PurposeThe purpose of this paper (case study) is to capture a novel school culture that values instructional leadership (school leaders and teachers) and serves students in ways that create a culturally responsive and socially just schooling environment.Design/methodology/approachA qualitative methodology was best suited for the collection and analysis of data with the hope that the study will assist practitioners in seeing the connective threads that bind school leaders, teachers, students and parents in an organizational cultural shift that is student focused. Interviews and observations of professional learning communities, meetings and classrooms were the types of data collected and analyzed.FindingsThe principal and assistant principal were professionally and ethically challenged with an all too familiar problem – 30 percent of their Latinx and economically disadvantaged students scored below proficient in reading comprehension. To address this opportunity gap, consideration was given to data-informed decision-making; professional learning communities; and distributed leadership for social justice. Findings suggested that problems of practice are solved when educators engage in a continuous culture of learning through authentic dialogue focused on student data with an eye on equity.Originality/valueAlthough research demonstrates that school improvement works best when principals distribute leadership to teachers, principals tend to maintain the share of the responsibility. Examples of instructional leadership beyond the school principal are rare. This case study provides an example of how principals can build leadership capacity in teachers and develop them to be instructional leaders.
International Journal of Educational Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 23, 2019