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2017

Educational Leadership

Science and Mathematics Education

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Full-Text Articles in Education

Distributed Leadership For Equity And Excellence In Mathematics: An Elementary School Case Study, Comfort Enono Akwaji-Anderson Jan 2017

Distributed Leadership For Equity And Excellence In Mathematics: An Elementary School Case Study, Comfort Enono Akwaji-Anderson

Graduate Theses and Dissertations

The need for schools to develop and implement actions that will clearly improve the academic performance of all children is of great importance. Schools face pressure to improve K-12 mathematics instruction to reach all students, regardless of economic, linguistic, or cultural background (NCSM, 2008, 2016). Supporting academic excellence and equity in school mathematics requires strong leadership (Blankstein & Noguera, 2015). Recognizing that leadership in a school does not fall on the shoulders of just one person (Spillane & Healey, 2010, p. 256), the purpose of this case study was to explore the “how” of leadership, specifically the leadership practices that get us to the “why” (e.g., equity) and “what” (e.g., leadership for excellence) of mathematics education. The overarching question driving this research was: “What are the leadership practices that are intended to promote equity and excellence in mathematics education?” Using Spillane, Halverson, & Diamond’s Distributed Leadership Perspective (2004), the goal was to understand the respective distributed roles teachers and other individuals took in the process of achieving equity and excellence in mathematics at one elementary school. Formal (e.g., Head of School, Central Office Administrator) and Informal (e.g., teachers and parents) leaders were interviewed and observed. Data analysis focused on identifying the macro-functions (e.g., overall leadership practices) and micro-tasks (e.g., day-to-day, short-term tasks) that leaders engaged in to promote equity and excellence. Leadership practices were focused in three areas: Supporting the Teaching/Learning of all Students; Supporting the Teaching of Diverse Students; and Parent/Family Connection. Five primary categories of leadership practices were identified: Relationship, Instruction Support, School Climate, and Parent Involvement.

Despite the importance of family engagement, teachers faced challenges communicating to parents, getting them to help with ...