Executive Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction – EDUC 743

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course addresses the role of district-level leadership in the supervision of instruction as a superintendent or assistant superintendent. Research-based methods will be applied to the development of district-wide processes for the improvement of student achievement through systemic planning, designing, implementing, and evaluating curriculum, instruction and assessment. Attention is given to supervision, evaluations, and professional development of district-level personnel and building-level administrators. Field experience hours are required.

Prerequisites

None

Rationale

A primary responsibility of the school superintendent or assistant superintendent is the use of strategic planning to improve the scope and success of all institutional programs. This includes evaluation of instruction and the development of quality instructional personnel through divisional leaders. Superintendents must have specific leadership skills, dispositions, techniques, and processes to oversee the smooth operation of the school system as well as a knowledge base in program assessment, instructional strategies, motivational psychology, and learning styles to assess and develop quality instruction for student learning. This course focuses on a holistic approach to collegial supervision and administrative evaluation.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the candidate will be able to:

    1. Apply skills for the collaboration of all stakeholders to improve the quality of school district programs.
    2. Develop and implement plans for school district improvement based on assessment of student achievement and mandated learning standards.
    3. Make recommendations regarding the design, implementation, and evaluation of a school district curriculum that fully accommodates learners’ diverse needs.
    4. Facilitate activities that apply principles of effective leadership to improve district instructional practices and use of curricular materials.
    5. Use and promote technology and information systems to enrich district curriculum and instruction, monitor instructional practices, and provide staff the assistance needed for improvement.
    6. Assist school district personnel in understanding and applying best practices for student learning.
    7. Apply human development theory, proven learning and motivational theories, and concern for diversity to the district learning process.
    8. Use appropriate research strategies to promote a district environment for improved student achievement.
    9. Implement well-planned, context-appropriate professional development programs based on reflective practice and research on student learning consistent with the school district vision and goals.
    10. Use strategies such as observations, collaborative reflection, and adult learning strategies to form comprehensive professional growth plans with district principals, teachers, and other school personnel.
    11. Develop and implement personal professional growth plans that reflect a commitment to lifelong learning.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the candidate will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. The candidate will complete the various discussion board assignments in collaboration with other course candidates. The topics and requirements for the assignments vary according to the applicable readings for the modules/weeks assigned. Any references used must be cited in current APA format. (MLO: A, C, D, E, F, G, J)

Practicum Requirements (Licensure Candidates Only)

Only licensure candidates must complete the practicum in order to earn a passing grade in this course. The minimum required number of hours for district-level/superintendent candidates is 50 hours. During this course, the candidate will complete practicum hours in an accredited school or school district. The form submissions are non-graded assignments; however, they are required for licensure candidates to pass this course. (MLO: B, C, D, E, H)

Practicum Proposal Form

Before beginning the practicum, the candidate will submit the Practicum Proposal Form to the instructor for approval.

Field Experience Summary (FES)

Upon completion of the practicum, the candidate will submit the FES via Blackboard.

Field Experience Assessment (FEA)

The onsite mentor will complete the FEA in LiveText’s Field Experience Management (FEM) program. Specific directions explaining how the mentor will complete the FEA in LiveText will be emailed to the candidate.

Reflective Journals (3)

For each entry, the candidate will reflect on the assigned module/week’s Reading & Study material and describe how he/she would translate theory into school district practice in response to the situation presented in the provided prompt. The writing requirements for the entries vary based on the prompts. (MLO: A, C, D, E, G)

Action Research Project

This assignment is required for all candidates. Licensure candidates may count hours completing this project as part of their required 50 field hours

The Action Research Project is the course benchmark assignment for EDUC 743. The assignment provides an opportunity for the candidate to role-play a district superintendent while conducting a research project in collaboration with a building principal or assistant principal. The action research follows observation cycle design as the candidate and volunteer collaborate to (a) identify an area of professional development for the participating administrator related to the improvement of school function that ties to improving student achievement, (b) propose and implement an action strategy to improve the role of the principal or assistant principal as the building leader for student achievement, (c) evaluatively reflect on the progress of the plan and adjust implementation based on data gathered by the candidate during 3 field observations and post conferences, (d) evaluate the results as a foundation for further professional development of the volunteer, and (e) reevaluate. The span of this project covers six weeks of the course’s eight-week time period. The complete project details are provided in the assignment section in Blackboard. For assessment purposes and to verify progress, candidates complete 3 assignments:

Proposal

After the candidate locates a volunteer principal or assistant principal who is willing to work with him/her on this project, the volunteer is to identify a short-term initiative to develop and launch. The initiative can include improving a previously launched initiative that is in need of revision; it could be a new initiative to improve the school climate and thus impact student learning; or it can focus on developing the administrator’s leadership skills to improve leadership effectiveness and thus impact student learning. The candidate must submit a written proposal for instructor approval that includes:

  1. background information,
  2. rationale for the project,
  3. a research question, and at least 1 learning standard from the candidate’s state’s curriculum standards that aligns with the proposed project. (MLO: A, B, C, F, G)

Update

The candidate will provide a brief summary of the work completed to date. The candidate will report on:

  1. completion of the literature review,
  2. a brief summary of the observation(s) and post-observation conference(s) completed to date (at least 1 must be finished at this point),
  3. action steps yet to be completed that will lead to timely submission of the finished project, and problems he/she is encountering, if any. (MLO: A, B, C, F, G, H)

Final

The candidate will submit a finalized version of the project, completing each of the prescribed elements in the LiveText report template. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K)

Policy Analysis

The candidate will review his/her school district policy manual to locate policies that indirectly or directly apply to diversity concerns in the school system. A copy of 1 policy from the school policy manual must be submitted and analyzed in a substantive assessment of at least 300 words. In the analysis, the candidate must articulate the value of the policy in helping leaders address cultural diversity issues as they seek to build a collaborative school district environment. References must be cited in current APA format. (MLO: C, G)

Final Exam

The exam will cover the Reading & Study material for all modules/weeks. The exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain 4 essay questions, and have a 2-hour time limit.