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Leadership Development on a Large Scale


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Table of Contents

Foreword by Philip Hallinger Foreword by John Malloy Preface Acknowledgments About the Author Chapter 1. The Leading Student Achievement: Networks for Learning Project (LSA) The Context The Contributions of Leadership to Student Learning A Brief History of the Leading Student Achievement Project A Summary of LSA's Priorities for Improvement Chapter 2. Evidence Used by LSA to Learn Its Way Forward Phase 1: Comprehensive Assessment of Project Implementation and Outcomes Phase 2: Targeting a Small Number of Key Priorities Conclusion Chapter 3. Building on a Shared Understanding of Effective School Leadership Successful Leadership Practices Personal Leadership Resources Conclusion Chapter 4. LSA's Approach to Leadership Development LSA's Initial Vision and Framework Complementary Perspectives on LSA's Functions LSA's Formal Professional Development Program Conclusion Chapter 5. Collaborative Inquiry The Evolution of LSA's Approach to Collaborative Inquiry Conclusion Chapter 6. Key Learning Conditions: A Subject for Collaborative Inquiry Key Learning Conditions Initial Justification for Five Key Learning Conditions LSA's Own Evidence About Key Learning Conditions Conclusion Chapter 7. LSA's Theory of Action and How It Was Developed How LSA's Theory of Action Was Developed The Four Paths Theory of Action Empirical Test of the Four Paths Theory of Action Conclusion Chapter 8. Knowledge Building/Knowledge Creation: Education for a Knowledge Society The Motivation for Adopting Knowledge Building Knowledge Building Creating Interest in Knowledge Building and the Capacity for Implementation The First Year of Knowledge-Building Implementation The Second Year of Knowledge-Building Implementation Conclusion Chapter 9. Creating Useful Knowledge About Leadership Networks: Taking It to the Next Level Fundamental Assumptions About Learning in Networks LSA's Research About the Characteristics of Effective Leadership Networks Conclusion Chapter 10. Insights About Leading Large-Scale Leadership Development Projects Four Practical Challenges in Sustaining LSA One Large Technical Challenge: Assessing the Project's Impact on Students Eleven Lessons About Effective Project Leadership Conclusion References Index

About the Author

Dr. Leithwood is Emeritus Professor at OISE/University of Toronto. His research and writing is about school leadership, educational policy and organizational change. He has published extensively on these topics. For example, he is the senior editor of both the first and second International Handbooks on Educational Leadership and Administration (Kluwer Publishers, 1996, 2003). His most recent books include How School Leaders Contribute to Student Success (2017, Springer), Linking Leadership to Student Learning (2012, Jossey Bass), Leading School Turnaround (2010, Jossey Bass), Distributed leadership: The state of the evidence (2009, Routledge), Leading with Teachers' Emotions in Mind (2008, Corwin), Making Schools Smarter (Corwin, 3rd edition, 2006) and Teaching for Deep Understanding (Corwin, 2006). Among his awards, Professor Leithwood is the inaugural recipient of the University of Toronto's Impact on Public Policy award, AERA (Division A) 2011 Outstanding Leadership Researcher Award, the 2012 Roald F. Campbell Lifetime Achievement Award from the University Council for Educational Administration and the Ontario Principal Councils' Outstanding Contributions to Education Award for 2016. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. With colleagues, he has completed one of the largest studies of its kind about how state, district and school-level leadership influences student learning.


There is no doubt that this book identifies a plethora of strategies that will move the field forward. This is a project that has been implemented within a large number of schools/across a large number of leaders....and has been continually evaluated. The strength is that it is not an "opinion" piece wherein an author references the work of others and then suggests what "might" be effective, but this is work that has been implemented, and is showing promising results.

-- Lynn Macan, Visiting Associate Professor & Former Superintendent
After following Fullan, Leithwood, Bryk, and Sharratt for many years, this is the next piece in the puzzle of how to implement large-scale school change that has an impact. I love how the project was mindfully constructed to self-assess and was responsive to the feedback from participants. We can learn a lot from reading this book and practicing such mindfulness when it comes to supporting schools to help students learn.
-- Linda Vogel, Professor of Educational Leadership & Chair of Leadership: Policy and Development

Having worked with Leading Student Achievement (LSA) and the Ontario Principals Council, and being a long-time fan of Kenneth Leithwood, I have seen first-hand how their work has impacted school leadership across Ontario. Now, in Leadership Development on a Large Scale we are able to learn how they did it, which means that their collaborative work will not only continue to have an impact on leadership in Ontario, but the rest of the world too.

-- Peter DeWitt, Corwin Author, Finding Common Ground blog

The Leading Student Achievement (LSA) project is one of the longest-standing research projects in Canada. It has been a success because it uses research-informed strategies, is led by a world-recognized researcher, engages the field, and is fully supported by those who are expected to do the work. I commend Ontario principals for having accepted our challenge to adopt a theory-into-practice approach that would expand leadership commitment to inquiry. They have created a legacy that benefits students.

-- Avis Glaze, Corwin Author, International Education Adviser, & Founding CEO of the Literacy and Numaracy Secretariat

Leithwood demonstrates again why he is the most prominent scholar in the areas of educational leadership and school improvement. He fills a major void in helping us see how leadership can be developed and sustained by providing a marvelous ground level understanding of how school leadership unfolds and how that knowledge can be used to improve schools.

-- Joseph Murphy, Associate Dean; Vanderbilt University; Nashville, TN * peer review *
This is a rare book on Leadership: grounded, empirical, theoretical, cogent, comprehensive, and unwaveringly true to both local and system needs. As usual, Leithwood `leads' leadership by capturing the state of play. Dive into Leadership Development on a Large Scale' and you will be rewarded chapter after chapter with insights and ideas that will improve your efficacy as a leader. -- Michael Fullan, Professor Emeritus

Leading improvement at scale is a complex, fraught, and messy business. In this book, Ken Leithwood provides clear, critical insights and sound empirical verification about the ways in which leadership development can be a significant force for lasting change. An intellectual tour de force and a major contribution to the field.

-- Alma Harris, Professor of Educational Leadership and Policy
Leadership Development on a Large Scale gives us new hope for school reform. Leithwood shows how collaboration between professional associations, a ministry of education, and a team of scholars envisioned, adjusted, documented, and sustained a successful program to improve all schools in Ontario. There are no quick fixes, as he points to the complexity of shifting a system from top to bottom. There is quiet wisdom in every chapter. -- Karen Seashore, Regents Professor of Organizational Leadership, Policy and Development
Leadership matters. Ken Leithwood and the Leading Student Achievement team shine the spotlight on real stories from the field on how school and system leadership is inextricably tied to student achievement and well-being. Our Ontario leadership narrative offers others a pathway to collaborative leading and learning opportunities that lead to improved conditions and success for students. -- Luciana Cardarelli, Program and Member Services Coordinator

In 2005, the phrase `it is lonely at the top' was a general feeling that most school leaders were experiencing in their schools. The Ontario Ministry of Education, under Avis Glaze's leadership of the Literacy and Numeracy Secretariat, welcomed OPC, CPCO and ADFO's request for funding to structure professional learning for teams of leaders across the province. The impact has been profound. LSA has raised the bar on learning and leading and has had a direct influence on the student learning agenda in Ontario. Ken's involvement at the outset and longitudinal data collection has provided evidence for continued support.

-- Joanne Robinson, Thought leader and first Chair of the LSA Project; Director of Professional Learning

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