why don't those ivory
93 tower people get with it and learn how we opera te in the real world. And the college people are saying, We know all of this stuff about good teaching and why do they do it that way out there? They should know better than that. The reality is that both of us have challenges and obstacles that keep us from doi ng these things. Just like the more I get involved with the college, the more I unde rstand the challenges of operating student teaching programs or offering courses and just dealing with NCATE stuff and all the other things that they have to do. I think th at maybe some of the folks have a better understanding of why it is that we struggle to take some of this knowledge, pedagogy or whatever and why that doesn't always make its way into the classroom. What kind of demands do we have? What are the elemen ts, you know the wind, the current, the rocks, the shoals, the sandbars, the sharks, all of the othe r pressures that we have that are, that it is not that we don't want to do some of these thin gs. I think that very often there is not an awareness at the college level of all of those kind of real world, inclement weather conditions they keep us from getting to where we want to go. So that dialogue I think may have helped them a little bit. [Session 3, Lines 467-483] As a result of the partnership, Brent feels he has learned much more about the university and how it functions. By the same token, he believes there is a new awareness on the part of the university personnel on how his school functions. Both partners are more informed about the challenges and constraints that each faces. Th e school and university better understand the perspectives of the other. Summary In defending my proposal, one of my comm ittee members posed the question, Is there a difference between a good principal and a good PDS pr incipal? I asked this question to Brent to get his perspective. This was his response: I think Dr. Bishop is right when he argues th at there isnt much difference between a good principal and a good PDS principal. Trying to do all of those things for the school, professional development and all of that I think is important for any principal. I think what is different is that whole idea of what the part nership is. The college has to invest in the success of my students. I have to invest in the success of theirs. I have to make teacher education, you know, it's not a priority because the education of the little people here are my priority, but I have to assu me some responsibility for that. That means I have to invest time and effort into helping the people at th e college do their job just like they have to invest some time and effort into helping me do my job. I think that is the difference. When you are partners, one cannot be successful without the other helping. If one partner is not willing to help compleme nt the other and make him or her successful then it is not partnership. It is just two peopl e doing stuff. [Session 3, Lines 550-559]
94 Although the primary function of his school is to educate the student s, Brent believes the nature of the PDS partnership places a significant responsibility on him for making the learning experience for the pre-service the best it can be. Brent accepts this responsibility as a PDS principal. This added responsibility of edu cating the prospective te achers is the defining difference between Brent as a principa l and Brent as a PDS principal. Figure 4-2 summarizes the way that Brent make s sense of his leadership role as a PDS principal. First, Brent works to build and mainta in the partnership with the university. He works cooperatively with those involved in the partnership and is will ing to take on new roles and responsibilities if they contribute to the partnership work. Second, Brent attempts to facilitate connections with the university. He has increased his interacti ons with university personnel for what he believes benefits the partnership. Thir d, teacher growth is facilitated through the partnership work. By bringing in graduate programs and training opportunities, Brent is facilitating teacher growth. F ourth, Brent facilitates perspec tive teacher growth by working through the partnership to improve the teacher education program. Fifth, school growth is facilitated by Brents work to improve the PDS wo rk which in turn fosters positive change at the school level. Sixth, Brent continues his ow n growth as a professional by studying his own practice. Several threads run through Bren ts experiences as a teacher and principal that have contributed to how he makes sense of his role as a PDS principal. These threads include: teacher leadership, school culture, partnership, personal learning and inquiry as a principal. First, Brents focus on teacher leadership is a major char acteristic of who he is as a principal. Through his experiences as a teacher, Brent observed how pr incipals fostered leadership in their teachers.
95 Brent has done this. A significant part of Br ents work with the PDS has been focused on furthering his teachers skills as leaders. Brents past experiences with school culture have had an im pact on how he operates as a principal. After being exposed to toxic cultur es as a pre-service teacher and district office employee, Brent has placed a great deal of effo rt in building a positive school environment. Brent has followed the examples set by the three pr incipals he worked for to guide him in his role as a principal. Brent has used the PD S work to extend his efforts in building and maintaining a positive school culture. Through his work at the Roland Center, Brent wa s exposed to the power of partnerships. Brent has used his PDS work to try and duplicate the power of the collaboration that he and his peers experienced in working with a large corporation. Brent belie ves the partnership work is far from reaching its potential so he presses to bring about growth in the school-university collaboration. Finally, Brents beliefs about the importance of constantly learning have influenced his leadership. Besides having an appreciation for growth and change in himself, Brent provides opportunities and support to help his teachers grow. Brent has developed an inquiry stance, considering reflection and the other skills th at come along with inquiry, as being major components of a quality t eacher education program. In an effort to illustrate the essence of Brent s principal leadership in this portrait, I drew on Bolman and Deals (1996) Four Frames Brents role as a PDS pr incipal is dominated by his focus on leadership activities that are best vi ewed from the human resource frame. Brents primary focus is on faculty and th eir needs, skills and relations hips. Through staff development and teacher empowerment, Brent has facilitated th e professional growth and development of his
96 staff as well as helped to crea te a collegial atmosphere at C ountryside. In analyzing Brents leadership, the data indicates his role as a lead er is focused on aligning organizational and human needs. Brent designs the work at Countryside to make it meaningful and satisfying for the staff while still providing the school with the talent and en ergy it needs to succeed. The symbolic frame is of secondary importance in Brents role as a PDS principal because of his focus on creating a positiv e school culture. Although he provides some opportunities to celebrate the work of his staff, the largest indi cator of Brents work as a leader operating from the symbolic frame is associated with his fo cus on making the PDS work a part of the school culture and establishing an environment where collegiality can flourish. Brent understands the ambiguity of life in schools; past events and futu re events are unpredictabl e. Brents leadership at Countryside helps his teachers find m eaning, purpose, and passion in their work. Although visible in his role as a PDS principal, the structural and pol itical frames are less dominant in Brents portrait a nd the way he describes his lead ership tasks. Brent creates structures to support his Huma n Resource and Symbolic goals. Understanding that the school exists for the purpose of educati ng the children, Brent has designed st ructures to assist the school faculty in reaching their organi zational goals. Brent maintains a power base through the hiring of new teachers and work with current employees as well as his local community. A graphic representation of Brent s leadership as viewed through the Four Frames (Bolman & Deal, 1997) is included in Figure 4-3.
97 Figure 4-1 Brent as a principal. School Culture Empowerment Teacher Leadership Growth
98 Figure 4-2 Brent as a PDS principal. Working on the Partnership Facilitating School Growth Facilitating Principal Growth Facilitating University Connections Facilitating Perspective Teacher Growth Facilitating Teacher Growth Brent as a PDS Principal
99 Figure 4-3 Four frames dominance for Brent as a PD S principal. The size of the circle represents the role the frame plays in Brents leadership style. The larger the circle, the more prevalent the frame is in his role as a PDS principal Human Resource Political Structural Symbolic
100 CHAPTER 5 BRENTS PDS PRINCIPAL THEMES Introduction The goal of this chapter is to gain insight in to the essences or structures Brent holds as central to his leadership in a Professional Develo pment School (PDS). To this end, I explore the themes that emerge as Brent makes meaning of hi s role. The themes discussed in this chapter uncover the internal meaning structures presente d in the portrait of Brents lived experience (Moustakas, 1994) as a PDS principal. These themes include: princi pal as change agent; principal as collaborator; principa l as culture maker; principal as inquirer or learner; principal as protector; and principal as knowledge broker. Fi gure 5-1 illustrates Brents themes as a PDS principal. Principal as Change Agent The theme principal as change agent is ve sted in Brents actions to work toward continually improving his school. Although the task of facilitating growth and change in his school is not new, the PDS work has provided much of the momentum for his actions to promote change. Brent acts upon his beliefs in two wa ys: (a) facilitating sc hool change by pairing pressure with support, and (b) using professiona l development opportunities to prepare his staff to bring about school change. Applying Pressure with Support School change refers to Brents focus on im proving the school and helping his teachers grow. Brents beliefs about school change influence his leadership role as a PDS principal. He considers keeping the school changing and movi ng forward as his responsibility. This is a constant goal Brent believes is associated w ith PDS work. Brent equates change with improvement and believes schools must constan tly work to improve what they are doing.
101 However, Brent does not want attempts to change to be disruptive to the point that crises are created. I think there has to be a sense of continua l change. I mean you don't want the wheels falling off, you don't want to be reacting to cr ises. But if you don't have something new to do or something you are trying to tweak or so mething you are trying to fix, something you are trying to start new then th e school becomes flat. When yo u start trying to replicate what you did last year, because it is easy and predictable, then the school kind of loses its life, at least for me. [Session 1, Lines 98-103] While some principals work very hard to create predictability in their schools, Brent believes the target for excellence is always moving and shifti ng. Although he does not want to create a sense of chaos by instituting changes too quickly or to o often, the staff must sense that change is ongoing and continuous (DuFour & Eaker, 1998). Embracing change cont ributes to creating life within the school rather than losing life within the school, and Brent believes this is a part of his role as a PDS principal. Knowing how much and when to change is one of the greatest challenge s of a principal. For example, when Brent began working as the pr incipal at Countryside, he had to fix problems that he never knew existed. I think that probably, just looking at the nature of the job and what I have had to do over the years, you become so immersed, especially when I first got here. The place was just a mess, although I did not fully realize that at the time. I knew there were problems, but there were some things that I needed to fix immediately and some things I had to work on over time. [Session 3, Lines 127-131] As a new principal, Brent immediat ely recognized some situations th at needed to be different at Countryside and he set out making changes. Bu t, Brent understood that only so much change could occur at once. During his early years as a principal, Brent continually moved his school along a path of steady, but not overwhelming change. Brent subscr ibes to the notion that you take care of the big problems first.
102 Well, I think part of it is you have to keep the wheels from falling off and get the thing rolling and get it running and functioning at some operational level and then you can start to fine-tune it. But I don't think you fine-t une when you have got broken axles. [Session 3, Lines 136-138] Getting the school running effici ently was one of the first ta sks Brent took on. Ineffective structures were eliminated or re-worked, and over time, teachers who did not fit the new school philosophy found other places to work. Also, Brent was able to hire staff who held similar beliefs about education similar to his, helping to bu ild a school culture that embraced change. Although Brent focused the majority of his ear ly changes within the school around creating the staff he wanted and establis hing structures for running Country side, Brent had an offer from outside the school that would help him promote pa rtnerships as another le vel of change. Based on his past work at the Roland Center and the di strict office, Brent believed partnership work would provide an opportunity for him to promote change at Countryside. Three faculty members from the university came to Countryside and prop osed to him and another principal a new type of program for pre-intern placements. Although, they didn't really talk about that, it wa s later on that we kind of decided that this was really Professional Developm ent School stuff. Really it wa s just, they wanted to look at this new internship placement model. [Session 3, Lines 663-665] Being open to change and school renewal, Brent welcomed the opportunity to participate in the new program. As the program progr essed, the partnership evolved to exemplify the features of a Professional Development School. In his role as principal, Brent has facilitated growth that is directly connected to NCATEs (2006) Standards for Professional Development Schools. Standard I: Learning Community and Standard III: Collaboration are where most of Brents efforts have been focused. To cultivate growth in a learning community, Brent supports the learning of mu ltiple PDS participants, that is, his own teachers, prospective teachers, other principals, university personnel, and himself.
103 Also, the work at Countryside is becoming incr easingly grounded in inquiry, and Brent is using the PDS work as an instrument of change. In Standard III, Brent has engaged in joint wo rk by collaborating with other PDS principals to help shape the PDS program as it grows and evolves. Brent also recognizes and celebrates the contributions of partners by having his teacher s share their inquiry pr ojects during faculty meetings. They also speak to local, state, and national organizations to share the success of the program. Just as Brent promoted change within his sc hool, he did the same for the new partnership program by helping to further redefine and m odify the work. Through his teachers, Brent changed his school by making the PDS work more integrated into th e schools culture. Since avoiding a sense of chaos was important to Brent in his approach to promoting change, he worked to prepare his teachers for the change from the beginning. Just as he did in his role as a principal, as the leader of a PD S Brent instituted gradual changes in the school to support the new partnership begi nning with introducti ons to the program followed by trainings that grew more advanced each time. Throughout the early years of the PDS work, the teachers were invited to meetings to learn more about th e program and get assistan ce. Brent explained in more detail how he prepared his faculty for the changes. We talked about it. I mean I th ink the main thing was that we just defined it and said, this is going to be an adjustment and this is going to be different and I remember Cozette meeting, and just saying, kind of like, here is what we used to do and here is what to do want to do. And thats why we had a lot of meetings. And then, the other thing was we had at least monthly meetings and then were going around initially a nd talking with people as they are struggling, well not always str uggling, but working through the process. But the other part of that, we had to train the pre-interns because a lot of what was being expected was new for them, well th e inquiry. [Session 2, Lines 73-80] Brent saw his role as instrumental in preparing his staff for this change. In this example, first he informed them that a change would be coming and to ld them what he believed they could expect.
104 Next, he admitted to his staff that he understood their work and his work would be different. Also, through meetings he provided support and information to assist the teachers through the change. He demonstrated how he embraced the change by accepting his responsibility in helping assist the prospective and practicing teachers in adjusting to the new program. Brent provided both the pressure and support (Bowen & Adkiso n, 1996; Hargreaves, 1999; Uchiyama & Wolf, 2002) for his staff and the pre-serv ice teachers to stimulate the change and prevent the change from creating a sense of chaos. Just as Brent initiates change in a suppor tive and deliberate manner, he also provides ongoing assistance to maintain and strengthen the gains created by the change. With the PDS program, Brent strives to keep his te achers highly involved in the work: Keep them in the loop, helping to redefine th e mentor role as it evolves, although we've kind of got them trained once. If we don't revisi t that then I think that we can lose that. I think we need to revisit, I think we're doing a better job of that now as we develop an inquiry stance with the teachers. [Session 3, Lines 509-512] Demonstrating again Brents belief about continua l change, he expressed how he conveys to his staff the expectation for improvement. As the pa rtnership continues, Brent expects more from the teachers in their role as mentors. The defin ition of what it means to be a mentor teacher at Countryside is becoming more complex as Bren t is pushing them to further develop their mentoring skills. Systematically Preparing Teachers to Lead Brents approach to change at Countryside reli es on the work of his t eacher leaders. Brent uses professional development as the vehicle to prepare his teachers to l ead for change. Brent credits his commitment to providing his teachers with quality professional development as one of the things that attracts good teachers to come and work at Countryside. Exposing teachers to knowledge professional development. you know, thats really what changes schools and thats what makes good teachers want to come to places. Ive
105 got a pretty good staff here, you know. In f act, Ive got more teachers with advanced degrees, higher percentage in this school than in the district. Actually, this December, Ill have more teachers with speci alists degrees than any school in the district, and not a higher percentage, but more teachers. Im not paying anything more than anybody else. What attracts, in the era of a teacher shortage. you know, how do I attract the kind of teachers that we want here? Everyone else wants them too. I cant pay them anymore. Were a little country school out here in the middle of nowhere. I cant offer a lot of the things that, some of the facili ties, the other perks that othe r people can. But what I think has helped me to attract the kind of teach ers I want is the professional development opportunities that excite the re ally good teachers and the teac her leaders, the opportunity. and I could not do that without the resources of the college. So if you look at what has helped this school develop over time, we were at one time academically at the bottom of the district number of years ago to where we are now. Theres a lot of little things, but I think the critical factor to me, is one way or another, most of it comes back to the partnership I have with the college. It has given me resources that I couldnt get from the district. And the different kind of resources, the intellectual capital that exists over there, but I think that, kind of the stars and the m oon are beginning to align with what the Dean wants to do and some different department chai rs and all that. I think people are beginning to understand the power for both sides. [Session 1, Lines 512-531] Brent believes the professional development opport unities created by the part nership have helped teachers remain committed to teaching at Countryside. Brent also believes the professional devel opment improves the academic performance of the students at Countryside. The resources Br ent has gotten as a result of the partnership, especially in the form of intellectual capital, ha ve helped the school move up from being one of the lowest performing in the dist rict. Brent gives the PDS partners hip a great deal of credit for these improvements in teacher recruitment, teacher retention, and student achievement. The resources Brent has received from the Co llege of Education have been invaluable, including the creation of a masters/specialists program (PIES) for teachers at his school where most of their classes were held at Countryside The on-site program provided the teachers at Countryside with the opportunity to seek an advanced degree in a field of education. Brent was involved in helping determine some of the initial courses in th e program. With the help of university personnel, Brent select ed or assisted in designing c ourses on such topics as datadriven instruction and learning communities, which were requir ed courses for all teachers
106 enrolled in the program. Brent was very deliberate in selecting the courses that he asked to be a part of the program requirements. Courses that would strengthen their abilities as teacher leaders and assist them in promoting ch ange at the school were identifie d as the core requirements for the program. My intent at the beginning w ith the PIES program was to id entify a core group of teacher leaders and these are your discip les. These are the true beli evers, your key influentials; that they will take everybody with them. Me issuing manda tes, directives and writing memos and making rules and procedures, that do esn't change a school. It is when the belief system and the way we do things around here is not just controlled but defined by the leaders, the teacher leaders of the building. The other thing, Im not going to be here forever and so if I dont [issue mandates], we don't have that part of the culture, or that kind of leadership infused into the culture, or an awareness of the need for that then it is like, what is going to happen if I leave. Someone will come on and either do the same things or do different things, but I would hope th at the best part of what we've done doesn't really change after I've left. There will be a lot of new things and a bunch of things that needed to be fixed and I hope somebody is good at doing the things that I'm not good at, and so that part will change. But that sense of leadership and inqui ry and taking care of each other and those sorts of things that I hope are part of the culture here. Those are the things that I hope sustain themselves, not th rough me but through all the people, even if they go, then they have created that in other schools. [Session 2, Lines 297-310] Brent approaches change understanding that mand ates, at best, produce only superficial change and do not change belief systems. Belief syst ems are defined by the teacher leaders in the school. Brents intended purpose with the PIES Progr am was to recruit and help define a belief system in which teacher leadership played an in tegral role in school improvement. He wanted teacher leadership to be so deeply integrated into the culture of th e school that when it came time for him to leave, those teachers would still feel empowered to ta ke on those leadership roles. In addition to providing the path to prepar ing teacher leaders, Brent acknowledged the importance of giving the teachers more opportuni ties to exercise their new skills. These opportunities continue the learning. I think that providing the leader ship opportunities for the teache rs is nice. When they go out and go to conferences or go talk to classe s. You know they like that. They like being an expert in some things. I think presenti ng to other teachers or to interns. the opportunities for professional development, I th ink that is pretty important because the
107 more they learn the more we develop this inquiry stance and they, this idea of continuous professional development. I keep thinking now about the folks that are finishing up PIES. I hope they are not done. I don't know what the next step is, whether it is coursework or whether it is another degree, but theyre, th ey might like to take a break for a while. I hope they conti nue to want to learn more a nd somehow we've got to make those opportunities available. One of the thi ngs that the PDS has done is help to. well one challenge that we have had historically is that if you werent enrolled in a degree program you really didn't have access to a w hole lot over there. And somehow we've got to figure out how to make long-term profe ssional development for all teachers more accessible. [Session 3, Lines 513-526] Creating opportunities for leader s to both share their knowledge and continue learning is important in Brents opinion to sustaining prof essional growth and teacher leadership. Brent sees a connection between an i nquiry stance embraced by PDS work and a belief in continuous professional development. Brent hopes that th e PDS work can assist him in providing more professional development opportunities for his staff as the partnership grows. Brents role as change agent relies on appl ying pressure in the form of a sh ared vision for teacher leadership paired with systematically designed suppor t that allows that change to occur. Principal as Collaborator From his jobs at Greenberg Middle School, the district office, and Roland High School, Brent has experienced partnershi ps with co-workers, other edu cators and outside professional trainers. The theme of principal as collaborato r connects to his PDS wo rk in two significant ways: (a) sharing missions and responsibilities w ith his partners, and (b) agitating for change and improvement through mission visioning Mission Sharing During the years in which his school has been a part of the PDS work, Brent has gradually taken on roles and responsibilities that before had been considered as expectations for the university and not the placement school principal. Through the evolution of the partnership Brent has accepted the mission of the unive rsity a part of his responsibility.
108 I think what is different is that whole idea of what the partners hip is, is that the college has to invest in the success of my students. I have to invest in the success of theirs. I have to make teacher education, you know, it's not a prio rity because the education of the little people here are my priority, but I have to assume some responsibility for that. That means I have to invest time and effort into helpi ng the people at the college do their job just like they have to invest some time and effort into helping me do my job. I think that is the difference. When you are partne rs, one cannot be successful w ithout the other helping. If one partner is not willing to help complement the other and make him or her successful then it is not partnership. It is just two people doing stuff. [Session 3, Lines 551-559] The nature of the partnership in Brents mind is that each member becomes invested in each others mission. Both partners must take some responsibility for helping the other partner achieve their goals by sharing the mission (DuF our & Eaker, 1998). Although some sharing of the roles occurs, Brent acknowledges his major object ive is still to focus on the learning of Countrysides students. The sharing of missions with the university through the PD S work has kept Brent from feeling stagnated in his job. Br ent sees the untapped potential of the power of the partnership. He believes in the greater promise for the PD S work beyond improving the experience of the prospective teachers and increasing student achiev ement. Resources such as assistance with curriculum, facilitating research studies, a nd building and strengthening learning communities are all potential benef its from the program. I am real intrigued with this idea of the part nership between [Countryside and] the college. Maybe it is because I have been here 15 years and Im almost just starting to get this job figured out. I dont have a clearly defined role, but it just seems like this, seems to me this partnership, by that I mean a formal pa rtnership where each side assumes some responsibility for the others mission. the coll ege says it is our job to help make kids learn more in the schools and the schools job to really provide well prepared teachers. I think that we have just barely scratched the surface of that. Someho w I would like to help some people on both sides get that or understand the potential of that work. I dont know what that would be, but it just would seem we tend to think of resources in terms of buildings and money and that sort of thing but really whats helped me here both in terms of the school and curriculum, but also in terms of being able to continue on into my second cycle, which I think principalships have a five to seven year life-span. What helped me with my second span is the relationship that we had with the college and that has helped not to settle into a very comf ortable pattern where you need to go somewhere else just for a change of scenery. But I think that there is a potential there to help our kids do better, and
109 our kids are doing better becau se of the partnership in many ways, not just manpower in the classrooms, but information, research pr ogram stuff and then just ideas to help revitalize the school, professiona l learning community stuff or whatever [has potential too]. That sort of thing, the di strict doesnt provide, cant prov ide. whatever. but that has really helped the school. I think that has helped me and the faculty continue to grow and not become stagnant. [Session 1, Lines 485-503] The PDS work has helped Brent grow in his role as a principal. He expressed how collaborating around a shared mission with the university has he lped keep his job dynamic, creating a new and interesting canvas which has helped him chos e to remain as principal at Countryside. Besides accepting and apprecia ting the benefits his school has received from the PDS work, Brent has chosen to become involve d with the program by taking on additional responsibilities usually reserved for the university. Brent has become very hands-on with regard to the PDS work. He speaks to pre-serv ice teachers during their in structional seminar and attends the inquiry conferences wh ere they present their projects. Brent also conducts formal observations of prospective teachers in order to provide job recommendations. On numerous occasions, Brent has given presentations for ot her PDS principals in the district and has presented his schools PDS work at state and na tional conferences. He even conducts his own inquiry. Brent participates in these activities for the benefit of his school and his own personal growth. Recently, Brent was asked to take on a leadership role on the College of Education Alumni Council, which he accepted. For example, with the Alumni Council Presid ent thing, I mean I'm a nice guy but I'm not that nice. It does take some time, but I'm also thinking about what good can that do for my school? If my stature is a little higher over there then that helps resources to flow out here. I'm not nave. If I'm helping them then theyr e to help me. I also think that I have the ability to help as a fairly vocal proponent, to help build that relations hip and formalize that relationship with the school system which is st ill. they're not as far along in seeing the potential of the partnership and I'm not sure why. But, I think I've been more conscious of that. I've consciously been a little more a ssertive in becoming involved in things. I don't say no to too many requests, just because I th ink, for selfish reasons, it gives me the opportunity to look out for my school and let people know what things are going on because, you know everybody loves a winner and th at helps resources flow this way from the College and that has been very helpful. [Session 2, Lines 9-20]
110 Brent believes his efforts to take on these additio nal responsibilities at th e university will assist him in building a stronger relationship between the university and his school, as well as the district. Additionally, he recognizes his willingn ess to accept their requests for his participation that he could potentially acquire additional re sources for his school. The added visibility which occurs as a result of his participation in these out side activities allows him to share the stories of the PDS work. By making public the success of the PDS program Brent hopes to get more support for the work from the College and the district. Mission Visioning As much as Brent values the benefits he a nd his school receive from their collaboration with the university, Brent wants to see the PDS mission and work evolve into something more. He moves beyond sharing a mission to collabora ting with a group of like-minded educators to future the PDS mission. To date, Brent believes many district personnel are failing to see the potential the partnership holds. I think that weve got this wonderful opportunity for every school to do that, which would be, I think would be great for the college becau se they could provide a much richer teacher education program then they are now. And I think that many folks over there are aware of that. But I dont think, even though I talk to the district people about the partnership, the PDS and all that. they dont really see it beyond the old good ne ighbor relationship. They are still thinking of it in that term and I think that is a very limited view. But I am not sure in what capacity, or how or maybe doi ng what I am doing is the best way to move. Thats what excites me now, is the sense th at we have this tremendous opportunity that doesnt have a lot to do with money and all the other stuff that we complain about not having. [Session 1, Lines 503-512] Brent envisions a more developed partnership with the university. He be lieves the educators in the school district office need to see the work is much more th an the good neighbor model of previous years. The PDS work and its potential for providing a richer teacher education program excites Brent. Brent sees the collaboration with the university as a chance for real improvement that does not require additional money.
111 One area in which Brent would like to see the partnership grow is connected to learning opportunities for his teachers. The university holds a great deal of intellect ual capital that could benefit his staff and improve thei r skills as educators and teache r leaders. Brent proposes the idea of strengthening the connection between hi s school and the university to enhance adult learning. I would like to see something eventually, more of a formal staff development program at the school. Not necessarily as tight or as narrowly defined as what the PIES teachers did but the amount of growth I have seen in them because they did kind of have a formal program to go through, you know, here are some c ourses, here are some things you need to learn. For the rest of the staff it is still, no t necessarily random, but it is occasional and we still have, we work with the university folks from time to time when we are doing different things. I would like to see something with a lit tle more structure than what we have now. Some of the things, like what we did with th e Thacker Center helped. It provided us with some protocols and some ideas about how we in teract. I think those are real important too but sometimes you just need information. Rather than each of us individually or collectively trying to discover wh at we don't know, sometimes it is nice just to have an expert to say here's everything, here's a whol e lot of condensed information on reading or about behavior issues or about poverty or about whatever issue we are trying to deal with. Again, there is all of that knowledge over there, for lack of a better word and we don't have a formal way of communicating knowledge b ack and forth. You know we go to college for couple of years and fill our heads with knowledge and that is supposed to sustain us but it doesn't. But how do we make that acquis ition of knowledge something that doesn't end when teachers graduate from college and have it to be an ongoing, continuous thing and not just drive-by workshops or take a class to get recertifie d or something. How can we take the relationship we have and ha ve ongoing teacher education, professional development, something that happens just automatically and is part of the work environment? [Session 3, Lines 408-427] Brent finds the current university system whic h requires enrolling in fo rmal classes and being accepted into the university as degree-seeking stude nts very frustrating. Brent believes the PDS work should be re-thought to provide a readily accessible and an on-going exchange of ideas and information between his school and the universit y which may or may not be in the form of university classes. Brent believes that as a pa rtner school, the teachers at Countryside should have more access to the intellectual capit al held by the university personnel.
112 Brents role as collaborator consists of mission sharing and mission visioning. Mission sharing offers the rejuvenation, requires Bren t to walk the talk, and includes Brents participation in public relations. Mission visioni ng involves Brents efforts to imagine changes on both sides of the partnership that can enhance student a nd teacher learning. Principal as Culture Maker The theme principal as culture maker results from Brents long standing beliefs about the importance of creating a healthy school culture. He believes the PDS work merges with his interest in empowering his teach ers. Two main components that influence his culture-making: (a) empowering teachers to take on leadership roles in the school, and (b) working to build positive relationships among his staff. Teacher Leadership Brents stance toward creating a healthy school culture emerges from his commitment to teacher leadership. Countryside is a school wher e teachers are empowered to take on leadership roles. Brent believes in letting teachers have a say in the decisions that affect them. As a teacher, this was the type of leadership his thr ee principals modeled for him. Brent shared an example of how his principal at the Roland Center empowered her teachers. If you had a problem, the principal would be hap py to help you with it or help you redefine it or supply some resources. I remember the one year I was there, there was another new teacher. I forgot where she had come from, but she wanted to be told what to do and she was saying to one of the veterans, I keep as king Ellen what I am supposed to do about this or what she wants me to do and she says that she doesn't care. That was frustrating. The veteran said that means she trusts you. Ju st make a decision and do what you need to do and she will be fine with it. It just means that she trusts you to do what you need to do or make a recommendation to her or somethi ng. That I found to be a much better environment for me to work in. Some people don't like that. I think that fits with my personality. I don't need a lot of direction. I don't need for people to tell me how to do things, kind of tell me what needs to be done Get out of my way and let me do it and I will figure it out and ask for help if I need it. I was like, I will blow the lid off any test or whatever you want me, I'll make sure, if you just let me do it my way. I was always pretty good at that and I apprecia ted that the principa ls, really all three of them were very good at letting me do things the way I wa nted to do them. [Session 3, Lines 374-391]
113 Brent values professionalism and as a teacher he did not require a lot of direction. He appreciated having supervisors that trusted teach er leaders abilities a nd professionalism to complete the job. Now that he is a principal, he tries to treat his staff in the same way. In his role as a PDS principal, Brent provides his teacher s with supports when needed, but also respects their professionalism and allows them much autonomy in deve loping their individual roles as mentors. Through the support Brent provides and the attitude he displays, the culture of Countryside has embraced teacher leadership. Brent believ es that many of his te achers are leaders but acknowledges that only about one-fou rth of them have developed th e vision to see the school as part of a bigger system. In terms of really seeing that there was somethi ng else. I think part of it is just seeing the school differently. I think that if you talk, pa rticularly to the PIES teachers and those who are at the front of that emerging leadership p ack, they see the school as part of something bigger, a bigger network or a bigger system And kind of look beyond the walls of your classroom to see what happens elsewhere in the school and then that's where, with the college and the community and wherever. We want more people seeing the school that way. I think that the PDS has helped me actua lly make some fairly concrete connections to be able to do that. I th ink I have always tended to l ook at the school as part of a community system. [Session 2, Lines 370-378] Brent hopes that his actions toward improving teacher leadership at Countr yside will help more teachers view the school as part of a bigger syst em. Brent credits the PDS work with helping him make the concept of the school as part of a bigger educational and learning community more visible to his teachers. Besides the positive atmosphere created by empowering teachers to make important decisions, distributing leadership has freed time up for Brent to do other tasks related to the PDS work. The benefits of PDS have create d time, which I think, going back to what I said earlier, the more teachers become leaders, and the better we ge t at this stuff, then thats less stuff that I have to do, administrivia kind of tasks. I th ink that creates more time and opportunity to
114 do other things. So, am I working harder than I used to? I dont th ink so. I think I am doing different things. I like th e things. Id rather do that kind of thing than go to all these meetings and do all the observations or whatever I am doi ng. I enjoy doing that more than going around with a long list of th ings to check on and do those kinds of tasks that other people are now doing or dont even need to be doing. [Session 2, Lines 271-282] The time created by empowering his teachers to take on decision-making responsibilities has enabled Brent to participate in PDS activities which he finds more enjoyable and potentially rewarding to his school. While th e added responsibilities of the PD S work make some principals feel like they have more demands on their time, Brent feels the partneri ng has strengthened his ability to enact his l eadership philosophy of empowering teac hers. Elmore (2002) and Lambert (2005) support the distribution of leadership and identify the practice with principals in high leadership capacity schools. Teacher leadership within the PDS emerges as Brent demonstrates trust and professionalism, deve lops a vision for teachers and provides opportunities to enact leadership. Relationships Empowering teachers to make important decisions has assisted Brent in forging positive relationships with and between his staff. Brent has created a climate where his teachers not only work well together but depend on each other. Br ent takes special care to provide novice teachers and prospective teachers with str ong mentors. He often rearrange s classroom assignments at the end of the school year in orde r to place beginning teachers in proximity to strong, nurturing, experienced teachers. To illustrate the impact these actions have on the culture of the school, Brent shared the story of a former teacher who returned to visit Countryside during a day off from her new job. Friday I had a visit from Lara who was in four th grade last year. She had only been here two years. And Penny was her mentor, you ta lk about a wonderful mentor relationship. She had to make some life decisions and sh e went down to Orlando. Went down there and went to a job fair and took a job and got a signing bonus and then another bonus for going to a high poverty school and so everythi ng was great until school started. Well, she
115 went to an A school. They had all kinds of awards and honors, but had apparently, had just a toxic culture in it. People don't like each other, people don' t trust each other, teachers are hating the administ ration, there is a new principa l and everything is just a mess. She was about to cry, the kids are. well it is a high poverty school. But so is Clark, and that is where she interned before, so the kids werent the problem just teach them and do what you want to do. She said that I just hated coming to work. I cried in the morning. I cried in the after noon. So we e-mailed for a while, she came back, they were off Friday so she came up for Veterans Day to visit and hang out for a while. I talked to her, and here is third year teacher who is so enculturated, particularly in that fourth grade team and having worked with Kenny and Penny and Jerry and all thos e folks over there, that she had become a convert to our way of thinking. And she was able to look at this school that she was assigned to and, not only did she know why it sucked or that it sucked but why. And talking about the relationships of teachers and how people were treated and leadership and just all that and how it affected the way kids were treated and here is a fairly wet behind the ears idealistic young teacher who by contrast was able to see what was very wrong with this school, although they were an A school. I mean, she just said I've got to get out of here. [Se ssion 2, Lines 310-332] But I'm thinking. her growth I think is di rectly attributed, not to what I did in observations or all of that clinical kind of stuff, but how she has been trained, educated, and enculturated by her team. in a very pos itive way. But I am thinking, if she hadn't been here and been trained. by those ment ors that she had, I don't know that she would be able either recognize, unders tand it, or know that it doesn't have to be that way. [Session 3, Lines 340-348] Brent believes that the relationships the t eachers in his school build establish a supportive environment that makes it a place that people enjoy working. This novice teacher was able to work in a different school and recognize that the culture was unhealthy and why it was unhealthy. Lara missed the positive interactions she had with her peer s at Countryside. At Countryside these strong bonds are also formed with many of the pr ospective teachers. Two of the teachers Brent has hired were preinterns at Countryside. Despite other job opportunities both chose to return to Brents school and work. Gabriella re turned as a long-term substitute teacher after her internship. The fo llowing year, after searching for other jobs, she decided to accept Brents offer for a full time j ob. Morgan, who had been a fourth grade preintern, also chose to return to Countryside as a teacher, but due to a sm aller than anticipated enrollment, she had to transfer to another PDS.
116 Besides fostering positive relationships among his staff, Brent also believes it is important for the university and the PDS schools to build strong relationships between their personnel. I think that there need to be good relationships. from a school 's standpoint the things that I think are pretty important ar e good relationships with the fo lks in the university. What y'all have done and the folks that have come out here have done a good job of duplicating that human machinery, keeping the lines of communication open. Having people want to talk with you so you can talk about interns and pre-interns and those kind of things. I think it is pretty important. [Session 3, Lines 500-505] Brent expressed his belief that the way university personnel we re keeping open the lines of communication with him and his staff has contribu ted immensely to the success of the program. Brent is always willing to participate in studies or engage in conversatio ns related to his school and the schools work as a PDS. Through empo wering his teachers to take on leadership roles and building and maintaining strong relationships with the universit y, Brent is working to build a culture that supports the PDS wor k. He partners effectively with those individuals inside and outside his school. Brents focus on developing relationships parallels the movement described by Sergiovanni (1991) who defended the importan ce of collegiality in making modern schools effective. Sergiovanni noted that it is importa nt to know the difference between congeniality and collegiality. He defined congeniality as the fri endly relationships that exist among teachers and is characterized by the l oyalty, trust, and easy conve rsation that result from the development of a closely knit social group, (p. 138). Collegiality refers to th e existence of high levels of collaboration among teachers and between teachers and principal and is ch aracterized by mutual respect, shared work values, cooperation, a nd specific conversati ons about teaching and learning, (p. 138). Brent helps to stimulate the st affs shift from congeniality to collegiality by creating structures and organizing teachers so that they ar e encouraged to collaborate.
117 Principal as Inquirer and Learner Combined with his belief in continual cha nge, collaboration, and culture making, Brents support for inquiry has become another major theme of his role PDS principal work.. This theme displayed itself in four major components: (a) be liefs about the role of theory; (b) striving to continue his own personal growth through learning; (c) facilitating inquiry in his school and the PDS network; and (d) the value placed on inquiry and its role in his school. Reignited Appreciation for Theory Through operating as a PDS, the teachers in Br ents school are having more direct contact with university personnel. Brent suggested that one issue that often arises through PDS efforts between universities and their part ner schools is the theory versus practice debate. Discussions about theory and practice can be very differe nt depending on ones context (Donnell & Harper, 2005). Meeting with a team of third grade t eachers might yield little discussion about the connection between theory and pr actice but the same topic brought up with a group of university professors and doctoral students might be heavily grounded in theory with the practice portion being left out of the discussion. Bren t gave his perspective on the issue. I think that one of the problems that school s have is in this whole theory-practice dichotomy is that it becomes real easy once you get out into the schools to dismiss that as being irrelevant. In fact, I believe more strongl y than I did before that what the university is doing by providing theory is highly relevant even though it might not provide a solution to the problem that the interns are having today. Somebody, I remember, I think it was Bob Burton Brown said one time, there is nothing more practical than good theory. [Session 3, Lines 22-27] Brents ability to wrestle with theory/practice te nsions as a part of the PDS work has reignited his appreciation for theory. Although he recogniz es why many practitioners may be dismissive of theory, Brents work with the university th rough the PDS program has helped him appreciate the value of theory in teacher educat ion and his own work as a principal.
118 Part of Brents support for the importance of theory is connected to his beliefs about teacher education. Brent spoke of the value of teacher education pr ograms that connected students to theory and its uses. He views theo ry as being an important component of operating as a reflective educator. I think that teacher education must be more impo rtant than that and it is just not a role to crank out large numbers of journeyman teach ers. Although some schools, that's their mission. I think that theory is important as long as it is well researched and current and [the research is about] things that they do need to know. I think that even the interns, I see kind of have some frustration wi th it because they just want to get into the classroom and teach kids. I remember from back then too, it was just kind of easy to dismiss the theory as being, oh, maybe not relevant or little bit t oo cosmic or theory over something, but the more I am in it, the more I understand how important that was. [Session 3, Lines 45-52] Seeing that theory can hold relevance for what goes on in the classroom, Brent believes it is important to the education of future teachers. Brent thinks that while teacher training programs targeted at preparing large numbers of teachers might equip them with a list of skills to be mastered, PDS programs are designed to develop teachers not only in pedagogical skills but also to be reflective inquiry-oriented practitioners. Personal Growth As a result of inquiry (Dana & Yendol-Silva, 2003) being established in the PDS work, Brent has come to see the value of inquiry for teac hers as well as administrators. Brent believes it is important for him as a principal he should be reflective and study his own practice as well. By engaging in these activities he is acting as the lead learner (Bar th, 1990; Fullan, 2002; King, 2002; McCay, 2001). Brents belief in school change is parallel to the standard he sets for himself, always working to improve his skills as an educator and leader As a teacher, Brent experimented to improve his practice and then re flected on his work. However, he admits the lack of structure in what he wa s doing limited its effectiveness. Back then, it was like you try something and sometimes it works and there was a, there wasn't a thoughtful approach to that. I mean I could have chosen to do that if I had wanted
119 to although I don't typically approach things that way. But the th ings, if I had been provided a format or a frame for thinking a bout experimentation or innovation I probably would have done a whole lot less floundering. If I had done more reflecting and then a little bit more research and had a little bit be tter use of, or familiar ity with data on how I was doing, I probably could have made more gains in less amount of time other than just kind of a random approach that I tried. But th en I was still better off than some schools where you just weren't allowed to do anything be cause that was the case in a lot of schools back then. [Session 3, Lines 395-403] Brent values the structure provided to the prospective and current teac hers in his school to assist them in conducting their inquiry. He believes that if he had been afforded the opportunity to study his own practice in a more deliberate manner he would have become a much better teacher much sooner. Although he attempted to engage in a type of inquiry during his years as a classroom teacher, Brent did not study his own practice as systematically as required by inquiry. But Brent did share how the idea of being an experiment al teacher and reflect ing on student learning were a part of his pedagogical co mpass which he partially attribut ed to his work as a university student. A couple weeks ago before I went down to St. Pe te to present at that inquiry conference. actually I got out an old textbook from Bob Burton Brown who I had as an undergraduate and graduate student. He was in the founda tions department then. There was an old course, a book he had on the experimental mi nd in education that I remember I really enjoyed at the time. It was really, in the ea rly seventies, kind of revisiting a lot of John Dewey and some of those approaches which ha d fallen on hard times in the sixties, and what I found rereading a lot of th at book was a real. I saw th e roots of a lot of my early constructivist thinking, although I didn't call it th at at the time. As weve seen a lot of trends come and go, there was a lot of that particular book and those courses I had from him, I think that really helped me set that pe dagogical compass and say this is kind of what schools and learning and teaching really ought to be like. [Ses sion 3, Lines 52-62] While he did not label his early beliefs about be ing reflective as inquiry, Brent has embraced the idea and made it a part of his attempts to continue his own professional growth as a principal. Modeling for his teachers the valuable place he believes inquiry should hold in his school, Brent conducted his own inquiry at the same time the pre-interns and teachers were doing their
120 inquiries. Over each of the past two years he ha s studied the use of inqui ry at Countryside and how it relates to his role as instructional supervisor. I've done two now. The first one was really about my inquiry, this was two years ago, whether teacher inquiry was going to be something that was in any way effective and also whether it was something that could sustain its elf or whether it woul d be something that would be my idea that I would have to impos e on them that they would do because I told them to do. So I wanted them to look at inquiry kind of in isolation from, Is this something he is going to make us do? to just Kind of look at it for its own value. I had become a little dissatisfied with the profe ssional development plan process which had gotten to be kind of formularized and we were filling in blanks, and we were meeting and doing what we needed to do. I think it was just rather perfunctory for both them and for me. So I talked to the union president about making inquiry the focus of the professional development plan for those teachers who were in terested in that. My rationale was that we werent really doing much other than filling out the forms, especially for the better, more experienced teachers. It wasnt really help ing them to be better and we were not having the kind of conversations that I thought we ought to have. He thought that was a pretty good idea, sounded fine to him. His thoughts were it should be vol untary and he would like to see some kind of evaluation of it b ecause he was anticipating a district level committee looking at the whole ap praisal process the following y ear. He was just kind of interested to see what we found out about it. [Member Check, Lines 8-32] Brent found through his inquiry that the teachers found inquiry valuable. By the second year, 100% of his teachers chose to conduct inquiry inst ead of engaging in the traditional Professional Development Plan program which wa s a part of the old appraisal system. Brent touted some of the unintended consequences of inquiry at Countryside. And it was generally well received and seemed to give us some good things to talk about, improved the conversations that I had with teachers about professional development and how they were doing. One of the unintende d results was that it also improved the conversations they were having with each ot her especially after they found out what everyone else was doing. The second year we kind of had people pairing up and looking a different sides of something. We had three different pairs of teachers that worked on a common topic and approached it in a little di fferent way. That kind of conversation among teachers, which ultimately is focused on stude nt learning. [Member Check, Lines 6269] Brent learned the positive impact that inquiry as well as his personal learning stance was having on Countryside. Inquiring into his role as instruc tional leader enabled him to facilitate growth in the school as a learning community.
121 Facilitating Inquiry While putting forth the effort to integrate inqui ry into the fabric of his school, Brent also does his part to demonstrate to peer principals the value of studying ones practice. On several occasions Brent has spoken to various groups about teacher inquiry in order to help get them onboard. Despite his busy sche dule, Brent believes his respons ibilities associated with the partnership work are important. Facilitating in quiry in his school, as well as encouraging and supporting other principals in their efforts to build an inquiry stance at their schools, are worthwhile activities in Brents opinion. Brent acknowledges that although he is ahead of ma ny of his peers, he is still not an expert on inquiry and is working to further develop his skills as an inquirer. It is interesting, this role of looking as the, not the expert of inquiry, but someone who is leading some of the school related work in i nquiry. That's not something that I was very conscious of last year I saw that we were kind of stumbli ng through some things, trying to figure some things out. But now some people, although I think that they recognize I'm just stumbling, maybe a little bit ahead of some othe r people doing the same things, I get called upon to talk about that more frequently. At the conference last w eek, talked to RSEC principals the week before that Nancys work ing with. at the Th acker Center training this summer and looking at the role of inqui ry, as I am beginning to understand it in a lot of different ways. And then again tomorrow night, in terms of, okay so what does this mean for supervision. Well you know, it is part of a professional development plan, but thinking of it as a function of supervision. I hadnt really thought about it in those terms. But I had to get the book out and start thinki ng about it in those terms. But those were things, the roles that kind of found me I think. I didn't cons ciously pursue those. [Session 2, Lines 21-33] Brent has begun to consider what inquiry might mean for him as a principal and what role it might play in his supervision of his staff. He is continuing to study a nd reflect on inquiry and even though it was not something he specifically sought out from the PDS pa rtnership, he values the contribution it has made to his school. Severa l examples show how Brent supports inquiry at Countryside. For instance, Brent contacted the di strict teachers union president in order to get
122 permission to use inquiry as the teachers formal evaluation. Brent also encouraged teachers to present their inquiries to their peers at regularly scheduled faculty meetings. Brent acknowledges that inquiry has played an important role in the growth of Countryside and its staff. Also, he credits inquiry as helping him move his l eadership style to one that relies even more on his teachers to take on leadership role s in the school. And what I have done, particularly through inquiry which is a result of the PDS relationship, has really helped me get into the fourth quadrant. or at least the culture of the school. It is something th at is kind of invisible to ev eryone but me and maybe a few others that come out here and work. That might be the most important thing I have contributed to this school. It is the one thing that anybody on the out side would never even know or recognize. But yet in terms of what th e school is going to be like five or 10 years after I leave, that might be im portant, I think that might be th e most useful thing that I've done. I think that's a direct result of what the PDS has done for me because you can only do so much for the school without [changing yourself], it is tough to change me first. [Session 2, Lines 45-57] Brent believes that developing an inquiry stance is one of the most important goals that the PDS program has brought to his school. He believes the ability to re flect that occurs through the completion of an inquiry makes it easier for an e ducator to make changes in his practice, which he acknowledges is very difficult. When he leav es his role as princi pal of Countryside, he believes his teachers in adoption of an inqui ry stance will be one of the most enduring contributions. He bases this progress on his own renewed appreciation for theory, reflection, personal experience, and facilitation. Principal as Protector Brents role as a protector in the school is manifested from his beliefs about how outside influences and mandates should influence what teach ers and principals do. Brent sees himself as being responsible for acting as a filter to prev ent influences such as new state and federal mandates from distracting the teachers from the goal of educating the childre n. In his role as a
123 PDS principal, Brent has worked to ensure the partnership work is conne cted to his goals of facilitating teacher growth and teacher leadership. During his time as an employee at the district office, Brent was sent some very strong and important messages about what goes on in school districts. He worked for supervisors who stressed that roles outside the school were intended to support the principals, whose responsibility it was to make sure teachers had wh at they needed to help the students learn. And at that particular time, and this was in the mid-eighties, there was a great deal of respect for the principals. The principals were considered at that time the frontline of, not warriors, but the advanced guard, the people who were out there making changes were. it was made very clear to us that again we were there, we were the behind-the-scenes people and the principals were the ones whos e butt was on the line every day. They were making the schools run and the district was the schools. [Session 1, Lines 163-168] As a principal, Brent accepts his responsibil ity for making his school run effectively and efficiently. His time as a district office empl oyee reinforced for Brent the importance of the principals role. Brent situates the PDS work to complement the school goals. He assists the teachers in educating the children, working to ensure that the partnership work does not unnecessarily distract the teacher s from educating the children. Brent works very hard to serve as a buffe r to outside forces that could distract Countrysides teachers from being able to stay focused on their job. New mandates for testing and school grades consume the time of many prin cipals. Meeting those mandates becomes the priority. However, this is not the case for Brent. Brent shar es how he deals with outside distractions. The most obvious ones now are outside pre ssures to achieve bureaucratic goals and standards whether it's the governor s goofy A+ Plan or No Child Left Behind standards. And not that standards are bad. In fact I am a pretty big pr oponent of standards, but the misuse of assessment to achieve arbitrar y standards and the punitive use which was happening. While we all want ki ds to learn and we say that is a good thing, how that is being defined and measured and how schools are being treated, thos e are conflicting wind and current that are blowing us off course. If we don't stay focused on where we need to go and keep our sight and have our, that pedagogical compas s working then if we did
124 everything that the governor wanted us to do to make good school grades then we would become a certain kind of a school. If we try to achieve all the No Child Left Behind standards, which are impossible and absurd some of them, then we become a different kind of a school. So these things are conflicting. And then you have got district pressures. You've got community pressures. Everybody ha s pretty strong opini ons about what makes a good school. A lot of them are conflicting so that is just day-to-d ay, and that changes year-to-year. What the state defined as a good school 15 years ago or even 10 years ago is very different than what it is now. And it is going to be very different than it is 10 years from now. So to keep the school focused, we'v e got to have a pretty clear idea of where we want to go. And that is the value, I think, of the theory. [Session 3, Lines 100-116] Outside mandates and new government expectations do not take Brent away from his focus of working to make sure the students in his school are getting a good education. While he is a strong proponent of standards, Brent opposes the way they are being used to measure students learning. This belief connects to the goals he se ts for the PDS work in hi school. Brent does not pressure his mentor teachers to focus on st ate testing and the issu es surrounding the new accountability. As a result, this provides his me ntor teachers with space to work with the preservice teachers within the context of the classroo m, tailoring the mentor teachers skills with the needs of the pre-service teachers. Through his years as a pr incipal, Brent has experienced the changing tides in education. Brent uses his peda gogical compass to keep him focused on what is important. Principal as Knowledge Broker Brents role as knowledge broker is connected to his beliefs a bout teacher leadership, staff development, and commitment to taking responsib ility for the universitys goals of teacher education. Brent enacts his role as a know ledge broker through so liciting, providing, or facilitating learning oppor tunities for his staff. Through his work to bring the PIES program [on-site, graduate degree program] to Countryside, Brent was able to facilitate the pr ofessional growth of his teachers. Besides
125 suggesting to Cozette the possibili ty of bringing in the program, Brent initially played a very active role in determining what the program would look like. I helped a little bit with one course. I sat i n, when I could, when they would meet out here. For the first couple of courses pa rticularly, I would just kind of drop-in and out just to hear what was going on. We talked a lot about the courses and what I would like to see in general and then Cozette really sorted out and created some courses, We've got this course and we got that one, and pulled all these different things in from a couple of different departments that we re already named and numbered courses and then made up a few. Then you know, like the inclusion, that was one. The inquiry class that she and Melissa, had taught, that was one There were some other kind of data-driven, we sort of had to make that one up. She took some pieces of other things that were going on there, the data-driven decision-making, I forget wh at it was called, assessment or something another. And then, there were some other courses, one on understa nding culture, school cultures, leadership for change or something. that was already some stock course they had over there. About half of them were thos e kind of courses that were the core. [Session 2, Lines 121-133] Brent wanted the program to contain elements th at would facilitate furt her leadership in his teachers, but also wanted the program to be flex ible enough to allow the teachers to pursue their own interests. The teachers sought, and most have earned, a masters or specialists degree in gifted education, educational leadersh ip, reading educat ion, and technology. In his role as a knowledge broker, Brent has al so used inquiry to f acilitate their learning. Over the past two years, Brent has offered teacher s the opportunity to conduc t inquiries into their teaching in place of completing the district profe ssional development plan [PDP] as the basis for their yearly statemandated evaluation. So I opened it up to all the teachers and explai ned in preplanning as we normally went through the appraisal process that if they were going to do the alternative assessment model that this is what I was suggesting and remember how Jerry, Penny, and Leann had talked and even had Jerry and Penny in a nother meeting kind of go through their whole process, just a little five-minute thing on i nquiry. So teachers would kind of know exactly what it meant for them. Out of 35 teachers, 20 volunteered to do that as part of their alternative assessment. We had some initial meetings in the fall and a couple of midyear meetings. And then we wrapped up, we took one of our conference days and stayed late one day for the school for inquiry conference wh ere they all had a chance to share.
126 Brent used some of his teacher leaders to pr ovide the rest of the staff with background knowledge on teacher inquiry. This helped encour age more than half of his staff to conduct inquiries in place of their PDP. Brent also ma de sure that what the teachers had learned was shared on a conference day. Brent used the teachers inquiries into their own practice as a tool to facilitate the learning of both those who conducte d their own studies and those who did not. The following year all 35 staff members c hose to conduct inquiry projects. Brent chooses to broker knowledge in much the same way he leads his school. Brent uses his teacher leaders as a conduit fo r important learning. Brent strate gizes and then acts to provide his teacher leaders with important information and them empowers them to teach what they have learned to their peers. Summary In his role as a PDS principal, Brent sees hi mself as being responsible for creating a culture where his teachers are empowered to take on leader ship roles. Brent works to integrate the PDS work into the culture of his sc hool and to use the partnership as a way to facilitate change, especially through the use of inquiry. In his role as change agent, Brent works to transition his school to integrate the PDS work with the mission of educating the children. He applies pressure to facilitate the change but complements that pressure with support. Throug h this gentle pressure, Brent has built a coalition of teacher leaders who foster re newal at Countryside. The leader ship of these teachers has made the PDS work a part of, and not apart from, the school mission. Bren ts role, principal as change agent, is enacted through his efforts to foster leadership in his teachers. Brents role as collaborator is visible in the way he shar es missions with the university through the PDS work as well as his mission visioning. These are a ccomplished through his efforts to not only work cooperatively with univers ity personnel in his school, but also to spread
127 the word through presentations at conferences and speaking with school district personnel and university groups. Brent also recommends goals to PDS-affiliated personnel to improve the partnership work. Working toward the missions of both PDS partners is a central component of Brents role of princi pal as collaborator. Principal as culture maker can be seen in the way Brent builds teacher leadership at Countryside. Because of his trus t in their professionalism, Brent empowers his faculty to take on leadership roles to help guide the PDS work. Bren t also strives to foster collegial relationships among his staff. The culture at Countryside is cent ered around the role teach er leaders play in its operation. The teachers are empowered to use thei r expertise to redesign structures and short term goals in order to achieve the school mission. Brents role of principa l as culture maker is about creating and maintaining a pool of teacher leaders to help run the school. In his role as an inquirer and learner, Brent facilitates the use of inquiry not only in his school, but in the district and be yond. He speaks at conferences sh aring the benefits of teacher inquiry. The introduction and flour ishing of inquiry at Countryside has led Brent to have a new appreciation for the role of theo ry in his school. Brent shared hi s beliefs that theory is what helps keep a teachers pedagogical compass pointed in the right directi on. Brent has conducted inquiries in order to improve his skills as a leader. Brent uses inquiry as a tool to facilitate renewal at Countryside and at the university. Also, Brent serves as a protector of his teach ers. He works to limit the negative impacted outside mandates or events on hi s students and staff. Brent doe s not identify improving test scores or raising the school grad e as the missions at Countryside. The goal has always been to provide the students with the be st possible education they ca n be given. Brent does not let pressures from outside the school distract the teachers from the mission of educating the
128 children. Brent also serves as a filter for ne gative experiences associated with the PDS work. When necessary, he steps in to end potential harm ful or time consuming situations that may arise because of the partnership work. As protector of his teachers, Brent allows them to remain focused on their goal of educating the child ren by limiting external distractions. Finally, in his role as a knowledge broker, Brent seeks out learning opportunities that he believes will benefit his staff. Br ent uses teacher professional growth to facilitate school change and improvement. By bringing the PIES program to Countryside for his teachers, Brent was able to help these teachers achieve some of their pers onal and professional goals at the same time he was working to further develop the culture of the school. Brent strive s to use his role as knowledge broker to match the needs of his staff with the needs of the school. These six roles help Brent unders tand how he makes sense of his role. The lenses of the Four Frames can be used to provide more in formation on how Brent enacts each of the six themes. The connection between Brents belief s about teacher empowerment and the themes produces a strong relationship with the human resource frame. All six themes can be seen through the human resource frame, all connected to the idea of teacher empowerment. The symbolic frame, with its focus on school culture, is tied to Brents roles as collaborato r, culture maker, change agent, inquirer/learner and know ledge broker again through Brents efforts to empower his teachers. The structural and political frames were seen less in Brents work as a PDS principal. Brent did, in some minor ways, establish struct ures for running the school. However, these structures were in place before the PDS part nership began. If one were to look at the organization chart of Countryside Elementary School before the PDS work started and the current status, very little would have change d. As a knowledge broker and collaborator, Brent
129 brought in training that he thought would improve the teachers ability to work collaboratively with one another, pre-service teachers, and universit y personnel. The political frame, in the form of coalition forming, relates dire ctly to Brents roles as a coll aborator and culture maker. Conflict and competition are not dominant factors in the PDS work at Countryside. Figure 5-2 shows the relationship between the themes and four frames as enacted by Brent.
130 Figure 5-1 Brents PDS principal themes. Brent As A PDS Principal Principal as Collaborator Principal as Change Agent Principal as Culture Maker Principal as Inquirer/Learner Principal as Knowledge Broker Mission Sharing Mission Visioning Teacher Leadership Relationships Personal Learning Facilitating Inquiry Facilitate Teacher Learning Applying Pressure with Support Systematically Preparing Teachers to Lead Role of Theory Principal as Protector Filter
131 Figure 5-2 Relationship between the Four Frames and Brents PDS principal themes. The size of the circle represents the role the frame play s in Brents leadership style. The larger the circle, the more prevalent the frame is in his role as a PDS principal. The themes listed in the circles identify connections be tween the frames and his work associated with the themes. Human Resource Political Structural Symbolic Change Agent Collaborator Culture Maker Inquirer/Learner Knowledge Broker Protector Collaborator Culture Maker Collaborator Knowledge Broker Change Agent Collaborator Culture Maker Inquirer/Learner Knowledge Broker
132 CHAPTER 6 TANYAS PORTRAIT Introduction In this chapter, Tanyas beliefs and lived e xperiences as a PDS principal are explored to provide a comprehensive description of Tanyas life as a leader a nd PDS principal. In order to convey these lived beliefs and experiences, I crea ted a portrait to record and interpret Tanyas perspectives and life events in a way that docum ents her voice, vision, knowledge, and wisdom. Although her professional roles (t eacher, teacher leader, princi pal, and PDS principal) are distinguished for the purpose of sharing Tanyas portrait, these roles are overlapping and integrated in that each aspect of Tanyas portrait influences other aspects of her portrait. I begin by tracing Tanyas evolution as a teacher and te acher leader, followed by a description of her work as a principal. The next section highlight s Tanyas beliefs and lived experiences as a PDS principal. This chapter, shaped by dialogue betw een the portraitist and the participant, illustrates Tanyas lived experiences emerging within her un ique social and cultural context at Parkway Elementary School. Tanya as a Teacher and Teacher Leader Tanya began her career in education as a te acher, curriculum resource teacher (CRT) and assistant principal in California for six years be fore moving to Florida. Tanya did her teacher preparation in Santa Barbara, California and he r student teaching in the nearby town of Ojai. Upon completing her degree in elementary educ ation, Tanya returned to her hometown and taught with some of the teachers who had instruct ed her in elementary school. She was hired by one of her former teachers to teach first grade and later sixth, seventh, and eighth grade English in a K-8 school. Tanya credited this person with influe ncing her to become a CRT. Eventually she served as his assistant principal.
133 Besides encouraging her to become a CRT and then an administrator, Tanya credits her first principal with influencing how she l eads her staff. Teacher empowerment and accountability were important to this principal. He was a good administrator. In fact he was a great administrator because he knew how to use other people's expertise. When he put me in the curriculum job, he would make most of my assignments working with kindergarten, first, and second grade. When he had a problem teacher in first grade, which was the one that he assigned me to because he knew that I had that area of expertis e. So he would delegate thos e kinds of responsibilities to me. He was very good at delegating and empowering. I did learn that you empower people from him because he was very good at that. And then he would hold them accountable. You cant just empower without checking on them every six weeks. And he would do that, but in a very professional way. He appeared to be very laid-back when he was doing all of this, very relaxed. But I would find out later, of course that he was not. He was very intense inside, but his style out side was that he was very relaxed. [Member Check, Lines 67-80] Tanya learned the benefits of empowering staff members. Not only does delegating responsibilities to teachers with other areas of expertise provide them w ith opportunities to share their talents and develop leadership skills, but it al so allows principals to focus on their areas of strength and successfully coordi nate the operation of a school. When Tanya moved to Florida, she returned to the classroom as a teacher at Ragland Heights Elementary School, where she spent most of her teaching career. At this school, she taught almost every grade level and also served as the schools CRT. Tanya felt the role of CRT afforded her additional influence over what ch ildren were learning, bu t she also acknowledged the limitations of this role as she reflected on her own experience as a CRT and the role of the CRT in her building today. I mean my CRT is definitely a leader. She is an academic leader. But she leads without authority. She leads through e xpertise. I guess th at the curriculum resource teacher, people look at them. that was my feeling, that you didn't have the authority to make changes with teachers. You certainly di dn't do hiring, you didn't do evaluations. You would have to lead through e xpertise. [Session 1, Lines 41-51]
134 Similar to Raven and French (1958), who descri bed the difference between power granted by a formal position and power that stems from pe rsonal talents and skills, Tanya learned that teachers who lead from non-formal positio ns need to lead through expertise. During Tanyas tenure as a CRT, she worked actively to meet the academic needs of the children in her school. However, she did not limit herself to the walls of the school when it came to reaching out to the children and their families. For example, when rezoning occurred in the district, there was a radical change in he r schools population and Tanyas work included reaching out to these challenged families. School demographics change cr eating challenges. Like Ra gland Heights for example, Ragland Heights once had the highest gifted population and then when that population changed, it became a very challenging school. I can remember that. I think that has been one of the greatest challenges that I as a curr iculum resource teacher and a faculty member have had, having to really look at yourself and what you are doing with children. I spent almost every Wednesday as a curriculum res ource teacher over at Shaw Homes. I don't know if you have heard about Shaw Homes. It was condemned and burned and all kinds of things over the past three or four years and they had to put those people in hotels which I think was about four years ago. That became our population and the guidance counselor and I spent every Wednesday over there worki ng with the families. [Session 1, Lines 116125] In order to reach out to these children and their families, she and her co-workers were willing to go the extra mile by writing grants that even pr ovided transportation to bring the parents and children to the school. Tanya believes additiona l efforts are worth the time if they could potentially benefit the students in her school. Tanyas interest in going the extra m ile if it helps kids points directly to her willingness to take on the added responsibilities associated with PDS work. Tanya as an Elementary Principal While working as a CRT at Ragland Hei ghts, Tanya decided to pursue a job in administration. She served as the principal at Benton Elementary School for three years before entering her current role as pr incipal of Parkway Elementary School which she has held for
135 seven years. Her school is located within the city limits. The school could be designated as either urban or suburban as it is clearly in a transitional period due to continued growth further west of the city which has le d to rezoning and demographic changes. There more than 50 teachers in this PK-5 school serving nearly 700 students. Parkway has a free and reduced lunch percentage of 44% and a minority rate of 43%. Parkway did not meet AYP requirements in the 2005-2006 school year, with only 35% of the lowest quartile student s making gains in reading. In the 2006-2007 school year, 67% of the students in the lowest quartile made gains in reading. Parkway met AYP standards in 2006-2007. Parkway received a school grade of A in 20062007, up from their school grade of C in the previ ous school year. In th e four years prior to the 2005-2006 school year, the school had ea rned two As followed by two Bs. Even though Tanya left her role as a CRT, sh e never left her duties as an instructional leader behind. A principal there influenced me to getting into the leadership pool, principalship. I was very happy being a curriculum resource teacher because curriculum has always been my thing. Even now, if you were to ask somebody about my strengths or about me, I'm not your guidance counselor type. I hope to be th ere with listening ears, but it would be my interest in curriculum. I've done, I would say. both at Benton and at Parkway, that [curriculum] would be my goal to keep children learning. [Session 1, Lines 32-37] Tanyas passion for curriculum helped her main tain her role as an instructional leader. A principal that is an instructional leader is in the classrooms. You circulate and you look at what children are learning. You ask them What are you doing now? I don't disrupt. Analyzing data, getting teacher s together to talk about children's work, looking at children's work and how we can improve that. We have set up systems because it can't be just incidental to me. For example, we have curriculum council where team leaders and committee chairs get together to talk about chil dren's work. It is not just to organize. When we have faculty meetings, for example, the faculty meeting agenda is over here for this afternoon and the teachers are going to talk about what they learned at the reading inservice last month. I only ha ve faculty meetings when they are scheduled once a month, but if we don't need them we cancel them. The first thing on the agenda today will be to talk about what they learned about reading. So most of the time my faculty meetings have a curriculum content. It is not for announ cements. We use the bulletin for announcements every Friday. Sometimes we put academics, in structional leader type of things in the bulletin, but the main purpose for that is communication. When we do math and science
136 committee meetings, that's about curriculum. I have a media technology committee. So if you're instructional leader, I think you set up organized devices where people can, where they can get together and talk about the wor k. I can't be at every single one of those meetings. We will split up. I will go to one Beverly will go to one. Conner [behavior resource teacher] will go to one. [Session 1, Lines 290-308] Even though Tanya considers herself to be an inst ructional leader, she part icipates in activities that could be considered more managerial in na ture. She believes it is important to have well designed structures to facilitate the operation of the school. Howe ver, she uses these structures to foster teacher participation. Also, Tanyas leadership incl udes establishing opportunities for systematically examining data. She does this by creating organizational structures that allow teachers to gain deeper understanding of student needs and curriculum knowledge through faculty meetings, curriculum committees, and team meetings. Tanya is a pragmatist when it comes to dealing with challenges and adversity. She tries to help her staff reach a similar unders tanding of the realities of teaching. I wouldn't call any of these bad things that influence you. Th ey are just challenges that you have to lead your staff and say every da y Things are not the same as they were yesterday. This is the way they are now. So what kind of inquiry can we do? What do we need to be thinking about? [Session 1, Lines 155-158] In her role as an administrator, Tanya considers one of her strengths to be helping teachers deal with adversity and challenges. No matter what the issue she and her staff are dealing with, Tanya always tries to bring the focus back to stud ent learning. Some of the key aspects that she considers critical to instruc tional leadership are communicati on, engagement with the students and teachers, and being visible. Tanya places a gr eat deal of her leadership energy on curriculum at Parkway. This is demonstrated daily by Ta nyas tenacity to make sure she is visiting classrooms. She keeps her teach ers connected and informed and uses her behavior resource teacher (BRT), CRT, and teacher leaders to keep the schools focus on instruction.
137 During the interview sessions, Tanya painted a picture of her school and the culture she has set out to establish at Parkway. Despite the numerous challenges her school has faced due to growth, rezoning, and staff turnover, Tanya has wo rked diligently to maintain a stable, positive school culture. She applauds the congenial way he r staff members deal with one another. The relationships at Parkway are personal and fr iendly, fitting Barths (2006) definition of congeniality. Tanya is open to hearing both the good and bad things that teachers perceive are going on within the school. She has created a cult ure where it is permissible to criticize her. The culture of this school is definitely a family even though it has changed over time. because we have all these new people. But socially, even for people outside you will find the teams often socialize together. But we rarely, at least in my estimation of this campus, get negative feedback about peopl e. We may have a couple of problems but I have worked in schools before where. I worked in one school where everything was hush-hush and everything was perfect. You don't criticize. You don't say anyt hing. My feeling in this school is that people don't have any problem s coming and criticizing me [laughs] or giving me constructive criticism.. Overall they'r e very positive about each other. The culture is to help and support. But definitely th e strength would be the team. [Session 2, Lines 335-344] Additionally, Tanya believes it is important to build a supportive environment, especially for her new teachers. Positive relationships among teams and individuals are encouraged and supported. I do try to keep the same teams. .My whole thing is to try to keep the mentor relationship [Session 2, Lines 26-28]. Tanya also values th e idea of her teachers as problem-posers (DarlingHammond, 1998; Schwab, 1978), as well as servi ng as her critical fr iends (Sagor, 1991). In addition to creating structures and re lationships that allow for collaboration, communicating her vision for the school and the pur pose of the work the staff engages in are at the heart of what Tanya does. Tanya plans specif ic activities to improve teacher practice and to enhance the culture of th e school, but she always brings the fo cus back to the mission of student learning. During the summer, Tanya brought her CRT and one teacher from each grade level to participate in a PDS workshop on learning commun ities. The three schools represented in her
138 group were all members of the PDS network. One of the strategies taught in this workshop was the use of protocols to provide a structure that would encourage participation from all team members. She and her staff shared the knowledge they learned in that workshop and integrated it into the school culture. We do regular meetings. You know we do talk about, even the team that I took this summer, we do regular meetings. We tend to look at data often and talk about student work and I think that's the thing that, if we r eally want to keep things going, we've got to bring it back to the students al l the time, that we are not just having this meeting to practice using these protocols. What is the substance of it? It always comes back to what students are achieving, what students ar e doing. That is what all th is is about. We are going to groom pre-interns to do inquiry and become teacher s. It always needs to come back to the students. [Session 3, Lines 48-54] Teachers at Parkway are the beneficiaries of detailed communication. However, this communication does not just emanate from Tanya. Her reliance on teams and teacher leaders are critical to her keeping the school running efficiently. As Tanya works with these teams, she is not content to let situations remain at the same level. Much of Tanyas engagement with teacher leaders relies on gently pushing. I think I need to use my leadership team mo re. Like I told you, were going to have to have some major people that are out there all the time. working with teachers to keep them on board. Otherwise, this will be just another exercise. In addition to using the leadership team and increasing th eir roles. I think we are going to have to give them [teachers] more feedback. We said recently just going back to the protocols, you know we had a terrible meeting the other day and two pe ople did all the talking. I said to Beverly, You know why that happened? That happened b ecause we went back to our old ways of not including everyone. The squeaky wheel ge ts the turn, they do. I think she realized too that the next Curriculum Council meeti ng that we were going to go back to the protocols again. And thats evolving, again going back to your leadership team. [Session 3, Lines 33-42] Tanyas ongoing attention to creating the organizati onal structures within the school, as well as the details of how these structures are used, ge ntly pushes her teachers to attend to challenges associated with improving student learning.
139 Tanya has some reservations about how she choos es to spend her time with her staff. She typically relies on her stronger teach ers to take on some of the l eadership roles so that she can provide support for some of the weaker teachers in her building. Well, I guess I still dwell a lot on improving the people at the bottom when I should be satisfied with inspiring, improving the people at the top. I choose my best people and say I think you really should do this and see if you can get someone else to do it. I think all of us probably need to pursue the people on the bottom. I guess it is okay that I am spending more time with those people, aski ng them how things are going or how the student is doing that they're looking at [Session 2, Lines 317-322] Tanya believes by encouraging strong teachers to assume leadership roles, she can spend more time working with struggling teachers. Additio nally, by being more visible and engaged with her teachers, she can enhance the teacher and student learning in specific classrooms. Despite all the challenges she f aces as a principal, when asked what her ideal role in education was, Tanya responded th at she liked her job now. I think I have my ideal role right now. [La ughs] I have it right now. What else would I want? If I could get rid of pa rts of my job as principal and maybe add some other things I would let somebody else do a lot of the reports, a lot of the writing. I don't mind data analysis. I am fascinated by data but you ha ve to continually do the paperwork thats associated with that, because I would rather spend more time in the classrooms. I probably spend more time in the classrooms than a lot of principals do, but I'm only able to be there for five or 10 minutes at a time. Id like to be able to go in and spend at least 30 minutes in one classroom. Now we have online lesson plans and, interestingl y enough, I thought that would be helpful to me because every Tues day and Wednesday the teachers have their lesson plans posted and I sit at the computer and look at their lesson plans and be sure objectives are there. In spending time doing th at it seems like it is keeping me from being in the classroom. I think even less time on the computer. E-mail, some people love blogging, some people love that and I am not that I do what I have to do. An ideal role would be to not have all of th at. I want to talk to somebody on the phone more than I want to have a chat with them on th e computer. I particularly lik e to have the exchanges with the teachers and that is a little old-fashioned now to do it that way wh en several of them email me constantly and of course I e-mail them back. That is a faster way, but if it keeps me there all day, that is not an id eal situation. [Session 1, Lines 262-283] Tanya believes that her role as a principa l is complicated by the increased demand for paperwork. She also feels that the level of documentation required from external monitoring takes her away from the important face-to-f ace work she would like to do with teachers.
140 Figure 6-1 summarizes the way th at Tanya makes sense of her in structional leadership role and highlights how Tanyas leadership role re sts on her beliefs about teacher leadership, connectivity, curriculum and communication. Tanya has communicated her vision for the school, a focus on student learning, through meeti ngs and constant reminders that bring the attention back to the student work. Tanya s background as a CRT has contributed to her curriculum focus at Parkway. The curriculum focu s on student achievement is the driving force motivating Tanya as a principal. Because of her beliefs about teacher leadership, Tanya has relied on team structures and teacher leaders to assist her in facilitating change at Parkway to work toward achieving the school mission. Finally, Ta nya is very connected to her staff. She is highly visible by visiting classrooms on a consistent basis. Tanya is also engaged with her staff, being open to communication and making herself awar e of what is going on in their classrooms. Tanya as a PDS Principal Tanyas work as a PDS principal is highly influenced by her overarching school mission which focuses on student learning. As a result, she finds it challe nging to ensure that the PDS work is tightly coupled with that overall goal of improving student learning. She still experiences tensions as she tries to blend the PD S work into her role as principal. As the principal of one of the largest, most diverse schools in the di strict, Tanya often finds herself inundated with tasks that limit he r ability to participate in th e PDS partnership work. Although she values many of the activities and would like to be involved, the responsi bility of keeping the goal of student learning at the fore front takes priority. Those activit ies that have the most direct impact on improving student achievement, as well as keeping the school running smoothly, receive more of Tanyas time. I had almost 700 kids last year, almost that much again [this year]. I spent a lot of my time in IEP [individualized education plan] meetings and for me to go outside this building to go to another meeting there has to really be a purpose. I've done that before a long time
141 ago, but I don't have time to teach classes. I, typically, if I could s how you a calendar. a lot of it is being an ESE [excep tional student education] school. We are also an inclusion school where we include ESE children as much as possible. I spent a lot of my time in classrooms. I am not your most active PDS prin cipal because it is what happens here that comes first. A lot of times I will not be in this office much all day long because, especially if I can get past checking the lesson plans. But at times I am really, with the whole ESE thing, I have asked for a staffing specialist. So I am about the student work here more than other things. Even going to a luncheon mee ting, which is very valuable. I mean, I know that is very valuable but you will also, you ve got other schools where you have people who won't come. And you know which ones they are. There has got to be a purpose and I have to schedule it really far ahead. I am your INTJ person. I'm going to spend most of my time on my students here and my pre-in terns and when invited to do something, I probably would do it, but with this many kids and this many faculty and adults, I don't have time to go teach or to go do a seminar. [Session 2, Lines 415-430] The size and diversity of programs at the school requi re a great deal of Tanyas time. Because of the number of ESE students and the limited amount of district support in providing staff to attend IEP meetings, Tanya spends more time in meeti ngs with special educat ion students than the typical principal in the district. While she would like to be more involved in some of the PDS work, she cannot neglect her other official duties. Despite her workload, Tanya participates in the PDS collaborative work both inside and outside her school more frequently than a number of the other PDS principals. Even with the demands on Tanyas time, she was motivated to bring in the PDS program because she believed the work would support her school mission, focusing on student learning. It is all about, I mean, you asked why you do it. Cozette [university professor] convinced me that it would affect student achievem ent and it should be. That is what the collaboration should be about, effecting student achievement. [Session 2, Lines 107-109] Whatever learning takes place, Tanya brings it back to her vision for the school, it is all about student learning. One way she does this is by making her vision and its connection to the PDS work explicit to the staff. Tanya also believes one of her roles as a PDS pr incipal is to prepare future teachers for the profession.
142 I communicate the PDS work and my vision for the PDS to my staff in multiple ways I think. First, I had Cozette come and talk to us at a faculty meeting. I talked about it in small groups with teams. You know my team s meet every Monday. We talked to them about what it would look like, what it would consist of and I also told them they could have the pre-interns, if they chose to, come back. Because we are not just all about nurturing and producing teachers, were really about trying to get as much help for our students as possible. [Session 2, Lines 114-119] The format of the PDS program, which emphasized student learning and commitment to school improvement, is what drew Tanya to consider participating. She commu nicated her reasoning to her staff, in both group meetings and among team s. Tanya believed the PDS program was worth the effort because she envisi oned it helping students achieve. With implementation of the PDS program at he r school and its evolution, Tanya has seen both benefits as well as identified issues that concerned her. Alt hough she expressed some discomfort over the possibility that she had more communication with those teachers who studied their own practice, ta king time away from teachers who did not conduct their own inquiries, Tanya praised some of the benefits of the PDS partnership and the positive impact it has had on her school. For example, Tanya noted that the additional assistance of trained adults and the positive impact the trained adults ha d on student learning benefited her school. Well definitely having the pre-interns in the pa rtnership. Going back to the students again, I think it affects the achieveme nt of the children. Lowering the pupil-teacher ratio, having more qualified, trained people in the classroom is the bottom line. That is what will sell teachers, that having quality, pre-interns in the classroom makes an impact on the children. I mean, that has got to be the bottom line, the impact on the child ren. [Session 3, Lines 7983] Tanyas purpose in supporting the PDS work ties di rectly into her mission of focusing on student learning. Another PDS benefit Tanya identifies is the power of teacher inquiry. With curriculum and instruction being the devices which her t eachers use to concentrate on student learning, Tanya recognizes the role teacher inquiry can pl ay in reaching her goals for student learning.
143 However, she is adamant that inquiry connects to what the teachers want and need and that it is directly tied to student learni ng. All the PDS work must be relevant to the school mission. I have a person almost at every grade level that I think has latche d onto it. Although we had some issues recently with our inquir y, making it too much like a college course. Because I can't sell teachers on things that will he lp children and have it not be relevant. It has got to be relevant to what they're doing in the classroom. It ha d to do with people who are helping them with their inqui ry, saying We are going to do a journal. . So basically just adding paperwork on that may or may not have. Thats the way the teachers viewed it, journaling. I don't have time for journaling. It has got to be relevant. You help me, it's more like, Help me with my resear ch. Help me, give me something to read. That's the kind of help the teachers need from the university, not doing something to help somebody get their doctorate. Not giving them extra paperwork, giving them extra tasks unless it is relevant to the student work, unl ess it is relevant to my inquiry. [Session 2, Lines 155-176] Tanya supports the idea of teacher inquiry but th e topic and process must be relevant to the teachers needs. Tanya is skeptical of inquiry that requires extra work from her staff which they consider non-beneficial. Additionally, Tanya supports the idea of helping university personnel conduct their research at her school, but not at the expense of her teachers time or the needs of the students. Tanya pointed out how her support for teache r inquiry takes place. She compared her strategies for encouraging inquiry by her teachers to the methods employed by some of her peers. Some principals in the program ask their teachers out right to participate or they expect that each teacher will complete an inquiry and present it at the yearly Inquiry Showcase. When asked if she pushed the teachers to complete inquiry projects, Tanya provided more insight into how she leads her school. The focus on teams once again emerges as well as how Tanya protects her teachers time. I probably do push them more now, but I have to be very honest with you. They have to genuinely want to pursue them [inquiry projec ts]. I think it will grow. I think if you can get each one to teach one. At Clark, ma ny teachers do inquiry but they have been a PDS longer. I selected the pe ople that expressed an interest in doing it. So I would say over time we will have more l ong-lasting inquiry here than we do now. But I couldn't just come in and. I think it is a difference in styl e too. It is not the wa y I operate. I think I
144 operate more, for example, by selecting a team to go do this and then to come back and give them the lead on their team, that they influence their team. I don't tell these people that they have to do inquiry. I have invite d them to do inquiry. I've invited them to participate with their pre-inte rns in the inquiry process. Someone else probably would do a better job of saying you have to do this. [Session 2, Lines 294-304] Some of the schools that require inquiry of their teachers have been involved in close partnerships with the university longer than Tanyas school. She attributes part of her attitude about teacher inquiry to this but also acknowledges that telli ng people to do them is not her leadership style. Tanya reflected further on the differences between her style and her peer principals styles when it came to teacher inqu iry. She provided her reasoning for doing things differently. Well, you know of getting everyone to go present, they might do a bett er job, but I want it to be something that they genuinely wonder about rather than something artificial and I am hoping that my six people will influence another teammate and another teammate to do that. I'm going back to your question of how am I different? How has that changed with my. I probably have more communicati on with those people who are doing this, are interested in pursuing this and spend more time with them. That may not be good. [Session 2, Lines 308-313] Once again, inquiry is supported by Ta nya if it is what the teachers want and need. Tanya takes the time to communicate with the teachers taking on inquiry and shared that she was not sure she was comfortable with giving them the extra time. She wondered if this time might be better spent helping those teachers who were having day-to-day struggles in the classroom, tying back into her primary mission of educating the children. Tanya values the extra human resource she gets because of the partnership work with the university. She has worked to integrate the program and the uni versity students into the school culture and to make the partners hip a tool for reaching the schools goals. She sees great value in the program. With her focus for leadership be ing so closely tied to teacher leadership and the grade level teams, she believes it is important to make sure he r staff members are the key to keeping the program going once she is gone.
145 It takes a lot, it will take. like when I'm gone, when Brent is gone, it will definitely take a principal who is interested in continuing th at or it will be squelc hed in some way or extinguished slowly. You have to have peopl e who really are open to doing this. or you have to have enough demand from the peopl e you left behind to continue it, which is what we had better be working on. Like A ngela [media specialist] would definitely continue the technology thing. I think that Beverly Mason w ho is the curriculum resource teacher and the teachers are very open to having pre-interns. I mean, they're so used to people coming in all the time through thei r classrooms. [Session 1, Lines 216-223] Tanya believes that creating strong teacher lead ers is a crucial step in making sure the PDS program continues and grows. Through working with her teams and teacher leaders, Tanya disperses more responsibility for the program to others. As a former CRT, Tanya believes a lot of the responsibility for taking on the PDS leadership role should be placed with Beverly, Pa rkways CRT. She explained how the situation has changed for Beverly and why she believes that is important. Well, I am deliberately giving her more leadersh ip responsibilities. Deliberately because, I will tell you, she, in fact she is doing one of the inquiries. She needs to be sold on this for the future. She definitely does. And I told Cozette before that we have to set up, these structures are not set up. When people ch ange, programs change. I don't want this program to die. I would not want any of thes e programs, for lack of leadership. so the system and the structure and the good things that come out of it. other people have to be sold on it. As far as I'm concerned, she is the on e in this school that has to be sold on it, and the team leaders, and the six facilitators who went to the workshop. They have got to be convinced that it is good for the children. [Session 2, Lines 435-444] Selling her staff, especially Beverly, on the progr am is a high priority for Tanya when it comes to the PDS work. Since Tanya is concerned that an absence of formal structures and a lack of leadership could cause the program to falter, sh e draws on distributed l eadership (Lambert, 2005; Elmore, 2000) to create leadership fo r the PDS work among her teachers. Tanya believes a significant am ount of growth has occurred fo r the teachers as a result of the collaboration with other mentor teachers, uni versity students, and university personnel. This collaboration has made the PDS work more visible. The added visibility and interactions with each other and outsiders have increased the t eachers desire to be more professional.
146 I think having that collaboration too is bringi ng some teachers and interns to a higher level, to being more professional because they know they are models for these folks. So when you have other people coming into your building, well it makes me want to be more professional. I think it typically brings the teachers to a higher level. Because they know that they know it is their res ponsibility to make an impact on future teachers. [Session 3, Lines 83-88] According to Tanya, the desire to show their professional skills, coup led with taking on the responsibility for providing a grea t learning environment for the pre-service teachers, has spurred Parkways teachers performing at a higher level. One way the PDS has pushed Tanyas faculty is through inquiry. As mentors supported the pre-interns inquiry work, they became more fa miliar with the process. Tanya explains that completing an inquiry project addressing learning of an individual student is a major assignment for the pre-interns. Gradually, through colla boration with the univers ity, teachers are also beginning to study their own pract ice. Tanya believes the PDS work emphasizing an inquiry stance creates a direct impact tie to her school. Oh I think there is a definite tie in to it. I'm not sure I would have thought so much about the inquiry process or encouraged the teachers to analyze and reflect on what they do if I hadn't gone through this process and not just th e workshop last summer. And see I am still not anywhere like where Brent is. I think it w ould take a long time. more activity,. sometimes I wish I had fewer staff. [Session 3, Lines 174-178] Although she applauds her teachers progress in becoming more reflective educators and credits the PDS work with contributing to getting them there, Tanya offers that she and her staff are still not doing this at the same level as othe r PDS schools and principals in the network. She attributes the size of the staff as one slight hindrance to progress in this area and the fact that some teachers still choose not to participate. As in most situations, Ta nya is a realist. And there are people here who are not going to get on board. I can tell you they're not going to reflect on their teaching and do inquir y. Id like to think they all were, and especially some of them who have been he re quite a long time. [Session 3, Lines 187-192]
147 As a realist, Tanya accepts the diversity among he r staff and acknowledges that the PDS work is not for all her staff. However, she does not le t these inhibitors cause her to support the program any less. In addition to changes in her school and staff as a result of participating in the PDS work, Tanya acknowledges how her leadership practice s have changed. Tanya believes that she now emphasizes inquiry and reflection as a part of her work. She makes great effort to visit classrooms as often as possible. She explains how the PDS work has led her to encourage the pre-interns as well as her teachers to be more reflective. Probably the increase in the classroom visits, observations classroom walk-throughs, and giving feedback. Part of that process is to do a reflection that will have them reflect on their teaching, not for evaluation purposes but . I conclude the classroom walkthroughs with, after observing them, with a stud ent. to get them to reflect on their teaching. I know I've used that word reflecti on a lot but I think having the pre-interns and the teachers in the room and I also give feedback to the pr e-interns. They are teaching when I go through for a walk-through so that they come to reflect on what they're doing with students too. Half the time it is probabl y verbal and. part of the time written feedback. for them to think about their teaching, what they're doing with the students. [Session 3, Lines 10-18] Tanyas work now includes encouraging reflecti on and providing regular f eedback to pre-interns as well as teachers. This focus on reflection tied to her walk-th roughs had also found its way into Tanyas process for interviewing prospective teachers at Parkway. Tanya believes her teachers are also moving toward being more reflective on their own. Even when I interview people now, I always as k this question, Tell me about an activity that was very successful for you and why. Tell me about something that didn't work so well. But I think now even when I'm inte rviewing people I look for more reflection on what they have learned in their internship if they are a beginning teacher or if they are experienced teacher more of a. I hired one with multiple years of experience from Long Branch. I tend to ask more of those questions not just their missi on. It used to be I would try to detect their mission, but more now do they really reflect on what they do with children? And I'm thinking that maybe the teachers are becoming more reflective. [Session 2, Lines 360-368]
148 Tanya believes she has grown as a result of th e PDS work. Her focus on reflection has changed her interactions with her staff and guided her in steering her interviews with prospective staff members in a different direction, for both beginning and seasoned teachers. The PDS partnership as well as involvement in other university programs has impacted the kind of interactions she has with university st udents at her school and also how often those interactions occur. Tanya st ressed how the extended time with some full-time interns had allowed her to get to know them better. I think I make it more of a point to get to know the pre-interns, know what they are doing. I wish they were here longer so I could get to know them better because I know everything about my SITE-based interns [students enrolled in the universitys al ternative certification program]. You know because they are here longer. They ar e here all day long and I can interact with them more [Session 2, Lines 383-386] Even though Tanya would like to s ee the pre-interns stay longer, Tanya shared how she believed the PDS program led her to get to know the pre-interns and program better. The strong collaboration and connection with staff who spe nd time at her school has had a major impact. Despite the challenges she faces trying to find cl assrooms for university personnel to teach their classes on site, Tanya works very hard to make that a reality. Well, I know more of them better because there is more communication. Seminar leaders, having on-site seminar, I told Desta that I thi nk the pre-interns really like it more if a space can be provided for them. We work very ha rd to try to find a space [for them to meet on the school campus]. [Session 2, Lines 390-392] In reflecting on what the program had done to change her school, Tanya shared how the family had just gotten bigger. She felt that th ere had been an improved focus on the students and their work as well as the ability of the staff to reflect on their teaching. The family to me has just become larger. Y ou know the pre-interns be come a part of that team. So definitely the family is larger. I think there is more emphasis on what the student work looks like rather than what the teacher s are doing. When I read some of the inquiry projects, and I've only read through about four or five of them, I'm getting my eyes opened about some of the comments that are in th ere. Somehow we are becoming more student oriented I think. We've always been student oriented. It seems to be keying in more on
149 achievement of children because all the i nquiry has to do either with improving the student, if you can improve the behavior of the child so that he learns mo re or if it is an academic situation, how you improve the childr en's learning or maybe we have always done that and it's just that now we do mo re reflection. [Session 2, Lines 351-360] Tanya believes that the PDS has brought increased efforts to make the university students a part of the school family. She acknowledges how teac her inquiry has actually helped the school and teachers become better focused on the intended mission of improving student achievement. Encouraging prospective and practicing teachers to become more reflective is helping focus the teachers on that vision. In addition to emphasizing a focus on stude nt learning, inquiry, and reflection, Tanya believes the PDS has brought improved communica tion between the university and all the PDS schools. The differences in school contexts are challenging for university partners to identify from a distance. By having university personnel, especially those working with the pre-interns, in the schools on a regular basis, university pa rtners begin to unders tand the school contexts better. This means the teaching of the pre-interns can be better tailored to the needs and context of the school. I think they are also learning by going to different schools, th at they are so different and the population is different. Some of the thi ngs that work at Childress [Elementary School] would not work here. Hopefully they've learned that, about diversity a nd that we just can't do things the same way. They are students. I had a seminar leader, I will give you an example. We had a seminar leader who critic ized a certain teacher with the pre-interns about the management system that this person used. Instead of sayi ng to the pre-interns, When you get your own classroom I'm sure that you may choose to do things differently. You may find something else that works for you, but right now what you need to do is look at this teacher and look at is her management system working for the children. Instead of saying, Well that is not a good management syst em. I think a lot of the people from the university to come in are learning those things. [Session 3, Lines 208-217] Through facing the day-to-day challenges while on -site at the school, Tanya believes the field advisors are becoming more aware of the important role the school context plays in facilitating successful field experiences for the university stud ents. The notion of one size fits all is
150 becoming a less dominant belief for field advisors and in turn this misconception is filtering down to the university professors. Also, Tanya feels the people who are working on site are gaining a new appreciation for the differences in the schools. They are learning on a daily basis to become tolerant in the same way they teach their university students a bout tolerance. The strong connection and collaboration between Tanya and Parkways fiel d advisor, Desta, enables Tanya to use the situation as a teachable moment, mu ch as a classroom teacher would. Maybe tolerance is the word t oo, tolerance for, we say want our pre-interns to work in a situation thats very diverse. Maybe the people who come into the schools and the more they collaborate, the more accepting they are in diversity of teaching styles too. I would hope that is what has come out of this. We had an issue rece ntly with anot her person who is working with my inquiry pe ople. I alluded to this the other day about the blogging, the journaling and all of that. The teachers almost quit because it has to be relevant to what they're doing in the classroom and they were nt ready for that. I didn't know anything about it because I wasn't being CCed. When they came to talk to me, of course I communicated that to Desta immediately. I think she learned that things had to change if we're going to bring these people along. So that is another thing that coming into the schools and with the PDS work. I think they are learning that it has to be real to teachers whether it is right or wr ong. [Session 3, Lines 232-242] The PDS offers Tanya easy communication which sh e believes is an integral component to facilitating the learning of unive rsity personnel. Having the fiel d advisors on campus allows easy access, which enables Tanya to maintain cl ose contact with them in resolving issues. Tanya believes by being a visible and enga ged part of the PDS with practicing and perspective teachers, she can e nhance the teacher and student l earning in specific classrooms. Tanya compared the culture of her school and her own role to a family. When it comes to her teachers time, she could be considered a prot ective mother hen. For example, when her teachers were asked to participate in a journali ng activity connected to their work in teacher inquiry, the teachers balked. Once Tanya was informed, she contacted the field advisor and made it clear that the journaling was not someth ing the teachers felt woul d serve their needs or
151 contribute to student lear ning. Tanya reflected on this expe rience and how it contributed to the evolution of the partnership. I think that is a part of the co llaboration too. Theyve come to realize that. I wish that they could do all of that. I wish they could do all of that because I do think that some of the research that they would find would be helpful. I have to [defend their position] because they've got, I mean they are working 12 hours a da y. In fact some of them are students. One of them is doing Educational Leadership [graduate program] and I'm sure that just blew her away to think that she was going to have to do more homework here. [Session 3, Lines 251-259] Tanya believes one of her roles is helping he r teachers navigate and negotiate their PDS responsibilities. Although Tanya has been pleased with much of the PDS growth, she has also been disappointed about some promised changes in the program that have not occurred. One of Tanyas motivations for participating in the progr am was the possibility of allowing pre-interns to remain at the school for the full-time intern ship. Based on her goal of fostering a family atmosphere and creating relationships, this is not surprising. While it is happening in some schools, it has very rarely been permitted at Pa rkway. She expressed her feelings on this issue. I think I saw the collaboration as being a way to influence. I mean, my belief that these folks needed more of a lengthy experience in th e same setting. To me, if you have these people longer, there, it's a two-way collaboratio n. It is not just the university, because the pre-interns, the interns are collaborating with the teacher and the teacher is also collaborating and looking at student work and in quiry. So to me that was the appeal to do this. [Session 2, Lines 49-67] Tanya continues to push the university to comm it to year-long field experiences which she believes will strengthen the program and benefit childrens learning. Cons idering the importance of the school context in PDS work, I asked Ta nya what advice she would give a new PDS principal in the district becoming i nvolved in such a collaboration. Well, you have to be open for one thing, whic h she is. I think you have to be open to having more people in your building. You have to be able to, I think the word is inspire, to inspire your teachers to be open. Because ther e are teachers here who did not want interns at all and started gradually, took pre-intern s and then decided, Hey, you know I wouldn't mind having an intern, teachers w ho felt threatened. So I think she would have to tell her, inspire her teachers to be open to having people come in their classrooms. I am not a big
152 go-outside-the-building-to-meetings person, but if she really wanted to do that then she ought be open to meeting with other people and principals and groups. Try to get her people to engage in inquir y. [Session 3, Lines 285-292] Tanya believes that a PDS principal needs to be open to take on new ro les, support teachers as they develop these new roles, and be willing to collaborate with university partnersrequiring an extra layer of commitment that can comp licate a principals already full schedule. Tanya also elaborated on what she perceive d to be the major differences between a good principal and a good PDS principal. I guess I would have to talk about it from my own frame of reference. Hopefully I was a good principal before I became a PDS principal. I would probably have to talk about changes, the changes I think I have undergone moving from one to the other. I have probably said this before but I think I have become a person who tries to empower the teachers more in making decisions. I think I spend a lot more time thinking. First of all I am an INTJ person. I think all the time w ithout answering. Thi nking about what works and what might not work. A lot more time refl ecting on things that I have done in the prior weeks as to whether or not that worked. Refl ection has become more a part of my practice than it was before. I think the inquiry. I think I do a lot more research, and a lot more reading. I think I have alwa ys read the Phi Delta Kappan, being a member, and IRA, the International Reading Association. But I have done a lot more, and we have also done it together, the faculty and staff over the last thr ee years. Since we ha ve started, every year we've done at least two book studies and most of them have been a combination of researched based and practical, we had not done that a lot before. So a lot of the group study stuff. [Member Check, Lines 7-20] In her role as a PDS principal, Tanya acknowledg es that she has become more reflective. The PDS work has placed her in the position of doing more reading related to research and also participating in more group study op portunities with her staff. Al so, Tanya shared that she has made more efforts to empower her teachers, allowing them to make more decisions. Figure 6-2 summarizes the way that Tanya makes sense of he r leadership role as a PDS principal. Key components of Tanyas work requires making sure the PDS work is tightly coupled with the school mission, fostering teacher leadership, growing as a principal, and provoking university understanding of teacher edu cation from a principals perspective. These four components are the essence of Tanyas work as a PDS principal.
153 Summary Several threads run through Tanya s experiences as a teacher, CRT, and principal that have contributed to how she makes sense of her role as a PDS principal. These threads include: a focus on student learning, distributing leadersh ip, inquiry and reflecti on, and improving teacher education. As a CRT, Tanya was very focused on curriculum -related issues. As a principal, all her actions at Parkway are geared toward suppor ting student learning. Through the PDS work, Tanya has strived to keep the focus on student achievement. Any changes that have been implemented at Parkway as a re sult of the PDS work are tightly coupled with the goal of improving student achievement. Tanyas past expe riences have formed her into a leader that maintains a strict focus on the overarc hing goal of schooling, student learning. Time constraints have had an impact on how Ta nya enacts her beliefs as a PDS principal. Because of her own busy schedule, Tanya delegate s a great deal of responsibility for supporting the PDS work to her teams. During her time as a teacher and assistant principal in California, Tanya worked with a principal that she considered a master at delegation. He fostered leadership in his staff by empowering them to take on cha llenging tasks which he knew they were capable of accomplishing. This principal also used the de legation of power to others to strengthen his own success as a leader. Tanya has delegated po wer to several teacher leaders in the school, using their talent to supplement her work as a le ader in order to help th e school reach toward its goal of improved student achievement. Inquiry and reflection also help define Tanya as a PDS principal, and they played an important role in her professional growth and the growth of her staff. Tanya encourages teachers to conduct their own inquiries. Tanya also cultivates reflection in her prospective and practicing teachers through various modes of communication. Tanya connects this reflective work to the
154 goal of improving student learning. Additionally Tanya has been impacted by reflection and inquiry in her role as a principal. Tanya acknow ledges that she is more reflective since the PDS partnership began and has encouraged her teachers to reflect more as a result of the PDS work. One other major aspect of Tanyas role as a PDS principal is her de dication in trying to foster growth in the universitys understanding of teacher education. Tanya pushes the university to make changes in th e program that better serve the needs of the students, prospective teachers, and practicing teachers in her school. She embraces her responsibility to the teaching profession by supporting the PDS work but also trying to facilitate ch ange in the program. Looking deeper into Tanyas leadership styl e through the lenses of Bolman and Deals (1996) Four Frames the structural frame appears to be the one that is dominant in Tanyas work as a PDS principal. The symbolic frame and human resource frame seem to be Tanyas second greatest influences. The political frame can be s een in her desire for additional resources in the form of trained adults. Tanyas focus on a fam ily atmosphere and keeping the school mission at the forefront guide her decisions as a leader. Tanyas unrelenting efforts to keep the PDS work focused on the school goal of improving student achievement are structural frame activities. This frame is the most visible from the interview data through Tanyas frequent comments about keeping the teachers and their work focused on the student work. Building and maintaining a culture based on fami ly is central to how Tanya operates as a leader. She works very hard to create that e nvironment where each teachers voice can be heard. She invites her staff to particip ate in new, challenging activitie s without applying undue pressure and provides support at the same time. Teacher s she feels are the leaders in her school are selected to take on new roles and then encourag ed to bring other teacher s along with them, much
155 like older siblings shelter and teach their younger brot hers and sisters. Also, she is protective of her staff just as a mother safeguards her children. Tanyas work as a leader is to help her staff find meaning, purpose, and passion in their work. While treating her staff as family, Tanya c ontinually keeps them focused on the school mission. Paying attention to stude nt learning guides her daily pract ice, and inquiry has become a tool that Tanya uses to maintain attention on student learning. Tanya understands the importance of creating a culture where a good fit exists between creating an environment where individuals find their work meaningful and satisfying and the school gets the talent and energy it needs to succeed. Operating from the human resource frame, Tanya recognizes that people and organizations need each other.
156 Figure 6-1 Tanya as a principal. Curriculum Focus Communicating Vision Teacher Leadership Student Learning
157 Figure 6-2 Tanya as a PDS principal. Tightly coupling PDS work Impact on teacher growth and her own growth Tanya as a PDS Principal Provoking university understanding of teacher education Role of teacher leadership
158 Figure 6-3 Four frames dominance for Tanya as a PD S principal. The size of the circle represents the role the frame plays in Tanyas leadership style. The larger the circle, the more prevalent the frame is in her role as a PDS principal. Human Resource Political Symbolic Structural
159 CHAPTER 7 TANYAS PDS PRINCIPAL THEMES Introduction The goal of this chapter is to gain insight in to the essences or stru ctures Tanya holds as central to her leadership in a Professional Development School (PDS). To these ends, I explore the themes that emerge as Tanya makes meaning of her role. The themes discussed in this chapter uncover the internal mean ing structures presented in the portrait of Tanyas lived experience (Moustakas, 1994) as a PDS principal and include: principal as change agent, principal as collaborator, principa l as culture maker, pr incipal as inquirer or learner, principal as protector and principal as knowledge broker. Figu re 7-1 illustrates the structures of Tanyas lived experience as a PDS principal. Principal as Change Agent The theme principal as change agent is connect ed to actions that Tanya takes to transform her school toward enacting the PDS work in co mbination with her overall goals. These are deliberate actions that emerge from her beliefs, define who she is as a principal and illustrate how she goes about promoting change. The main component influencing this theme is Tanyas beliefs about the role of a principal in pr omoting change to improve student learning. Tanyas stance toward change emerges from her own belief that he r role is to make decisions that primarily influence teacher and student learning. For example, Tanyas reasons for leaving her roles as teacher and then CRT to m ove into the principalshi p were directly related to her desire to promote changes in schools that have positive impacts on children. She felt her position as a CRT afforded her some opportunities to make changes but acknowledged that there were some limitations that hampered her efforts. [I left the classroom so] that I could have more of an infl uence over what was happening in the classroom, over childrens learning than being in one classroom. Leaving the
160 curriculum resource job, you leadmy CRT is de finitely a leader. She is an academic leader. But she leads without authority. She leads through expertise. I guess the curriculum resource teacher, peopl e look at them. that was my feeling, that you didnt have the authority to make changes with teac hers. You certainly didnt do hiring. You didnt do evaluations. You would have to lead through expertise. [Session 1, Lines 42-51] Although she was somewhat empowered in her role as a CRT, Tanya believed that serving in an official leadership capacity would afford her more opportunities to influence what happened in the schools where she worked. Besides being able to hire teachers, as a principal she has been able to establish structures and cr eate a culture to support her beliefs. When the idea of the PDS partnership was brought to Tanya, she was interested in participating for one main reason. She believed the partnership would provide extra resources for her school which she believed would have a positive impact on student learning. It is all about, I mean, that is why you do it. Cozette convinc ed me that it would affect student learning. That is what the colla boration should be about effecting student achievement. [Session 2, Lines 107-109] Well definitely having the pre-interns in the pa rtnership. Going back to the students again, I think it effects the achieveme nt of the students. Loweri ng the pupil-teacher ratio, having more qualified, trained people in the classroom is the bottom line. That is what will sell teachers, that having quality pre-interns in the classroom makes an impact on the children. I mean, thats got to be the bottom line, th e impact on the children. [Session 3, Lines 7983] With the PDS, I felt like that would be a good experience for my teachers as well as for my students, that it would bring more of an em phasis on what the students are doing. We use the terminology a lot now about Let's look at what the students are doing. Let's look at student work. And take that emphasis away from the teachers, you know, What are the teachers doing? But, looking at what the stude nts are doing and what we can do to help them to do better. That was kind of the wa y Cozette presented a lo t of it too, the whole collaboration. [Session 2, Lines 13-19] As indicated in these three examples, the coll aboration with the unive rsity coupled with the additional trained adults in th e classrooms motivated Tanya to engage in the Professional Development School work. She was convinced th at the changes brought about by participating
161 in the partnership would positively impact stude nt learning by increasing the focus on the students work. In addition to producing change in the school site, Tanya hoped that her schools involvement in the partnership would allow her to push for some changes that she wanted to see for prospective teachers at the university. Prim arily, Tanya wanted to see a shift in the field experiences that would allow pre-interns to stay at her school to complete their full internship with the same teacher. As a result of other pa rtnership work, Tanya ha d witnessed the learning power of yearlong placements for both elementary students and the prospective teachers. She strongly believed in building a st rong mentoring relationship betw een seasoned teachers and preservice or beginning teachers. I am very much a believer in having a full-time internship. I wish it could be longer than what it is. I think we throw these people into it and then suddenly th eyre thrown out into the world without, like for example, my beginni ng teachers have a mentor for one year and they are paid to help a beginning teacher for one year. I think that collaboration with the experienced people and interns and beginning te achers should go on much longer than that. [Session 2, Lines 21-26] Tanyas belief that building l onger and deeper mentoring relati onships can enhance learning is important to her work as a PDS principal. She demonstrates this commitment by providing supports for her beginning teachers and their ment ors, as well as aggressively advocating for improved connections and structur al supports between the pre-inte rnship and internship within the PDS. Tanya was motivated to participate in the PDS work because she viewed the partnership as a positive change for the teachers and students in her school. She was willing to accept and encourage change as long as it provided potential benefits for the children. But rather than forcing change, she encourages and invites staff to change. She limits the amount of pressure she puts on them to undertake new challenges associated with the PDS work.
162 Principal as Collaborator Tanyas work as a collaborator illustrates the le adership spirit she utilizes with her teachers and university personnel to facilita te the operation and growth of the PDS. This spirit helps her develop her faculty as teachers, teacher educators, and inquire rs. Tanya does this by involving her faculty and PDS partners in solving issues related to the PD S work. Tanya also uses this same spirit of collaboration as she works with the school district office. Empowering Teachers Once Tanya has committed to a partnership activity, she shifts the onus of the implementation responsibility to the teacher leaders in her school Recognizing the commitment of time and buy-in, Tanya relies heavily on her teach er leaders to shoulder the load associated with collaboration with the university. Teams, Curriculum Council, my leadership team, media specialist, my BRT, my CRT, my guidance counselor, also. you have to sell your leadership team on it too. They can go out and talk about it to other people. [Session 2, Lines 122-124] Tanya purposefully uses these variou s leadership structures to allow others in the building to take the lead in making the school-unive rsity partnerships work and gr ow. These structures enable the program to function without Tanya having to be the source of its daily success. Tanya identified one person as being central to the functioning of the PDS work. She has intentionally given her CRT, Beverly, more respon sibilities including some associated with the partnership work. She considers it to be very im portant for the sustainability and growth of the program to have Beverly and the teacher lead ers within her school buy in to the program. I am deliberately giving her more leadership responsibilities. Delib erately because, I will tell you, in fact she is doing one of the inquiries. She need s to be sold on this for the future. She definitely does. And I told Cozette that we have to set up, these structures are not set up. When people change, progr ams change. [Session 2, Lines 435-438]
163 By placing more of the responsib ilities of the PDS work on her CRT, Tanya is hoping to ensure the programs success and sustai nability. Understanding that programs change when people move on to other roles, Tanya has set out to diversify the PDS leader ship respons ibilities at Parkway. In addition to creating structures across the sc hool that support teacher leadership and PDS collaboration, Tanya also considers leadership as a critical skill for mentor teachers. For that reason she tries to provide her staff with opportun ities to grow by allowing them to serve in various leadership positions. Most of these people have leadership roles a nd I think that is good preparation for being a mentor teacher, to be chairperson of the ma th-science committee or to be chairperson of the reading committee because you learn so many thi ngs. They need to be able to facilitate to have these pre-interns. [Session 2, Lines 464-467] By deepening mentor teachers knowledge of cu rriculum and change th rough participation in other committees, Tanya feels more confident that th ey will be able to help prospective teachers unpack curriculum and instruction during their internships. She believes this type of collaboration strengthens the PDS work. Despite her focus on teacher leadership, Tanya also identified a future goal for improving collaboration that can facil itate the PDS work at her sc hool. Although Tanya acknowledges improvement since the beginning of the partnership, she plans for her leadership team to engage in deeper collaboration that could further f acilitate the evolution of the PDS program. I think I need to use my leadership team more Like I told you, [were] going to have to have some major people that are out ther e all the time working with, everybody working with teachers to keep them on board. Otherw ise it will be just another exercise. In addition to using the leadership team and increasing their roles, probably giving the teachers more feedback, I think we are going to ha ve to give them more feedback. We said recently, just going back to the protocols, you know we had a terrible meeting the other day and two people did all the talking. I said to Beverly, You know why that happened? That happened because we went back to our old ways of not including everyone. The squeaky wheel gets the turn. They do. I thi nk she realized too that the next Curriculum
164 Council meeting that we were going to go b ack to the protocols again. And thats evolving, again going back to your lead ership team. [Session 3, Lines 33-42] In this excerpt, Tanya acknowledges the mu ltiple pieces of PDS work as moving beyond working with prospective teachers to creating a collaborative context of renewal based on reflection and inquiry. Keeping teachers informed and involved is important to the success and survival of the PDS. Using various structures that encourage leadership and participation from all staff instead of a few is one of Tanyas leadership strategies. Working with PDS Participants Tanya recognizes the amount of time that auth entic and meaningful collaboration requires when student achievement is the ultimate goal of collaboration. For example, she describes various approaches to collaboration between Pa rkway and the university that have emanated from both partners. In some cases, Parkway is asked to participate in professional development and research initia ted by the university. Weve had contacts from people. Two big ones like Kristen Street, I mean for years, have come to do in-service but they also do st udies with our children. Weve done both. Theyve initiated because they wanted to do studies. Were constantly getting requests from people like you who want to come out and work with children or come in and. I involve my guidance counselor heavily in ma king decisions about people to come in. Having her to look at the, especially when it is using our children, and how much teacher time it takes. I guess weve initiated it based on the needs of our children and the university has initiated for whatever reasons, wa nting to do research or wanting to produce better teachers. [Se ssion 1, Lines 331-340] Tanya purposefully selects which university-initia ted projects to participate in based on her perceived degree of fit between the proposed unive rsity work and her school needs. She notes that collaborative work can serve the needs of bot h institutions, but it is important that it is connected to improving student achiev ement or producing better teachers.
165 Tanya believes that the PDS collaboration has helped the university enhance its understanding of the schools, thus improving the university s ability to work within the school context. And I think they are also lear ning by going to different schools that they are so different and the population is different. Some of the things that work at Childress [Elementary School] would not work here. Hopefully theyv e learned that, about di versity and that we cant do things the same way. They are stude nts. I think a lot of the people from the university to come in are learning that. [Session 3, Lines 208-217] Tanya recognizes the reciprocal nature of partner learning as an important aspect of the collaboration. Tanya appreciates that university personnel are le arning more through working in the schools which will guide them in better prepar ing future teachers, as well as supporting her schools learning goals. Even though Tanya collaborates with the university, she still co llaborates with the district office to meet some of her schools specific need s. While other PDS sc hools rely heavily on the university for addressing staff de velopment needs, Tanya still so licits a significant amount of help from the district people. Well see Ive know, I know so many people also, at the university th at I have used for many years for training. If I have a field or a notion. if there is a need I pretty much go to any of those people or call one of them and they will refer me to somebody else. I mean, this year, well it has been about 50-50, my using university people for in-service and for my teachers and then district staff. I think it has been about 50-50. [Session 3, Lines 275-279] Due to Tanyas ability to navigate two independe nt systems, district a nd university, collaboration with the university has not create d conflict with the district office. Tanya systematically chooses among the available university and district resour ces in a way that allows Tanya to maintain alignment with district mandates while simulta neously drawing on university support. Tanyas ability to navigate both systems is a result of building long-lasting relatio nships with people from
166 the district office and university. She solicits assistance from various sources depending on the specific needs of the school and staff. Though time constraints may prevent Tanya from participating to the degree she would like, she does collaborate with partners when she can. Tanya attends PDS principal meetings regularly and even speaks to university stud ents on campus and at the district office. I spent a lot of my time in classrooms. I am not your most active PDS principal because it is what happens here that comes first. A lot of times I will not be in this office much all day long. So I am about the student work here more than other things. Even going to a luncheon meeting, which is very valuable. There has got to be a purpose and I have to schedule it really far ahead. I am your INTJ person. I'm going to spend most of my time on my students here and my pr e-interns and when invited to do something, I probably would do it, but with this many kids and this many faculty and adults, I don't have time to go teach or to go do a seminar. [Session 2, Lines 420-430] Tanya views the PDS work as important but also acknowledges the tensions that she experiences as a result of her first-line responsibilities at her school. Her hands-on work reviewing lesson plans, visiting classrooms regul arly, and participating in IEP meetings place demands on her time that often make her attendance at PDS mee tings a challenge. In this final point about collaboration, Tanya understands w hy some of her peer principals involved in the PDS program may not want to dedicate the time to PDS organi zational meetings because the time required for collaboration complicates the pr incipals already busy life. In addition to acknowledging these time challe nges, Tanya also believes other principals may view the PDS collaboration work differently than she does. Well, their [other principals] focus is just that you get this free labor from the pre-interns. It is not, in my opinion. Im not sure it is a whole. it takes a lot of time for collaboration. [Session3, Lines 336-337] Tanya recognizes that some of the PDSs are led by principals who value only the additional human resource brought by the partnership. Tanya is set apart from these principals because she sees value in the PDS work beyond the additiona l resources. Tanya believes that through
167 collaboration with the university around student learning, her schools pr ogram can be improved. Improved student achievement is not just the result of bringing in more college students to assist classroom teachers. The dynamic of the shared growth is what holds the most promise for producing results. The theme of collaboration illustrates Tanyas leadership style and involvement with the PDS program. She has demonstrated collabora tion by entrusting her teacher leaders with important responsibi lities, including building the PDS program. Principal as Culture Maker Two components influence Tanyas work of pr incipal as culture maker. These include Tanyas view of building school cu lture using the family metaphor and her interest in creating a school culture of reflection on st udent learning. One way that Ta nya has sought to create a sense of family within her school is by providing cons istency in relationships. Instead of moving her teachers around, Tanya tries to k eep new teachers in the same teaching position and location for several years. She believes this will allow them to form strong bonds with other faculty they are collaborating with and learn th eir role within the family. Although the state only provides funding for seasoned mentors to assist new teachers the first year, Tanya st ructures her school to create mentoring relationship between faculty members that will carry on past that first year. By strengthening the faculty, she is creating a c ontext where PDS work can survive and thrive. Relationships This belief in building lasti ng mentoring relationships also emerges in her work as a PDS principal. The possibility of providing placements for pre-interns who could then stay at the school to do full-time internships was one of the goals that motivated her to participate in the program. Tanya believes strongly in making a longer, sustained in ternship placement part of the school culture.
168 Well, in addition to the pre-in terns we do like having full-time in terns here too. I am very much a believer in having that full-time internsh ip. I wish it could be longer than it is. I think we throw these people in it and then sudde nly they're just thrown out into the world without, like for example, my beginning teacher s have a mentor for one year and they are paid to help a beginning teacher for one y ear. I think that collaboration with the experienced people and interns and the begi nning teachers, the inductees, should go on much longer than that. We are able here, because I do try to keep the same teams. I am not always moving people around. When Cozet te presented it to me, she said, Oh if they want to stay and do thei r full-time then I think that would be a good idea to do that and they can do that. Well that turned out not to be the case because the rest of the people over there believe that they should go to rura l, to all these different schools. Whereas I believe that we have all of t hose schools here. I've got 140 gifted kids. I have almost that many ESE children. I have just about ev ery, every nationality. I'm getting more and more Hispanics. So she said, they could stay, if they wanted to. Well that has not exactly worked out. [Session 2, Lines 20-34] Tanya places a great deal of va lue on relationships and rec ognizes how developing deeper relationships could benefit prospective teachers. In this excerpt, she shares her frustration with the universitys inability to rethink the way they place teachers in the PDS. She also acknowledges some of the communication difficulties that inhibit change at the university level as well. Although Tanya has not yet shifted th e universitys placement policy, she continues to provide pressure for the university to move in that direction, h oping that responsiveness to her requests will become part of the culture of th e partnership with the university. Encouraging supportive and sustained relationships with and be tween her teachers emerges as key to Tanyas work toward building and mainta ining school culture. Her str ong support for the idea of keeping pre-service teachers in longer pl acements at Parkway demonstrates how she has philosophically integrated the PDS work into the culture of the school. Culture of Reflection In addition to creating relati onships that can support teacher learning as a result of PDS participation, Tanya has facili tated professional growth at he r school by creating a culture of reflection. This shift toward cr eating a culture of re flection is a sign of how the PDS work has
169 helped Tanya and her school faculty members gr ow professionally. As Tanya reflected during the interview, this somewhat transpar ent shift became more visible for her. You dont learn to be intuitive and reflect. Maybe you do learn to do that but I am seeing more of that so maybe that has been a dded to the culture. [Session 2, Lines 372-374] Tanya believes her staff has become more refl ective as a result of Pa rkways participation. Through the PDS work, teacher refl ection has become more integrated into the school culture. Principal as Inquirer and Learner As part of her work as a PDS principal, Tanya has grown in her knowledge and support of inquiry (Dana & Yendol-Silva, 200 3), a process which she believe s is strongly connected to reflection. Although inquiry was initially introduced to Tany as school through pre-service teachers, inquiry has become a major com ponent of the PDS work at Parkway. Although Tanya did not initially name her own learning as motivation for participating in the PDS work, Tanya has identified her own learning as a change resulting from her participation. Specifically, she explains that she has deepened some previous practices and added new practices to her princi pal work. Tanya spoke several tim es of reflection. She offered that she had increased her efforts to get her cl assroom teachers and university students to reflect more on their practice. I think there is more emphasis on what the st udent work looks like ra ther than what our teachers are doing. When I read some of the inquiry projects, and Ive only read about four or five of them, Im getting my eyes ope ned about some of the comments that are in there. Somehow we are becoming more student-o riented I think. It s eems to be keying in more on achievement of childre n because all the inquiry has to do either with student learning or the behavior of the child or has he learned more or is it an academic situation. How do you improve the childrens learning or ma ybe we have always done that and its just now that we are, we do more reflecti on. Because when I, even when I interview people now, I always ask this question. te ll me about an activity that was very successful, why? Tell me about something that didnt work so well. But I think now even when Im interviewing people I look for more re flection on what they have learned in their internship if they are a beginning teacher or if they are an experienced teacher. It used to be I would try to detect their mission, but mo re now Do they really reflect on what they
170 do with children? And Im thinking th at maybe the teachers are becoming more reflective. [Session 2, Lines 353-368] Tanyas partnership participati on has created a change within her by deepening her commitment to promoting teacher reflection. Along these same lines, Tanyas work within the PDS has allowed her to witness the power of inquiry and, as a resu lt, the increase in the quality and amount of reflection has been an important chan ge in Tanya at her school. Tanya acknowledges this shift as she describes the heightened em phasis they place on teacher reflection even during the interview process. Reflection is b ecoming a tool to evaluate candidates. Although Tanya believes that PDS work initially emphasizes prospective teacher education, reflection and inquiry offer important cha nges to all. However, she does admit that at times she holds back. I probably do push them more now, but I ha ve to be honest with you. They have to genuinely want to pursue them [inquiry projec ts]. I think it will grow. I think if you can get each one to teach one. At Clark, ma ny teachers do inquiry but they have been a PDS longer. I selected people that expressed an interest in doing it. So I would say over time we will have more long-lasting inquiry here than we do now. But I couldnt just come in and fix differences in style. It is not the way I operate. I think I operate more, for example, by selecting a team to go do this and then come back and give them the lead in, on their team, that they influe nce their team. I dont tell thes e people that they have to do inquiry. I have invited them to do inquiry. Ive invited them to participate with pre-interns in the process. [Session 2, Lines 294-303] As a PDS principal, Tanya is slow and deliberat e in her attempts to promote change in her faculty. Although she encourages and supports new ideas, Tanya is cautious as she facilitates faculty change and learning by helping her staff take small steps while still keeping the school mission focused on student learning (Bowen & Adkison, 1996; Hargreaves, 1999; Uchiyama & Wolf, 2002). Facilitating Inquiry This structure outlined in the NCATE standa rds has become a part of Tanyas belief system. She now views inquiry as a powerful form of teacher learning that influences student
171 learning. Although Tanya strongly supports the idea of teacher inquiry, she believes she carefully needs to navigate how inquiry is introdu ced at her school. For example, she uses gentle pressure (Bowen & Adkison, 1996; Hargreaves 1999; Uchiyama & Wolf, 2002) to encourage her teachers to conduct inquiry projects. I probably do push them more now, but I have to be very honest with you. They have to genuinely want to pursue them. I think it wi ll grow. I think if you can get each one to teach one. At Clark, many teachers do inqui ry but they have been a PDS longer. I selected the people that expresse d an interest in doing it. So I would say over or time we will have more long-lasting inquiry here than we do now. But I couldn't just come in and I think it is a difference in style too. It is not the way I operate. I think I operate more, for example, by selecting a team to go do this and then to come back and give them the lead on their team, that they influence thei r team. I don't tell these people that they have to do inquiry. I have invited them to do i nquiry. I've invited them to participate with their pre-interns in the inquiry process. So meone else probably would do a better job of saying you have to do this. [Session 2, Lines 294-304] Tanya recognizes the importance of letting a grou p of teachers generate buy-in to the project first. She also recognizes her ro le in supporting and encouraging th e process. For those teachers who participate in studying th eir own practice through comple ting inquiry projects, Tanya supports them in several ways. First, Tanya iden tifies a group of teachers she thinks will pioneer the inquiry work and provide a mo del for how it works for the rest of the school to observe. Second, she then selects teachers she thinks ar e interested in studying their own practice and supports them along the way. Third, after the inquiry work is completed, Tanya takes the opportunity to read the projects completed by her teachers and uni versity students. As a result of watching prospective and pract icing teachers engage in inquiry, as well as seeing the results of the individual inquiries, Tanya believes that the ability to i nquire into ones learning is an important contribut or to professional growth. Although a teacher or principals personal mission may provide prospective and practicing teachers with some teaching knowledge, the ability to reflect is what Ta nya believes leads to lasting and important
172 professional growth. Blase and Blase (1998) iden tify the encouragement of teacher reflection as one of the three characteristics f ound in good instructional leaders. Well my belief is that teachers can learn how to teach certain things, you can learn how to teach math, but I think it is difficult to. you don't give somebody mission statements. I do key a lot of my questions on. on people's mission to teach and also their ability to reflect on their actions and what they do in the classroom because change does not come about unless you can learn to reflect on what you do or inquiry if you don't question your practices and if you are not curi ous about things. So I talk about some of those things. [Session 3, Lines 161-167] Tanya feels that asking relevant and important questions about ones own professional growth and systematically studying teaching practice to make changes for students sets powerful educators apart from their less sophisticated peers. Inquiry and Reflection Beyond improved teacher reflection through inqu iry, Tanya has also increased her own reflection as a part of the PDS work. Alt hough she acknowledged that she has always been a reader and thinker, Tanya shared how the part nership work has caused her to increase these activities. I think I spend a lot more time thinking. First of all I am an INTJ person. I think all the time without answering. Thinking about what works and what might not work. A lot more time reflecting on things that I have done in the prior weeks as to whether or not that worked. Reflection has become more a part of my practice than it was before. I think maybe I mentioned that. I thi nk the inquiry. I think I do a lot more research, and a lot more reading. We have also done it toge ther, the faculty and staff over the last three years. [Member Check, Lines 11-17] The PDS work has changed the school staff. Besi des the increase in refl ection and inquiry, staff members offer ideas for topics and authors fo r upcoming book studies. Th e school is creating a inquiry culture that supports th e learning of all participants. Principal as Protector Tanya also emerges as a protector of teacher ti me. The responsibilities of her role as a principal keep Tanya very busy, forcing her to pr ioritize among a list of ve ry worthwhile goals.
173 Her understanding of time as a valuable resource for educators influences the way she treats her teachers. Tanya is very protective of her te achers time. Although she voices great support for the PDS work, she is adamant that each piece of work must be relevant to the needs of her teachers and students. We had some issues recently with our inquir y, making it too much like a college course. Because I cant sell teachers on things that will he lp children and have it not be relevant. It has got to be relevant to what theyre doi ng in the classroom. [Session 2, Lines 155-158] The issue of asking teachers to do work that seemed less-than-connected to their goals of conducting inquiry caused Tanya to contact the fi eld advisor to share her concerns. Tanya wanted the inquiry projects to be positive learni ng experiences for the teachers while not adding increased responsibilities outside th e scope of the classroom. In he r role as protector, Tanya was able to teach the university partners how inquiry n eeded to be shaped in order for the teachers to embrace the concept as a part of rather than ap art from their work (Dana & Yendol-Silva, 2003). Although she respects the idea of co llaborating with the university and its personnel to help them achieve their goals, Tanya was not willing to ha ve her teachers take on additional work to provide research data to the PDS field advisor. She did not see a strong connection between the teachers needs and the journaling activity. She th erefore contacted the field advisor to share her concerns and to say the teachers would not be participating in that part of the project. Principal as Knowledge Broker Tanyas role as a knowledge broker involves her efforts to provide the with staff development opportunities. The role of knowledge broker can be seen in the way Tanya utilizes her staff to encourage the use of teacher inqu iry and her recent endeavors in conducting schoolwide book studies in order to facilitate teach er learning. These opportunities have been connected to the school mission of improving student learning.
174 In the summer of 2006, Tanya brought her team leaders and CRT to a university-provided workshop on building learning communities. Her goal for attending this workshop with her teachers was provide them with a professional de velopment opportunity that would train as well as empower them to take on leadership roles re lated to the PDS work. Besides providing her with an opportunity to improve her role as a principal who enc ourages reflection, it impacted the way she facilitates inquiry among her staff. Im not sure I would have thought so much about the inquiry process or encouraged teachers to analyze and reflect on what they do if I hadnt gone through this process and not just the workshop last su mmer. [Session 3, Lines 174-176] The universitys workshop in learning communitie s supported Tanya in her attempts to empower her teachers to foster inquiry among the faculty. Through training team leaders, Tanya intended the learning to disperse am ong their respective teams. In the last three years Ta nya has started conducting volunt ary, school-wide book studies. In this way, she has brokered knowledge to the staff. Although she se lected the first book, subsequent books were recommended by teaches or district staff. Besides the PDS work impacting her own efforts to read and study rese arch, Tanya shared how the faculty has evolved in the past three years. But I have done a lot more, and we have also done it together, the faculty and staff over the last three years. Since we have started, every year we've done at least two book studies and most of them have been a combination of research-based and practical, we had not done that a lot before. So a lot of the group study stuff. .[Member Check, Lines 17-20] The group book studies indicate how Tanya brokers knowledge. While she has her own vision of what books would best help the teachers in th eir efforts to improve student learning, Tanya accepts input from the staff, demonstrating how sh e empowers her teachers to take on leadership roles in the school.
175 Summary Tanya sees her role as a PDS principal as supporting her teachers goals toward helping students learn. Tanya views the PDS partnership as a resource that can assist the Parkway faculty in improving studen t learning. Tanya uses her teacher leaders to assist her in facilitating change at Parkway. Through her teaming structures and the use of teacher leaders, Tanya couples the PDS work with the mission of the school to foster growth and prof essional development in the faculty. The PDS work has resulted in some modifi cations in Tanyas role of principal as collaborator. Although Tanya has worked closely with university and district personnel during her years in the county, the PDS partnership has increased her communication and access to university personnel, empowering her to voice her concerns and suggestions for improving the teacher education program. Also, despite the la rge number of pre-service teachers being placed at Parkway for the field experiences, Tanya still works to include them as a part of the school family. The PDS work has increased her connec tions with the pre-inte rns and their program. The theme principal as culture maker crosses into Tanyas other themes. Her focus on student learning is at the center of her attempts for building school culture. Bringing it back to the student work is a common phrase in Tanya s vocabulary as a PDS principal. Tanya consistently poses questions to make sure the sc hool culture sees student learning as the guiding responsibility. Also, Tanyas beliefs about fost ering a family atmosphere influence how she operates as a PDS principal. In her role of pr incipal as culture maker, Tanya puts great effort into only encouraging new cultural components to be introduced and integrat ed if they contribute to reaching the mission of improving student learning. Through her experiences with the PDS partnershi p, Tanyas role as an inquirer and learner has become further defined. Once again, the miss ion of remaining focused on student learning is
176 central to this theme. Tanya has encouraged he r teachers to inquire into their own learning for the purpose of improving their ski lls as teacher. Tanya has also incorporated the use of reflection into her daily walk-t hroughs by posing questions to both pre-service and practicing teachers to encourage them to reflect on their less ons. In her role of principal as inquirer and learner, Rachel continues to bring the focus back to student learning. As a knowledge broker, Tanya s eeks out learning opportunities that assist the teachers in improving student achievement. Tanya solicits assistance from both the university and the school district, selecting the source that she best believes can serv e the schools n eeds. Typical of her leadership style, Tanya uses her teacher leaders to assist her in brokering knowledge to help the school reach its goals. Finally, in her role as protector of teachers, Tanya has worked diligently to mold the partnership work into a form that contributes to the needs of the teachers. Tanya takes great care to make sure that the partnership work is conne cted to the classroom pr actice of the teachers and does not give them added responsibilities that are not a good use of their limited time. As protector of teachers, Tanya uses the school missi on to guide her in creating an environment that allows teachers to focus on student learning with limited distractions. Looking at Tanyas themes through the lenses of the Four Frames, the structural frame is enacted in her roles as change agent, culture ma ker, collaborator and i nquirer/learner. Changes and culture making at the school a ssociated with the PDS work mu st be related to the goal of improving student learning. Tanya insists that th e integration of the PDS work complements the schools efforts to focus on student achievement. Tanya is open to change that meets this criteria. Also, Tanyas collabora tive work with her staff, unive rsity personnel, and pre-service teachers is always connected to student learning. Tanya was w illing to participate as a PDS
177 partner school because she believed it would assist the school in improving student learning. Additionally, Tanya wants inquiry work structured so that it provides benefits for the teachers in assisting them in reaching the school goals. Tany a does not want structures added to the culture of the school that she believes could hamper the teachers work toward the school mission of improving student learning. The human resource lens provides perspective on Tanyas roles of ch ange agent, culture maker, collaborator, knowledge broker, and protector. In her actions related to each of these four themes, Tanya, keeping the mission in focus, initia tes changes and works to build culture in ways that support the needs of her te achers. Tanya matches the teache rs needs with th e goals of the school, respecting the teachers ti me by steering collaborative e fforts and inquiry opportunities into forms that service the school mission. Tanyas roles as a collaborator, change agen t, knowledge broker a nd protector are also visible in the political frame. The precious re source of time is allocated carefully. Tanya expects the PDS work to complement the wo rk of her teachers instead of adding more responsibilities for them. Tanya continues to wo rk with district pers onnel on the brokering of knowledge, maintaining a relationship with them. Unless teachers can see a benefit, Tanya does not encourage or support changes or collaborations through the PDS work. Finally, the symbolic lens allows us to see Tanya as culture maker. In her role as principal, Tanya works to integrate the PDS work into the culture of the school. She works to match the design of the program to meet the needs of her teachers in re aching the school goal of improving student learning. For Tanya, the purpose of inte grating the PDS work into the culture of the school is to improve student learning.
178 Figure 7-1 Tanyas PDS principal themes. Tanya as a PDS Principal Principal as Change Agent Teacher Learning Principal as Collaborator Principal as Culture Maker Empowered to Lead Change Working with PDS Participants Working with Teachers Principal as Inquirer/Learner Relationships Culture of Reflection Facilitating Inquiry Inquiry and Reflection Principal as Protector Teachers Time Principal as Knowledge Broker
179 Figure 7-2 Relationship between the Four Frames and Tanyas PDS principal themes. The size of the circle represents the role the frame play s in Tanyas leadership style. The larger the circle, the more prevalent the frame is in her role as a PDS principal. The themes listed in the circles identify connections be tween the frames and her work associated with the themes. Human Resource Political Symbolic Structural Change Agent Collaborator Culture Maker Inquirer/Learner Collaborator Change Agent Collaborator Culture Maker Knowledge Broker Protector Change Agent Inquirer/Learner Protector
180 CHAPTER 8 RACHELS PORTRAIT Introduction In this chapter, Rachels beliefs and lived e xperiences as a PDS principal are explored to provide a comprehensive description of Rachels life as a leader a nd PDS principal. In order to convey these lived beliefs and experiences, I create d a portrait to record and interpret Rachels perspectives and life events in a way that docum ents her voice, vision, knowledge, and wisdom. Although her professional roles (t eacher, teacher leader, princi pal, and PDS principal) are distinguished for the purpose of sharing Rachels portrait, th ese roles are overlapping and integrated in that each aspect of Rachels portrait influences other aspects of her portrait. I begin by tracing Rachels evolution as a teacher and teacher leader followed by a description of her work as a principal. The next section highlight s Rachels PDS beliefs and lived experiences. This chapter, shaped by dialogue between the portra itist and the participant, illustrates Rachels lived experiences emerging within her own uni que social and cultural context of Benton Elementary School. Rachel as a Teacher and Teacher Leader Rachel attended a local community college a nd then the university. She graduated with a masters degree in elementary education, as well as certification in middl e school science. For her first job Rachel was hired to teach scie nce at Andrews Middle School. She was working with an assistant principal who had been one of her middle school teachers. When he transferred to become principal at Lake Fulton Middl e School, she made the move with him. I got a lot of leadership o pportunities while I worked for Bobby Smith at Lake Fulton. While I was there the university started a program called Teacher Leaders where administrators could recommend teachers who wa nted to become administrators and they offered your first five classes off-campus so it ma de pretty easy so I started back to get my specialists in administration through the Ed. Leadership Department. [Session 1, Lines 2429]
181 Almost from the start Rachel wa s given opportunities to take on l eadership roles. Her principal also prompted her formal trai ning in educational leadership. After three years at Lake Fulton, where she acknowledged that she had the opportunity to take on several leadership roles, Rachel did a su mmer administrative intern ship at another middle school. The experiences she had there provided he r with a view of building school culture that she greatly envied. I did my administrative internship at Sulliv an Middle School when it was being built and I saw it as a great opportunity for a unique inte rnship opportunity, because I was able to see the school built every teacher interviewed and hired, every book, every piece of furniture, and the building of a school culture. So I di d my administrative inte rnship with William Brock at Sullivan during the summer while the school was being bu ilt and the staff was being hired. And he offered me a team leader position there and it was hard for me to pass up that opportunity. I had watched the school bei ng built. It was beautiful. Being able to hand pick your staff he was creating a specifi c culture and beliefs that I really believed in and I wanted to get into [t own] to be more active at the district level. [Session 1, Lines 29-37] Besides the positive culture she experienced at Sullivan during her administrative internship, Rachel was afforded more opportunities to take on leadership roles and spent that next school year at Sullivan Middle School as a teacher. At the end of the sc hool year, the principal left the district to become a superinte ndent in another state. Rachel was offered a science teaching position at Palmetto Middle School in Benton. During her two-year stay at Palmetto, Rachel completed her specialists degree. Rachel entered the districts administrativ e pool in hopes of finding an administrative position in the district. With much luck, on the ve ry day she officially entered the pool, Rachel was invited by one of the pools panel members to come and work for her as an assistant principal. I think it was the encouragement by an administrator that moved me toward administration. I think he saw that I coul d do it and could accomplish that goal and thought I could be successful at it. So he en couraged me in that direction. I would be dishonest if I didn't say the financial part of being an administrator, actually making a
182 fairly decent salary compared to teacher sala ries. That was appealing to me. One of the things they asked me in the administrative poo l is that If we paid you the money of an administrator, would you be a teacher or an administrator? They want you to say administrator because they want to hear that is your dying need to be an administrator. And I told them I would be a teacher. If you paid me this money I would be a teacher, because I did enjoy it, absolutely. I enjoyed th e kids. I enjoyed preparing for it. I loved everything about it. But I did wa nt to affect change in a bi gger environment and I wanted to increase my salary. [Session 1, Lines 217-226] In addition to the improved financial benefit asso ciated with being in an administrative position, being able to have an impact beyond her classroo m appealed to Rachel. She wanted to bring about change on a larger scale. In discussing her job as an a ssistant principal, Rachel believe d that the size of the school (900 students), allowed her to take on roles that she felt most assi stant principals did not get to experience, including discipline meetings, grieva nces, dealings with th e teachers union, leading faculty meetings, and planning parent award ceremonies. I would say something that definitely helped make me the principal I am today was from when I was an assistant principal in sitti ng through grievances and union issues and mediation and I sat through several that we nt all the way through to terminating an employee. Those were difficult but definitely learning experiences. It definitely made me see the importance of dealing with issues. I had worked at schools when I was a teacher with administrators who did not tackle issues who just went about day-to-day, Everything was happy, everybodys fine, just didn't tackle the staff member that was ineffective or it was just kind of turn your head. And that bo thered me as an employee. I formed opinions watching that. If I ever became an administrator, so that my great employees evaluations had weight to them, I would have to be willing to tackle issues and deal with the union and sit through the hard meetings. [Session 1, Lines 286-297] Rachels experiences as an assist ant principal helped her solidify her beliefs about the role of a principal. She learned the importance of dealing with tough issues. Rach el spent four years as assistant principal at Warford El ementary School, then pursued and was offered the principalship at Benton Elementary.
183 Rachel as an Elementary Principal Rachel is in her fourth year at a PK-5 rural elementary schoo l serving nearly 600 students. She supervises 42 teachers. In the four years since she has been princi pal, the school grades have gone from a previous grade of B to th ree As. In the 2006-2007 school year, Benton earned a grade of B because only 36% of students in the lowest quartile made learning gains in mathematics. Although the schools grade point total on the evaluation system was high enough to qualify Benton for an A, the math results fr om the lowest quartile of students automatically dropped the school one letter grade to a B. The minority rate has gone from 27% in the 20022003 school year to the current le vel of 29%. The percentage of students receiving free or reduced lunches was 49%. The school did not meet annual yearly progress (AYP) standards in the 2005-2006 school year but did meet AYP standards in the 2006-2007 school year. Two roles seem to best identify Rachels charac teristics as a principa l: transforming culture and supporting teachers. As one of her first go als at Benton Elementary, Rachel set out to transform the academic culture at the school. Rachel believes that to create an academic culture one must believe in data-driven instruction. She fe lt this was part of what helped her get the job at Benton. Being accountable for student lear ning and improving state test scores were responsibilities that Rachel felt were very im portant to her being viewed as a successful principal. With a veteran sta ff in a school possessing traditional views of classroom instruction, Rachel had many challenges to face. As a principal, tackling tough issues has certain ly not been easy. In particular the union relationship here is very aggr essive and negative. One of the hardest parts of being an administrator is being willing to take the risk to deal with more difficult issues. I had to be willing to stand on my own, stand alone if I had t o. And that is not easy either, especially as a young principal to be willing to take that risk. But that comes back to the principal that I worked with as an assistant principal. I watched her stand alone sometimes if the district didn't support her on someth ing she truly believed in and ta ke risks. I have too, for the good or for the bad. But I have been willing to do some of that as a young administrator. [Session 1, Lines 296-307]
184 Being true to her beliefs, Rachel faced issu es head-on and set out to start making positive changes in her school. In discussing the importa nce of taking on those challenges associated with the culture of her school, R achel spoke about cultures imp act and why it was important to encourage changes. Culture really affects everyone in the buildi ng, new staff coming on, it's a constant. it's a battle. As an administrator you try to crea te a positive climate. When you have often very veteran teachers who are resistant to change who want it to be traditional, they want to hang onto the traditions that sometimes ar e not always positive for kids. That is definitely something I have had to face here at Benton. [S ession 1, Lines 85-89] The traditions which Rachel set out to change we re those that she felt were not positive for the students. Before she arrived it was the norm to ha ve children engaged in preparing for theatrical or musical productions for many hours during ma ny weeks and several times during the year. This took a great deal of time away from in-cla ss instruction. Also, Wednesdays were Club Days when students typically did not meet for cl assroom instruction. Due to the current context of accountability, Rachel believed she needed to shift these traditions and create a new school culture focused more on academics. One of the ways that Rachel worked to build a positive culture in he r school relates to the leadership role she assumed. While Rachel takes on a directive leadership role, guiding the staff toward her own vision, she provides multiple levels of support to help them meet her standards. She believes it is her responsibility to provide them with the res ources they need to achieve the desired results. I think as a principal, one of the things that I have really believed in is my role is to give them all the support they need; in materials, in curriculum, whatever they need to do the job because the classroom is ground zero. It is the place where everything is going to happen. And so I really work hard on that I've had teachers say, We've never had anybody that supports us like you do. If we n eed something, you find the money. I write grants. I go to businesses. I re ally work hard to try and get th em what they need. that's how I can give them support. It is giving them what they need to teach. I think that is important. That immediately builds trust, She's really going to support me in this classroom and I'm going to have what I need. And I think that k eeps teachers here. I
185 think building the climate of, We're all in this together and we all work together and the relationship of the ESE teachers, were all working for what is best for kids make every kid grow as much as we can. [Session 3, Lines 85-99] Providing support to help teachers achieve the high standards that she sets for them as professionals is very important to who Rachel is as a leader. She couples her push toward change with scaffolds to assist the teachers in reaching her goals. Rachel takes on the bulk of the leadership res ponsibilities in her sc hool and recognizes the importance of teacher leadership. She hopes to gr oom more of her staff to take on leadership roles. One of the things that I feel I still need to work on here is building teacher leaders because I still feel like most of the school improvement efforts, staff development, and. I am still really working hard to get stuff goi ng, changing and moving when I really want teachers to step up. That is something I'm c ontinuing to work on at the school. Because I want the stuff we have in pl ace and have done over the last four years to continue if I leave, so it just doesn't all revert back to wh at they did when I got here. I am still working on getting people to be active leaders and willi ng to step up and say, T his is the direction we want to go, or This is something I have to offer. [Session 3, Lines 51-58] In rebuilding the school culture Rachel wants to empower he r teachers to take on more leadership. It is her hope that by doing so, her presence will not be required to keep the academic focus and improvements going. Rachel believes strongly in promoting cha nge in schools. Her career has taken on more leadership roles. In the future she hopes to become a school district superintendent. Now a long-term goal of mine is to be a superi ntendent. That is de finitely my long-term goal, the same kind of thing where you affect change, now I am affecting change in this school. I would love to move at some point to the next leve l effecting change throughout a school district. [Se ssion 1, Lines 197-200] Figure 8-1 summarizes how Rachel makes sense of her leadership role and illustrates how her actions as a leader connect to her beliefs about creating a culture of accountability and supporting teachers. During her time at Benton, R achel has focused on transforming the culture into one that is focused on student learning. Rachels push for accountability had guided her
186 actions and although the changes have been difficu lt for her staff, Rachel has worked hard to provide the teachers with th e support they need to meet Rachels expectations. Rachel as a PDS Principal Since more than half of her tenure as a pr incipal has been during the PDS collaboration with the university, much of Rachels growth and development as a principal is directly connected to the PDS work. The three areas that appeared most in the interview data addressed the issues of collaboration, tightly coupling the PDS work and school mission, and the PDS works connection to Rach els professional growth. Two ideas that Rachel embraced as holdi ng hope for turning her schools academic performance around were small group instruction a nd inclusion. Rachel did what she could to encourage these, but an invitati on from a university professor woul d provide her some assistance in increasing how many of her staff embraced the concepts. Rachels school, on the far west end of th e county, had minimal collaboration with the university. However, the universitys PDS progr am was about to expand and was looking for more schools to participate. I was fortunate enough that Countryside Elem entary, Brent Butler was working as a PDS and Cozette Penn was interested in expanding an d so she asked Brent for some principals names or school names that may be interested an d he gave her mine. So I received a phone call from Cozette Penn, set up a meeting, met with her. She kind of described the universitys goals and th e things she could do to help me And I saw a great match. I really enjoyed our initial conve rsation. From talking to Bren t and talking to Cozette, I had classes with teachers from Country side online and so I got to hear some of what they were doing and experiencing. So I was really interested in pursuing that. I th en took it to the staff because their history with interns had not been positive. They had had some negative interns, hard situations to try and remedy. You know in the old system of seeing the university person occasionally, problems were nt addressed quickly. The teachers had really gotten turned off interns in that situat ion. But then Cozette described it and then I had her come and explain it to the staff too that the model was changing and that it was more of a co-teaching model. Somebody woul d be housed here regularly, several times a week and that issues would be taken care of i mmediately. That we ha d control. I had the control to say this person is not coming b ack and end it. And so they bought into
187 everything Cozette said and decided as a sta ff, it was something we wanted to pursue. [Session 1, Lines 7-23] Rachel saw the collaboration with the university as a way to assist her in transforming the culture of her school. Whereas previous experiences at the school had been negative, Rachel embraced the idea of a more collaborative program w ith improved communication. The access for her to provide more input would allow her to make su re the program was assi sting her in taking the school in the direction she desired. Despite the challenges from previous experi ences with interns, Rachel decided to participate. She shared what caused her and the staff to consider taking on the role of a PDS. I think that we were willing to become a PD S because the model had changed. I think in the previous model, the intern teaches you leave the classroom, with today's accountability, and my forcing accountability. I think the staff went through a big change when I got here because I really don't think they had really even looked at their FCAT scores too much. When I came I was ve ry data-driven, had be en trained that way from my assistant principal posi tion. And so I brought that in to, that it was going to be a part of every week looking at data, looking at gains at the end of the year, Who gained, who didn't, why? having all that kind of di scussion. And so because of my pressure of accountability, they didn't want to turn over th eir classroom to interns because they needed to be assured that they got gains. So that I think, the combination of bad experiences plus my pressure on them for accountability, they didn 't want any part of interns. And so I think that the model had changed and that we were pushing smallgroup instruction. And having the pair of pre-interns, the teache rs could see, Okay maybe this small-group instruction could work better w ith two extra sets of hands, a nd that maybe more individual needs could be met. So their gains may grow. So their interest was piqued from that. And then when they saw it for one semester they definitely bought into it. [Session 2, Lines 96-110] The program seemed to match Rachels needs fo r the school and the dire ction she was leading her staff. The additional resources in the form of pre-service teachers could provide additional hands to ease her staffs transition in to the use of small group instruction. Rachel saw the benefits for her school and stud ents as well as the university. This model from her experience as a university student and mentor teacher. Another difference, I think because the univers ity has goals and we have goals and, what I think, maybe the change was, in the past, at least from my perspective from when I was a
188 teacher and had interns, the goals were to gi ve the university a place for these pre-interns to be. And that's what I did. And besides the enjoyment of worki ng with somebody in your classroom and assisting the next generation of teachers, I sa w very little impact for the school or anything else for the school. And you maybe got a tuition waiver. But, this was more, they wanted to help me with my school improvement efforts. They wanted to give me relationships with expertise. Cozette knew we were working on writing so she introduced me to Marion Green, a university prof essor that was an expert in writing. She gave me a supervisor for the pre-interns th at had a background in writing. She quickly connected with, These are things we can do fo r the school. We can help the school. And she encouraged me to go back to school a nd so it was like we had shared goals. Everybody was talking about school improvement. Yes it provided a place for them to have preinterns and interns, but they were all work ing on our school improveme nt efforts. Having a large group meant all those extra sets of hands. We were doing full inclusion and so extra sets of hands in classrooms are wonde rful. And by providing a larger group rather than just a few interns, it gave us that. [Session 2, Lines 37-52] Being able to couple the needs of the program wi th her new direction for the school was a major selling point of the PDS collabo ration. Besides meeting the uni versitys needs for placements for pre-service teachers, the PDS work was providing additional resources toward meeting school improvement goals. The PDS program, as a component of the enti re university education program, provided Rachel with adults trained in so me of the philosophies of educa tion that she embraced. Besides having them serve in their roles as pre-interns and interns, Rachel had another motivation for bringing them in. I also was interested in growing my own source of prospective teachers. My staff is very veteran. I have a lot of people going into retirement, and that I would have a group to choose from, that I would see teac h, to hire. That was very attractive to me as well. These pre-interns were coming with be liefs in small-group instruction, the belief in inclusion, the belief in differentiated instruction, all of the th ings that I'm trying to get my staff to move towards, these guys are coming in with and woul d support that. And so I just saw it as a win-win for us. And I think all the staff w ould say that too. It's been a wonderful experience. [Session 2, Lines 52-58] Rachel perceived having addi tional people who were knowledgeab le about and supportive of inclusion, small group instruction, and differentiated instruction as valuable. The idea of using
189 the partnership work as a recrui ting tool for future teachers also made the PDS program even more appealing. Rachel has worked to make the design of the program fit the needs of her school. Although she recognizes th at the university has its own goals she feels that on the whole the intentions of both groups are a good match. Improving student achievement is our mutual goa l with the university in the partnership and I used to not think that. It used to be more of a We're doing service for the university, providing their interns with a place to do their internship. There again, it is through the faculty we are wo rking with, through Mariann, through Desta, that student achievement, meeting individual kid's needs a nd preparing the next generation of teachers to continue to do that is everybody's goal. And I think through the PDS my teachers feel that way now too. They see that that is the bottom line. [Session 3, Lines 613-618] The goals of improving student learning and ach ievement, as well as preparing the next generation of teachers, are not only objectives shared by the university and Rachel as she believes her teachers are now recognizing a nd accepting that as their mission too. The PDS partnership has played an important role in Rachels development, as well as the change in culture at her school. She believes this change in cultu re would continue even if she were to leave the school. So probably almost half the staff now I've hire d. Of course I try to hire people who believe in inclusion, believe in the PDS, believe in th e things that I want to have happen. I really think most of them are. I tend to hire very vocal, strong people. And I think they would be active in keeping going a lot of the things that we have. Bu t I think it all depends on the leadership, who comes in behind me. I mean everyone comes with things they want to do and directions they want to take the school If someone came in behind me that had different direction like in regards to inclus ion then they are going to make some policy decisions that could really affect that. But I really think that a lot of the people that I have hired are vocal enough and are willing to stand up and say This is what's best for kids and we want to do this. So I don't think a lo t of it would change. [Session 3, Lines 68-77] Because the PDS work is so closely tied to R achels beliefs about small group instruction and inclusion and she hires teachers who aggressively support those ideas, she believes the work will be long-lasting, surviving even if she were to leave the school.
190 Rachels collaboration as a re sult of the PDS program is stro ngly connected to the kind of person she is as a principal. Much of her work as a principal is focused on her collaborations with her staff, the university personnel, studen ts and other PDS principals. She uses these working relationships to lead her school to ward its mission of improving student scores. As one of the main targets of school improve ment, the topic of writing is interwoven into much of the PDS work at Benton Elementary. Mu ch of what Rachel does in connection with the PDS seems to tie back into writing. She search ed out assistance from a university expert in teaching writing. The work on writing is somethi ng that sets her PDS apart from others in the network. Cozette led me through conversation of what are the school improvement areas that you really want to work on. I brought up the wri ting, so she suggested I talk with Marion and introduced us. We chatted by e-mail a little bit and then she came out and met with me and we kind of talked about things that I was concerned about, that writing was an area that we were not making AYP in, that it definitely need ed to grow at the sc hool. It would take time. And so we kind of prioritized the first year, these were the things we were going to try and focus on. Then I introduced her to th e staff and let them know that she was an expert in writing, which I was not and needed a lot more information so that I could even help move us in that direction, that she was just going to help us. That she was going to offer suggestions. She was going to come to the school and work with the writing committee where we would bring student work to the meeting and we would take a look at it and brainstorm with her expe rtise and come up with things we can do to change and try to help. And that was, and it continues to be a little bit of the struggle, having outside people come in. We tried to work a lot of it through me because I have been here four years they trust me more than they would someb ody on the outside. So that is still a little bit of a struggle. [Session 2, Lines 347-356] Marion did not typically work directly with the PDS program in the schools. Rachel sought her help as an expert on writing in order to assi st her teachers in reaching their goal to improve student writing. Rachel used the PDS collaboration to garner additional resources beyond the defined scope of the program.
191 Rachel has taken her relationship with uni versity personnel and integrated her own personal learning, much to the benefit of the school Her participation in a college writing course has introduced a university professo r to Benton and the PDS work. We continue looking at writing as an issue here, and things we can do. Having Marion, in different circles, you know she came to the sc hool and worked with the writing committee. I took her class. It was about Benton Elementary almost every class. We looked at my data. We talked about the way things were taught here. The class came here once a month and observed classrooms and then met afterwards and talked about what they saw. We talked about things that the pr e-interns and interns were brin ging in, in the area of writing and how we can share that with the staff. And there again, working with her over several semesters, I have gotten to know her better. Sh e's gotten to know the sc hool better. So she better understands the issues that we face, kind of kids we have, the teacher styles here. And so her directions to me, or through me to the staff about writing are more and more effective because she understands our situation better. It is no t just a generic, These are things that you can do. She knows, for instan ce, that many of our teachers struggle with small-group instruction so she knows to kind of filter information through me on how to continue to get those things a ddressed. [Session 2, Lines 330-343] By bringing Marion to the school an d integrating her into the school culture, Rachel was able to help Marion better understand the culture and need s of the school, which in turn made Marion aware of contextual issues that could help her focus the type of assistance she provided in the area of writing. Besides her own actions, Rachel spoke of how she contributed to the success of the program by letting people from the university help shape the growth and progress of the program. Being open enough to have other people from th e university come in this school and tell me things that we need to do differently, things that I need to do as a leader. I am very comfortable with Cozette or Marion or anybody that I have worked with telling me, I really think you need to do this or you need to move in this direction. I am comfortable with somebody telling me that; some princi pals may not be. [Session 3, Lines 603-608] Rachels openness to allowing others to come in and provide advice and direction for the school are responsibilities that many leaders may not be willing to accept. Yet even as a newer principal, she is accepting of that risk.
192 The PDS program has also had indirect impact on school growth and Rachels growth. Because of her work with the program and people from the university, Rachel decided to return to school and pursue a doctoral degree. One of her new professional development strategies at Benton illustrates her growth as a leader; passion for connecting more with her staff, as well as university personnel. One of the things that we are doing here is an online book study. It just happens to coincide with our PDS work. We had done book studies for a couple of years. They seem to be so hard for everybody. It seems like every time we met somebody wasn't there because of an IEP or a parent conference or I wasn't there because I had a meeting. I was always frustrated with how difficult it was to get everybody to meet on an afternoon and just talk about this book. There always seem ed to be other things going on. And so, I took a class at the university that was online, in the middle of the night I am responding, and I thought, This would be great fo r the school. And we were working with people at the university and they couldn't always be here for the book study and so online they could always interact with us. So I came up with the idea and we just tried it once. I set up a blog. I bought everybody the book and we all star ted reading. I set up a schedule of when you had to post each chapter and I posted th e questions and they respond and we've loved it because the university, Mariann, Desta, Desta' s mom at a nearby university is on it with us. [Session 3, Lines 120-131] And I am actively reading the book with them even though I've read that book before. Im reading it with them and I'm posting reflective qu estions after each chapter. I think that's important. I gave a training for people in the district on how I am doing it. Somebody in a training said, Why don't you just post all the que stions and then you are done? Well that is not me truly involved. I think my teachers s ee that too. I have al ways tried not to ask them to do things that I am not willing to do. Like I am doing the reading endorsement because I have asked teachers to work towards it. I have people here working on it so I'm working on it too. I think that is important as principal, for them to see me as an active learner and actually doing the things they are doing too. Y ou know, me going to kindergarten classrooms the kindergarten te achers said How many principals know much about kindergarten? But you do because you are in our classrooms all the time and you come to conferences with us and sit in the workshops and learn just like we do. I think we have better conversations about le arning because of that, because I have been right there with them. [Session 3, Lines 144-156] The online book study shows Rachels genuine desi re to connect her staff to one another and provide them with training and knowledge that will help them reach the high standards she has set for them. Rachels active ro le in such activities demonstrat es to the staff her willingness to support them.
193 A growing sense of empowerment has been a si gnificant part of Rach els evolution as a PDS principal. Her high level of involvement, combined with her push for accountability, has resulted in Rachel challenging the status quo wh en she feels it does not fit the needs of her school or the university students placed there. Cozette has really encouraged me to be vocal about changes I would like to see and given me the forum to do that. She's like, You e-mail me, anything you want, and she forwards it to the people that need to see it. She's encouraged me to do that because she knows the things that I fuss about and want to change are often things she wants to change. She says Coming from the school. sh e feels like it has more meat in it. The schools are asking for this. And so she has given me the path to get that to the university. She e-mails them, she forwards them to Cody Blake [departmenta l dean] and Tammy Fletcher [assistant dean for the College of Education] and those peopl e who really make those decisions. I think the connections I have made with Marion and other professors at the university have happened because of Cozette but also because I'm taking classes and I meet people through those that can bring resour ces here and help here. [Session 3, Lines 316-325] Rachel expresses a belief that her relationship with univers ity personnel connected to the program has been enhanced because of her choice to return to school. In turn, she believes this connection is giving her more voice in how the PDS program is growing and evolving. The collaboration with the unive rsity has also transformed how Rachel does her job at Benton. Rachel talked about how things at he r school have changed si nce the PDS work came there. These changes have also been in how she is involved in the program. With the PDS, they all are truly a part of our school and so everything I did for the teachers to start the year off I did for pre-interns and interns. I made them name tags. I invited them to our breakfast. I did for them almost everything I did for teachers. Because the PDS model, they are so much more a part of our school and the supervisors are so much more a part of our school. I mean, they know what our school improvement plan says, they know what we are working on. They just know so much more than before. I get to know them very well from meeting them the firs t morning of preplanning at the breakfast and introducing them. That afternoon I met with them again and did an orientation to our school. Within two or three weeks, I was back with them as a group training them on datadriven instruction. Within a few weeks after that, I was back in teaching them about school grades. So I mean I had all these inte ractions with them as a group, and plus me walking through daily into all their classrooms and seeing them teach pretty quickly and be real involved. They all come to IEPs. They all come to parent conferences that I am at. It is so much more of an intera ction instead of a casual, ever y couple of weeks meeting with them as a whole group and talking to them for an hour and a half. They are so much more
194 a part of the staff because there is a larger group too, I think, and because the classrooms talk more too. I think previously, when there we re three or four intern s, they didn't really get together as a group. They didn't have cla ss here. They were just kind of individual isolates. Now, their class meet s here. [Session 2, Lines 220-238] Rachel puts in a great deal of effort to make th e university students a coherent part of the school and its work. She encourages teachers to enrich their experience by including them in various meetings and presenting in their classes. Making the program fit the needs of the school is very important to Rachel. She has demonstrated a willingness to expand her roles and take on more responsibili ties in order to mold the program into something she feels is be tter matched to the needs of her school. I think with me teaching the seminar class, I am going to be the one giving the assignments. I mean there are going to be so me the university requires that we can tweak and I think they will see that as they will just jump right in because I am the teacher. They see, Hey we can completely control this to some degree. I thi nk they will really get involved in the assignments. One of the things that we're going to talk about, next week as a matter of fact, is what are the things we want university students to experience, we need a list, and we've talked about this some before, but I want it officially down. These are the experiences that we want the pre interns to ha ve during their semester and I need to make sure that it happens through seminar or thr ough during their day. I think they will get really involved in that, really thinking about these are the things that they really need to be exposed to, experience while they're here. I did their training w ith them on IEPs and we've talked about in mentor meetings. I just trained them on IEPs. Make sure you take them to an IEP. But we've never really fo rmalized These are the experiences we want them to have. You know, if they happen to ge t placed in a classroom that is not inclusion, spending some time in an inclusion classr oom would obviously be important. We want them to have experience. I think they will really get into that, of controlling the assignments and experiences we want them to have. I think, I really hope that a few mentors will step up as leaders of that and then as we evolve I could possibly turn it over to one of them to do. they couldn't teach th e seminar because it is during the day. [Session 2, Lines 267-287] Despite inviting the mentor teachers to be more active in the direction the PDS work ventures, Rachel still assumes the bulk of the responsibilit y for the program. Several times each semester, Rachel would visit the pre-intern seminar to present lessons on topics such as IEPs and datadriven instruction.
195 Besides her focus on school improvement, Rach el also takes on a very active role in establishing and supporting an environment conduc ive to the learning of the pre-interns and interns. She works closely with the field adviso r and mentor teachers, helping to solve problems when needed. We had one pair that worked with a teacher and one was very dominant and one very shy student. I didn't have too much interaction wi th the students, but the mentor teacher and I had several conversations on how we could, how she could structure things to let this shy come out a little bit and the dominant not be so dominant. We brainstormed how could we address this issue. How could she arrange le ssons where instead of them both teaching a lesson, maybe alternate, This week in scien ce you're going to teach and next week in science you're going to teach. So that allo wed the shy student come out a little more. And we had probably three or four different conversations about how that was going and brainstorming sessions on how to improve that. And then her inviting me to the class to specifically catch when the shy one was teachin g so that then I could follow up and say, I saw you teaching. You were wonderful. And really praise her. Usually my walkthroughs happen randomly. When I don't have anything pressing at the moment, I get up and go. But we would plan me coming at a certain time so I would catch that girl teaching so then I could see her, that afternoon and really praise her, because we felt like that would bring her shyness out if she got so me praise, specifically from me. And it did, it worked. And so then we talk ed a little bit about, wed co me back and talk because then she would go back to class and say, Miss Trenton. and the teacher would come back around and say, You know she said she really was excited that you saw her teach. So that was kind of a neat interaction that we worked through and talked about how to bring out a shy one versus a dominant one when there are pairs. [Session 2, Lines 658-679] Only in her fourth year as a principal, Rach el is still growing a great deal as a leader. When the PDS program was first introduced to he r school, Rachel took some steps to assist the teachers as they became involved as mentor teache rs. She takes the time to discuss with them points she believes a mentor teacher should be doi ng to foster the growth of the interns and preinterns. An added bonus of this involvement is a growth in her relationship with those mentor teachers. At the start of the partnership we kind of threw the mentor teach ers into it to start with. I think we just talked about issues. This is an example, the last mentor meeting we were talking about planning. You've got to really not just show them your plans, but you have to plan it out loud so that they see, or hear the process that you go through. And I said, Because when they look at the plan, they have no idea what you were thinking. Why did you choose this activity? Why not this activity? Why are you choosing to use
196 manipulatives? Why are you. . I said, so, I bring it up, this is a good time now that they are teaching and they are making plans, now would be a good time for you to sit down and plan with them and think out loud. And being a part of the mentor meetings, when I see opportunities like that, when they start talking about little things, I am like, You guys remember that you've got to plan out loud. You have got to show them more. When they see you do small group and they see you do this, ma ke sure afterwards you tell them out loud. I just kind of give reminders. They are pretty comfortable with me now and so they say stuff. So we just kind of have casua l, brainstorming of issues and then when I see opportunities to slide something in, me kind of teaching them about being a coach, I do. [Session 2, Lines 529-550] Rachel believes her mentor teachers have grow n in their roles. Through her work with them, they are moving away from the traditional expect ations of cooperating teachers into a role more comparable to mentoring. The mentor teachers, that's another area they have really evolved in. They were so used to the traditional where nothing was turned over to the pre-interns and I still have to remind them, you know they were like Should I show them the [cumulative folder] of this kid? Yes. They have really got on board with that They do bring them to IEP's. They take them to parent conferences, both positive a nd negative conferences. They bring them to their own PDP meetings and look over data. Th ey pretty much take them everywhere now. They really have grown in that area, in that This is truly my partner and they are going to see every part of my day. With the pre-in terns, they don't get as much as the interns because they are not here in th e afternoons. [Session 3, Lines 296-305] The mentor teachers are encouraged by Rachel to include the pre-se rvice teachers in many different types of activities from faculty meetings to IEP confer ences. With Rachels support, the interns and pre-interns are becoming more inte grated into the daily life and functions of the school. In Rachels evolution and grow th as a principal, the partne rship seems to be playing an important role. The PDS work has opened up cha nnels of communication with mentor teachers who are starting to expand acro ss the entire school campus. One definite benefit of the partnership is just the added interaction through mentor meetings. And they are casual a nd we all just kind of chat a nd brainstorm and Ill listen. I'm not really in charge of the meeting, I'm just there as a participant and we listen, we brainstorm and talk. The more interaction you can have with your staff like that, I think the better they get to know me the better I get to know them. I think that they see that I'm very involved with the group of pre-interns. I think they know it is a priority for me and
197 that I'm committed to making it work both for us and for the university. [Session 2, Lines 284-290] Faculty meetings, right or wrong, are more [pau se] presentations and they listen. We do some activities where they talk. After the pres entation, they talk as a team. But it is very much information giving. The mentor meetings smaller group, are just kind of laid back brainstorming sessions. There are issues that they are concerned about. We've put them on the table, we've brainstormed what we can do about it. Mariann [field advisor] gives her perspective from the university s point of view. I give my perspective and we kind of just hash it out. With a large faculty it is hard to do that and so just the smaller group allows for more discussion and feedback and laying issues on the table and working them out. [Session 2, Lines 294-301] Rachel is working to involve the mentor teachers as more active participants in the PDS work. She is making efforts to shift the leadership of me ntor teacher meetings from herself and the field advisor to the teachers themselves. Despite her m ovement in shifting the level of involvement in the mentor teacher meetings, Rachel acknowledges that the same shift has not occurred in her faculty meetings. One indicator of the value Rachel places on the professional development of her staff can be seen in a conversation about the school goal connected to improving writing instruction. She applauds the connection that the pre-interns and interns have w ith helping her teachers develop in that area. Thinking about growth in connections with the university, one of the things we have talked a lot about was the pre-interns all read the Lu cy Caulkins book and are pretty well versed in writing workshop. We've been trying to move the school more to the writing workshop and so them bringing that knowledge, actively sh aring it with their me ntor teachers. And then us taking the next step to train, read through the same book as a faculty so that we all have the same language and conversati on about writing. [Session 3, Lines 331-336] The goal of improved writing instruction matc hes the needs of Benton Elementary and the training given to the pre-service teachers. Rachel considers th is one of the most significant benefits of the PDS collaboration. Part of her role in assisting the mentor teache rs and facilitating thei r growth has been to empower them. She recognizes the importance of the mentor teachers in making the PDS
198 program fit the needs of the school. Her leadership role has changed as she has encouraged them to take on a more active role. There has been some evolution in the role of the mentor teachers since weve begun. I think the mentor teacher meetings, the first couple ones we did, Mariann was very much the supervisor of the interns, was very much in charge and she ran the meeting and people listened. Now when you go to our mentor mee tings, they are talking. Sharing positives, sharing concerns, chatting and Mariann, more quiet. I mean, it's almost more of a brainstorming, How are we doing, what are we working on? What's good? What's bad? That kind of thing now, instead of a planned, pre-agenda these are the things we're going to do, that kind of th ing. [Session 2, Lines 555-560] Although the level of independent teacher leadership is not where Rachel would like for it to be, she offered praise for the progress her teachers had made. She shared a story demonstrating how her teachers felt more empowered and invested in the program. Well, I think going back to one of the assignments This semester as soon as we got to the mentor meeting, they were very much in contro l of the meeting. Weve got to talk about this Rachel. This is a real concern. And they were all expressing their opinions. And they said, This assignment, have you seen th is assignment that they have gotten? And I said No, I haven't seen it. What is it? Well they had them going and searching through every student cum folder and writing a letter to each individual ki d, and doing this, and doing this, and doing this, and this takes them away from teaching. And what is our goal here? I said, You're right. So then we cam e directly back to the university, to Mariann and Desta. Can you find out about this assi gnment? Is this some thing that has to be done or can we change it? So they were ve ry much empowered to really deal with this and it ended up not going as well as we had hope d. But I really was pleased that they felt empowered to change it. And it came down fr om the old guard that had planned this seminar, that yeah, It's is a good assignment, it needs to get done. And then it kind of lead into, Well can next semester we do someth ing about this? Then it kind of led into Rachel teaching the seminar and I still don't know how much I'm going to be able to work the assignments. [Session 2, Lines 565-579] Acknowledging the high standards that Rachel has set for them, the teachers are very focused on student achievement. They have come to value the collaboration with the pre-service teachers and what they contribute to the cl assroom. Any activity that limits the amount of time the interns or pre-interns have to work dire ctly with the teacher or students is scrutinized. If the teachers do not see value in the assignment, they are willing to challenge it through Rachel. This questioning
199 of the assignments helped lead Rachel into te aching the pre-interns seminar in the spring of 2007. The conversations that resulted from mentor teachers challenging seminar assignments are not the only change in staff participation. The PDS work has helped create a forum for sharing opinions and has helped the staff forge new relationships with one another. But with the ESE teachers pitching in, with pa raprofessionals working in all classrooms with all the pre-interns and interns, a lot of that is broken down. They are not so isolated anymore. There is more conve rsation, there is more sharing. The PDS has really helped that too, because the mentor meetings, that's wh en they all come togeth er and they all talk together. At a lot of schools you never get to sit down and talk to each other. So the PDS has definitely helped that, to give a forum for them to talk and teachers, because of the preinterns, teachers who wouldn't normally necessa rily have a relationship they do because of their pre-interns. So that's opened a lot of new relationships. Like some of the staff development, the book studies online, have teachers that usually wouldn't interact interacting. We have kindergar ten teachers talking to fifth-gr ade teachers about a specific topic or ESE teachers talking to people they wouldn't normally interact with. The online atmosphere has provided those connections and then they talk when they are here too because they've talked online. [Session 3, Lines 104-116] While Rachel shared that her faculty meetings were still information-giving exercises, she believes the conversation spurred by the mentor t eacher meetings and other PDS work has spread throughout the faculty. New prof essional relationships are being formed among her staff. The school, teachers, and students have benefite d from the partnership with the university. The program has had a positive impact on the culture of the school. The PDS partnership is wonderful It's not just doing a servic e for the university and only them getting benefits. Our kids and I think our student achievement has benefited. The extra hands in the classrooms since taking on incl usion have been pricel ess in helping us to meet individual kids needs. The growth of my teachers themselves because of their work as a mentor and I think some of them are real ly starting to reflect on their own teaching and their own practices have improved because of it. Theyve all learned things from the pre interns and interns. We've had some really good ones who bring in stuff, brought in research, who have shared things that they ha ve learned at the unive rsity. My staff, the people who have really been involved as mentor s are really accepting of that, and Let me see this and I want to use this and that ki nd of thing. I think it has improved my staff and it has like broken down barriers that people had and there is more interaction which is wonderful. [Session 3, Lines 195-205]
200 The PDS work has helped Rachels staff grow pr ofessionally. She feels they are becoming more reflective and have increased their interactions with one another. The principal plays a criti cal role in building and maintaining a successful PDS partnership. Rachel offered her insight into wh at she thinks it takes for a principal to be a successful PDS leader. She talked about the role s that other principals in the PDS network took on or chose not to make a part of their practice. Id definitely have that kind of buy in with a principal willing to be that involved, willing to meet with other principals on a regular ba sis and share and discuss and share issues as well as successes because that is not a standard with our prin cipals right now. We go and we listen at principals meeti ngs. And many of them, there pr obably are principals that are okay with that. That is all that want to meet. You know, I am willing to be away from here so that I can learn from Brent and th e things that they are doing, and Jeff and the inclusion stuff they are doing. So I think a pr incipal has to be ready to give all that attention, time, resources. You know I am willing to spend school money on my mentors to go to a PDS conference. You have got to be willing to commit a ll that. And it [PDS work] truly be a part of your school im provement plan. [Session 3, Lines 559-568] Besides just gaining resources from the partnership work, Rachel al so gives back to the program. She attends meetings with other PDS principals and provides financial s upport to the program by sending her teachers to conferences Rachel believes it is important for PDS principals to provide this monetary support al ong with investing her own time into making the program work. Rachel has been very serious and motivated about making her school the best it can be. She has taken that same enthusiasm and dedica tion to making the partnership just as good. Her active role includes sharing her beliefs about th e program and where she thinks it needs to go. I think, somehow building more relationships possibly with other schools, between PDS's is an important next step. I hear what al l Countryside is doing and Countryside has a similar population as our school. Brent and I are really similar. I think we could benefit from building those partnerships and ma ybe doing book studies together, doing staff development together, having occasional meeti ngs with both schools. And because they are further ahead than us in the PDS, they could help us move in those directions. They are really doing inquiry. We are just starting i nquiry projects but they are really doing it. Them sharing that with us and then, you know Brent said they need to work on writing, we've been working on writing now for two years, we could share some things with them. I think that would be good, the PDS's between each other have more connections. We've
201 tried to do principal connections. We have a principal PDS meeting occasionally but it is not frequent enough. We all real ly like it because it is the only opportunity we have to share anything between each othe r. Our principal meetings are, We sit and listen to a speaker. We never discuss. The PDS princi pals meeting allows the six or seven of us that go to talk about things we are working on, the direction we want the PDS's to move. We really like it. We don't meet very often. [Session 3, Lines 215-229] Rachel sees the potential of increasing the coll aboration between PDS principals. She would also like to see a format developed for increas ing the collaboration among teachers in the PDS network from different schools. As a relatively new principal, Rachel is expe riencing a significant amount of growth in her leadership role. The PDS work and other univers ity collaborations have spurred on some of this growth. Like, with the topic of writing. in general all the classes, I have conversations more about writing, not just with PDS classes. We did a school-wide improvement effort. It was school-wide with writing. It wasn't just with PDS classes. Marion worked with, the writing committee which had teachers that weren' t in the PDS on it. All the efforts, the things we decided to do as a faculty, our sc hool improvement plan a nd everything, that was school-wide. That wasn't just the PDS classe s. So yeah, I think the conversations [with and between staff], with me as an instructiona l leader in the area of writing, have improved in all classes and with all teachers. [Session 2, Lines 646-652] Rachels focus on school improvement goals has led her to become a stronger instructional leader in the area of writing. She saw the need to improve the writing skills of the students so she set out to provide her teachers with more tools to achieve that goal. As a leader, Rachel also improved her knowledge of writing by returning to school and reading books, some of which were shared with the staff via online book studies. Rachel plays a very active ro le in her schools PDS work, which in turn has helped her grow as a leader. When reflecti ng on the strengths of the program and where she felt she needed to make some changes, Rachel mentioned teacher leadership. I guess both the university, meaning Mariann an d Cozette, and my teachers saw that I was always going to be an active participant in th is and that I would always be there to deal with issues. This wouldnt be something I'm going to start and back out of and let them
202 run with it, although I have, and the meetings ar e much better. I wanted it to be mentor led. We are still working towards that. [Session 3, Lines 40-44] From the start, teachers saw how deeply involve d Rachel was in the program. Although she still plans on being highly involved, she wants her mentor teachers to take on more leadership roles. This has already begun to happen in mentor teac her meetings, something Rachel would like to see continue. Despite her obvious growth and development as a principal, Rachel discussed her concerns about one aspect of her role as an instructional leader. Im definitely not coaching lik e I would like to be. Ive le arned to better coach the younger teachers. The veteran teachers are much more difficult; I'm still not coaching them much. Now I feel equally responsible for the pre-service teachers as well, and I share it with the classroom teacher and the university supervisor, I feel an equal part to making sure that their experiences are positive and pr epares them. Whereas before, I think as a principal, that was kind of an extraneous thing that happened in the school that I wasn't responsible for. [Session 2, Lines 400-406] Rachel has become much more comfortable with coaching her ne wer teachers and pre-service teachers, especially after completing her coursewo rk in writing. But, she does not believe that she is coaching the veteran teachers as much. Another area of Rachels growth is affiliated with sharing the stories of her collaborative efforts at Benton. The PDS work and relationships with university personnel have led Rachel to move her sphere of influence outside of her school and even the district. Through Cozette and through presenting, that is probably another change in my roles since joining the PDS Ive done quite a few presentati ons. I am really enjoying that and that used to be a major hurdle for me, to do public speaking. That was like pulling my toenails off and I really enjoy it now. I'm always l ooking forward to the next opportunity. There again, Cozette made several connections fo r me to do that. [Session 2, Lines 439-444] Rachels support of the PDS work and desire to help the program grow pushed her to move outside her comfort zone and give presentations at conferences. This has led to personal growth for Rachel in publicly sharing her knowledge.
203 As someone who is primarily focused on the r eality in schools, Rachel shared how she felt the partnership work had changed her views a bout research. While sh e would still consider contacting school district personne l for assistance at her school, the PDS work has helped her build relationships with university personnel and given her the confidence to contact university personnel more readily. You know Cozette always shares research. She sends me stuff. Marion sends me stuff. So I think through the PDS it has definitely c onnected me with people who share research, who share things with me, and then I share th em with the staff. I have to control the amount because, you know, I'm sure sometimes they say Im sick of hearing about research. So I don't do a lot, but I do it some. This is an example. I asked Marion for research on particular topics that we are ta lking about or looking for and they will find them for me and e-mail them to me. But one of the things that, I know what it was, that really wasn't through Cozette but we had b een looking up homework and homework issues and this is an example, an employee here that is an aide is having a lot of issues with homework over at the middle school. So she know s that I read a lot of research, read a lot of books so she came to me and said Do you have any research on homework? And so I have the connections to the university to e-mail them and say Send me stuff, anybody got anything recent on homework? A nd that is from the PDS that I have those connections. I wouldn't have them otherwise. Cozette has be en an integral part of connecting me with people and showing me that it is perfectly okay for me to e-mail somebody and say Do you have this? Send it to me. She's made those connections for me and I probably wouldn't have before. I know I wouldn't have I wouldn't have picked up the phone and called someone at the university. [Session 3, Lines 504-522] Rachel voiced how too many of her college of e ducation experiences as a student were focused on theory and failed to address the daily issues teachers face in schools. She felt that she should have been better prepared for th e realities of dealing with ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) and ESE children. But now, Rachel is beginning to be more accepting of research and its importance. A challenge that leaders typically face when introducing new programs is fostering its growth. How do you get people to step outside their comfort zone and participate? The advice Rachel shared on helping the PDS grow seems to mirror the way she has developed during her years as a PDS principal.
204 I think the key to the partnerships growth is just let it evolve. Theyre already more involved than they were last year. So I thi nk some of it is just evolution, time, being involved. For instance, I am going to teach the seminar class and my CRT is going to do some of the Pathwise observations. I volunteered us for that. I said, Jessica, come on, lets do this. This will be good for us. And so she' s agreed to do it and to get trained. I think, there again, I'll be showing by example, getting involved in another dimension and I think other people will step up even tually and say, Hey, you know, I' d like to teach that or I'd maybe like to do that. [Session 3, Lines 252-258] Rachel works hard to make the collaboration succ essful. She is also encouraging others to stretch themselves and become more involved. Rachel hopes more of her staff will become involved to a greater de gree in the PDS program. Although Rachel had spent little time as a prin cipal before her school became a PDS, she articulated what she believed to be the di fference between a good principal and a good PDS principal. I think the difference would be just their involvement in the PDS work, being closely involved with the students, with the UF supervis or, closely involved in their assignments ensuring that the things that we want to have happe n with the pre-interns, the experiences they have, are accomplished, wo rking with the mentor teachers, being involved in the mentor meetings, being involve d in their discussions and their issues so that not only are we improving our program here but their teaching is improving, their mentor relationship is improving. The things that they may be interested in exploring, I can provide resources to do that So I think thatd all be the difference for good principal versus a good PDS principal. [Member Check, Lines 6-13] The increased responsibilities fo r interacting with uni versity students and personnel, as well as working closely with mentor teachers, are the ma jor differences that Rachel identifies between the roles of principal and PDS principal. Be ing highly involved in all components of the operation of the PDS program is what Rachel beli eves sets the two roles apart as different. Figure 8-2 depicts how Rachel makes sense of her role as a PDS principal. She tightly couples the PDS work with the school mission, collaborates with stakeholders, and shares how it impacts the professional growth of bot h Rachel and her teachers.
205 Summary Several threads run thro ugh Rachels experiences as a teac her, assistant principal, and principal that have contributed to how she makes sense of her role as a PDS principal. These threads include a focus on account ability and personal growth. Rachels early experiences as a teacher and as sistant principal have led her to become a principal focused on creating a school culture of accountability. Rachels experiences with weak teachers who were not held accountable, followed by situations in which she was required to confront ineffective educators, have guided Rachel to a leader ship role where accountability determines her actions. When Rachel stepped in to her role as principal at Benton, she had a clear vision of what she expected to happen at the school. Rach els tenacity to improve the academic achievement of the students at Benton has been the guiding force to the actions she takes as a PDS principal. Rachels growth as a principal has been pa ired tightly with her development as a PDS leader. Only having served as a principal for one and a half years befo re Benton became a PDS site, Rachels professional growth has accompanie d the growth of the partnership. It is very difficult to separate the two. In analyzing her role as a PDS princi pal through Bolman and Deals (1997) Four Frames the political lens is the most prom inent in Rachels portrait. Becau se of her need to create a new culture in a school with a vetera n staff, Rachel has developed an agenda of accountability for student learning. Rachel unders tands that within her school different interest groups and individuals comprise various coalit ions. As a part of her work in the political frame, Rachel has built a coalition of teachers to a ssist her in creating a new culture at Benton and has used her partnership with the univer sity to help her with this goal. Ra chel has used her power as principal to allocate scarce resources toward meeting her goals of improved student achievement.
206 In her role as a PDS principal, Rachels use of the structural fram e (Bolman & Deal, 1997) is centered on her accountability for the school mission. Rachel understands the school exists for the purpose of educating the children. What Rachel does at Benton is focused on improving student achievement. As Rachel has set the agenda for the school and built a power base, the evidence would also indicate that the symbolic frame (Bolman & Deal, 1997) is another important lens working within her leadership. Most of what Rachel does as a PDS principa l is directly related to making sure the school improvement plan is met. The symbolic frame provides the leadership image of inspiration (Bolman & Deal, 1997). Rachel, while st ill developing as a princi pal, tries to inspire her staff to achieve the school goa ls. The way she structures the PDS work is geared toward the end goal of improving student success. Rachel has empowered her teache rs with a feeling of expertise. The staff at Benton has been gi ven training in data-driven decision making and writing instruction. This has provided them will sk ills to improve their instruction and tools to analyze the strengths and weakne sses of their students. Throu gh these trainings, Rachel has helped her staff build confidence in their abiliti es as teachers. Besides providing them with additional skills, Rachel understands the importance of how the teachers perceive themselves as being competent writing instructors who are know ledgeable about the strengths and weaknesses of their students. Finally, Rachels focus on providing for her te achers needs is a hum an resource activity (Bolman & Deal, 1997). Matching organizational and staff needs is what Rachel has done through her staff development activi ties. The PDS work has played a pivotal role in how Rachel has set out to meet the needs of her staff. The training in writing, matched with university assistance in small group instructi on and inclusion, has enabled Rachel to assist her teachers as
207 they move away from the old traditions conn ected with whole group instruction. Figure 8-3 illustrates how, in her role as a PDS principal, Rachel operates within the Four Frames Good personal trainers focus on improving the overal l health of the client While the client may just be interested in a program to improve their muscle tone or body shape, the personal trainer may recognize other challenges such as diet or health issues and ma y bring in nutritionists or health experts to supplement their work with the client. Rach el saw a need in her staff to improve their skills as teachers of writing. Acknowledging that teaching writing was not one of her areas of expertise, Rachel solicited assistance from unive rsity experts to supplement her plans for school improvement. As a PDS principal, Rachels leadership has mi rrored that of a persona l trainer. Her work with the PDS has been directly tied to her goa ls for school improvement just as a personal trainers work is always tied to improving the health of the client.
208 Figure 8-1 Rachel as a principal. Creating a Culture of Accountability Supporting Teachers Student Learning
209 Figure 8-2 Rachel as a PDS principal Tightly Coupling PDS Work Impact on Her Own Growth Impact on Teacher Growth Collaborating with Her Teachers Collaborating with the University Collaborating with other PDS Principals Rachel as a PDS Principal
210 Figure 8-3 Four Frames domina nce for Rachel as a PDS princi pal. The size of the circle represents the role the frame plays in Rachels leadership style. The larger the circle, the more prevalent the frame is in her role as a PDS principal. Human Resource Political Structural Symbolic
211 CHAPTER 9 RACHELS PDS PRINCIPAL THEMES Introduction The goal of this chapter is to gain insight into the essences or structures Rachel holds as central to her leadership in a Professional Development School (PDS). To this end, I explore the themes that emerge as Rachel makes meaning of her role. The themes discussed in this chapter uncover the internal meaning structures presented in the portrait of Rachels lived experience (Moustakas, 1994) as a PDS principal. These themes include: princi pal as change agent; principal as collaborator; principa l as culture maker; principal as inquirer or learner; principal as protector; and principal as knowledge broker. Figu re 9-1 illustrates the st ructures of Rachels lived experience as a PDS principal. Principal as Change Agent The theme principal as change agent is connected to actions that Rachel takes to transform her school toward enacting the PDS work in conjunc tion with her vision for the school. Rachels actions and beliefs about change can be obser ved through two components that demonstrate her goals for and purposes in prompting change: (a ) pushing for accountability while dealing with traditions that existed at Benton before her arri val, and (b) integrating the PDS work into the school mission. Accountability versus Tradition From the start in her new role as principal at Benton Elementary, Rachels primary focus has been to improve student achievement. Everyt hing that Rachel does at Benton is connected to her efforts toward meeting the goals set forth on the yearly school improvement plan. Rachel has pushed her teachers and held them accountable for student performance on the state test (FCAT).
212 With a strong belief in using data to reflect on student performance and as a tool to provide direction for change, Rachel began worki ng with her staff to make improvements. I think the staff went through a big change when I got here because I really don't think they had really even looked at their FCAT scores too much. When I came here I was very datadriven, had been trained that way from my assistant principal positi on. And so I brought that to BES, that it was going to be a part of every meeting looking at data, looking at gains at the end of the year, Who gained, who didn't, why? having all that kind of discussion. [Session 2, Lines 97-102] DuFour (2004) identifies a focus on results as on e of three core princi pals guiding professional learning communities. Rachel has worked to esta blish an environment where teachers understood they are accountable for improving student achieve ment. She set out to accomplish this goal by using data as a tool to help the teachers focu s on student performance and key in on the academic weaknesses of the children. King (2 002) identifies the use of data to inform decisions as one of the characteristics of instructional leaders. Through spending a great deal of time discussing student achievement and using data to inform instructional decisions, Rachel has worked to convey to the staff not only her hi gh expectations for them but also that she was going to provide them with tools to reach her standards. Rachels push for change as a new principal in a school with a vete ran staff did not come without challenges. The school had not been as focused on student achievement as Rachel would have expected, but she knew coming into Benton Elementary that the schools recent grades were below what district administrators wanted. With her supervisors expecting her to improve the schools grade, Rachel set out to es tablish a new school climate with a greater focus on accountability. However, working with a ve teran staff proved challenging for Rachel. Because you are in the school, [culture] really affects everyone in the building, new staff coming on, it's a constant, it's a battle. As an administrator you try to create a positive climate. When you have often very veteran te achers who are resistant to change, who want it to be traditional. They want to hang on to the traditions that sometimes are not always positive for kids. That is definitely somethi ng I have had to face here at Benton. When I got here, the average teaching experience was 26 years. the average. I had many 30
213 plus. And there were a lot of traditions in place that had pa ssed their time, in my opinion. This school was a low C school, dropping rapidly to a D and one of the things that was brought out in the interview was How are you going to change the school? I had done the research to know a lo t of things that needed to happen. I think that is part of the reason I got the job because they thought that I could do it. There were things heretraditions like they had club day all day Wednesd ay. There were no academics done on Wednesdays. And the school day is too short. Unfortunately that is something you cannot have. They had four and five art/music pr oductions which are wonderful and are important in elementary schools, but you cant practice fo r 12 weeks during the school day for things like that. They were not spending enough tim e on reading, writing, and math. That was the bottom line. But those were traditions that a lot of people here believed in, and they were wonderful. [Session 1, Lines 85-101] Challenging those old traditions was something Rach el had to do in order to change the focus of the school. Rachel unders tood that more instructi onal time was needed to improve test scores. In order to bring the schools grade from a low C up to an A or B, Rachel knew she had to make some significant changes at Benton. PDS and the School Mission Besides looking at student achievement data Rachel had some other ideas for how to improve the school. Inclusion and small group inst ruction were two strategies Rachel believed could change or influence on student achieveme nt at Benton. Working with a veteran staff accustomed to traditional approach es to classroom instruction a nd a traditional pullout program for exceptional education students (E SE), Rachel knew she would have to provide a great deal of support to help transition her staff into implementi ng their use. The offer to participate in the PDS program provided Rachel with an opportunity to get additional support for transitioning her school from traditional instructiona l strategies to small group instru ction and inclusion while still reaching toward improving student achievement. Some negative experiences with interns and pre-interns that had occurred at Benton in th e past, made Rachel cau tious at first about participating in the partnership. She then deci ded to bring in a univers ity representative to describe the new program.
214 The combination of bad experiences plus my pressure on them for accountability, they didn't want any part of interns. The mode l had changed and we were pushing small-group instruction. And having the pair of pre-intern s, the teachers could see, Okay maybe this small-group instruction could wo rk better with two extra set of hands, and that maybe more individual needs could be met so their [l earning] gains may grow. So their interest was piqued from that. [Session 2, Lines 102-110] And then when they saw it for one semester, th ey bought into it. That they are being held accountable, and I'm expecting them to gi ve over [instructiona l responsibility] to somebody, you know, not experienced. And so we talked about that our mutual goals were small-group instruction, more of a coaching model, that's the goals of the PDS and that's what we are working towards, and the people that want to move towards that in their classrooms are the people that we want involved. That was a change for a lot of them because it was the traditional schoo l with direct instruction. I think they bought into it enough to try it at least for a semester, see how the gains went, see how they liked doing the more coaching. and they are evolvi ng in that role. [S ession 2, Lines 182-190] The design of the PDS program was a good matc h with Rachels plans for improving the performance of the schools students. Seeing en ough teachers interested in participating in the program, Rachel agreed and allowe d Benton to be a PDS school for one semester. The interested mentor teachers looked forward to the assistance the pre-interns could provide in helping them move away from traditional, whole-group inst ruction toward small group instruction, coaching, and inclusion. But they were somewhat re luctant to participate because of the new accountability standards establishe d by Rachel. After a successf ul semester as a PDS, the teachers were willing to continue the partnershi p work. Rachels strategy of letting the teachers decide about participation in th e PDS work after being given the information on the program was successful. Establishing the PDS partnership had become a major vehicle in how Rachel worked to change her school. Rachels PDS vision integrates the PDS with her school improvement goals. Hirsch (2004) supports the integration of st aff development goals with school improvement planning. How Rachel went about preparing the teachers for the PDS demonstrated one of the
215 ways she enacted change. Although Rachel provided the staff with a description of the program before it started, the next steps in impl ementing the work were less structured. Well, we kind of threw them into it to start wi th. I think we just talked about my being a part of the mentor meetings, and we talk about when issues come up or, when I see opportunities for me to put someth ing into the conversation. This is a good time to talk to them about. this is an example, the last mentor meeting we were talking about planning. You've got to really not just show them your plan s, but you have to plan it out loud so that they see, or hear the process th at you go through. And I said, Because when they look at the plan, they have no idea what you were thinking. Why did you choose this activity? Why not this activity ? Why are you choosing to use manipulatives? Why are you. I said, so, I bring it up, This is a good time now that they are teaching and they are making plans, now would be a good time for you to sit down and plan with them and think out loud. And so, I just, being a part of the mentor meetings, when I see opportunities like that, when they start talking about little thin gs. I am like, You guys remember that you've got to plan out loud. Y ou have got to show them more. When they see you do small group and they see you do this, ma ke sure you, afterwards tell them out loud. I just kind of give them re minders. [Session 2, Lines 529-542] Rachel attended the mentor teacher meetings to assist them in their coaching of the prospective teachers. Through assisting her teachers in mentori ng the pre-service teacher, Rachel was able to improve their skills and confiden ce. Meetings with the mentor teachers provided Rachel with a platform to help shape the PDS work at Bent on and work toward achieving her goals for the school. Her methods for assis ting the mentor teachers in becoming more competent and confident coaches are a common way Rachel work s toward change at the school. Interacting with her staff and guiding them through changes in smaller, less threatening settings is one of the ways Rachel facilitates change at Benton. Principal as Collaborator The theme principal as collaborator is visible in Rachels work at Be nton. The partnership work is used by Rachel to assist her in enacti ng her beliefs in order to work toward the school improvement goals she has established. The PDS partnership has f acilitated collaboration toward achieving school improvement goals at th e school in two ways: (a) Rachel is more
216 directly involved with the prospe ctive teachers, and (b) Rachel co llaborates more with university personnel. Responsibility for interns The PDS partnership work has had an im pact on Rachels involvement with the prospective teachers in her school. By having a larger number or pre-interns in the building, Rachel has begun to see herself as having more of a responsibility for ensuring they have a good learning experience at Benton. Rachel acknow ledges the increase in her involvement and responsibility for the program. I think before when there were three or four in terns, I never really t ook on the role of me being responsible to see that their role was successful as much. I mean sure, I wanted those interns to leave here a nd say, Wow that was a good expe rience. But I think that I have taken on so much more responsibility now that there are 18 of them out here. And that it is my responsibility to make sure like the semester with the pre-intern that was really having a bad situation with the teach er and the teacher was not happy and she was not happy and it kind of fell apart all semester. I r eally had to take some leadership in that. The supervisor wasn't quite sure how to deal with it because she was dealing with a pretty strong personality on my teachers behalf too. And she knew that she was my best teacher in my school so she kind of left it, she cam e to me and said, Alright, we've got a bad situation. And really I took on the leadership on, This is how we are going to deal with it. I think that has caused me to just become more of a leader in general of that whole group. Yes they are supervised by the uni versity person, but I take it on as my responsibility now to make sure they have a good experience, that they are well-trained, that they are with good mentors and that they leave here well-prepared as much as we can to be a first-year teacher. [Session 2, Lines 265-279] Rachels hands-on approach to dealing with issu es in her school caused her to become more active in the daily operation of the PDS program Her involvement with a difficult situation served as a springboard, thrusting her more fully into the work of the program. Even though a field supervisor is present to de al with minor situations that may arise in the program, Rachel does not use that as an excuse to avoid the pr oblem. Another example of how Rachel is highly involved in the program was shared through this story. We had one pair that worked with a teacher and one was very dominant and one very shy. And so the mentor teacher and I didn't have t oo much interaction with the students, but the
217 mentor teacher and I had seve ral conversations on how we c ould, how she could structure things to let this shy [intern] come out a litt le bit and the dominant not be so dominant. We talked about things like, we brainstormed how could we, how c ould she arrange where instead of them both teaching a lesson, maybe alternate this week in science you're going to teach and next week in sc ience you're going to teach. So that allowed the shy student come out a little more. And we had probably three or four different conversations about how that was going and brainstorming sessions on how to improve that work. And then her inviting me to the class to specifically ca tch when the shy one was teaching so that then I could follow up and say, I saw you teaching. You were wonderful. And really praise her. When, usually my walk-throughs ha ppen randomly. When I don't have anything pressing at the moment, I get up and go. And usually it is in the morning I hit it more in the morning because the primary grades are teachi ng reading and that's when I try to like to go through them. So I usually hit more the mo rnings. But we would plan me coming at a certain time so I would catch that [shy] girl teaching so then I coul d then, that afternoon tell her and really praise her, because we felt like that would bri ng her shyness out if she got some praise, specifically from me on her teaching. And it did, and it worked. Then we talked a little bit and then she would go back to class and say, Miss Redd. and the teacher would come back around and say, you know she said she really was excited that you saw her teach. So that was kind of a n eat interaction that we worked through and talked about how to bring out a shy one vers us a dominant one when there are pairs. [Session 2, Lines 658-679] Although this issue could have been handled by the field advisor, the teacher came to Rachel for assistance. Following through with her commitmen t to the mentor teachers, she took a very active role in helping find a solution for the problem. When the staff agreed to consider participating in the PDS program, Rachel assured them that she would not allow the situation to become negative as they had in the past. Throug h her consistent involvement, Rachel has been able to follow through on that commitment. Besides sending a message to the mentor teach ers that she is willing to collaborate with them to improve the PDS program, Rachels high -level of involvement with the program has helped her become more c onnected with the pre-servic e teachers at Benton. [I have] More [interaction with] interns than pr e-interns, but I think definitely because of this, they interact with me so much more in the PDS. I think they are more comfortable with coming to my door. Interns definitely, they come and talk to me just like some of my teachers do. [Session 2, Lines 683-685]
218 Rachel credits the PDS program as making the difference in the amount of interaction that occurs between her and the pre-serv ice teachers. As she continues to build relationships with her faculty and staff, Rachel is also working to become closer to the university students. University Partnering Rachels collaboration with th e university through the PDS work has helped define her role as a principal. While helping with the devel opment of the PDS program at Benton and in the district, Rachel has also been growing in her role as a principal. Rachels collaboration with the university has expanded beyond what typically occurs as a part of the PDS program. Because of the relationship and having a clea r vision of where she wanted her school to be headed, Rachel sought help to improve writing in struction at Benton. As a result, university personnel not affiliated with the program have been working at the school. When I was a teacher, I never saw the university in my school, not at all. I think more professors are building relationships with principals and with teachers through the PDS work. Marion is in our school, observing teacher s, observing kids, studying kids writing. I think the more relationships we can build like that, the mo re connect there will be on what we are dealing with in the classroom da y and what they're teaching at the university because, you know Cozette, she's in schools a lo t and she knows what kind of kids we are dealing with, that are coming to school with i ssues that they are de aling with. [Session 3, Lines 456-462] Rachel sees the PDS work as a tool for build ing relationships between school and university personnel. She values this connection even tho ugh it is contrary to her past experiences with university and K-12 collaborations Rachel believes that th rough stronger relationships, the university personnel will be better inform ed about the issues faced in schools. The collaboration has in some ways cha nged how Rachel goes about implementing change. It is not uncommon for Rachel to solic it help from other university personnel based on the needs of her school. The other role I guess is, now that I have a connection with the university with a few different people, for instance this summer as we are going into full inclusion. I was
219 already thinking, Who can I call at the university to go ahea d and develop a partnership about inclusion that can help us with resources. And before that wouldn't have been my initial thought. I would think, Y eah I need help, but I. . Now I pull out the College of Education directory. I look up who is expert in this and I will call them. I am not hesitant to do that now. [Session 2, Lines 410-415] Rachels experiences as the pr incipal of a PDS partner school have provided her with the initiative to obtain help from the university as she thinks about making changes at Benton. The collaboration has become a tool to assist he r in the growth and de velopment of her school. Principal as Culture Maker The theme principal as culture maker is conne cted to Rachels actions to transform her school through the introd uction and development of the PDS program. Rachel has set out to build a new culture at Benton in two ways: (a) through training her current staff and hiring new teachers she is building a new school culture, and (b) using her work with PDS partnership to facilitate a change in the school culture. Staffing Having a strong belief in establishing a posit ive culture in her school, Rachel has set out to create a staff that accepts her philosophy and is willing to work toward established goals. One of Rachels approaches to bu ilding the culture she wants at Benton has been through her hiring practices. But due to growth and due to retirement, Ive been able to replace a lot more staff in the last two years. My first y ear, I think I only hired one and the second year maybe two. But the last two years I have been able to hire five or six each year. So probably almost half the staff now I've hired. Of course I try to hire people who believe in inclusion, believe in the PDS, believe in the things that I want to have happen. And so I really think, most of them are, I tend to hire very vocal, strong pe ople. And I think they would be active in keeping going a lot of the things that we have. But I think it all depends on the leadership, who comes in behind me. I mean everyone comes with things they want to do and directions they want to take the school. If someone came in behind me that had different direction like in regards to inclusion then they are going to make some policy decisions that could really affect that. But I really thi nk that a lot of the peopl e that I have hired are vocal enough and are willing to stand up and say T his is what's best for kids and we want to do this. [Session 3, Lines 66-77]
220 As her time at Benton has grown, Rachel has be en afforded the opportunity to build a staff that supports her goals for the sc hool. Hiring teachers who hold similar beliefs about inclusion and small group instruction as well as a willingne ss to participate in the PDS work, have been ways that Rachel has supported th e PDS work at Benton and tried to build school culture. After four years as principal, Rachel believes she has developed a staff w ho would support her goals for inclusion and small group instruction even if she were to leave Benton. As she works to build a staff that reflects th e culture she is trying to establish, Rachel continues to hire new teachers. When interviewing candidates for teaching positions, Rachel asks them questions to see if they have simila r philosophies about inclusion and small group instruction. PDS program One deliberate step in her attempt to change the culture of her sc hool has been the way Rachel has set out to integrate the PDS work into the school. Rachel has become highly involved in the work associated with the PDS progr am. While some PDS principals change little in their daily practices to accommodate the progra m, Rachel makes a concerted effort to include the prospective teachers into school activities as though they were members of the faculty. Before PDS for sure, we had very few interns. We had a few interns here and there. I would see them when I go through my walk -throughs almost daily. Not too much interaction with them, you know I would meet them, say Hi, no working with their assignments, no training them in any way, just casual conversation in passing, probably. With the PDS's, I get to. first I put a real effort into making them a part of the school, when I probably should have before but, with the interns they would come second week of school and the university person, I sometimes even just occasionally saw. So there was no real relationship. With the PDS, they all are truly a part of our school and so everything I did for the teachers to start the year off I did fo r pre-interns and interns. I made them name tags. I invited them to our breakfast. I did for them almost everything I did for teachers. Because the PDS model, they ar e so much more a part of our school and the supervisors are so much more a part of our school. I mean, they know what school improvement says, they know what we are working on. They know they just know so much more than before. I get to know them very well from meeting them the first morning of preplanning at the breakfast and introducing them. That afternoon I met with them again and did an
221 orientation of our school. Within two or th ree weeks, I was back with them as a group training them on data-driven instruction. With in a few weeks after that, I was back in teaching them about school grades. So I mean I had all these interact ions with them as a group, and plus me walking through daily into all their classrooms and seeing them teach pretty quickly and be real involved. They all come to IEP's. They all come to parent conferences that I am at. It is so much more of an interact ion instead of casual. every couple of weeks I am meeting with them as a whole group and talking to them for an hour and a half. And they are so mu ch more a part of the staff because there is a larger group too, I think, and because the classrooms [teachers] talk more too. I think previously, when there were three or four intern s, they didn't really get togeth er as a group. They didn't have class here. They were just kind of individual isolates. Now, they meet class here. Our group of teachers meet together monthly to talk about mentori ng and what's going on. There's so much more group interaction now, and with me, and with, I think, my BRT and CRT. They've both also been training with the pre-interns. My BRT did a whole presentation with them on disc ipline strategies and Jessica has done r eading strategies and intervention strategies with them. [Session 2, Lines 214-242] The pre-service teachers are involved in the daily operation of the school. They are treated as faculty members. Beyond that, Rachel is very ac tive in their work as university students. Not only does she visit them in their classrooms but she also gives talks in their seminar class on various topics. Further demonstrating her comm itment to making the PDS program part of the school culture, Rachel also encour ages other staff member to present in the seminar class and share their expertise with the pre-interns. Rachel believes her work with the university and PDS program has assisted her in moving the teachers closer toward the goals she has se t for them. The teachers are becoming more accepting of non-traditional strategies. By having mentor teachers and pre-service teachers onstaff using small group instruction and ESE students en rolled in inclusion cla sses, the rest of the staff is able to see how those strategies can be implemented effectively and have a positive impact on student achievement. And that has really changed here because, as I said before, this was a very traditional school. Everyone did whole group instructi on. Even the younger teachers that were trained under the veteran teachers here were very much whole group, direct instruction even though the university was touting. We tend to blend into th e culture that you are in. I think enough people now have changed. I mean there still is definitely a lot of direct instruction, but many of those are tinkering with small-group instruction, especially the
222 ones that are involved in the PDS because of th e pre interns. Then there are several newer people on staff who do total small-group instruc tion. And we study a lo t of data and my staff pays attention to the othe r teachers data. And so when they see a class they know is complete small-group instruction and they see that their data is much higher than theirs, they are competitive enough to say, I want to know what she is doing, or I want to go see her, or I want. . So that is a good change for sure in our culture. That we are constantly learning. That we are moving to more and more meeting individual needs, moving to inclusion was something that. ther e are people here that don't believe in it. They know I do and I have enough staff that belie ve in it, so we group the kids and I have about two teachers in each grade that believe in inclusion and want to do it and are willing to do it. And I think at the end of this year there will be a few more that step up and say, I think I want to do that, because they ha ve seen the positives coming out of those classrooms. They are seeing how much the kids grow. I show the data all the time on the ESE kids that are in included that are growing, that really didnt grow a whole lot in the pullout. [Session 3, Lines 397-416] The partnership with the university has helped Rachel show her staff that inclusion and small group instruction can work. Through looking at the data produced by teachers using small group instruction and sharing the scores of ESE students placed in inclus ion classes, more of Rachels staff members are accepting these strategies as vi able methods that can increase student learning gains. Principal as Protector In her role as PDS leader, the theme principa l as protector emerges from Rachels work. Combined with her beliefs about school change and culture, Rachel stands in a role of protector for her staff. Rachel serves as a filter for her staff by limiting the type and amount of pressure that may come from outside the school. While she places high expectations and has pus hed, often hard at times, to instigate change, Rachel is very protective of her teachers and thei r time. In her role as protector, Rachel positions herself between outside forces and her teachers to limit actions that could cause them discomfort. Despite her strong belief in the bene fits she is receiving from her work with the university, Rachel still situates herself as a middle man and ch allenges situations that do not match with the immediate needs of her teachers.
223 One thing I really have to watch is like the me ntor meetings. If we say they're going to be 45 minutes, really keep them to 45 minutes. Sometimes when outside people come in, university or whoever, they have no concept of a teachers time and day. You know, that theyve got a lot to do in the afternoons and they can't just chat for hours and hours and hours. We've had that experi ence this year. Marion and Ka ren Grove, this was the first time that Karen has been out here, wanted to wo rk with third-grade. They have a lot of inclusion kids and lots of severe ESE kids and are really worried about FCAT and how to get these kids prepared and how it is going to affect their scores a nd our school grade and all that. Marion and Karen had some ideas so I had them come in a nd meet with the thirdgrade team but it was obvious they are on overl oad and they don't want to sit and talk for an hour and a half on theory and. I really try to be a those meetings because of that. They don't feel like they can say, Weve got a lot to do today. We cant sit here for an hour and a half and just chat. With me th ere, and I can read th eir body language because I know them well enough by the things they say, th at I can say, and I did, I had to finally say, It is obvious that you ar e under a lot of stress and worry. I was trying to help and bring some resources. They said We just feel like we've been staff developed to death and weve got things that we want to work on from the last staff development and we don't want to move into another direction yet. And I was proud that they were able to say that. I was a little. Karen's first interaction with our school, this is what she got. But I told them, and Marion I think helped because sh e said, You know, I understand. They are under a lot of pressure. This is third-grade. I think you would proba bly find that with any third-grade group of teachers in the state. They are unde r a different pressure than anybody else. And now is not the time. I m ean, after FCAT, we'll plan something and you can come back. They will be a different group after the FCAT. And that is why I like to be there because I can control. I can read th em and say, It is obvious that you all are. right now is not the right time to do this. So le t's reschedule this for in the spring. If I wasn't in the meeting, they would sit there a nd they would just be mad afterwards. [Session 3, Lines 341-366] Rachel recognizes how the pressure s of accountability impact her teachers. Knowing this, she is selective in when and how she pushes for cha nge. When two university professors visited Benton to provide possible solutions to an issue related to reading, the st aff development activity was not well received by the staff. Even t hough Rachel was very accep ting of the ideas being offered, she knew her staff was feeling overwhelm ed so she ended the session prematurely. She committed to her university partners to re-visit the issue at a later time, but placed the needs of her teachers above the collaborative efforts with the university.
224 Principal as Inquirer and Learner The theme principal as inquirer and learner is connected to Rachels actions to improve her own skills as a PDS principal and those of her st aff. Two components emerge from the data on her role as a learner: (a) Rachels beliefs about the role of resear ch and theory in connection with classroom practices, and (b) Rachels belief that everyone should continue to learn. Theory Rachel has some strong beliefs about the role of research and theory and its connection to classroom instruction. After en tering the teaching profession, R achel felt that her university education had failed to provide her with the skills she needed to successfu lly navigate the day-today challenges of teaching. Well, I think until you get to the internship part which was really at the end, it is a lot of theory. The university was very into whole language then. I got very little instruction in teaching kids how to read with phonics and you know how that swings occasionally. They were very into whole language and introducing all kinds of literature into the classroom was very strong when I came through Proteach. I think it was a lot of theory based, when I am not sure how reality based it was when you hit your internships and you see ESOL kids, you see ESE kids. I didn't feel prepared for that. I didn't feel like the coursework prepared me for that. Only when I became a teacher and experienced it day-to-day, talking about issues with your team and we did do so me in-service did I feel like I could start meeting those needs. So there was some di sconnect between theory and practice and what reality, face-to-face when you got into th e classroom. [Session 1, Lines 258-268] As a learner, Rachel wants to be exposed to in formation and skills that she believes will have practical applications. As a university student Ra chel explained that she was only taught how to teach reading using the whole language approach. This left Rachel feeling inadequate when it came to teaching reading once she became a teache r, feeling that she ne eded to have been exposed to instruction in the use of phonics. This experience with whole language has made Rachel very cautious in dealing with theory, quest ioning if it will assist teachers in meeting the needs of their students. Yet, de spite her reservations about theory and research, Rachel has still
225 placed a great deal of trust in her university prof essors to assist her in her school improvement efforts. Everyone Learns Rachel believes it is important for everyone on staff to continue their role as learners. Numerous researchers support her stance on the importance of everyone in the school community acting as learners (Barth, 1990; Bowen & Adkiso n, 1996; Cramer & Johnston, 2000; Fullan, 2002; Lee, 2002). Her work with the university has made it easier for Rachel to provide learning opportunities for her staff. Additi onally, Rachel continues her own quest for knowledge. I think that constantly learni ng, we are all learners. We ar e seeing the neophyte learners, the pre-interns. But we are all still learning. I mean that relationship of them bringing things from the university, us sharing things that are more reality versus the university. What we are really doing within classrooms, the university is not always right on with what we are really dealing with. I think that sharing back-and-forth of knowledge, research, best practices of things that we have seen that work with rural kids. I think we are all a community of learners. They see me learn all the time. When we started working on writing, I had a teacher, from the mentor gr oup as a matter of fact, that wanted me to come in and teach a writing group because we were talking about doing small-group writing. I want you to come in a nd I said, I do not feel like I am prepared to do that. I was a science teacher. I do not know how to teach writing. I am learni ng right along with the rest of you and I am doing the book studies and re ading the books right along with you all. I am attending the trainings right along with you. I am learning just like you all are learning. I'm not ready. I'm not prepared to do a writing small-group yet. I mean, you've been teaching writing for 20 years. I have never taught writing. And so immediately, I think they see me as a learner too. And I th ink that is important. You know, my BRT and CRT are active learners. They are taking classe s. They are doing book studies. I think if anything, that is what I hope we have cultivated here is that We are all learners and we are constantly looking to improve because we are c onstantly hit with different kinds of kids and different issues and there is no one an swer for everyone. [Session 3, Lines 379-397] Rachel is very open with her staff about the importance of everyone continuing to learn and grow. When asked by a teacher for assistance with teaching writing, Rachel shared with the teacher that she was uncomfortable providing th at assistance because her background was in middle school science. Because of a desire to be come a better coach for her teachers in the area
226 of writing, Rachel enrolled in a doctoral program and took seve ral courses related to teaching writing. Besides serving as a ro le model by returning to school, a nother way Rachel has encouraged adult learning in her school is by selecting books that the entire sta ff is invited to read. She was exposed to these books as part of her work at the university and her coll aboration with Marion. To facilitate teacher learning in these readi ngs, Rachel holds discussion groups about the assigned chapters and has even facilitated the most recent one online. Th e participants in the online reading group include staff members and university personnel. I have about 14 teachers and Mariann, Desta, Desta's mom from [a nearby university], Marion, I guess that is it for the outside people. And they really don't as much post as they watch and then when Marion comes to talk to the writing committee, she talks about some of the things that she has seen in the book study. And I am actively reading the book with them even though I've read that book before. Im reading it with them and I'm posting reflective questions after each chapter. I th ink that's important. I gave a training for people in the district on how I am doing it. Somebody in a training said, Why don't you just post all the questions and then you are done? Well that is not me truly involved. I think my teachers see that too. I have always tried not to ask them to do things that I am not willing to do. Like I am doing the readi ng endorsement because I have asked, I have people here working on it so I'm working on it to o. I think that is important as principal, for them to see me as an active learner and actually doing the things they are doing too. You know, me going to kindergarten classrooms the kindergarten teachers said How many principals know much about kindergarten? But you do because you are in our classrooms all the time and you come to confer ences with us and sit in the workshops and learn just like we do. I think we have better conversations about learning because of that, because I have been right there w ith them. [Session 3, Lines 141-156] One of her peers suggested that instead of posting the questions at the end of each week for the book study, Rachel should post them all at once and then she woul d be done. Rachel explained to her friend that by doing so, she would not be as involved in the book study. The questions needed to be tailored to the discussions as they were developing. Even though it would have been easier, Rachel wanted to make the on line book study a dynamic l earning opportunity that would best serve the needs of the participants. This demonstrates that Rachel is building her
227 school culture by demonstrating he r high level of involvement and willingness to learn alongside her staff. Principal as Knowledge Broker The theme principal as knowledge broker is c onnected to actions that Rachel takes to facilitate the distribution of know ledge. She believes this knowledge is important to the progress and success of her school and the PDS work. Rachel is directly involved by providing workshops and instructing pre-service teachers at her school. Rachel also brokers knowledge for her teachers in order to improve thei r skills as classroom instructors. Based on her experiences as a university st udent, Rachel wants to ensure that the experience the pre-service teachers have at Bent on provides them with the best training they can receive. Rachel feels a great d eal of responsibility for the inform ation given to the pre-interns at her school. She wants their experience at Benton to be both positive and relevant. I go to the seminar every semester and do a couple of lessons. I've taught them about school grading, about data-drive n instruction, about IEPs and Special Ed and 504s. I've done several trainings about diffe rent things for them and every time Desta or, Charles, or whoevers doing the seminar says, you should be t eaching this class. And so that is kind of how it went. I plan on doing it next semester It will be interes ting to see. [Session 2, Lines 129-134] Rachel has taken the time each seme ster to visit the pre-interns se minar to give them information that she feels is very important to their future success as teacher s. Just as Foster, Loving, and Shumate (2000) found in their st udy of effective PDS principals Rachel believes in sharing responsibility for the mission of improving the university s teacher preparation program. With her consistent pattern of being highly involve d in the PDS work, along with her willingness to present at the seminar, Rachel was invited to serv e in the role of seminar instructor in the spring semester of 2007. I think with me teaching the seminar class, the mentors active involvement in the assignments and really, because at seminar, I mean at the mentor meetings. I am going
228 to be the one giving the assignments. I mean there are going to be some the university requires that we can tweak and I think they will see that as they will just jump right in because I am the teacher. They see, Hey we can completely control this to some degree. I think they will really get invo lved in the assignments. One of the things that we're going to talk about, next week as a ma tter of fact, is what are the th ings, we need a list, and we've talked about this some before, but I want it o fficially down. These are the experiences that we want the pre interns to ha ve during their semester and I need to make sure that it happens through seminar or through during their day. I think they will get really involved in that, really thinking about th ese are the things th at they really need to be exposed to, experience while they're here. And us actually get down an actual list that they all agree to, that well all make sure that they experi ence while they're here. We've talked about it like we've talked about, I did their training w ith them on IEPs and we've talked about in mentor meetings. I just trained them on IEPs. Make sure you take them to an IEP. But we've never really formalized These are the experiences we want them to have. You know, if they happen to get placed in a classr oom that is not inclusion, spending some time in an inclusion classroom would obviously be important. We wa nt them to have experience. I think they w ill really get into that, of controlling the assignments and experiences we want them to have. I think, I re ally hope that a few of them really will step up as leaders of that and then as we evolve I could possibly turn it over to one of them to do. They couldn't teach the seminar because it is during the day. [Session 3, Lines 267287] Rachel has used her interactions with university personnel and as a presenter or inst ructor of the seminar to have a role in what information is give n to the pre-interns. It is important to Rachel that she has a say in what experiences the preservice teachers have while they are at Benton. When several assignments her mentor teachers felt did not match the needs of the prospective teachers or their role in the classroom, Rachel contacted university pers onnel to challenge them as requirements. Rachel is very assertive when it comes to structuring the PDS program to fit the needs of her school and the university students at Benton. In her role as a knowledge broker, Rachel has solicited the university to assist her in providing her staff with training in areas that would enhance their sk ills as classroom instructors. Cozette led me through conversation of what are the school improvement areas that you really want to work on. I brought up the wri ting, so she suggested I talk with Marion and introduced us. I introduced her to the staff and let them k now that she was an expert in writing, which I was not and needed a lot more in formation so that I could even help move us in that direction, that sh e was just going to help us. That she was going to offer suggestions. She was going to come to the school and work with the writing committee where we would bring student work to the m eeting and we would take a look at it and
229 brainstorm with her expertise a nd come up with things we can do to change and try to help. [Session 2, Lines 347-353] Rachel used her relationship with the university to he lp compensate for weakness she felt in her own ability to lead her staff. Rachels concer ns about a perceived wea kness in her ability to assist the teachers in the teaching of writing cau sed her to seek assistance from the university. Rachel used her leadership role as a PDS principal to broker know ledge to assist her teachers in their efforts to achieve the high e xpectations she had set for them. Summary Rachels role as a PDS principal is bu ilt around her focus on school improvement. She structures her work with the PDS to match the overall needs of her school and staff. Through integrating the PDS work into the culture of the school and using the resour ces of the program to facilitate change, Rachel made deliberate move s toward her goals for school improvement. In her role as change agent, Rachel takes st eps to move her staff away from traditional teaching strategies. Rachel has solicited help from the university to obtain resources for her staff in the form of staff development training in incl usion and writing instruct ion. With the intention of improving student achievement, Rachel holds he r staff accountable by using data to have the staff reflect on student le arning gains. Also, Rachel has molded the PDS work into a form that she feels best suits the needs of her teachers in order to assist them in producing better learning gains in the students. Rachel has made the part nership a collaboration wh ere the university assist her in reaching school goals. As a collaborator, Rachel works closely with university personnel to oversee the success of the partnership work. Rachel is willing to present at conferen ces to assist the university in sharing the story of its PDS network. Also, R achel is actively engaged with the pre-service teachers through teaching their seminar, visiting th em in the classrooms, and making them feel a
230 part of the faculty. Rachel also engages in conv ersations and activities w ith the mentor teachers and field advisor to address chal lenging situations that may occur with pre-intern placements. Additionally, through her mentor teac her meetings, Rachel is inter acting more with her staff and gradually giving them the confidence to play a part in the design of the PDS program. Rachels role as a culture maker is strongly connected to her push for change. Rachel is striving to integrate the PDS work into the school culture. Rachel envisions the partnership as a strategy for helping her improve student learning at Benton, and she works to modify the design of the program to assist her in reaching her goals. Through the hiring of new teachers with beliefs similar to hers, Rachel is creating a cri tical mass of teachers to make inclusion and small group instruction the new teaching tradition at Benton. Rachels work as a culture maker causes her to always bring the focus back to accountability for student learning. Learning is important to Rachel. In her role as an inquirer, Rachel encourages everyone at Benton to continue their learning. Besides pr oviding multiple trainings for her staff and conducting book studies, Rachel has w alked the talk and returned to school to earn a doctoral degree. Many of these learning opp ortunities were a result of he r work with university personnel through the PDS partnership. This PDS connecti on has also guided Rachel to a more positive outlook on the use of theory and research in the cl assroom. Rachel is more willing to use theory and research as long as she can see that it connects to a specific need at the school. In her role as protector of teachers, Rachel has carefully guarded the time of her staff. Having an understanding of the demands on their time, Rachel has limited outside activities and, in some cases, ended them. When a requested in -service training began to lead the teachers to feeling overwhelmed, Rachel abruptly ended th e workshop. Also, Rachel has placed herself in the role of protector by making su re the PDS work is designed so that it is the best use of time
231 for practicing and pre-service teachers. Rachel will contact university personnel if she feels an activity needs to be challenged because it does no t fit her vision for what the teacher education program should be. Lastly, Rachels role as k nowledge broker can be seen in how she selects learning opportunities for her staff and prospective teachers at Benton. Rachel took the time to present at the pre-intern seminar before she served as the full -time instructor. Rachel did this to ensure the quality and content of what the pre-interns were being taught matched her goals for the partnership and field experience at Benton. Also, to assist the teachers in their work on school improvement goals, Rachel conducted book studies re lated to writing. Rachel selected the books and determined the content of questions to be discussed. Looking at the six themes through the lenses of the Four Frames, there is a great deal of overlap associated with Rachels work as a PDS principal. While the other two principals were working in desirable school cult ures which they had had time to help establish, Rachel was in a position where she had to create the culture. The themes change agent, culture maker, collaborator, inquirer/learner, knowledge broker and pr otector can be viewed from all four frames: structural, symbolic, political, and human resource. The actions Rachel takes in these frames serve multiple purposes all at once. For example, as a knowledge broker, Rachels efforts to bring in additional training for the teachers incl ude: (a) working to improve the teachers skills toward the goal of improving student achievement (structural); (b) matching the teachers needs for improved skills in instructing students ( human resource); (c) building a culture of professional growth and learning for all the adults at Benton (symbolic); and (d) building a coalition of teachers to support the goals of acco untability by ensuring all are trained in the methods Rachel prefers (political).
232 Also, there is a great deal of overlap in the themes for Rachel. The human resource frame activity of matching the needs of the staff to the n eeds of the organization ex ists in the themes or culture maker, inquirer/learner, pr otector, and change agent. The symbolic frame, with a focus on culture can be used to view each of the themes through Rachels push to establish a culture of accountability, collaboration, and co ntinuous learning. The political frame, with Rachels work to build a coalition of teachers set her agenda, and allocate and protect resources such as teachers time are present in each theme as well. Structurally, the focus on the school mission of improving student learning is common to each of the themes. The frames and themes for Rachel are densely intertwined. The task Rachel has faced in establishing herself as the principal of Benton has made her work in the Four Frames and the relationship between the frames a nd the six themes very visible.
233 Figure 9-1 Rachels PDS principal themes. Rachel As A PDS Principal Theory Everyone Learns Educating PreService Teachers Tradition vs. Accountability Integrating PDS Work & School Mission Filter Principal as Change Agent Principal as Collaborator Principal as Protector Principal as Inquirer/Learner Principal as Knowledge Broker Principal as Culture Maker Prospective Teachers University Personnel Staffing Building the PDS work Training Faculty
234 Figure 9-2 Relationship between the Four Frames and Rachels PDS principal themes. The size of the circle represents the role the frame plays in Rachels leadership style. The larger the circle, the more prevalent the fram e is in her role as a PDS principal. The themes listed in the circles identify connections between the frames and her work associated with the themes. Human Resource Political Structural Symbolic Change Agent Collaborator Culture Maker Inquirer/Learner Knowledge Broker Protector Change Agent Collaborator Culture Maker Inquirer/Learner Knowledge Broker Protector Change Agent Collaborator Culture Maker Inquirer/Learner Knowledge Broker Protector Change Agent Collaborator Culture maker Inquirer/Learner Knowledge Broker Protector
235 CHAPTER 10 CROSS-CASE ANALYSIS In this chapter, I look across the lived expe riences of the three PD S principals, Brent, Tanya, and Rachel, in order to better understand the phenomenon of principal leadership within one network of elementary PDSs and answer the que stion: What is the essence of the principals role in a PDS? This chapter looks across the themes presented in Chapters 5, 7, and 9 which characterize the PDS principals role and how each of those principals made sense of his or her role. In addition to examini ng how these themes representing the PDS principal leadership emerge across the PDS principals, I use Bolman and Deals (1997) Four Frames to identify the similarities and differences that emerge when comparing the leadership of these three PDS principals. Also, the way in which each of the themes intersects with the NCATE (2006) PDS Standards is highlighted. Theme Comparisons Six themes emerged across the three PDS principals studied. These themes included principal as culture maker, prin cipal as collaborator, principal as change agent, principal as inquirer/learner, principal as pr otector, and principal as knowledge broker. These themes can be found in Appendix E. A cross-case comparison of the three principals of the themes indicated several ways in which the leadership styles and goals of Brent, Tanya, and Rachel were similar and how they differed. Principal as Culture Maker Looking at the theme principal as culture maker, the three principals have similar visions of what they would like their schoo ls culture to be like. Rachel, as the newest principal, is working to build a culture in which accountability for student learning is the central focus. Because she entered into a culture where acc ountability for student learning was not the top
236 priority, Rachels efforts in cu lture building are not as evolved as Brents and Tanyas, yet she probably spends the most time of the three prin cipals working to build a new school culture. Transmitting her vision for the school has been a ma jor task for Rachel, which she has needed to accomplish while she was establishing her role as the school leader. Tanyas efforts at culture build ing are further along the contin uum, with her goal being to maintain the relationships that exist at Parkwa y while continually having the teachers bring their focus back to the student work. Having already established the working environment she wants, Tanya was able to place more of her energies into helping the staff be more focused on curriculum and instruction. In th e same tone, Rachel has begun to also help her staff be more focused on curriculum and instru ction now that her efforts at establishing a culture of accountability have been progressing successfully. Having the most stable and sma llest staff of the three principals, Brent has been able to focus his culture-making activities around teacher leadership. Instead of pouring his energies into curriculum and instruction issues, Brent bu ilds culture by empowering his teachers. The leadership of his teachers strengthens the schoo l culture of collegialit y. Brents lack of a vocalized goal can be directly related to the si ze of his school, his years of experience, and the experience of his teachers. Brent believes that the key to enabling teachers to improve their skills as classroom instructors is directly related to empowe ring them to direct their own learning. Brent understands that t eachers want to maximize the achie vement of the students. He does not feel it is necessary to articulate student learning as a school goal, feeling that it is already present as a goal for each individual teacher. When comparing the PDS principals, it is clea r that all three principals highly value positive school cultures. Tanya and Brent are working to maintain school cultures where
237 teachers are able to work collaboratively, while Rachel has been focused on building a school culture open to change and collaboration. Even t hough they are at different points in their career, the focus on school culture is consis tent across the three principals. Also, all three principals are attempting to integrate the PDS work into thei r school culture by connecting it to their school missions; Brent connects the PDS work to his effo rts to facilitate teacher leadership, Tanya connects the PDS work to her efforts to focus on student achievement, a nd Rachel connects the PDS work to her efforts to provide her teachers support in their attempts to move away from traditional teaching strategies. Overall, the theme principal as culture make r relates to the way each of the principals works to integrate aspects of the PDS work in to the school culture. While culture could be considered as the roles, rituals and responsibili ties associated with the day-to-day operation of the school, very little activity outside the realm of re sponsibilities surfaced from the interview data. While Brent has made the inclusion of i nquiry an integral part of the developing PDS culture at Countryside Elementary School, the inqui ry event in which his staff participates on a yearly basis is the only unique ritual of a pr incipals design that has seemed to emerge. The ritual of the mentor teacher meeting has been in corporated into each of the three schools with each principal playing various roles in the form those meetings have taken. As principals who empower their teachers, discussion of what the mentor teacher meetings look like or how they have evolved did not appear in the interview da ta for Brent and Tanya. Rachel discussed the evolution of the mentor teacher meetings at Be nton and the form she would like them to take, hoping the teachers would gradually take more responsibility for the meetings. Rachel also shared in the member check how she was planning to place a teacher in the position of a school-
238 based leader for the PDS. Tanya discussed in her interviews her reliance on her curriculum resource teacher for ensuring the success of the PDS work. Interestingly, how the theme principal as culture maker connects to the NCATE (2006) Standards for PDSs depends on how each principal enacts his or her leadership role in the PDS. The creation of a culture integrating the PDS work into the daily life of the schools cuts across all five standards. Although each theme is visible to some degree in this standard, the work that each principal does as a culture maker related to the five standards emerges more clearly in the other five themes. Principal as Collaborator The three principals differ sl ightly in how they act in their roles of principal as collaborator. In her role as co llaborator, Rachels efforts throu gh the PDS work are to help both partners grow. While working toward her sc hool mission of improving student achievement, Rachel also puts great effort into improving the universitys teacher education program. Although Tanya pushes for changes in the university program, she is not as invested in the growth of the teacher education program. Tanyas main focus through the collaboration is to improve student learning at her school. While Brent recognizes how the collaborati on with the university benefits student achievement, he is very invested in developi ng the PDS program and sh aring responsibility for the universitys mission. Although student achie vement is the focus of his mission at Countryside, his collaborative efforts are more about building the structures and commitment for the PDS program. Brent relies on his teachers an d teacher leaders to focus on the issues of curriculum and instruction related to the PDS work. Brent and Rachel are the most involved in direct collaboration with the university personnel in the PDS program. They both are very hands-on in the daily operation of their
239 school as a PDS. Tanya interacts with pre-service teachers in rela tion to their field experience in the classrooms by doing walk-throughs and enga ging in communication to foster reflection. However, Brent and Rachel regularly partic ipate in the pre-interns seminar. Comparing the three PDS principals, all three identify connec tions between the universitys goals for the PDS and their own leadership work as principals. The collaborative efforts between the principals and the university personnel have become uniquely integrated into the beliefs, experiences, and goals of the PDS principals as leaders. The principal as collaborator is best defined by how each principal works with their staff, pre-service teachers, and unive rsity personnel around the PDS wo rk. The clearest connection between this theme and the NCATE (2006) Standards for PDSs emerges from Standards I, III and V. Each principal in their role as collabor ator is supporting multiple learners and is serving as an instrument of change, both components of Standard I: Learning Community. Additionally, each principal is engaging in joint work with the university, an element of Standard III: Collaboration. Finally, the elements from Standard V, Structures, Roles, and Resources, of using effective communication and ensuri ng progress toward goals emerge from the data as activities in which each principal participates. Principal as Change Agent In their roles as agents of change, Brent a nd Tanya are very similar. Both use their teachers to enact change in their respective schools Brent uses staff development to facilitate the personal and professional gr owth of his teachers. The le arning opportunities that Brent selects for his staff are not activities that pr ovide practice in how to teach. Instead, Brent provides his teachers with trainings related to building learning communities and data-driven instruction, staff development activities that guid e his staff in becoming more reflective educators. Tanya works in a similar fashion with her teacher leaders, bu t to a lesser degree.
240 Tanya enacts change by selecting te acher leaders to participate in university trainings and then asks these teachers to go back a nd share with their team members. The difference between Brent and Tanya in their roles as principal as change agent is that Brent pushe s for change and Tanya invites her staff to change. While Brent and Tanyas efforts at change ar e more focused on teachers, Rachel is more focused on facilitating cultural chan ges at Benton. Rachel is work ing to build a school culture centered on accountability. Beyond that, Rachel is putting great effort into making the PDS work an integrated component of this new sc hool culture. Rachel is trying to connect the mission of her school with the goals of the unive rsitys teacher education. Brent is focused on empowering teachers. Tanya is more focused on making the PDS work fit into the existing culture. The three principals stances on change and the PDS work are directly related to the beliefs, experiences, and goals that underlie their leader ship. The career points of the three PDS principals affect the goals for ch ange at their respectiv e schools. Rachel is early in her career as a principal. Rachels stance to ward the PDS work would be c onsidered developing. Rachels focus for change is dispersed between her grow th needs, staff growth needs, and creating a school culture. Rachels work in the partnership is centered on developing the program at the same time she is developing herself as a leader and building a new school culture. As a veteran principal, Tanya enacts her be liefs, experiences, and goals differently. Tanyas approach to the PDS work would be considered integrating. Tanya is connected primarily to matching the partnership work with her goals for focusing on student learning. In all the work that goes on at Park way, Tanya designs change efforts to integrate into the goals of student learning.
241 Brents beliefs, experiences, a nd goals as a leader guide him to take a culminating stance on change associated with the PDS work. Brent c onsiders the PDS work to be very connected to his own personal growth. He argues that the part nership work has facilita ted not only the growth of his staff and students, but al so his own. Changes instituted at Countryside are designed to foster the growth of everyone. Principal as change agent is best defined by how each principal facilitates change in themselves, their school, and the university around th e PDS work. As with the role of principal as culture maker, the principals role as ch ange agent cuts across all five NCATE (2006) Standards for PDSs However, the first standard, Learning Community, and the element of serving as an instrument of change is most direct ly connected to this theme. Each principal, in his or her role as a PDS leader has facilitated change at their school in some way. Brent and Rachel have used the PDS work to extend and expand their school cultures especially around teacher learning and inquiry. Tanya has facilita ted change to strengthen the focus on student learning and has used the PDS work to enrich the school culture through the increase of teacher reflection. Principal as Inquirer/Learner Brent and Rachel are similar in their roles as inquirers and learners. Both believe strongly that not only should their teachers continue to lear n, but Brent and Rachel invest time to continue their own professional growth. Brent has conduc ted his own inquiry, supports his staff in attempts to study their teaching practice, has made inquiry one method for the professional evaluation of his teachers, and volunteers to sp eak to various groups about teacher inquiry. Rachel encourages her teachers to conduct inquiries alongside thei r pre-interns and also provides her teachers with multiple training opportunities to improve their sk ills in teaching writing, using
242 data to shape their practice, and work in an inclusive atmosphere. Additionally, Rachel has worked to improve her own skills by returni ng the university to pursue a doctoral degree. Tanya supports the idea of teacher inquiry. She encourages her staff to study their own practice and suggests to some teach ers they might want to conduct an inquiry study. Tanya takes the time to read the inquiry papers completed by the pre-service teachers at her school. Despite her support of inquiry, Tanya is vocal in her beli ef that the inquiry must be relevant to the teachers work in the classroom and be connect ed to student learning. Tanya does not push her teachers to conduct inquiry projects as much as Br ent and Rachel. One critical incident in the inquiry work at her school resulted from a conf lict with the field advi sor over the idea of journaling. As Tanya felt the primary purpose of the journaling was to meet the needs of the field advisor and her research agenda. Tanya was quick to contact the fiel d advisor to defend her teachers position that the journaling was not be neficial to their inquiry work or classroom practice. This event could be a result of a misunderstandi ng between Tanya and the field advisor. Parkway Elementary has had the least amount of consistency with field advisors among the three schools. All three principals men tioned during their interv iews the importance of consistency in relationships with university pe rsonnel. The lack of a long-term field advisor could have played an importa nt role in how Tanya reacte d to the journaling issue. Besides supporting inquiry, Tanya has increased the role of reflection in how she leads. Tanya encourages her practicing an d pre-service teachers to be more reflective. When she visits classrooms, she often poses questions related to wh at she observed in order for the teachers to consider their instruction. Also, Tanya asks job applicants for teaching positions to reflect on lessons they have taught in the past.
243 Although there are similarities in their support of inquiry, the thr ee principals differ in their beliefs about research and theory. Rachels experiences as a univers ity student with whole language instructional methods have shaped her a ttitude toward theory. Because of a lack of instruction in how to teach reading through phonics, Rachel felt the universitys focus on research and theory left her lacking in some skills that would have benefited her as a teacher. As a result, Rachel questions theory in term s of its usefulness in real situations. Brent believes theory is very important for te achers. In order to de velop their pedagogical compass which guides their practice as an educator Brent believes teachers need to have a solid understanding of theory. This stance on the im portance of theory connects to Brents opinion about teacher education. Brent di fferentiated between teacher educ ation and teacher preparation. While a teacher preparation program is designed to train prospec tive teachers to master a laundry list of skills, teacher education programs function is to prepare future reflective educators. Brent believes teacher education to be more valuable. Tanyas views on research rest somewhere betw een Brents beliefs and Rachels beliefs. Although she admitted she might bring research-bas ed strategies to share in meetings, Tanya acknowledged that research and th eory did not play a significan t part in her practice as an administrator. Although all three PDS principals support inquiry, they vary in how they connect its use to professional development. Brent encourages in quiry as professional development more than Tanya and Rachel. For Tanya and Rachel, inqu iry is connected to the school mission of improving student learning and seen as professional development only in that context. Brent views inquiry as a tool to facilitate any type of professional growth in his teachers and himself. Brent is the only one of th e three principals that ha s conducted his own inquiry.
244 How the principals promote learning in themse lves and others best defines their role of principal as inquirer and learner. Although the role of principal as inquirer/learner is clearly most connected to NCATEs (2006) first standard on learning co mmunity, each principal enacts this role differently. One element in Standard I addresses the idea that work and practice are inquiry-based and focused on learning. Rachels work as PDS principal has a clear focus on the learning of her teachers and stude nts, yet the inquiry work at Benton did not emerge from the data as being clearly connected to the work and practice of the teachers. Also, Tanyas work as an inquirer/learner is focused on student learni ng and also teacher refl ection. The data that emerged from Tanyas interviews demonstrat ed a stronger connecti on between inquiry and practice. For Tanya, the inquiry had to be dire ctly connected to what the teachers wanted and needed to learn to help them im prove their skills as classroom in structors. Brent has placed the most focus on inquiry of the three principals. Ho wever, the interview data did not specifically indicate how the inquiry work was impac ting teacher learning around their practice. Principal as Protector In their roles as protectors, Rachel and Tanya are very similar. Th ey both work hard to protect the time of thei r teachers. Rachel and Tanya believ e the PDS work should connect to the school mission of improving student achievement. If they feel an activ ity does not directly connect to the school mission, Rachel and Tanya w ill challenge the activity. To do this Rachel and Tanya will contact university personnel to question its value. In his role of principal as prot ector, Brent tries to limit outside distractions. Brent does not allow new mandates to overshadow the overall purpos e of educating the students. Serving as a filter, Brent keeps the teachers informed of important components of outside mandates but does not overwhelm his staff by constantly remi nding them about new standards or tests.
245 All three principals stay involved in the PD S work and assist in problem-solving with mentor teachers and field advisors when challenges arise. All three principals have intervened when issues arose with pre-intern s. They worked with the mentor teachers and field advisors to resolve the problems. The theme principal as protector is best defined by the role of the prin cipals in guarding the time of their teachers. Each of the principals works to prevent PDS activities that distract the teachers from the established goals of the sc hool. This connects directly to NCATE (2006) Standard Vs element of ensuring progress toward goals. Principal as Knowledge Broker In their roles as knowledge brokers, Brent, Rachel, and Tanya conduct staff development and other activities that are c onnected to the PDS work. The knowledge Brent, Rachel and Tanya work to provide their staff facilitates professional growth that has an impact on the teachers as individuals and also serves to foster improved student achievement. Also, Brent and Rachel broker knowledge that works to facil itate the growth of the school as a PDS. Brents work as a knowledge broker is directly connected to his work to empower the staff and develop a collegial culture at Countryside. First, his efforts to br ing in PIES [graduate degree program] gave nearly one-thi rd of his staff with an opportunity to earn degrees that not only allowed them to grow professionally in a field of their own choosing, but also provided them with instruction in skills and concepts that Brent believed were important to fostering further growth in the school. The courses in data-drive instruction and learning communities contributed to the culture of the school. In her role as a knowledge broker, Rachel sele cts information that she considers important to share with the pre-service teachers at her sc hool. Through presenting workshops and teaching the pre-intern seminar, Rachel provides the prosp ective teachers with that important information.
246 Additionally, Rachel solicits help from universit y personnel to provide instruction in teaching skills for her staff. In order to meet the goals of Bentons school improvement plan, Rachel had university personnel who were knowledgeable about teaching writing come out and work with her staff. Rachel also conducts book studies around literat ure that she selects. As a part of one of these book studies which was co nducted online, Rachel invited outsiders, whom she felt could contribute to the discussion, to pa rticipate. Rachel designed the discussion prompts for each chapter. Tanya has demonstrated qualities of principa l as knowledge broker connected to her focus on student learning. Tanya is unique among the thr ee principals in that she still calls on the district significantly to assi st her in providing learning opport unities for her staff. As a knowledge broker, Tanya does not look for trainings that are necessarily connected to the PDS work, but instead she searches for learning experien ces that assist her teac hers in achieving the school goal of looking at student learning. The theme principal as knowledge broker is best defined as the ways in which the principals solicit and provide le arning opportunities for their st aff related to the PDS work. Rachels role as a knowledge broker is strongly associated with most of the elements of Standard I: Learning Community. Rachel brokers knowledge for the purpose if serving as an instrument of change through supporting multiple learners with the goal of developing a common, shared, professional vision of teaching and learning grounded in resear ch. Rachels work as a knowledge broker has extended the learning community to include university personnel not heavily involved with the PD S work at other schools. For Brent, his role as a knowledge brokers are connected to elements in Standards I and III. In Standard I, Learning Commun ity, Brent brokers knowledge to s upport multiple learners and to
247 serve as an instrument of change. Brent al so uses his brokering of knowledge to enhance collaboration, engage his staff in joint work, an d to systematically recognize and celebrate the joint work of his staff rela ted to their inquiry work. As a knowledge broker, Tanyas work is asso ciated most with Standard I, Learning Community, and Standard II, Accountability a nd Quality Assurance. Tanya seeks out and provides knowledge to her staff th at facilitates their continued learning and the learning of the students. This in turn works to enhance pr ofessional accountability in and among the staff. The school context and the lived experiences of the principals impact the way the themes appear in each of the individuals. A comparison of the principals and the themes can be seen in Table 10-1. Four Frames Reflection on the three PDS principa ls using Bolman and Deals (1997) Four Frames indicated similarities and differences in Brent, Tanya, and Rachels leadership styles. It is important to note that the context of the individual schools played a significant role in the degree to which the principals operated from each frame. Additionally, the use of the interview as the data collection tool allowed for only the most prevalent work from each of the frames to emerge. Just because work in specific frames was not shar ed in the interview does not mean that it is not present in Brents, Tanyas, and Rachels work as PDS principals. The collected data clearly indicated that the principals operated from all four frames. The majority of the principals activities in the various frames were similar, but used to differing degrees, perhaps best thought of as a continuum. For example, Rachel acted mo re frequently in the political frame than Brent and Tanya. While she was working to build her co alitions and establish the agenda of improved accountability, Brent and Tanya were in a position to where they were only having to reinforce the established agendas and ma intain their coalitions.
248 It is important to note that Bolman and D eal (1997) argued that leaders who operate regularly from multiple frames are often the best l eaders. All three of the principals in this study operated from multiple frames. The intersection of the Four Frames and six themes as demonstrated in Figures 5-2, 7-2, and 9-2 illustra te how each of the three principals works from multiple frames depending on their specific contexts. As the newest principal, Rachels data indicated she used all four frames connected to her work to each of the six themes. The consistent use of multiple frames makes these three principals somewhat atypical. Brent, Tanya, and Rachel are even more uncommon based on th e degree to which they used multi-frames to shape their work as principals. The structural frame (Bolman & Deal, 1997) was the least evident overall in the three principals leadership. Bolman and Deal described the structural frame as the perspective from which the leader attempts to reach organizati onal objectives through deve loping rules, roles, goals, policies, and other structures Bolman and Deal also see this frame as perhaps the greatest differentiator in principal perfor mance. Brent, having served as principal at Countryside for 15 years, and Tanya, having been principal at Park way for seven years, alr eady had structures in place to assist them in achieving their organi zational goals. Both principals held faculty, departmental, and grade-level meetings to facil itate the operation of th e school. But those wellestablished structures were so in tegrated into the cultu res of most schools that the topic of school meetings and policies rarely came up during the in terviews. Even Rachel, as the newest of the three principals, spoke only about her changing stra tegies in the mentor teacher meetings. After only fours years at Benton, Rachels structures are fairly well established. Rachel also mentioned how she assumes a more dominating role as a leader but that she was taking steps to disperse some of this power to her teacher leaders.
249 The findings of this study are contrary to se veral other studies conduc ted on leadership and the Four Frames In three separate studies (Bolma n & Deal, 1991; Fleming, 2002; Orliff, 2006) of principals and other administ rators, the structural frame was found to be used most often. Also, three other studies (Bolman & Deal, 1992; Rivers, 1996; Messer, 2002) identified the structural frame as the one used second most by administrators. Resu lts of Messers study of elementary principals may provide one possibl e reason why the findings of this study were different. She found principals with 0-3 years of experience used the structural frame more frequently than principals with 12-15 years of e xperience. Brent has 15 years of experience as a principal. Tanya has 10 years of experience as a principal, but additional years as an assistant principal. Rachel has been a principal for four y ears and served as an assistant principal for four years. It is possible that the ye ars of experience in leadership role s contributed to the lack of data being found related to work in the structural fram e. Also, work in the structural frame may be more prevalent than what was elicited from the interview data. The design of the interview questions may have inadvertently di scouraged responses related to work in the structural frame. By having well established school cultures, Brent and Tanyas responses may not have addressed structural issues because they are not daily con cerns like they may be for newer principals like Rachel. The political frame (Bolman & Deal, 1997) was used most frequently by Rachel. Bolman and Deal described the political frame as the pers pective from which organizations are viewed as arenas or jungles where conflict arises in a co mpetition for power and scarce resources. By attempting to reform the culture a nd establish herself as the schools principal, the need to build a power base, set an agenda, and allocate scarce resources were all important tasks for Rachel. The major influence of the political frame is conn ected to the three principals view that the PDS
250 work provided extra resources to their indi vidual schools. Brent and Tanya had already established their power base and set their agendas; thus, evidence of the use of this frame was minimal in this study. This supports Davis ( 1996) findings. Davis f ound in her study that women are more likely to use the political frame more than men. With the exception of Rachel, the other two principals reported operati ng from the political frame the least. The symbolic frame (Bolman & Deal, 1997) was highly used by all three principals. With a focus on building or maintaining an environmen t that supported their organizational goals, the concept of school culture was domin ant in all three contex ts. In all three sc hools, culture played an important role in what could, or could not, occur as a PDS site. While Rachel was working hard to establish the sc hool culture of accountability, Brent an d Tanya were working to maintain the positive school culture that wa s already in existence. Howe ver, both Brent and Tanya were attempting to integrate the PDS work, in one form or another, into the exis ting culture. Rachel is just beginning to integrate the PD S work into the school culture. The findings associated with the symbolic fr ame run counter to what existing research indicates about principals and th eir leadership. Several studies identified the symbolic frame as being the least used in their studies of l eaders (Bolman & Deal, 1992; Bolman & Deal, 1991; Fleming, 2002; Oliff, 2006). In her study of principals and teach ers, Matalon (1997) found that principals who operated most from the symbolic frame had a more posit ive attitude toward change and were more comfortable with change. Change is an inte gral part of PDS work. These findings could indicate impor tant criteria for PDS site selecti on. Principals who operate from the symbolic frame most frequently may be the best candidates for leading new PDSs. The human resource frame (Bolman & Deal, 1997) was visible in the work of all three principals. The interview data indicated that Brent and Tanya operated from the human resource
251 frame most frequently. Bolman a nd Deal described the human resource frame as the perspective from which organizations are viewed as an exte nded family where the needs of the individuals are considered in reaching the uni ts goals. This frame best exem plified how the context resulted in each principal using the frames along a continuum. For Rachel, her work in the human resource frame was focused on improving the teach ing skills of her staff. Tanya was committed to building and maintaining the family atmosphere at Parkway. In Brents case, he poured his energies into aligning the needs of the organization with the needs of his te achers by facilitating staff development that matched with their goals for learning. Several studies have reported the human res ource frame as being used most frequently by leaders (Bolman & Deal, 1992; Davis, 1996; Duro cher, 1995; Messer, 2002; Rivers, 1996). Oliff (2006) and Byers Fleming (2002) found the human resource frame to be the second most used frame in their studies. Eckley (1997) found that teachers felt more empowe red at the individual level if their principals operated most from the human resource frame. The three principals in this study operated to a high degree from multiple frames as indicated by the data. In thei r study of leaders in the United St ates and abroad, Bolman & Deal (1992) found that 58% of the American principa ls operated from two frames, 19% from three frames, and 6% from four frames. Three other st udies also indicated that more than 50% of the leaders they studied operated from multiple frames (Durocher, 1995; Messer, 2002; Rivers, 1996). Messer (2002) found that principals w ith 8-11 years of experience operated from multiple frames more than principals with 0-3 years of experience. Summary In comparing the principals across the themes and looking from the lenses of Bolman and Deals (1997) Four Frames commonalities and differences be tween Brent, Tanya, and Rachel
252 became visible. The findings often contradicted previous research findings. The findings from this analysis are pr esented as lessons learned in Chapter 11.
253 Table 10-1 Cross case analysis by themes Brent Tanya Rachel Principal as Culture Maker Empower Teachers to Lead Focus on Student Learning Accountability Principal as Collaborator Working toward the Mission Work with Partners to Improve Student Achievement University and School Growing Together Principal as Change Agent Teachers as Leaders of Change Teachers as Leaders of Change Building New Traditions Principal as Inquirer/Learner Everybody Learns Teacher Learning Connected to Student Learning Everybody Learns Principal as Protector of Time Limit Outside Distractions Let Teachers Focus on the Mission Let Teachers Focus on the Mission Principal as Knowledge Broker Educating Teachers to Build Collegiality Educating Teachers to Facilitate Learning Training Perspective and Inservice Teachers
254 CHAPTER 11 DISCUSSION Review of the Study In review, the purpose of this research was to answer the question How do principals make sense of their role in a Professional De velopment School (PDS)? This research was important for several reasons: 1. By understanding how principals effectivel y support PDS development, strategies to facilitate increases in student achievement can be implemented. 2. The results of this study can guide s uperintendents and university faculty in selecting sites and personnel for the creation of PDSs. 3. The findings from this study can serve as a guide for principals who are working or will be working in a PDS, providing them with insight into the qualities, characteristics and actions that PDS leader s identified and used to make sense of their role. For my study, three PDS principals we re interviewed using Seidmans (1998) phenomenological interview protoc ol. The interview tapes were transcribed and then data relating to the lived experiences of the principals was used to create portraits of each of the principals. Themes were derived from the intervie w data and the PDS principals beliefs, actions and experiences related to those themes were presented. Finally, the themes were discussed in a cross-case analysis. Lessons Learned As a result of this study, I offer six lessons that were learned, supported by the collected data and its analysis. Each of these lessons is presented along w ith the evidence to support them. 1. When principals willingly embrace the PD S work by seeing connections between the PDS goals and their own leadership work, these connections allow the PDS work to become a part of rather than apart from the beliefs, experiences, and goals that underlie their current leadership.
255 All three principals demonstrated through th eir work how the PDS collaborative efforts were connected to their school mission. Each prin cipal has shaped the partnership work into a form that assists them in reaching their inte nded goals, ranging from improved student learning, to empowering staff and foster ing teacher leadership. Rachels connection to the goals of the PD S work is primarily founded in her push as principal to improve the instruc tional skills of her t eachers for the benefit of student learning. Her beliefs about small group instruction and in clusion match the universitys philosophy about classroom instruction. By pushing her staff to move toward these instructional techniques, Rachel is facilitating th e creation of a school culture and clas sroom environment that is a better fit for the types of placements the university would like for th eir pre-service teachers. Brent demonstrates his connection with goals of the PDS through his beliefs about school renewal. Brent believes it is important for ever yone involved in the PDS work to continue to grow and learn. The PDS partnership has been u tilized by Brent in a way that works to foster deeper collaboration among his staff and with the university. Brent has used the partnership with the university to assist him in facilitating growth in himself and his faculty. Tanya works to continually refocus the PDS work at Parkway to ensure that it matches the primary goal of the school, improving student le arning. Tanya believes the PDS partnership holds the potential to improve student learni ng. Tanya has used her affiliation with the university through the PDS work to provide her staff with learning opportunities to a ssist them in improving their skills as classroom instructors. 2. The lived experiences valued by principals throughout their career are closely tied to the leadership style they promote as PDS principals. The past experiences of the three principals can clearly be pictured in how they operate as PDS principals. While these experiences are also visible in their roles as principals before the
256 PDS work, the collaboration w ith the university has provided more connection between their lived experiences and current roles as leader s. Beliefs about accountability, culture, and collaboration surface in their work as PDS principals. Rachels past experiences associated with accountability have shaped how she implements the PDS work at Benton. Rachel expects to s ee student learning gains. Rachel uses the partnership to improve the skills of her teachers to assist them in reaching the high standards she has set for them. Rachel views th e collaboration with the university as a resource to assist her in helping her teachers achieve the high expectations she has set for them. Tanyas commitment to curriculum manifests in he r role as a PDS principal. As a former CRT, Tanya differed from many principals in how she viewed the partnership activities. While many principals would consider the additional work associated with hosting pre-service teachers as a negative, Tanyas past work as a CRT, which required her to seek additional assistance from outside sources, led her to view the pre-service te achers as a resource that could help her teachers in their goal to improve student achievement. Tanya uses her collaboration with university personnel and her staff to keep the PDS work connected to student learning. Brents history related to school culture and teacher leadership plays a significant role in his PDS work with the university. As a pr e-service and practicing teacher, Brent saw how culture could negatively impact the ability of teachers to meet the needs of the children in the school. Brents efforts as a PDS principal are directly connected to his beliefs about the importance of teacher leadership and collegial school cultures. Brent seeks to connect the PDS work and his beliefs by providing his staff w ith professional development opportunities that focus on improving their skil ls as teacher leaders. 3. Being open and willing to change is importa nt for principals if the PDS work is going to be integrated into th e culture of the school.
257 All three PDS principals were willing to make changes in themselves or their school to facilitate the partnership work. An openness to change is important in PDS collaborative work. Once again, each of these principals was somewhat atypical in how they were willing to embrace change. In some way, each principal made some ch ange in the culture of their school or in their personal practice as a result of the PDS work. Rachel is pushing her staff to grow in their teaching skills and to embrace new instructional methods. She is also concentr ating on her own growth by returning to the university to pursue a doctoral de gree. Rachel has also taken on more roles as a result of her work with the university such as seminar instructor and conference presenter. Although Tanya has probably cha nged the least of the three pr incipals in this study, she has made some very important changes that are crucial for the operation of PDSs adhering to the NCATE Standards (2006). Tanya is encouraging her staff to be more reflective and is implementing the use of reflective questions in he r interview sessions with potential employees. This gently pushing to ask her teachers to embrace inquiry and reflection are important components in PDSs. Despite the fact that Brent was the most expe rienced principal, he was very open to the idea of change. Brent has changed by integrat ing inquiry into the pr ofessional development evaluation process at Countryside. Brent actu ally ended up taking on responsibilities that encouraged change outside of his school. He ha s also become more invol ved with the university by presenting at state and national conferences. 4. Principals can enter at multiple career point s and with a variety of school conditions by adopting either a developing, integrating, or culminating stance on the PDS work. The participants in this study were at different points in their careers as principals. Rachel had less than five years in the role as principa l. Tanya, after many years as a CRT, was finishing
258 her tenth year as a principal, and her seventh y ear in a rapidly changing school context. Brent, after 15 years as a principal, was leading in a sm all, stable school. Despite the differences in their experiences and time as administrators, each principal utilized the partnership to enhance their work as principals. Rachel entered the PDS partnership as a novice principal. She is an example of a PDS principal at the developing level. Rachel uses th e PDS work to assist her in her own professional growth as well as the growth of her staff. Th e PDS work at Benton is connected to Rachels work toward developing a school culture of acco untability that embraces small group instruction and inclusion. Tanyas work with the PDS could be described as integrating. Tanya works to meld her school mission of focusing on the student achieveme nt with the PDS work. Tanya selects and molds inquiry and staff development opportunities c onnected with the PDS partnership to ensure they are integrated with the missi on of improving student learning. Brent, the participant with the most experi ence as a principal, has taken a stance of culmination regarding the PDS work. Brent is using the partnership work to further define himself as a principal and to foster his profession al growth. He uses the PDS work in the same manner with his staff. Inquiry and staff devel opment tied to the PDS work takes his teachers to the next level by empowering them to guide their own growth. 5. When PDSs engage in inquiry into stude nt learning, inquiry serves as a tipping point that increases principal co mmitment to the partnership. Inquiry, identified as a critical component of the PDS, played a significant role in each principals work as a PDS leader. Although they varied in how they utilized inquiry, each principal shaped the use of inquiry at their schoo l in a way they contributed to the vision they had for their school.
259 As the newest two PDS principals in the study, Tanya and Rachel are just beginning to embrace teacher inquiry. Tanya values inquiry as a tool to assist teachers in strengthening their practice, therefore improving student achievement. Rachel believes the conducting of inquiry is an important strategy for building relationships between mentor teac hers and prospective teachers. She also views inquiry as a tool for assisting the school in reaching its school improvement goals. Brent values inquiry in th e same ways as Tanya and Rachel, but goes one step further by conducting his own i nquiry studies. The three PDS principals in this study accept the use of inquiry as a valid tool of the partne rship work. Although the way they envision its use may differ, all three principals support their teach ers efforts to conduct inquiry projects to study their practice. 6. Principals are motivated to participate in PDS work for multiple reasons including enhancing their own professional developm ent, facilitating te acher professional development, acquiring resources for childr en, contributing to teacher education, and gaining access to a hiring pool. Each of the three principals had somewhat different goals for participating in the partnership with the university. The vision each principal has was connected to his or her beliefs about leadership and the ro le of the principal. These goals we re also influenced by the contexts of their schools including the readiness of their st aff. Rachels situation placed her in a position of having to be more directive. Rachel was at tempting to build a school culture so she used the PDS work to assist her in crea ting a new school culture. Brent a nd Tanya were in more stable schools. Their PDS work was less about establishing school culture. There were other examples of how the PDS work benefited the principals in their work as leaders. Brent and Rachel shared how the partnership work through the PDS has facilitated their professional growth: Brents work with inquiry an d Rachels return to sc hool for her doctoral degree. All three principals have had their staff participate in pr ofessional development
260 opportunities connected to the PDS work. Brent, Ta nya, and Rachel all shared in the interviews how the partnership benefited the students by prov iding additional, trained adults to facilitate improved classroom instruction. The three principa ls also spoke of their commitment to work with the PDS program for the purpose of impr oving the teacher education program. Each principal has taken the opportunity to make sugge stions about needed ch anges in the program. Also, in a time of teacher shortages, each of the three principals shared how they valued having future teachers working in their schools. This afforded them an opportunity to view potential candidates in a teaching environment and to see the prospective teacher function in the context and culture of thei r individual schools. Implications The findings of this study have implications in three areas: (a) principal work in linking PDS work to student achievement; (b) PDS site selection; and (c) school renewal. First, educating principals so that they can envision the possi bilities associated with school and university collaborations s hould empower them to use the PDS work as a tool for improving student achievement. The three principals in my study all believe the PDS work has had a positive impact on student learning in their respectiv e schools. Principals need training to help them connect their school mission to the goals of the university teacher education program. This connection is what makes a PDS functional. Considering each of the six themes in relati on to this implicati on, the data support the importance of the principals roles as knowle dge broker, culture maker, protector, and inquirer/learner. Brents, Tanyas and Rachels efforts to provide training for their teachers through the PDS partnership we re critical in facilitating a push for improved student achievement. In their objective to create or maintain a school culture focused on student achievement, Rachel and Tanya worked to integrate the PDS work into their mission for the
261 school. As protectors, all three principals strived to keep th e PDS work focused on the school mission, limiting distractions. Finally, as inquire rs/learners Brent, Tanya, and Rachel focused their personal growth on content and strategies that they could use to assist their teachers in improving their professional skills as educators. The issue of site selection is very important if university personnel hope to build strong partnerships with K-12 schools. My study has help ed to describe three contexts in which the PDS work was collaborative. The school culture and principal leadership directly impacted the degree to which the PDS work was embraced a nd integrated. In the case of Brent and Countryside Elementary School, a strong partne rship focused around teacher empowerment was created. The focus of the partnership was not to bring in content related to instructional skills, but instead to facilitate growth in individual te achers while fostering a culture of collaboration. At Benton Elementary School, Rachel worked with the university to create a partnership that helped her create a new school cu lture. The partnership was inte grated into the growth and evolution of the school. Tanyas collaboration with the university was less about her or the school changing, but instead was focused on modify ing the pre-internship program to match the need of the school. For PDS site selection, the mo st critical ingredient is th e existence of a clear match between the PDS work and the goals of the school principal. Although other mutual goals may surface over time, one central, shared goal must be present at the start of the partnership. Secondarily, it is important that PDSs be led by principals who are open to change. In schools with cultures resistant to ch ange, strong principal leadership works to facilitate the PDS collaboration. It is importan t when university colleges of education and school district
262 superintendents are working to establish PDSs th at they are well informed about the principals and culture of the potential school sites. The final implication of my study concerns sc hool renewal. Thos e principals guided by learning connected to inquiry work and initiative s from within the school integrate the PDS work into the culture of their school. Although to varying degrees, Br ent, Rachel, and Tanya focused on teacher learning as a tool for school improve ment. Despite the fact that each principal encouraged and pushed for change and renewal at the university level, very little evidence of changes occurring at the university emerged from the data. Although simultaneous renewal was identified as a foundation of PDS work (Holmes Group, 1990) the only significant changes that seem to be occurring as a result of the partners hip were occurring at the elementary schools. Future Research As a result of this study, I suggest several pos sible directions for future research on PDS principals. First, replication of this study in a similar context coul d confirm the credibility of the findings. Expanding to conduct a similar research study in the different context of middle or high school PDS principals could provide valuable information for university programs in states that do not require grade-level specific admi nistrative certification pr ograms. Also, studying PDS elementary school principals of schools in diffe rent regions of the count ry or in more urban or rural settings could further refine the list of findings to make them more transferable. Another study could be more specific to the use of inquiry and its role in the PDS. Further research into PDS principals beliefs and experi ences related to teache r inquiry and reflection would assist in determining the importance inqui ry plays in PDS leadership. Researchers and practitioners could benefit from information on what facilitates a prin cipals adoption of an inquiry stance. With inquiry playing a pivotal role in the growth and development of strong
263 PDSs, it is extremely important that the research base on principal lead ership and inquiry be explored further. Additional study into the role of the struct ural frame and the part it plays in PDS principals leadership would be valuable. In this study, the inte rview data did not reveal much information about the principals leadership in th e structural frame. By focusing specifically on the structural frame, research in this area could provide principal certification programs, practitioners, and university PDS leaders with us eful information for training principals in establishing and maintaining structures to facilitate the success of PDSs. Studying the universitys role in the PDS work through Bolman and Deals (1997) Four Frames could provide valuable data on the leadersh ip characteristics of PDS principals. The interview data in this study revealed the impor tance of university personn el in facilitating the development of PDSs. Looking at university lead ers of exemplary PDSs would provide valuable information for those colleges of education that wanted to start or improve their own partnerships. Another important study which would inform stakeholders about the role of PDS principals could be conducted vi a a survey. Bolman and Deals Leadership Orientations Instrument could be distributed to a larger number of principals to determine the role of inquiry in PDS schools across the country. The three prin cipals in this study all embraced inquiry in some form. The survey results could be used to provide further information about the role of the PDS principal related to inquiry. Finally, the findings of this st udy clearly indicate a lack of simultaneous renewal resulting from the PDS work. Although simultaneous rene wal is identified by the Holmes Group (1990) and the NCATE Standards (2006) as being a crucial componen t in PDS partnership work, there
264 was little evidence of change on the part of the university in this study. Despite the fact that each of the three principals advocated for various changes at the univ ersity level, very few changes were identified. For PDS partnerships to wo rk as the Holmes Group and NCATE advocate, simultaneous renewal must become a part of the collaborative efforts of K-12 school and universities. Conclusion In a final summary of this study, I retu rn to the Holmes Groups (1990) seven characteristics of PDSs and illuminate connections between these characteristics and the essence of the leadership roles of Brent, Tanya, and Rachel. These characteristics are: shared responsibility for learning by all partners; a focus on meeting students needs; professional learning for both pr e-service and in-service teachers takes place in the context of practice; boundary-spanning roles undertaken by both school and university faculty; the use of inquiry to guide learning includi ng identifying the needs of the students; the public sharing of teaching practice to work toward its improvement; and the entire focus of the school geared toward the learning of all students, teachers, and faculty. The focus on learning by all was evident in the work of all three principals. While the greatest focus of all three princi pals was still on student learning, each principal spoke of their interactions with pre-service t eachers and how they worked to facilitate their growth. Brent, Tanya, and Rachel all f acilitated the professional developmen t of their teachers. Inquiry was used, to varying degrees, in each of the schools. Five of the seven char acteristics are focused on the importance of the PDS as a learning community. The goal of shared learning is the heart of
265 the definition of a PDS. Each of the three pr incipals acknowledged the importance of facilitating the learning of their studen ts, staff, and pre-service teachers, respectively. This study provides evidence that the principals were able to disperse their focus from the primary function of educating th e children to include a focus on the learning of practicing and pre-service teachers. This seemed to be accomp lished through the provision of resources from the university as a part of the PDS work. As the university took more responsibility for the achievement of the students, the principals we re able to take on bounda ry-spanning roles that enabled them to place more focus on the learning of the adults in the building. To facilitate the principals move into a boundary spanning role, university personne l must be willing to make their roles more boundary spanning. It is through this mutual transition that the PDS partnership grows and reaches toward the Holmes Group s (1990) vision of what school-university partnerships should be.
266 APPENDIX A RESEARCH FINDINGS ORGAINZED BY BOLMAN AND DEALS FOUR FRAMES Frame Source Finding Structural Cramer & Johnston (2000) Reflections on a principals role in a PDS Mitchel (2000) Reflections on roles she perceived a successful PDS principal takes on Stroble & Luka (1999) Research led to a list of the 10 most frequent activities of PDS leaders Trachtman & Levine (1997) List of metaphors for role of PDS principal Bowen & Adkison (1996) Study on institutionalization of the PDS Recommendations about the structure needed in a PDS Leslie (1994) Principals attitudes toward Holmes Principles Roles principals viewed as important; building a new institution and facilitating group learning Human Resource Lee (2002) Found PDS principals felt their role as supporting teacher professional development as one of their most important and frequent activities Cramer & Johnston (2000) Stressed the importance of professional development in fostering change in the PDS Foster, Loving, and Shumate (2000) Identified seven core characteristics they believed effective administrators possessed, giving away power was one
267 Frame Source Finding Mitchel (2000) Emphasized importance of relationship building and nurturing teacher growth Bullough, Kauchak, Crow, Hobbs, & Stokes (1997) Outlined the importance of principals being involved at the onset of PDS work, but ensuring that teachers be given the major responsibilities in the program subsequently Dempsey, Lynch, & Hart (1997) Principals in the study defended the idea that giving teachers more leadership and allowing shared decision-making in the PDS led to more buy-in Powell & McGowan (1996) Found teachers in a PDS decided to participate because of an expectation of greater control over their work and professional growth Political Campoy (2000) Disagreements about pedagogy and the changing roles of teachers and faculty were areas of tension Highlighted the importance of knowing the pedagogical and cultural norms of the school and university to increa se collaborative capacity Argued that it was important to address early difficulties before they become larger problems Recommended the need for a funding plan The lack of time for collaboration and the reward systems for PDS participants were additional challenges to the PDS work
268 Frame Source Finding Cramer & Johnston (2000) The principal defined himself as being pretty autocratic, but also released some power School members did not want to be involved in the partnership if the university was not willing to change too The discomfort of talking about school in school was addressed as a challenge to the success of the PDS PDS partnerships can bring additional resources, free-of-charge Some benefits of teachers taking on interns are rewarding good teachers and helping teachers question and improve their practice Some principals were unwilling to do PDS work because of the lack of rewards associated with the additional responsibilities Foster, Loving, and Shumate (2000) An effective characteristic of a PDS principal was a leadership style that included flexibility, situationality, direction, inclusion, and reflection Ambrose, Natale, Murphey, & Schumacher (1999) Acknowledged the benefit of having access to experts as a result of PDS work Stroble & Luka (1999) Found that 16 of 17 principals reported increased time demands as a result of their PDS work Assigning pre-service students was one of the most frequent activities reported by university and schoolbased administrators in the PDS
269 Frame Source Finding Bowen & Adkison (1997) Found that administrative pressure paired with administrative support increased teachers participative efforts Conflict can arise between those who receive direct benefits (resources) from the PDS work and those who do not Found it was important to provide supports to increase institutionalization of the PDS Principals were concerned how they spent their time; PDS work took away from other activities Providing resources to facilitate the operation of the PDS was important according to principals; funding technology was recommended Dempsey, Lynch, & Hart (1997) Stressed the challenges that go along with balancing autocracy and democracy as a PDS principal Releasing power to teachers resulted in the need for the principal to collaborate more Everyone working together helped reduce anxieties in the PDS Trachtman & Levine (1997) Addressed the issue of conflict arising due to differences in how opportunities in the PDS differ from the opportunities offered to the people not involved in the PDS
270 Frame Source Finding Symbolic Borthwick, Stirling, Nauman & Cook (2003) Of the five factors associated with effective collaboration, two factors were directly related to school culture The first factor stresses shared decision-making and articulating common goals Participants viewed the collaboration as a force for change and its survival and existence were the most important goal (Factor 2) Foster, Loving, and Shumate (2000) The three principals in the study stressed the importance of having a vision of what the PDS should look like and to work toward that goal Mitchel (2000) Recognized the importance of providing leadership to shape a school culture focused on building relationships, working collaboratively, empowering students and increasing parent participation Articulated that the focus on the mission of the PDS held their partnership together Ambrose, Natale, Murphey, & Schumacher (1999) Found that the university and partner school became involved in the daily operations of each other Dempsey, Lynch, & Hart (1997) Besides having a vision of what the PDS should look like, it was important to communicate that vision to the faculty Trachtman & Levine (1997) A PDS requires a change in school culture which means the organization and its structure must change
271 Frame Source Finding Bowen & Adkison (1996) One way PDS developers can support principals is to provide training to assist them in communicating their vision and promoting buy-in
272APPENDIX B PDS DEMOGRAPHICS FOR 2006-2007 SCHOOL YEAR School Grade % Making Learning Gains in Reading % Making Learning Gains in Math % of Lowest 25% Making Learning Gains in Reading % of Lowest 25% Making Learning Gains in Math % Free and Reduced Lunch Minority Rate Points Earned Benton Elementary School B 70 70 61 70 54 38 558 Countryside Elementary School A 83 54 77 36 49 29 538 Parkway Elementary School A 79 73 67 80 44 43 605
273 APPENDIX C PRINCIPAL INTERVIEW GUIDE Session 1 Focused Life History Describe your career in education from college to present (ask for stories) o Practicum/student teaching experiences o Types of schools o Various roles in education, time in each of the roles o Motivations for changing ro les, becoming a principal o Particularly good/bad experiences o Ideal role o Experiences with K-12/University collaborations o Experiences as university student Session 2 The Details of the Experience Tell me the story of how your school becam e a PDS. Why did you chose to become involved? Tell me the story of how you communicated the PDS work/vision to your mentor teachers. Describe for me a typical day for you before your school became a PDS. Describe for me a typical day as a PDS principal. How have your roles/responsibilities changed since your school became a PDS? o What are these? With university personnel With mentor teachers With pre-interns/interns o Were they self-selected or dict ated because of the new program? o Which do you think are most important to the PDS? To the whole school? o Describe how you use your limited time. How do you assist mentor teachers in being prepared for their role? Share a story of a particular challenge a me ntor teacher faced and what your involvement with that situation was. Session 3 Reflection on the Meaning Which of your roles in the PDS work ha ve had the most positive impact on your teachers? What specific behaviors do you need to unde rtake or supports do you think you need to have in place in order to keep teachers on board and keep the PDS moving in a positive direction? What changes in the partnership could you make that would be of the most benefit to your teachers? How have your specific actions impacted the program? o Positive impacts on school-based personnel o Positive impacts on university-affiliated personnel o Negative impacts on school-based personnel o Negative impacts on universi ty-affiliated personnel
274 What do your roles mean for the success of the program? What part do your various roles pl ay in making the partnership work?
275 APPENDIX D PRINCIPAL QUESTIONNAIRE Please fill out the following questionnaire to assist me in maximizing our interview time together. 1. How long have you been a principal? _____ 2. How many different schools have yo u served in as principal? ____ 3. What other leadership positions have you had prior to your role as a principal? 4. How many total years have you been in education? _____ 5. What degrees do you possess and from where did you earn them? 6. How many different schools have you worked in? ____ 7. How many years were spent in the following types of settings? Rural ______ Surburban ______ Urban ______ 8. How many students are in your school? _________ 9. How many teachers are in your school? _________ 10. What previous experiences have you had with the university while serving in a leadership role?
276 APPENDIX E PDS PRINCIPAL THEMES PDS Principal Themes Principal as Change Agent Principal as Collaborator Principal as Protector Principal as Inquirer/Learner Principal as Knowledge Broker Principal as Culture Maker
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284 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Keith Tilford was born in Paducah, Kentucky and lived there until moving away to attend Tusculum College in Greeneville, Tennessee. Afte r graduating from Tusculum with a bachelors degree in social studies, he atte nded Berry College in Rome, Georgia where he earned a masters degree in middle grades education in December of 1990. Keith started his full time teaching career at Buddy Taylor Middle School in Flagler County, Florida. In the 11 years he worked at BTMS, Keith taught social studies and mathematics for students in grades six through ei ght. During this time, he earned National Board Certification in Early Adolescence Mathematics a nd was also awarded a specialists degree in educational leadership from the University of Florida.