Success at the Core Leadership Module

Success at the Core

is a professional development toolkit for teachers and leadership teams, designed collaboratively by Education Development Center (EDC), which designs, implements, and evaluates programs to improve education, health, and economic opportunity worldwide, and Vulcan Productions, Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G. Allen’s award-winning film company. Original materials were funded by Vulcan Productions, Inc. and are used with permission.

Leadership Development Module

Leadership Teams and Quality Instruction

What role do leadership teams play in a school's efforts to improve instruction? In Harvard professor Richard Elmore's mind, everything. According to the professor of educational leadership, leadership teams are "groups charged to systematically guide and direct the improvement of instruction, leading to higher student achievement." This module prepares teams for this important role. It provides tools to help teams build a shared understanding of quality instruction; direct their efforts to support such instruction; and sustain an instructional focus.

Reflection Questions:
As you prepare to explore this module's resources, consider:
• Does our school community share an understanding of quality instruction?
• How do leadership teams (including schoolwide, content, and grade-level teams) promote instructional improvement at our school?
• What sustains an instructional focus at our school?

Video Resources

1. A History of Teaming
Wilson Middle School has embraced teaming for more than a decade. Watch how teachers at Wilson work in interdisciplinary teams and grade-level content teams to focus on instructional Improvement.

2. Leadership Teams Pursue Powerful Instruction
See how leadership teams at Shaw Middle School focus on powerful instruction and, in particular, on student engagement. The video features the math content team discussing learning targets and the science team exploring a student-centered assessment strategy.

3. Norms for Leadership and Learning
The leadership teams at Covington Middle School collaborate to set meeting norms and learning targets. These norms and targets are also evident in Covington’s classrooms.

4. Meeting Students' Needs Through Leadership Teams
Focused on instructional improvement, leadership teams at Mount Baker Middle School set clear instructional goals, meet regularly and frequently, and communicate regularly with other teams and individuals at the school. See how they make it work!

5. Leadership Teams Transform a School
In recent years, teachers at Sylvester Middle School have struggled to meet the learning needs of an increasingly diverse population of students. Take a look at how leadership teams have worked together and with teachers to develop effective instructional strategies to meet this challenge.

Dig Deeper
  • Module Handouts
    Handouts designed for teams working through the module together. They include reflection sheets, readings, and group exercises.
  • Facilitator Guide
    This guide allows an in-house facilitator to lead a team through the module’s learning experience.