Instructional Leadership: An Essential Ingredient for Improving Student Learning

Charles E. Ruebling, Shirley B. Stow, Frances A. Kayona, Nancy A. Clarke
2004 The Educational Forum  
Student achievement of the curriculum is the school's reason for being. This research, however, suggests that the behavior of school leaders is not effective in accomplishing four critical outcomes of curriculum development: (1) the creation of well-written documents that use a common framework; (2) curriculum that is aligned with state and national standards; (3) an understanding and teaching of the curriculum by teachers; and (4) all students successfully learning the curriculum. Leaders must
more » ... orchestrate multiple changes that provide opportunities for teachers to work in teams, focus resources effectively on implementing the curriculum, and establish accountability for results. Many schools continue to be challenged with the task of achieving satisfactory learning results. Passage of the federal No Child Left Behind Act increases the pressure for enhanced performance by schools and students. This article suggests that a necessary, but missing, ingredient for satisfactorily achieving learning results, is effective leadership behavior related specifically to developing and monitoring the implementation of curriculum. After a more detailed statement of this problem, the curriculum development work that was done with a number of school organizations nationwide is described. Then, the methodology and results of a follow-up study to determine the quality and extent to which the newly developed curriculum was actually being implemented is discussed. Finally, recommendations for needed improvements in school leadership behavior are proposed, including the training of future leaders as well as those already in the field.
doi:10.1080/00131720408984636 fatcat:aiz4rt5qhbcqnlgsnxc5l3noni