1. Review the concepts and research
supporting empowering and distributive
2. Understand several key means for
3. Complete application activities to
assess your own organization’s status
in key areas.
4. Generate ideas for one or more
“empowering leadership” renewal
activities for school year 2013/14 (and
What is Distributive & Empowering
• The “sharing” of leadership
with others, or sharing the
“power of influence” which
comes with leadership.
• Many different words are often
used to describe a similar
concept: shared leadership,
• Distributive leadership is not
necessarily the “act” of
distributing power, but the
mindset (or perspective) a
given leader takes about how
to operate within a given
organization (Spillane, 2006) .
Research on Distributive &
Empowering Leadership Reveals…
• Research is becoming very
clear, that leadership and the
appropriate “sharing” or
distributing of power associated
with leadership makes a
difference (Leithwood, Mascall,
& Straus, 2009; Marzano &
Waters, 2009; Reeves, 2006).
• Leadership acts as a “driver” in
building a school’s academic
capacity, and research has found
that a more team-oriented and
collaborative approach to school
leadership is directly linked with
improved teaching and learning
(Hallinger & Heck, 2010).
• However, it important to note that shared leadership is only
“indirectly” related to student achievement.
• The power comes from helping teachers:
– Organize themselves into professional learning communities;
– Engage in reflective discussions about instruction;
– Participate in practitioner-focused action research; and
– Have a sense of collective responsibility for student learning
(Louis et al., 2010)
How to Best Distribute Power
1. Finding and Empowering Teacher Leaders (& Removing
Barriers to Teacher Leadership)
2. Creating the Environment for Leadership Capacity
(Professional Learning Communities)
Distributing Power: Finding &
Empowering Teacher Leaders
Teacher Leaders Defined
Teacher leaders are teachers
who successfully influence the
behavior, beliefs, or actions of
others thereby increasing the
capacity for student
achievement and success
Such Teacher Leaders:
(1) lead within and beyond the
(2) contribute to a community of
learners and leaders;
(3) influence others toward
improved practice; and
(4) accept responsibility for
(Katzenmeyer & Moller,
Why Teacher Leadership?
• Research tells us to create teacher leaders (since
teachers have a direct connection to learning outcomes)
• Tenure in schools for teachers is longer than most
• Demands of a building administrator today exceed time
• Building administrators often have limited expertise in
areas where teachers have fluency (e.g., curriculum
• Teachers are on the “in” when often times
administrators are on the “out.”
Why? Teacher Leadership Research
Research on Teacher Leadership has
• enhanced professional efficacy and retention
of excellent teachers;
• less resistance to change as teacher leaders
positively influence other teachers;
• more career enhancement and opportunities
• enhanced accountability for results; and
• increased chances for sustainable reforms.
(Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2009; Lieberman & Miller,
2004; Mangin & Stoelinga, 2008).
Creating Teacher Leaders In Action
Principal's Viewpoint on Creating a
"Caring Community of Learners"
Formal & Informal Teacher Leaders
• Teachers of influence choosing NOT to leave
the classroom, but influencing others via
– Casual conversations
– Sharing teaching materials
– Facilitating professional development
– Peer coaching & mentoring
– Organizing action research groups
– Leading book studies
– Obtaining a knowledge base for core issues
– Identifying solutions for problems that can
lead to better schools.
- department chair
Barriers to Teacher Leadership
• Teachers often feel they do not have the
knowledge and skills to lead other adults.
• Egalitarian norm of school cultures
discourages teachers from drawing attention
• Strong “teacher identity” vs “administrator
identity” (e.g., that is “their” job, not mine)
• Lack of resources and time for teachers to do
more (over-reliance on a few teachers)
• Comfort of principal to really share power
Lots of Different “Fears” (Sanocki, 2013)
- Fear of negativity.
- Fear of adult drama.
- Fear of becoming unhealthy as a school.
- Fear of being evaluated in their teacher leader role by their administrators.
- Fear of being perceived as a kiss-up.
- Fear of being perceived as false.
- Fear of being perceived as stupid.
- Fear of being perceived as too friendly with administration.
- Fear of casting judgment on others.
- Fear of failure.
- Fear of losing identity and connections with colleagues.
- Fear of not being respected as a professional.
- Fear of not having the right amount of resources.
- Fear of not making a difference.
- Fear of not making connections with kids.
- Fear of not understanding the changes and evolution in education.
- Fear of not progressing as a school.
- Fear of rejection.
- Fear that others will think I want to be principal.
- Fear that people will not come on board.
Yet, Fears Can Be OvercomeYet, Fears Can Be Overcome
(Sanocki, 2013)(Sanocki, 2013)
Recommendations for Educational LeadersRecommendations for Educational Leaders
Collaborate to build learning communities.
Provide a safe culture in which teacher leadership can
Collaborate to understand and minimize egalitarianism,
seniority structures, and administrative gatekeeping.
Actively and safely discuss teacher leader introspection to
reveal the fears and hopes of teacher leaders.
And, There are Lots of Teacher
Leaders to Be Found…
• “Within every school there is a sleeping
giant of teacher leadership that can be a
catalyst for making changes to improve
student learning…. By helping teachers
recognize that they are leaders, by offering
opportunities to develop their leadership
skills, and by creating school cultures that
honor their leadership, we can awaken this
sleeping giant of teacher leadership”
(Katzenmeyer & Moller, 2009, pp. 2-3).
Teacher Leadership Identification
• Who are the Potential
Teacher Leaders in Your
School & What Specific
Skills Might Each Bring?
Thoughts to Consider
• Match the unique needs at your
school with individual teachers who
have potential for leadership
• Think about those who may have
skills and talents yet to be
discovered. Encourage them to help
fill a niche in your school.
• Work to develop leadership roles for
many teachers. Avoid calling on the
same teachers and strive to discover
new potential for leadership in your
Teacher Leader Assessment Tools
• Teacher Leadership Readiness Instrument - self-
assessment tool for teachers to reflect upon their
personal beliefs and strengths regarding their potential
role as a teacher leader (see attachment pp. 10-13).
• Teacher Leadership School Survey (TLSS) - tool for
principals to gather information from all teachers in a
building regarding the extent to which a culture of active
teacher leadership is occurring (see attachment pp. 14-
Source: Awaking the Sleeping Giant: Helping Teachers Develop as
Leaders by Katzenmeyer and Moller (2009)
Distributing Power: Creating the Environment for
Leadership Capacity (Creating Professional Learning
Professional Learning Communities
• Supportive and Shared Leadership
• Shared Values and Vision
• Collective Learning and Application
• Supportive Conditions
• Shared Personal Practice (i.e.,
Peer Review & Feedback)
Distributing Power: Creating the
Environment for Leadership Capacity
• Essential to assess and
enhance a school’s leadership
– the broad-based, skillful
participation of teachers in
the work of leadership,
– teachers’ understanding of
• The Leadership Capacity
Framework includes of four
possible school environments
– quadrant 1 involves low
skillfulness and low teacher
leadership participation levels,
– quadrant 4 involves high levels
of both skillfulness and teacher
• Lambert notes that complex issues
do not divide neatly into boxes, and
schools may find themselves in
more than one box.
Leadership Capacity Framework
(See attachment p. 18)
Figure 1. Leadership capacity of four school types (adapted from Lambert, 2006, p. 240).
Leadership Capacity Transition Phases
(See attachment p. 19)
Instructive Phase Transitional Phase High Leadership Capacity Phase
Principal as teacher, sponsor, director Principal as guide, coach Principal as colleague, critical friend, mentor
Personal attributes and behaviors
•Sets norms with staff
•Supervises/ensures staff accountability
•Sponsors staff growth
•Creates safe, “holding” environment
Personal attributes and behaviors
•Learns – attends to epiphanies
•Translates values into vision language
•Lets go, provides support, and sticks around
•Scaffolds with ideas and questions
•Develops structures that build reciprocal relationships
•Coaches for instructional improvement
Personal attributes and behaviors
•Continues and expands behaviors initiated in earlier phases
Instructs staff (or arranges for instruction) in:
•Collaboration, group processes, and teaming;
•Conversation and dialogue;
•Best instructional practices;
•Conflict resolution; and
Guides staff to:
•develop shared vision;
•establish process observation or norms;
•conduct constructivist conversations;
•identify and solve problems;
•find resources (time, professional development, monies); and
Participates with other members of the community to:
•monitor and implement shared visions;
•engage in reflective practices
•monitor norms and take self corrective actions;
•build a culture of interdependency;
•diversify and blend roles;
•establish criteria for self-accountability;
•share authority and responsibility (dependent on expertise and
interest, rather than role); and
•plan for enculturation of new staff and succession
Use formal authority to convene and maintain conversations,
challenge complacency or incompetence, and make certain
Use formal authority to sustain conversations, insist on
professional development and inquiry agenda, mediate the
demands of the district and state, and set reform pace
Uses formal authority to implement community decisions,
mediate political pressures, work with less than competent
staff, and work on legal and reform challenges
Wrapping Things Up
• Bottom Line: Research
has linked Empowering &
Distributive Leadership to
Two Means to “Distribute” Leadership
• Finding and Empowering Teacher
Leaders (& Removing Barriers to
• Creating the Environment for
Leadership Capacity (Professional
Cohort A Example
• Delsa Chapman
Renewal Activity Brainstorming &
• Working with your partner,
brainstorm on potential
activities this coming year
related to “Distributing and