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Melissa Han EDLD 750A /EDS 287A Educational Research and Evaluation Winter, 2014

Distributed Leadership: Annotated Bibliography


This annotated bibliography consists of 10 articles that address the concept of distributed leadership in education. The articles contain research that reveals the impact distributed leadership has on urban school communities, how elementary and secondary schools have implemented student voice in distributed leadership, and the necessity of trust within distributed leadership relationships. Nine articles are based on empirical evidence and one is a nonempirical article. References Bolden, R. (2011). Distributed Leadership in Organizations: A Review of Theory and Research. International Journal of Management Reviews, 13(3), 251269. doi:10.1111/j.14682370.2011.00306.x The aim of this paper was to review conceptual and empirical literature on the concept of distributed leadership (DL) in order to identify its origins, key arguments and areas for further work. Consideration was given to the similarities and differences between DL and related concepts, including shared, collective, collaborative, emergent, co- and democratic leadership. In order to be distributed, leadership neednt be widely shared or democratic and, in order to be effective, there is a need to balance different hybrid configurations of practice. Three ideas were found to be shared by most authors: 1. Leadership is an emergent property of a group or network of interacting individuals2. There is openness to the boundaries of leadership3. Varieties of expertise are distributed across the many, not the few. The key contribution of DL is not in offering a replacement for other accounts, but in enabling the recognition of a variety of forms of leadership in a more integrated and systemic manner. Holden, B., & Brown, J. (2010). Student Voice and Engagement in High School Improvement: Individual Learning and Organizational Change. UMI Dissertations Publishing. This was a qualitative case study that investigated a unique strategy for high school improvement: involving students as leaders across a school district in identifying problems at their schools and working alongside adults, to address those problems and help improve their schools. This study emerged from a lack of research on how students could be supported to be active, continuous participants in reform at both a district and a school level, and a question about whether student voice activities could realize outcomes aligned with district-level reform strategies. The research looked at how "student voice", through activities of student expression, participation and action to improve their schools, impacted individual learning and organizational change, and whether those changes promoted aspects of school engagement. Findings from the study were that student voice activities

helped promote youth-adult partnerships, leadership skills, agency, improved relationships, changes in school and district organizational structures, and aspects of school engagement that were aligned with the district's high school reform strategy. The single case designs studied a district-wide effort to engage students as active participants in school improvement. The primary methods of data gathered in this case study included documents, focus groups, and interviews of six focus groups (i.e., four with core teams, including a student and an adult focus group at each of the two schools, and two focus groups with second-year student board members). The Findings suggest that using the student board as a resource in their work as well as an increased interest in integrating student voice into district strategy development, a change in district staffing structure was reflected in the creation of a new staff position dedicated to working with the student board and building out student engagement initiatives across the district. Changes in school practices were reflected in the development of youth-adult partnerships, increased capacity for positive peer leadership, planning for longer-term initiatives, and engaging in action research. The four key findings from the research that was determined to be the most important outcomes of student voice activities congruent with the current literature were youth-adult partnerships, learned skills, agency, and improved relationships. Hulpia, H., Devos, G., & Van Keer, H. (2011). The Relation Between School Leadership From a Distributed Perspective and Teachers Organizational Commitment: Examining the Source of the Leadership Function. Educational Administration Quarterly, 47(5), 728771. doi:10.1177/0013161X11402065 This study investigates whether the role of the principal is different from the role of assistant principals and the role of teacher leaders in supporting and supervising teachers and whether these differences in leadership roles influence teachers organizational commitment. Based on literature review, they distinguish between (a) the different members of the leadership team who perform leadership functions and (b) the participation of teachers. They added (c) cooperation within the leadership team as a component of distributed leadership to focus on the concerted action of distributed leadership. The aim of the study was to assess which component of distributed leadership and which contextual variable most strongly related to teachers organizational commitment. They examined whether the principal, the assistant principal, or the teacher leader is the main actor in providing these functions. Because leadership is not restricted to individuals in formal positions, they also analyzed whether teachers voice in school decision making and whether cooperation between the leaders in the school are related to teachers organizational commitment. Random sampling was used to select 46 secondary schools in Flanders (Belgium) with a minimum of 600 pupils. A total of 1,522 teachers filled out questionnaires. The Distributed Leadership Inventory was designed to measure the quality and the distribution of the supportive and supervisory leadership function among the different members of the leadership team and the cooperation within the leadership team. They were asked to rate the individual leadership functions of the principal, the assistant principals, and the teacher leaders using a 5-point Likert-type scale ranging from 0 (never) to 4 (always). They first examined some descriptive statistics. Next, they produced a correlation matrix for the (distributed) leadership variables. The results showed that participative decision making and cooperation within the leadership team were highly

inter-correlated. The quality of support and the cooperation within the leadership team are the strongest predictors of teachers organizational commitment compared to the other significant variables. Distributed leadership is more than dividing tasks among different members in a school, they added two important components of distributed leadership: participative decision making and the level of cooperation among the members of the leadership team. Supportive relationship between teachers and school leaders, which is characterized by providing a clear school vision, translating this vision to teachers, and setting directions for teachers by providing professional development, contributes positively to the commitment of teachers to the school. The quality of support, independent of the source of the supportive leadership function, is crucial for teachers organizational commitment. They need the competence to work collaboratively toward the same goals and to act together. Teachers need to work in an atmosphere of trust and openness where there are clear roles, open communication, share the same school goals, and have an opportunity to participate in school decision making. Jackson, K. M., & Marriott, C. (2012). The Interaction of Principal and Teacher Instructional Influence as a Measure of Leadership as an Organizational Quality. Educational Administration Quarterly, 48(2), 230258. doi:10.1177/0013161X11432925 This article presents the design and test of a measure of school leadership as an organizational quality through the interaction of principal and teacher instructional influence. The Organizational Leadership Model (OLM) hypothesizes four distinct conditions of school leadership, and the analysis investigates the relationship between teacher, principal, and school outcomes; school descriptors; and a schools category in the Organizational Leadership Model. Organizational leadership as an organizational quality is situated in the social relationships between actors in the organization. This view authorizes actors within the system, regardless of their formal role, to provide leadership to the organization according to their expertise and knowledge. This study draws teacher, principal, and school restricted-use data from the 2003-2004 Schools and Staffing Survey. The sample consists of 7,950 schools, their principals, and a random sample of teachers from each school. The analysis finds evidence in elementary schools, urban schools, and schools with higher percentage of school-lunch-eligible students are generally characterized by lower OLM categories representing less desirable school leadership contexts, as the findings of the first research question demonstrate. The analysis indicates that elementary schools are more likely to be characterized by a school leadership context (low OLM categories) that may inhibit success. Lawson, H. A., Claiborne, N., Hardiman, E., Austin, S., Surko, M., Lawson, H. A. L. A., Austin, S. (2014). Deriving Theories of Change from Successful Community Development Partnerships for Youths: Implications for School Improvement, 114(1), 140. Community development partnerships for youths offer valuable resources for school improvement. Unfortunately, these resources may not be tapped because school leaders have not been prepared to understand these partnerships. The evaluative research reported partnership-related understanding, aiming to prepare leaders to contribute to, and benefit from partnerships. This research employed case study methodology to derive theories of

change from five successful youth development partnerships. This study employed a multicase study design using interviews. One partnership developed in a large urban context. In contrast, three rural partnerships encompassed an entirely different unit of analysisthe county system, which consists of multiple villages and towns. The fifth partnership involved both a large city and county. The researchers viewed these partnerships as representative cases rather than representative sites. Two kinds of interviews were conducted at each site. Individual interviews at each site were conducted with the partnerships main leader(s): eight persons in all. Focus group interviews also were conducted with key stakeholders convened by partnership leaders at each site: 33 persons overall. No young people were interviewed. An interview guide was structured to yield local stakeholders theories of change, along with relevant lessons learned, barriers, and facilitators for partnership development. Core features, include trusting relationships, norms of reciprocity, social capital development, shared language, common visions, missions and goals, pooled resources, effective communication and coordination mechanisms, collective efficacy, and generativity, which is manifested in the innovations developed by the partnership, were interspersed throughout the data for these five sites. Both organizational partnerships and collaboration among people fundamentally depend on achieving the right mix of stakeholders. Partnerships are, in effect, interventions. Collaborative partnerships are marked by explicit, interdependent relations among participating organizations. In other words, partners are aware that none can achieve their missions and goals unless the others also achieve theirs. Coordinative partnerships harmonize and synchronize their efforts, pool resources, and clearly have developed a shared identity. Youth-led partnerships provide leadership roles and responsibilities for young people, which also allows them considerable power and authority. When partnerships nurture both youth engagement and initiative, and when participating schools also emphasize them, they have generated a powerful school improvement resource and perhaps a related resource: school connectedness. Where these five partnership sites are concerned, the most important new capacity is the willingness and ability of adults, especially human service professionals, to view youths as assets and experts. Mitra, D. L., & Serriere, S. C. (2012). Student Voice in Elementary School Reform: Examining Youth Development in Fifth Graders. American Educational Research Journal, 49(4), 743 774. doi:10.3102/0002831212443079 The present research examines the developmental outcomes of elementary-aged students engaged in student voice efforts by using a case study of fifth grade girls. Elementary school students rarely have opportunities to participate in decision-making processes on school wide issues. Their research examines the following questions: What does student voice look like at the elementary level? What types of outcomes does it produce? The study was conducted at Dewey Elementary. It is not seen as an advantaged school and it did not make adequate yearly progress as a part of the mandated student testing in 2010. The school regularly engages students in a variety of democratic pedagogies and forums. The in-depth case study of six fifth-grade students were seeking to change school and district rules for their salad bar options. Therefore, they were describe as the Salad Girls. They were interviewed over a two year period on how they got involved in the work, the purpose of the work, their experience of the process of the work, and the lessons learned from their

experiences. They also interviewed the students as a focus conducted six focus groups of Dewey students representing a cross-section of ages and classrooms. These discussions allowed them to contextualize what it was like to be a student at Dewey and allowed a comparison of the Salad Girls experience with other students in the school. They met with Principal S. approximately once every 2 months to learn more about how democratic processes were occurring from her perspective. There were weekly observations of critical meetings between students, teachers, administrators, and district staff and recorded field notes as well as documents and artifacts. The recorded and transcribed qualitative data were analyzed with a line-by-line analysis and open coding to identify major themes by using NVivo software. Member checks were done of the participants own experiences and the research team were asked to search for counterevidence to their claims. The findings of the activities of the Salad Girls was their conviction that the diversity of their needs and backgrounds made the case for change in their school district. These experiences highlighted to the girls that working together can create a synergy of needs and talents that cannot occur alone. In civic discourse, each citizen brings their own interest as well as their own talents to the public square to listen, talk, and deliberate in order to solve common issues. Adults like their teacher and principal, played important roles in this process by supporting the girls competencies in negotiating multiple audiences for various purposes. Working on the Salad Girls project helped to broaden the identity of the girls so that they saw themselves as leaders who could make changes. This experience empowered the fifth grade girls to have a sense of agency, competence, belonging, and discourse. They came to realize the collective needs of their community and became leaders to address these needs. Discourse created an understanding of how their needs related to the larger needs of the community. Owens, M. a. (2013). The Feelings Mutual: Student Participation in Leadership as a Cooperative Effort. The Review of Higher Education, 36(4), 435462. doi:10.1353/rhe.2013.0053 This article stems from a grounded theory study of leadership among urban youth. It reports the perspective of students in a college preparation program by examining how they participated in leadership. This study uses constructivist grounded theory methods to develop a model of how incoming college students in a western universitys Upward Bound (UB) Program understand leadership and the contributions they make to the programs mission. Drawing from evidence garnered in the field, this study contributes to the field by contributing student perspectives as an integral part of an overall picture of leadership that involves both leaders and followers. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews, focus groups, and field observations of 20 incoming college freshmen. During the interview period and data analysis phases, students acted as co-researchers by working to derive meaning from interviews. Students conceptualized their participation in the program's leadership practice as a process of purpose-driven cooperative reciprocity. Taking, resisting, and giving emerged as key concepts to describe student participation. These behaviors were seen as corresponding with the degree of trust students had in the program as well as their degree of cooperative reciprocity with program administrators. The findings suggested that all members of educational organizations make contributions to their organizations' total leadership capacity. In other words, leadership is the sum of the

actions that include those under the authority (either formal or informal) of others. Work relating to distributed leadership opens the door to the possibility that all members of an educational organization have roles to play in contributing to the total leadership of that organization. By studying how students both understand and practice leadership, a clearer picture may develop of the parts they contribute to the collective sum of school leadership. The study concludes by encouraging further empirical work that explores leadership contributions by followers in urban educational organizations. Spillane, J. P., & Kim, C. M. (2012). An Exploratory Analysis of Formal School Leaders Positioning in Instructional Advice and Information Networks in Elementary Schools. American Journal of Education, 119(1), 73102. doi:10.1086/667755 Spillane and Kim examine how formal school leaders are positioned in their schools instructional networks based on an analysis of data from 30 elementary schools in one midsized urban school district. They analyzed the instructional advice and information networks for mathematics and language arts, the two core elementary school subjects. Their analysis suggests that, although the school principal is not a central actor in the instructional advice and information network in a majority of these schools, formally designated school leaders as a group do occupy central positions. They concentrated on formal positions, paying particular attention to those individuals who occupy a formal leadership position in their school emphasizing how the work actually gets done specifically full and part-time teachers. The focus was on the interactions, interconnections, and interdependencies among people. They used data from all 30 elementary schools in one mid-sized urban school district in the south-eastern United States that they referred to as Cloverville using a comparative approach. 1,210 surveys were conducted on spring of 2005 and 2007. The measure focused on the formal organizational structure, informal interactions or relational structure, and the normative structure. They relied on measures of collective responsibility, teacher-teacher trust, and alignment between standards and school programs. They calculated three measures of centrality (i.e., degree centrality, betweenness, and closeness) for language arts and mathematics networks in each school in 2007 using STATA software version 10. Their findings state that principals play an important role in the development of social networks and trust. While school principals may not be connected to most teachers in their schools, they may have a connection with each grade-level lead teacher, who, in turn, is connected with every teacher in the grade. Parttime formal leaders had closer relationships with their colleagues, compared with full-time leaders. These networks are made up of subgroups, that is, groups of actors who typically have stronger ties to one another than to others in the overall network. These subgroups are critical to the functioning of the overall network and the organization. Finally, those who occupy part-time leadership positions, are important sources for instructional advice and information, that is, the sort of advice and information that is often essential for implementing new programs and instructional improvement. Student, B., & Isory, A. D. V. (2012). Ask Us! Student Voice in Teacher Evaluations, 82(1), 153163.

In this article, youth from Boston Student Advisory Council, a citywide group of student leaders who strive to increase student voice and engagement in education policy at the school, district, and national levels, recount their campaign to include student feedback in teacher evaluations in Boston and across Massachusetts. They argue for the importance of including students in evaluation reform and demonstrate practical methods for students, teachers, parents, and administrators to work together to support and improve classroom teaching. BSAC was founded in the 1970s as a result of student-led organizing around the issue of desegregation. This article was written by a group of twenty young people who are either current BSAC members or alumni. A majority of the students serving on BSAC are from low-income families. BSAC students decided to pilot a student survey called the Friendly Feedback Form (FFF). Students anonymously provided some teachers with feedback on classroom management and instruction. The form was piloted and supported in the Community Academy of Science and Health (CASH), a Boston public high school, in the 20072008 school year. Approximately four hundred students in grades 9 through 12 at CASH filled out their FFFs for science and math teachers during an advisory period on a designated school day. Individual teacher reports with summaries of the feedback, to protect student anonymity, were returned to teachers in sealed envelopes. CASH students analyzed the results of the FFF and presented their findings at a school wide professional development session. Students led a professional development session where they were able to ask follow-up questions and understand their teachers interpretation of the responses. This presentation in itself generated dialogue around identifying methods for teacher improvement and highlighted the best practices that currently existed in the school. The success of the Friendly Feedback Form at CASH and the Administrator Constructive Feedback Form at TES set the foundation for BSAC to develop our Student to Teacher Constructive Feedback Policy proposal. This proposal would require every high school student to fill out a constructive feedback form for each teacher. One of the top five themes that emerged was effective teaching. Students said they wanted more motivating teachers, adults they could trust, and role models with whom they could build lasting relationships. Young people are not often asked to be real decision makers in their education. But are the primary consumers of the education system and should be treated as such. Including student voice in teacher evaluations is just one example of how young people can use their voices to create change in education. When they feel invested their education, they become more engaged in the classroom, resulting in higher achievement. Sun, M., Frank, K. a., Penuel, W. R., & Kim, C. M. (2013). How External Institutions Penetrate Schools Through Formal and Informal Leaders. Educational Administration Quarterly, 49(4), 610644. doi:10.1177/0013161X12468148 This study investigates the role of formal and informal leaders in schools and teachers practices. Formal leaders are designated by their roles in the formal organization of the school (e.g., principals, department chairs, and instructional coaches) and informal leaders refer to those who do not have any formal leadership roles but are nominated by other colleagues as influences on their instructional practices. This study aims to examine (a) how formal and informal leaders promote instructional changes through professional interactions with teachers and (b) which types of instructional practices are most responsive to which types of leaders. The authors analyze longitudinal data concerning

both professional interactions about teaching reading and instructional practices of teachers and leaders in nine K-8 schools in a single state. Teachers were surveyed and could name any member of the school staff (including the principal) as someone who provided them with expertise or resources to help with reading instruction. Thus, the social network data included positional school leaders defined by nominations on a sociometric questionnaire. School faculty members in the selected schools were surveyed four times. Formal Findings revealed formal leaders influence general teaching practices such as setting standards, selecting materials, and assessing students while informal leaders influence specific pedagogical practices (e.g., the use of particular strategies for teaching basic reading skills). Schools should be aware that teachers may respond differently to help from formal leaders and informal leaders. Thus schools must coordinate formal and informal leaders influences to ensure coordinated impacts on changing different aspects of instructional practices. This can be done through clearly articulating distinct roles of principals, coaches, and informal teacher leaders and through recognizing them for their accomplishments (e.g., as in personnel evaluations). At the same time, it is also useful to provide guidelines and opportunities school faculty to collaborate and for leaders to provide coherent support for instructional improvement. Schools therefore must establish divisions of authority that draw on the strengths of each level of governance to support a systemic reform, and extend to the within-school leadership structure.