The Learning Policy Institute report Developing Effective Principals: What Kind of Learning Matters? adds to an extensive body of research indicating that high-quality principal preparation and professional development programs lead to positive school, principal, teacher, and student outcomes.
Based on a review of peer-reviewed research and survey data, the LPI report identified characteristics of exemplary principal learning programs that support principals’ leadership knowledge and skills. These include:
- the use of authentic learning opportunities;
- critical content on developing instruction, people, and the organization;
- managing change; and
- collegial supports.
These characteristics are present throughout the NISL curriculum with the use of action learning as a disciplined approach to improvement in school sites and rich content on strategic thinking, instructional leadership and distributed leadership, all delivered in a collegial cohort with facilitator coaching.
A number of previously published studies on NISL/ EDP were included in the LPI analysis:
Corcoran, R. P. (2017). Preparing principals to improve student achievement. Child & Youth Care Forum, 46(5), 769–781. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10566-017-9399-9
Master, B. K., Schwartz, H. L., Unlu, F., Schweig, J., Mariano, L. T., & Wang, E. L. (2020). Effects of the Executive Development Program and aligned coaching for school principals in three U.S. states: Investing in Innovation study final report. RAND Corporation. https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA259-1.html
Nunnery, J. A., Ross, S. M., Chappell, S., Pribesh, S., & Hoag-Carhart, E. (2011). The impact of the NISL Executive Development Program on school performance in Massachusetts: Cohort 2 results. The Center for Educational Partnerships at Old Dominion University. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED531042.pdf
Nunnery, J. A., Ross, S. M., & Yen, C. (2010). The effect of the National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program on school performance trends in Pennsylvania. The Center for Educational Partnerships at Old Dominion University. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED531041.pdf
Nunnery, J. A., Yen, C., & Ross, S. M. (2011). Effects of the National Institute for School Leadership’s Executive Development Program on school performance in Pennsylvania: 2006–2010 pilot cohort results. The Center for Educational Partnerships at Old Dominion University. https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED531043.pdf
Steinberg, M. P., & Yang, H. (2020). Does principal professional development improve schooling outcomes? Evidence from Pennsylvania’s Inspired Leadership induction program [EdWorkingPaper 19-190]. https://www.edworkingpapers.com/sites/default/files/ai19-190_0.pdf