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School Leadership Teams: A Process Model of Team Development

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A number of studies have analyzed the factors that influence successful site-based management (SBM), but none has examined the relationships among those factors or their predictive value. In California, school leadership teams (SLTs) represent an aspect of school based management that is teacher-led and oriented to curriculum and school reform. The teams do not operate within the context of a prescribed programmatic formula and are not encumbered by personnel and budgeting decisions as are SBM committees. They receive training to learn to work together to improve teaching and learning at their schools with the goal of affecting student outcomes. To try to understand which factors are predictive of effective SLTs, we analyzed survey data from 71 elementary and 71 secondary SLTs that had received 1 full year of training. Using path analysis, we tested a model that identified the relationships among the factors that are most likely to influence the team's ability to focus on teaching and learning. The strongest predictor of their ability to focus on this important variable was the use of data collected within the school to identify needs and guide future decisions. Our findings also advanced our understanding of how SLTs work and revealed: (1) the importance of developing team skills in problem-solving as a predictor of many other positive relations; (2) the significance of strong professional relations as a predictor of positive district relations, use of data, and a focus on teaching and learning; and (3) the paradox of teams needing to hear parent and student voices and, at the same time, coping with the negative effect on professional relations if they are present on the team.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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