The following set of working assumptions, which were developed by the UW faculty and field-based education leaders, guide the Danforth Program’s curriculum:
Equity and Excellence - Public schooling in a pluralistic, democratic society demands that a quality education be received by every student under the care of educators in schools. Educational leaders are morally obligated to ensure that the twin goals of equity and excellence are the number-one priority of educators in their schools.
Leadership - Educational leadership is the exercise of significant and responsible influence. This includes, but is not limited to, the skills of management. Significant leadership requires the articulation, justification, and protection of the core set of educational values that underlie the purposes and functions of schools.
Organizational Change - Schools must be dynamic and renewing educational organizations. Educational leaders must nurture and sustain the process of dialogue, decision-making, action, and evaluation that lead to the improvement of schools as places for teaching and learning.
Collaboration - Educational Leadership is crucial at all levels of schooling. Administrators must create and support opportunities for the authentic involvement of all educators in organizational change and school improvement.
Inquiry and Reflective Practice - Educational Leaders must be committed to the importance and use of knowledge. Effective leaders must have the ability to reflect critically on practices in their schools and promote the importance of inquiry as a professional responsibility of all educators.
Teaching and Learning - Educational leaders must understand the link between teaching and student learning. As supervisors, they must have the skills to work effectively with adults to analyze instruction and facilitate quality lesson planning. They must guide the professional development of staff toward improved instruction that leads to improved student achievement.