The Principal's Role in Supporting Educator Collaboration

Findings from NCLE’s 2012 national survey, Remodeling Literacy Learning: Making Room for What Works, confirm the importance of the principal's role in fostering effective collaboration in schools, and identify two critical issues for principals to address: 

  • Balancing the roles of supervisor and colleague in a way that supports collaboration that is both rigorous and safe.
  • Closing the perception gap between themselves and their staffs in terms of whether the conditions for productive collaboration exist in their school.

Some key findings and reflections on the survey data are shared by Evaluation Consultant Catherine Nelson in  "Supervisor or Colleague: How Can Principals Create a Culture of Collaboration?"

Quick Links

Infographic of Findings
(PDF 2.3 MB)

Remodeling Literacy Learning Report

Oct. 29 Event - Building Capacity for Literacy Learning: Principals and Teachers Unite

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For further reading on the vital role of the principal, visit these Exchange resources: 

Creating a Culture of Collaboration

Establishing Time for Professional Learning
Finding time for job-embedded professional learning is one of the most frequently cited challenges with implementing the Common Core State Standards. Access helpful processes and tools to help increase and refine collaboration time in this workbook from Learning Forward.

Building in Time for Collaboration
Linda Lawrence, Principal at Westlane Middle School, describes the principal’s role in and strategies for building in time for educator collaboration and professional learning.

Getting the Principal’s Perspective on Creating the Conditions for Collaboration
This interview with Rowland High School principal Mitch Brunyer sheds light on his efforts to deepen the collaboration among Rowland faculty.

How a School Worked to Change Its Culture
Several teachers and the building principal at Skyline High School talk about the process of moving their school from an individualistic culture to one that involves collaborative planning and teaching.

The Principal's Role in Collaboration and Professional Learning

Administrators' Roles in Successful Professional Development
This episode of Blog Talk Radio brings three programs together to share participants' experiences with professional development and how the building principal played a key role in the success of the program. Panelists in the show discuss the question, "What does 'supportive' mean on a daily basis at the school?"

Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the Secondary School Leader
Implementing the Common Core State Standards: The Role of the Elementary School Leader
These Action Briefs for secondary and elementary leaders are designed to provide a deeper understanding of the standards as well as no-cost takeaways, talking points, and action steps that school leaders and counselors can begin to put into practice in their schools today.

Breathe New Life into Collaboration
This article describes some of the social dynamics that can stand in the way of effective collaboration within groups, and presents five principles that can help lead to success.

Meet the Promise of Content Standards: The Principal
This brief identifies the principal's critical leadership role and influence in communicating and nurturing a vision for student academic success that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards.

Multi-District Learning Community Impacts the Professional Learning in Member Districts
A diverse group of thirteen superintendents from urban, suburban, and rural school districts in New Jersey came together for the first time to lay the foundation for a community of practice that continues to thrive today—The New Jersey Network of Superintendents (NJNS). This vignette tells of two superintendents who saw potential in implementing NJNS practices within their own school districts, and how their combined efforts produced adaptations to reduce the risks associated with opening classroom doors for observation.

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Role of Principals Infographic (pdf)2.34 MB

Thoughts and Questions?