Answering the Call for 21st Century Instructional Leadership: A Case Study of a School District and University Job-Embedded Aspiring Leaders Partnership


This case study examines pilot year implementation activities associated with an innovative school and university partnership effort to improve the instructional leadership competencies of aspiring assistant principals in an urban school district. This original study highlights the learning of multiple partners involved in a collaborative effort to create a Principal Fellows Partnership (PFP) Program, which provides aspiring school principals with one year of job-embedded and tuition-supported assistant principal internship experience in an elementary or secondary campus setting in the partnering school district. The focus of the program was on developing instructional coaching and leadership skills in administrative interns to challenge status quo practices that negated student learning mastery. Nationally recognized principal preparation programs and research findings on effective leadership along with contextual district partner needs drove the creation and goals of the program. Findings revealed that learning for both educational partners and stakeholders was crucial to reach instructional leadership goals. Mentor principals assigned to the administrative interns reflected on their own development as current school leaders, and university educational leadership faculty addressed curriculum innovation and flexibility in the professoriate to support learning in complex school environments. Recommendations for assistant principals who will be effective 21st century instructional leaders are provided in the conclusion of the study.

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Valle, F. , Almager, I. , Molina, R. and Claudet, J. (2015) Answering the Call for 21st Century Instructional Leadership: A Case Study of a School District and University Job-Embedded Aspiring Leaders Partnership. Open Journal of Leadership, 4, 86-101. doi: 10.4236/ojl.2015.43009.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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