In a study funded by the Wallace Foundation, Darling-Hammond and the team examined eight exemplary principal development programs, as well as state policies and principals' experiences across the country. Using the data from the study, they reveal how successful programs are structured, the skills and knowledge participants gain, and what they are able to do in practice as school leaders as a result.
What do these exemplary programs have in common? Aggressive recruitment; close ties with schools in the community; on-the-ground training under the wing of expert principals, and a strong emphasis on the cutting-edge theories of instructional and transformational leadership.
In addition to highlighting the programs' similarities, the study also explains the differences among the programs and sheds light on the effectiveness of approaches and models from different states and contexts?East, West, North, and South; urban and rural; pre-service and in-service. The authors analyze program outcomes for principals and their schools, including illustrative case studies and educators' voices on the influence of programs' strategies for recruitment, internships, mentoring, and coursework.
The ideas and suggestions outlined in Preparing Principals for a Changing World are presented with the goal of increasing the number of highly qualified, thoughtful, and innovative educational leaders.