EDAS 743 Executive Leadership in Curriculum and Instruction

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 systematic 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.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Course Guide

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A primary responsibility of the principal, assistant principal, superintendent, and 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. Superintendents and school-based administrators must have specific leadership skills, dispositions, techniques, and processes to oversee the smooth operation of the school and/or school system as well as a knowledge base in research-based instructional strategies, mentoring and support of instructional personnel, and the delivery of quality instruction for student learning. This course focuses on a holistic approach to executive leadership in the role of instructional leader of curriculum and instruction, collaborative supervision and support, and monitoring the implementation of action research toward the goal of improving teacher practice and student achievement.


Textbook readings and lecture presentations

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Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the candidate will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (4)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each discussion. In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to 2 classmates’ threads. Each Discussion thread must be at least 300 words and supported with at least two scholarly citations in current APA format. Each reply must be at least 150 words and incorporate at least one scholarly citation in current APA format. The topics for the Discussions vary according to the applicable modules’ Learn material. Discussion: Hiring Process requires candidates to conduct an interview with a hiring supervisor prior to completing the initial thread post. Any references used must be cited in current APA format. (CLO: A, C, D, E).

Reflective Journal Assignments (3)

For each entry, the candidate will reflect on the assigned Learn material and describe how they 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. (CLO: C, D, E).

Action Research Case Study Assignment

This assignment enables the candidate to role-play the task of an instructional supervisor by putting into practice the steps of action research in a field case study format. The assignment involves collaborating with a P-12 volunteer teacher participant in a school setting to accomplish the following:

  • Identify an area of professional development for the participating teacher that relates to improving coordination and coherence among the school’s curriculum, instruction, and/or assessment practices.
  • Propose research-based strategies to improve teaching skills.
  • Evaluate the progress of the plan.
  • Adjust plan implementation as needed.
  • Apply the project process to determine school academic assessment and hiring practices.

The candidate will complete this project in stages, submitting a quiz, a proposal, an annotated bibliography, two project updates, and a final project document which is to be submitted in both Canvas and CORE. This assignment does not count for practicum hours in the candidate’s degree program. (CLO: B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J)

Quiz: Action Research Case Study

The quiz serves as a preliminary accountability affirmation that the initial elements of securing a volunteer teacher, using ethical practices during the research, confirming that student assessment data will be shared between the volunteer teacher and candidate, confirming that the first meeting with the teacher has taken place for the purpose of reviewing data, and selecting a topic with a guiding research question have been met during the first module week, thus ensuring that the process of Action Research is set to begin. (CLO: B, F)

Action Research Case Study: Proposal – Part 1: Data and Annotated Bibliography Assignment

After securing a P-12 volunteer teacher who is willing to work with the candidate on this project, the volunteer teacher is to identify a short-term initiative to develop and launch. The area of professional development for the participating teacher should relate to improving the teacher’s pedagogical skill in efforts to improve coordination and coherence within the school’s curriculum, instruction, and/or assessment practices.  In determining the teacher’s need, the volunteer teacher and candidate will collaboratively complete a data analysis to develop a topic and research question.

Using the topic and research question, the candidate will complete an annotated bibliography to provide the research element into best practices that align with the action research topic and guiding question. The purpose of the annotated bibliography aspect of the proposal is to connect inquiry to what experts in the field have published. The candidate will report researched content from four journal articles in crafting annotations that include a summary and analysis of each article’s content.  Each annotation must be 125 – 150 word. The work must meet APA 7 formatting. CLO: (B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I)

Action Research Case Study: Proposal – Part 2: Strategies Assignment 

From the candidate’s annotated bibliography, three strategies are proposed to the volunteer teacher, from which the teacher selects one for implementation in this case study. CLO: (B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J)

Action Research Project: Literature Review Assignment

The purpose of the literature review is to connect the inquiry to what experts in the field have published. The candidate must use at least five academic journal articles, books, or other research-based sources in crafting a four-page literature review. The candidate will provide a cohesive narrative that explains the topic of study and the results of previous research. (CLO: E, F)

Action Research Case Study: Status Update Assignment

A periodic update will be submitted to the course, providing a brief summary of the work completed to date. An assignment template will be used to report a summary of the progress made. The assignment template will include the following:

  • Summary of Work in Progress
  • Completed Action Steps
  • Future Action Steps
  • Issues, Concerns, or Problems (CLO: A, B, D, E)

Action Research Case Study: Final Assignment

The candidate will complete the stages of this assignment and submit completed reports for each component in a final project document in both Canvas and CORE. (CLO: A, B, D, E, F, G)

Policy Analysis Assignment

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 one 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. (CLO: D, E).

Quiz: Final

The exam will cover the Learn material for all modules: weeks. The exam will be open-book/open-notes and contains four essay questions. (CLO: C, D, E).


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