Principal Leadership through Science
Principal Leadership focuses on school leaders’ problem-solving both in their daily work routine and in general improvements strategy, offering them practical tools for improving their schools in a constantly evolving educational environment.
Developing a greater scientific literacy stems from a wide interest of students in science, including those who are typically underrepresented in science. Therefore, an effective integration of science practices in classrooms requires instructional leadership to support that change.
As part of an administrator institute sponsored by the Association of California School. Administrators (ACSA), we worked with a group of aspiring principals to build their understanding of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and what instruction might look like in K-12 classrooms.
Participants experienced a multi-faceted set of experiences that helped frame and shape their understanding of these new standards. Hands-on activities allowed administrators to examine the key components of the NGSS. Using the 5E Inquiry instructional model, participants explored the 3-dimensional nature of NGSS lessons. They learned where and how to access the standards, in addition to developing a thorough understanding on how to read the architecture of an NGSS blueprint, which included the strong connections to both ELA and Math Common Core. Lastly, attendees engaged in collaborative conversations and Q & A related to key considerations regarding their “next steps” with implementation, including the development of a long-term professional learning action plan.
Principals can play a key role in improving instruction and student achievement. According to a report that was published in 2019 by the U.S. Department of education, principals leadership is divided to three main practices:
- Instructional leadership: Helping teachers improve instruction by observing teachers, using data from observations to provide feedback, and selecting curriculum.
- Human capital management: Developing teachers and other staff by recruiting, managing, and retaining effective teachers and arranging professional development tailored to their needs.
- Organizational leadership: Developing the school as an organization by setting a school mission, improving school climate and culture, and deploying resources aligned with strategic goals.
Principals play a critical role in NGSS implementation, along with other discipline standards, “best practice” strategies and systemic policies. But many administrators still need tools and resources to help them envision the full range of supports that students and teachers need. EDU consultants can partner with site and district leadership to craft and implement effective professional learning opportunities that will have positive impact on their students.