Current Research on Leading, Learning, and Leadership Support

The relationship between leadership and learning has been a centerpiece of CTP's conceptual and empirical work over the past five years. Currently, with generous funding from The Wallace Foundation, we are investigating a variety of issues that confront the exercise of learning-focused leadership in schools, districts, and states. In seven urban districts nationwide, research pursues the reconfiguration of school leadership roles, the transformation of central office to support learning-focused leadership in schools, and the reallocation of staffing resources to support a learning agenda. Our work in the leadership line of research falls into three phases:

Conceptual groundwork: The relation between leadership and learning

An initial grant in 2001 from The Wallace Foundation enabled CTP to develop a grounded conceptualization of the relationship between school and district leadership and student, professional, and system learning. The first two publications listed are products of that effort. The third publication, also a conceptual piece, offers an overview of leadership and leadership support in relation to the overarching goal of improving learning.


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Synthesizing existing knowledge of leadership and leadership support

In 2005, a second grant from The Wallace Foundation allowed CTP to delve more deeply into the issue of leadership and learning and in so doing create a series of state-of-the field reports that synthesize what is known about leadership and leadership support issues. The first report below offers an overview of leadership and leadership support in relation to the overarching goal of improving learning. The subsequent six reports clarify a single leadership issue, while assembling what is known from recent scholarships. The information in these reports lays the groundwork for further study and practical experimentation by leaders and reformers in states, districts, and schools. See:


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Investigating leadership for learning improvement

With funding from The Wallace Foundation, the large-scale Study of Leadership for Learning Improvement currently examines three related issues in a set of seven urban districts (and schools within them), located in California, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, and Oregon: 1) the reconfiguration of school leadership roles to support learning improvement, 2) the transformation of the school district central office to support learning-focused leadership, and 3) the reallocation of staffing and other resources to support a learning improvement agenda. The investigation is also tracking the state role in supporting learning-focused leadership. For a brief description of the overall study and substudies, now in progress, see flyers describing them:

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