Distributed Leadership

Guest speaker, student and school leadership gathered for conversation

Distributed Leadership

Leading comprehensive school reform is a challenge on a good day. We know from research that educational leadership needs to be grounded in activity rather than focused on individuals. At the CUES and the East-EPO, we rely on a research-supported understanding of leadership as applied broadly across a school’s faculty and staff, rather than focusing narrowly on the actions of a singular person or subset of people who hold designated, administrative roles.

In our model, leadership in the context of justice work means that justice is the moral purpose. Equity and access are in everything we do, especially for students. Everyone – leadership, teachers, and staff – is accountable for this moral fabric. Our challenge has been to ensure that we don’t let a focus on the individual take over. This work is not about one person’s needs, it’s about the good of the whole community.


Additional Resources

Bryk, A. & Schneider, B. (2002). Trust in schools: A core resource for improvement. New York: Sage.

Leithwood, K., & Mascall, B. (2008). Collective leadership effects on student achievement. Educational Administration Quarterly, 44(4), 529-561, DOI: 10.1177/0013161X08321221

McKenzie, K. & Locke, L. (2014). Distributed leadership: A good theory but what if leaders won’t, don’t know how, or can’t lead? Journal of School Leadership, 24, 164-188.