ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Mark Triplett (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:

Abstract: Purpose: This participatory action research study explores how the central office of an urban school district , and the leadership of a middle school , work collaboratively to support a school-based instructional initiative in order to change outcomes for students who have been traditionally underserved in public education. In particular , the study focuses on the necessity of coherence and alignment on the part of both central and school-based staff in service of increasing the quality and depth of student academic discourse in the classrooms of an urban public middle school. Research Approach: A case study was conducted from 2017 to 2018. Data were collected , coded and analyzed from observational notes of central and school site team meetings , classroom visits , school learning walks , and professional learning sessions. In addition , notes and personal memos were collected and analyzed from regular one-on-one meetings with central partners and school leadership. Findings: Analysis of the data provides insights into how we can continue to improve the coherence and alignment of central office teams and site leadership , including instructional coaching , in support of improved outcomes for students. Results from the study highlight how , despite the best intentions of team members , competing priorities and interests can easily derail a school's instructional focus. While the structures and systems established to align the work of teams clearly improved the way central office supported a school to stay on track , personal interests and alternative focus areas threatened to take the school down other paths. Fortunately , the development of strong , collaborative relationships between site and central partners built a culture of trust and reflection that enabled the school to get back on track when the focus was derailed. The study surfaced particular structures and dispositions necessary for a central office partner to effectively align and engage with school-based leadership to best support instructional change. Implications for Research and Practice: These findings have implications for both central and site-based leaders as they collaboratively plan and implement instructional reform efforts for maximum impact.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2019
coherence, alignment, central office, academic discussion, instruction, school, urban school district, middle school

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TitleLocation & LinkType of Relationship
TALK SMART: A PARTICIPATORY ACTION RESEARCH PROJECT IMPLEMENTING ACADEMIC DISCOURSE IN AN URBAN MIDDLE SCHOOL described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.